UNDA unveils new degree

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Dr Renée Köhler-Ryan, Dean of the Notre Dame Sydney School of Philosophy and Theology, at left, Cate Thill, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Catherine Whelan, national Dean of the School of Business. Photo: Alphonsus Fok
Dr Renée Köhler-Ryan, Dean of the Notre Dame Sydney School of Philosophy and Theology, at left, Cate Thill, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Catherine Whelan, national Dean of the School of Business. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

The University of Notre Dame has unveiled a new undergraduate degree for 2021 which will focus on Catholic social thinking and teaching aimed at producing graduates who serve the common good.

The Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics will take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding human communities and society in light of Catholic social teaching.

The program, which was launched at UNDA’s Open Day on 12 September, seeks to train future leaders and professionals to make a difference in all walks of life by learning to integrate knowledge and focussing on how society can either promote or thwart human flourishing.

UNDA’s Dean of the School of Philosophy and Theology Renée Köhler-Ryan said that 2020 has highlighted the need for the new course.

“The course has been in development for 12 months now,” said Dr Köhler-Ryan.

“It will teach students to see the big picture and understand that politics is there to make sure people can lead fulfilling and free lives where they can follow their conscience and ask bigger questions.”

The new program is a combined undertaking from three faculties: the School of Philosophy and Theology, the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business.

“Philosophy will give the concepts and skills to identify questions and problems, thinking through them clearly and creatively,” briefed in the course outline.

“Studying politics, students will consider governance, leadership, and the importance of law and policy.”

The program will allow students to major in at least one area of the course and take electives throughout.

It will also include at least one internship with church agencies, in politics or business to experience how such works serve the common good.