Honours in Arabic Language and Cultures

Entry Requirements and Program Structure
Thesis Supervision


'Honours' is an intensive year-long program of advanced study with research at its centre. The Honours year enables students to engage with the subject of their major in depth by undertaking research of their own, under the supervision of an expert in their field. For some students, Honours is the culmination of their formal education while for other students, Honours is the first step on the path to careers as professional researchers and academics. Upon graduating, students find employment in Australia, in the Arab world, or across the Middle East in a wide range of fields.

Entry Requirements and Program Structure

The Honours program in Arabic Language and Cultures requires the completion of 48 senior credit points in Arabic Language and Cultures, at Credit level or above.

Beginning in 2015, the minimum requirement for entry into Honours will increase to an average of 70% or above across 48 senior credit points of Arabic Language and Cultures.
Students whose bachelor's degree was undertaken at another University, or students who completed their bachelor's degrees at the University of Sydney more than two years ago should contact the Chair of Department to discuss whether the classes they have taken are equivalent to these prerequisites.

Students with interdisciplinary interests can enroll in joint Honours, combining Arabic Language and Cultures with another subject area.

The Honours program in Arabic Language and Cultures consists of two seminars (one each semester) and an 18,000-20,000 word thesis on a topic in students’ area of interest. The seminars will be taught in English but will also provide students with individualized advanced language training. The Honours thesis is written in English, but some of the primary sources used must be in Arabic. An Honours project may involve a fieldwork component, which greatly enhances the Honours experience.

Applying for Honours

Interested and qualified students should first contact the Chair of Department to discuss their preferred field of Honours study. Once the Chair has been informed, students should apply to Honours by visiting the Honours program website: sydney.edu.au/courses/programs/bachelor-of-arts/bachelor-of-arts-honours

Additional and more specific information about the application process and the Honours year can be found in the Department of Arabic Language and Cultures' Honours Guidelines and Study Plan document.


The Honours program in Arabic Language and Cultures consists of:

  1. A thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff
  2. Two seminars that meet for two hours a week each semester.

The thesis should be of 18000 - 20000 words in length. Each seminar requires 6000 - 8000 words of written work or its equivalent. The thesis is worth 60% of the final Honours mark and each of the seminars is worth 20%.

While you will receive marks for all pieces of assessment, your academic transcripts will record only your final, overall, Honours mark.


The Honours thesis constitutes an original piece of research and writing in any field of Arabic cultures that can be supervised by a full-time member of staff. It amounts to 18000-20000 words of writing and must demonstrate both a command of primary sources written in Arabic, as well as of a wide range of secondary source materials written in Arabic and English. Your thesis should also demonstrate your command of the appropriate disciplinary or interdisciplinary approach to the topic of your research.

Possible research areas for your Honours thesis include:

  • Arabic language and literature
  • Arab mass and popular cultures
  • Society and Politics
  • Film and media studies
  • Feminism
  • Gender and sexuality studies
  • Cross-cultural relations: the Arab world and the West
  • Arab diasporas
  • History, politics, and social movements.

Under the tab Current and Recent Projects, you can read about the topics that our current and past Honours students have researched.

Thesis Supervision

Interested students should contact the Chair of Department to discuss their preferred field of Honours study. The Chair of the Department will be able to suggest the most appropriate member of staff within the department to supervise the Thesis. Please consult the “Research” tab to view the research areas and expertise of the various members of the Department.


Once you have applied for Honours through the University of Sydney's Sydney Courses site, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Honours webpage, and once you have been accepted, you should enroll in ARBC 4011, 4012, 4013 and 4014. These, are generic or 'shell' units for your coursework component.

Go to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Honours webpage for further information on Honours and on the online enrolment application procedure.


Undergraduate Coordinator and Chair of Department: Professor Sahar Amer
Phone: +61 2 9351 6797.

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