Honours Program

Film Studies offers a research-based year of study through its Honours program. This is available to students who will continue on directly from qualifying for their undergraduate degree or to those who have already graduated and wish to return to their studies after a break.

Prequisites for Honours

The prerequisite for Film Studies honours is an average of 70% or higher in the Film Studies major, consisting of 6 senior units (36 senior credit points).

Program Structure

Film Honours consists of two semester-long units of study and an independent research project in the form of a thesis. Each unit of study is run as a highly collaborative and interactive seminar that meets for two hours each week.

FILM4101 What is Cinema Studies?

In semester one, What is Cinema Studies? provides a strong grounding in the history of the discipline of film studies, examining key debates and topic areas such as cinematic realism, spectatorship and new cinematic technologies.


In semester two, Studying Film Festivals provides an in-depth, historically grounded analysis of one of the most important industrial and commercial contexts of current cinema, the film festival. The film festival provides a dynamic context from which to investigate the intersections of key aspects of film culture and theory, including celebrity and spectatorship.

In addition to the two units of study, you will complete a thesis in close consultation with an academic supervisor. Your thesis is not only a key stepping stone to future research in film studies, potentially providing access to Masters and PhD research, but also an opportunity to develop a specialised area of interest.


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 and workshop is worth 20%.


1x2-hr seminar per week in each semester


Each student is supervised by a member of staff with expertise in the particular discipline area.
Staff research areas can be found on the staff page.


Each year the University of Sydney offers around 50 Honours Scholarships, each worth $6000. Further information about these scholarships is available on the Scholarships Office website.


Prospective Honours students should make preliminary enquiries with the Department. This is not a formal enrolment and does not commit you to Honours should you change your mind; it is simply helpful for the Department to gain some sense of student numbers, and for students as a way of beginning to think about supervisors and thesis topics.


The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences requires all students to enrol initially in Honours as full time.

The program does not offer mid-year entry.