BA Subjects, Syllabus and Books: The Complete Guide

  • By Sneha Dasgupta
  • 8 April 2022
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Bachelor of Arts is a 3-year program divided across six semesters that introduces students to different BA subject areas like History, English, Hindi, Economics, Philosophy, History, and Political Science. This is a popular program offered by several top Indian institutions and a course that is opted by students across India and abroad. The BA syllabus has been a subject of interest for many simply because of the diversity that it offers; one is simultaneously introduced to several disciplines and is given an opportunity to explore them all. So, in case you wish to acquire a master's degree in the future and need some time to decide regarding which subject to opt for, the diverse BA subjects would help put things into perspective. And you can then go ahead and do a master's in any of the subjects that you covered. 

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So, in case you need more time to visualise a path for yourself after you finish school and begin the next phase of your academic journey, a BA program could be a safe choice that will give you time to explore and find the right path for yourself. That being said, to help you know what exactly a BA course covers, let’s have a look at the BA syllabus, books and subjects and get a glimpse into this course before you decide to invest 3 precious years of your life towards it.

Top Colleges in India For BA

Several top colleges across India offer, BA, a Bachelor of Arts degree. While each of them follow their own curriculum, the BA syllabus and subjects across these courses are somewhat similar. So, depending upon the marks that you obtained in your high school and your convenience, you can pick the one that best matches your interests.

  1. Lady Shri Ram College For Women, New Delhi
  2. Loyola College, Chennai
  3. St. Xaviers College, Mumbai
  4. Christ University, Bangalore
  5. Miranda House, New Delhi
  6. Presidency College, Chennai
  7. Madras Christian College, Chennai
  8. Hindu College, New Delhi
  9. Hansraj College, New Delhi
  10. Presidency University, Kolkata

BA Syllabus: 1st Year

In the first year of the course, as you would be just out of school, the program will start with the basics and familiarise you with the core BA subjects. So, let’s have a look at what all would be covered in the first and second semesters of the BA programme.

Semester 1 Semester 2
English Communication Youth, Gender and Identity
Development of Psychological Thought Psychological Research
Social Psychology Emotional Intelligence
Language Professional Communication

BA Syllabus: 2nd Year

In the second year, the BA syllabus will start moving deeper into the BA subjects covered in the first year and introduce you to literature and philosophies of all kinds. In the second year, you will also have to take up an elective other than the core subjects included in the BA syllabus.

Semester 3 Semester 4
Western Philosophy: Descartes to Kant Social & Political Philosophy: Indian and Western
Text of Western Philosophy Continental Philosophy
Life Skills Writing Skills
American Literature Canadian Literature
Cultural Education I Elective

BA Syllabus: 3rd Year

BA subject list for the third and last year of a Bachelor of Arts degree will majorly focus on the practical side and involve a research proposal and project. Here also, you would have to take up an elective course from outside of your school. 

Semester 5 Semester 6
Social Welfare and Administration Social Action and Movements
NGO Movement Spiritual Literature
Elements of Literary Criticism Research Proposal
Elective Research Project

BA Syllabus for Specialisations

While you can simply opt for a degree in BA Programme with a focus on not one but all BA subjects, you can also choose one subject of your choice and acquire specialisation in it. This is what is known as a BA (Hons.) degree and is offered in different subjects like English, History, Psychology, Hindi and Political Science to name a few. Let’s have a look at the BA syllabus of some of these specialisations.

BA English (Hons.) BA Political Science (Hons.)
Introduction to Literary Studies Understanding Political Theory
European Classical Literature Constitutional Government and Democracy in India
Indian Classical Literature Political Processes in India
British Literature Political Theory-Concepts and Debates
Literature and Caste Perspectives on Public Administration
Women’s writing Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
Twentieth-century British Literature Perspectives on International Relations and World History
Forms of Popular Fiction Global Politics
Modern European Drama Public Policy and Administration in India
Postcolonial Literature Political Processes and Institutions in Comparative Perspective
Classical Political Philosophy
Modern Indian Political Thought
Colonialism and Nationalism in India
India’s Foreign Policy in a Globalising World
Dilemmas in Politics

BA History (Hons.) BA Psychology (Hons.)
Ancient Indian History Introduction To Psychology
Mediaeval India Development of Psychological Thoughts
Transformation from Modern to Present India Statistical Methods for Psychological Research
Ancient World History Organisational Behaviour
Political Theory Introduction to Psychological Disorders
Pre and Post Colonisation Developmental Psychology
USA and USSR History Counselling Psychology
European Integration and Transformation Psychology of Individual Differences
History of Latin America Social Psychology
African History Behaviour and Modification Counselling
World Politics Psychiatric Social Work
Theories of Counselling
Developmental Psychology
Psychological Research
Statistical Methods For Psychological Research
Introduction to Counselling
Child Psychology
Research Methodology

BA Economics (Hons.) BA Sociology (Hons.)
Macroeconomics Applied Sociology
Microeconomics Comparative Sociology
Indian Economy Cultural Sociology
Econometrics Collective Behaviour
Economics Statistics Crime and Delinquency
History of Economics Community and Demography

BA Philosophy (Hons.) BA Geography (Hons.)
Applied Philosophy Maps and scales
Socio-Political Philosophy Representation of physical features
Greek & Mediaeval Philosophy Geography of India
Philosophy of Religion Physical geography
Problems of Philosophy (Indian & Western) Human geography
Maps projection
Representation of climate data

So, these are the specialisations that BA offers and if among these subjects you have a special interest in any of them, you may opt for an honours degree and pave the dream career path for yourself. There are numerous BA job opportunities in India today. Honours courses are also offered by top universities across India and abroad, and you can work hard and get into the college of your choice and specialise in the subject of your interest.

