Eligibility for Admission
How to Apply
Ready to Apply
Undertaking Exchange Before Honours Year
Workload and Assessment
See Also


Honours is an intensive year-long program of advanced study based around research. Honours is undertaken after successful completion of a Bachelor degree and where the overall mark is a minimum 70% across a major in the intended subject area/s. Entry into Honours is selective and work at this level is challenging. Honours is available in most subjects areas taught in the Faculty, and which are listed under Tables A and B in the Handbook.

Students should plan for their Honours year as early as possible to ensure that the appropriate units are undertaken during the Bachelor degree. The relevant Honours Coordinator should be contacted as early as possible to discuss the research proposal, and all other aspects related to studying Honours.

Many students discover early on in their degree that they have a passion or special aptitude for a particular subject and want to engage, in depth, with the subject and learn how to practice its methods through undertaking research. Honours is also a pathway leading to in depth Postgraduate Research study at a later stage.

As well as the standard Honours program, it is also possible to complete either Double Honours or Joint Honours. Double Honours involves completing all the honours work in two subject areas, and thus would normally take an additional year. In Joint Honours, the two subject areas are more closely related to each other and a special program of study is designed for the student to complete the course concurrently in one year. The Joint Honours Study Plan form and policy can be found in the forms box on this page.

In each of these cases the student would need to complete the entry requirements for admission to Honours in each subject area the student intends to take Honours in. Therefore, entry into either double or joint Honours means completing entry requirements for Honours in two subject areas. It is advisable that the student starts planning for entry into Honours early in their undergraduate degree.

Eligibility for Admission

Students who are in their final semester, or who have completed their Bachelor degree at the University of Sydney or another university, are eligible to apply. Admission to the Honours year requires successful completion of a major in the subject area that the candidate intends to study. Students may also be required to complete specified core or Honours preparation units of study. Candidates must have achieved an average of 70 or higher across their major. A student must also have the permission of the chair of the department, or program coordinator most concerned. Requirements for Honours in each subject area are outlined in the Arts and Social Sciences Undergraduate handbook.

How to Apply

Honours application dates;

Refer to the Sydney Courses page for application deadlines for Honours applicants.

Please Note: late applications will not be accepted.

Checklist before applying:

  1. discuss research topic with a relevant Honours Coordinator. Proof of contact with an Academic Coordinator must be provided with your application, in each area of specialisation listed under your preferences.
  2. a completed bachelor's degree
  3. a major with a minimum average of 70% in the relevant area of specialisation
  4. completed the prerequisites, including advanced senior units of study, as outlined in the Undergraduate Handbook

Honours in Economics applicants please view the Degree Resolutions and refer to the
Departmental Honours page

Ready to Apply

  • complete the online application through Sydney Courses.
  • provide an original or certified copy of the official transcript of your academic record (not required for University of Sydney students).
  • provide a certified copy of proof of Australian citizenship or permanent residency status, ie birth certificate or passport (not required for University of Sydney students).

A certified copy is a photocopy that has been declared by a Justice of the Peace (JP), a solicitor, or a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences staff member to be an exact copy of the original. Please note that original documents will not be returned if sent or submitted to the Faculty.

  • provide proof of contact with a relevant academic (email is acceptable) for each specialisation listed in the Honours application. If undertaking joint or double Honours, proof of contact will be required for both specialisations. A second or third preference will not be assessed if proof of contact is not provided.

Please refer to the information sheet for further information.

The following Departments do not accept mid-year entry:

  • Ancient History
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Art History and Theory
  • Digital Cultures
  • Film Studies
  • Government and International Relations
  • History
  • Media and Communications
  • Political Economy
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Social Policy

Undertaking Exchange Before Honours Year

Students planning to go on exchange in the final semester of their bachelor's degree, and who are intending on undertaking Honours in the following semester, should note that receipt of results from international universities can often be delayed. Enrolment into Honours will require the results and post exchange credit transfer paperwork to be submitted to the Faculty Office no later than the end of Week 2 of the semester prior to your intended commencement date.

It is recommended that students consult with their Host Exchange University as to the likelihood of results being delayed. Student should also contact the Exchange Office if they have any questions about how to process their exchange credit.

Further Enquiries

Contact the Honours Coordinator for:

  • thesis topics
  • research
  • assessments and workload
  • course structure
  • joint honours

Contact Student Services for

  • application dates
  • procedures
  • enrolment
  • eligibility
  • other

Workload and Assessment

Each Honours program involves a mix of seminars and a thesis. For more information please refer to the Honours Provisions 2014 document.

Seminar work is marked by the academic leading the class. Thesis work is read by a minimum of two academics in the relevant field other than the student's supervisor. Students are supplied with detailed reports on each thesis and assigned a tentative grade. The final grade for each thesis is decided on by the department and program staff collectively. Honours results are thus subjected to close scrutiny at multiple levels.

The Honours results for each department are considered for nomination for the University Medals which are considered by the Faculty Honours Board. This Honours Board includes the Honours Coordinators from every department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.


Honours is awarded in the following classes:

  • First Class
  • Second Class, First Division
  • Second Class, Second Division
  • Third Class


Each year the University of Sydney offers around 50 Honours Scholarships, each worth $6000. These scholarships are open to students who are an Australian or New Zealand Citizen or permanent resident of Australia. Also included are students who have completed their undergraduate degree at a university other than the University of Sydney. Further information about these scholarships is available on the Scholarships Office website.

See Also

Honours Coordinator