Do you want to dig deeper into a topic or region of the world you have become interested in during your Anthropology major study? Do you want to learn the basics of how to formulate a solid research problem, conduct sustained research and analyse empirical material in an anthropological thesis? If you do, the Anthropology Honours program is for you. An Honours degree not only qualifies you for postgraduate studies. The skills you gain during the year are also highly valued in a range of employment sectors and will give you an important edge when competing for jobs.

You will meet new exciting challenges during the Honours year. Conducting research and writing an Honours thesis not only involves producing a bigger quantity of words from a larger number of sources than for an undergraduate essay. It is a rather different learning process! You will experience the intellectual satisfaction of choosing a topic of interest to you, independently doing research about it, and writing a substantial piece of scholarly work. You will also gain important experiences in working closely with a supervisor and actively engaging in a supportive team environment with your fellow Honours students. In addition, you will develop new important skills and strengthen those you already have, such as:

  • time and work management over a prolonged period of time;
  • efficient reading and note-taking practices;
  • how to organise large volumes of research material and references;
  • how to structure and write various parts of a scholarly thesis;
  • how to integrate analysis with your empirical data in the writing of your chapters;
  • and, how to revise and edit text in several draft stages.

Admission to Honours

The Anthropology Honours course is an intensive, whole-year course for students who have completed the requirements of the Undergraduate Pass degree. To qualify for admission to honours in Anthropology, students must have a credit average or better in 48 senior credit points of Anthropology, including ANTH3601 and ANTH3602 pre-honours seminars (or, for exchange students, their agreed upon equivalent to be established in consultation with the honours coordinator).
Please note: from 2015 the minimum requirement for entry into Honours will increase to an average of 70% or above across 48 senior credit points in the intended subject area/s.

ANTH3601 Contemporary Theory and Anthropology is offered in Semester 1 and ANTH3602 Reading Ethnography is offered in Semester 2. We recommend completing these units in sequence, but if this is not possible in your program, they can be taken in reverse order, with ANTH3602 first.

Note that the prerequisites for enrolment in ANTH3601 and ANTH3602 are 12 Credit Points of Senior Anthropology.

Applications from students from other universities with equivalent qualifications are also encouraged.

The Department does not have a mid year intake for the Honours program. Part-time Honours enrollment is not normally supported.

Planning Your Degree

Students who complete the two junior Anthropology units of study ANTH1001 and ANTH1002 with a Credit or better record should start planning their degree so that there is the potential to qualify for enrolment in an honours year. We ask you to bear the following in mind:

a) In a standard BA degree students complete 16 senior units of study. Qualification for entry into Honours takes up 8 of those senior units of study. If you complete a double major that takes up a further 6 of those units. That leaves only two units that can be taken from outside your double major. If you want to keep open the possibility of qualifying for honours in either major then ALL your senior units must be taken from within those majors. The Anthropology major is offered in other 3 year degrees such as the Bachelor of International and Global Studies and the Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Because of the more structured nature of these degrees, students should be particularly careful about planning their major from the beginning of the second year.

b) Students who are planning to go overseas on Exchange in the final year of their degree need to consider how they will complete the prerequisite units ANTH3601 and ANTH3602.

  1. If you are planning to go on exchange in semester 2 of your final year than you may complete two senior units of Anthropology in semester 1 of your second year and ANTH3602 in semester 2 of your second year.
  2. If your are planning to go on exchange in semester 1 of your final year then you should plan to go on exchange to a University where a unit rated as equivalent to ANTH3601 is offered.

c) Students enrolled in 4 year degrees (eg. BA[MECO], BA[Languages], BSc/BA) may have more flexibility in their planning but still need to keep the prerequisites in mind. Students enrolled in BA/BLaws and BA/BSocialWork should note that all the Arts requirements of those degrees are completed within the first 3 years.

All students planning exchange should contact the Honours Coordinator before going away to reality check the structure of their degree and their choice of exchange units.

Applications for entry into Honours

Information on the application process can be found on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Honours application page.

All applications are forwarded to the Department of Anthropology’s Honours Coordinator for a response to the Faculty recommendation. That recommendation will be based on the stated prerequisites for entry in Anthropology Honours and may be conditional in the case where units of study remain to be completed. The Faculty will also refer to the department applications from students who haven’t completed all the prerequisites. In such cases the Faculty will not recommend admission. In these cases, the department’s Honours Coordinator can make a case to the Associate Dean for admission if they believe that is appropriate, however there can be no guarantee that case will be accepted. Students who want to do honours and find themselves unable to fulfil all the prerequisites should contact the Honours Coordinator as early as possible for advice.

View the 2018 Honours Guide.


University of Sydney Honours Scholarships: The University of Sydney is offering about fifty Honours Scholarships each year, currently valued at $6,000 each.

Students currently enrolled at the University of Sydney or other universities intending to undertake Honours year at the University of Sydney are eligible to apply.

Further information is available at: http://sydney.edu.au/scholarships/current/honours_scholarships.shtml

Honours Co-ordinator

Dr. ├ůse Ottosson

Room 166, RC Mills Building A26
+612 9114 1286

School of Social and Political Sciences

Room 140 Level 1, RC Mills Building, A26
Telephone: +612 9351 2650
Fax: +612 9036 9380

Find your supervisor on this staff list.