BA Programme Subjects

BA Core Subjects

The BA syllabus doesn’t involve an in-depth study of a single subject but introduces you to the basics of different BA subjects like English, Hindi, Political Science, Philosophy, History, Economics, etc. Let's have a look at the basic BA subject list and understand what all comes under the purview of this bachelor’s degree.

Foundation Course in English Government & Politics in India
Indian Philosophy Political Ideas and Ideologies
Foundation Course in Hindi Administrative Theory
Economic Development Foundation Course in Humanities and Social Sciences
Agricultural Development in India Understanding Prose and Poetry
Indian Economic Development: Issues and Perspectives History of Urdu Literature and Language
Religions of the World Social Problems in India

BA Elective Courses 

While the elective BA Subject list of each college might differ, given below is a list of electives that are popularly covered in a BA syllabus. Let’s have a look at what these subjects are.

Public Policy and Administration in India Introductory Econometrics
Urban Geography Communication and Development
Philosophy of mind Global Politics
Contemporary Literature Public Policy and Administration in India
Ability Enhancement Course Ethics In Public Domain

Best Books for BA

When it comes to BA books, there is a huge collection available out there that you can refer to. While each university might have its different selection of books depending upon the curriculum they follow, given below is a list of BA Books that every student should read to cover the BA syllabus. They will give you an overall understanding of the BA programme subjects covered and would help you build a strong foundation.

We all know that it is when books are combined with lectures that you receive from your professors that you acquire holistic knowledge and get the opportunity to go beyond the curriculum that is offered to you. So, make sure that you indulge in these books along with your BA syllabus and make the best out of your BA programme.

To help you out on this front, let’s have a look at a few books that might be interesting and informative to read.  

Author Title
Romila Thapar History of Early India
Prof. Ray and Chakraborty History of English Literature
J.C Aggarwal Medieval History of India
S.K.Mangal Essentials of Educational Psychology
M.P. Sharma Public Administration Theory and Practice
B.M Agarwal Statistical Methods in Economics
John Hospers An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis
Pravin Kumar Jha Political Science

Books for BA in History

  • A History of Ancient and Early Mediavel India - Upinder Singh
  • India's Ancient Past - R. S. Sharma
  • Early Social Formations - Amar Farooqui
  • Europe in Transition: From Feudalism to Industrialisation - Arvind Sinha
  • Mediaeval India : From Sultanat to the Mughals (1206-1526) Part-1 - Satish Chandra
  • Rethinking Early Mediaeval India - Upinder Singh
  • Mediaeval India : From Sultanat to the Mughals (1526-1748) Part-2 - Satish Chandra
  • A History of Modern India - Ishita Banerjee-Dube

Books for BA in English

  • Literary terms by M.H.Abrahams.
  • The English literature by Dr.Bhimsing Dahiya.
  • India Writing in English.
  • The English literature by David Daiches.
  • An outline history of English literature by W.H.Hudson.
  • English literature by W.J.Long.
  • A critical history of English literature by David Daiches.

Books for BA in Economics

  • Mathematics for Economic Analysis - Sydsaeter, K., Hammond, P.
  • Microeconomics - Bernheim, B., Whinston, M
  • Principles of Economics - Mankiw, N
  • Macroeconomics - Dornbusch, R., Fischer, S., Startz, R.
  • An Introduction to Game Theory - Osborne, M.
  • Indian Economy - Misra & Puri
  • Developmental Economics - Ahuja, H.L.

Books for BA in Psychology

  • Nicomachean Ethics - Aristotle
  • The Republic - Plato
  •  On Liberty - John Stuart Mill
  • The Problems of Philosophy - Bertrand Russell
  • The Human Condition - Hannah Arend
  • Philosophy 1: A Guide Through the Subject - A.C. Grayling
  • Introduction to Logic - Irving M. Copi

Books for BA in Political Science

  • Psychology Textbook by Myers and Dewall, 12th Edition
  • Myers’ Psychology textbook for the AP Course, 3rd Edition
  • Introducing Psychology by Schacter, Gilbert, Nock, and Wegner
  • Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior
  • Psychology 5th Edition by Saundra Ciccarelli and J. Noland White

Books for BA in Political Science

  • An Introduction To Political Theory - O. P. Gauba
  • Political Theory: An Introduction - Andrew Heywood
  • Introduction To The Consitution of India - D. D. Basu
  • Politics in India - Rajni Kothari
  • Introduction to Political Processes - R. Dayal
  • The Globalisation of World Politics - John Baylis, Patricia Owens, and Steve Smith

This is all that you need to know about a Bachelor's Degree in Arts (BA). Everything from BA syllabus, BA subjects to BA books have been addressed. Now that you know about it all, you can make an informed decision regarding whether BA is the right pick for you or not. You can also compare BA vs BBA with the help of our blog. So, if you have already made up your mind, the next step is to crack the entrance exams of the colleges you wish to attend and secure a seat for yourself in the BA course of your interest.

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