La Trobe responds to business and students needs

La Trobe University is introducing new courses in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS) that will respond to the needs of business and make it easier for students to stay close to home for their tertiary studies.

The new Bachelor of Strategic Communication and Bachelor of Community Development will be introduced in 2012, together with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a new work-ready component and a Diploma of Arts.

Collin Brady, Head of Community Strengthening at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has welcomed the news, saying that the Bachelor of Community Development aligns well with the bank’s philosophy of strengthening regional and rural communities.

‘There’s a growing demand for people who understand and can work effectively with communities and we’re delighted that L a Trobe University is offering this innovative course in Bendigo. Courses such as this one provide graduates that can make a very valuable contribution to communities around the world’ Mr Brady said.

The introduction of the Bachelor of Community Development means that students interested in this subject will be able to undertake undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Bendigo, as a Master of Community Planning and Development is already available.

The Bachelor of Strategic Communication is the first industry accredited degree in Australia with strategy at its core.

Head of the FHSS at the Bendigo campus, Associate Professor Trevor Budge said Bachelor of Strategic Communication students will have the opportunity for real-life experience through participation in a La Trobe based advertising agency that will engage real clients to work on actual campaigns.

‘The Bachelor of Strategic Communication will have three streams; public relations, advertising and marketing (including social marketing). The degree offers opportunities for internships and, what’s really exciting, is that students can also take part in a La Trobe based advertising agency that will provide them with valuable experience by working on real projects with real clients’ Professor Budge said.

There is already interest in the new course within the La Trobe community. Student Information Officer, Anna Reeves is currently studying subjects in the Bachelor of Business (Marketing) course that will enable her to transfer to the Bachelor of Strategic Communication next year.

Cooperation between the courses and Faculties allows for flexibility to transfer to the Bachelor of Business (Marketing) if a more intense business specialisation is required by students. 

‘My job at La Trobe is to inform future students about the courses we offer. When I found out about the Bachelor of Strategic Communication I got so excited about studying again after finishing Year 12’ Ms Reeves said.

‘I really like the look of the course because it’s practical and hands-on. It’s a great mix of PR, journalism, marketing and media’ Ms Reeves said.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Associate Dean (International and Development), Dr Tony Jarvis said that the Work Ready Bachelor of Arts builds on the traditional flexibility of the Bachelor of Arts by offering a full portfolio of skills and experiences that would usually be learned after students graduate and enter the workforce.

‘The Work Ready BA will do more than prepare students for a job. It will prepare them for a career, whether that’s in a discipline that they love or for the course’s direct relevance to a particular industry. It will meet their needs for intellectual and personal challenge and enable them to gain the skills that can lead to success in the global workplace’ Dr Jarvis said.

Dr Jarvis said that an additional benefit of the Work Ready BA is that students will get an
e-portfolio that identifies their skills.

Executive Director, La Trobe University, Bendigo Campus, Andrew Skewes said that staff have been listening to business groups and students and these new courses are a sign of the campus’s commitment to providing tertiary education that respond to their needs.

‘We have consulted with business to ascertain their particular needs for new graduates entering the workforce. These new courses have been designed to better equip our students with the skills required to meet those needs and, in so doing, give them a head start when applying for jobs after they graduate’ Mr Skewes said.

Mr Skewes said the campus would continue to work with local industry and schools to take into account specific skills relevant to each business group in the best interests of La Trobe students and their local communities.





1) Meeting to discuss final preparations for the official launch of the new courses
2) Official launch of new courses


1) 11am, Thursday 28 July 2011
2) 6pm, Thursday 28 July 2011


1) Andrew Skewes office, The Cottage, La Trobe University, Edwards Road Campus, Bendigo (enter via Gate 3 off Edwards Road)
2) La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre, View Street, Bendigo


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