Honours in Cultural Studies

In order to proceed to fourth year Honours in Cultural Studies students must have a major in Cultural Studies with an average of 70 or above.

For those commencing Honours on or after Semester 1 2018, the Honours year consists of: a 18000-20000 word thesis on a topic devised by the student in consultation with a supervisor appointed by the department; a methods unit that provides training in thesis research and writing and includes a series of practical research skills workshops ("Arguing the Point"); completion of 1 advanced seminar unit from the offerings listed below; participation in the Honours mini-conference; and at least six research skills seminars chosen from a list that changes from semester to semester. Coursework results comprise 40%, and the thesis 60%, of the final Honours mark.

You apply to undertake Honours via Sydney Student, and your Honours program must also be approved by the Honours co-ordinator.

Important note: Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee you entry into the Honours programme. Honours places can only be granted where there is supervisory capacity.

Enrolling in Honours

Students taking Honours in Cultural Studies will enrol in the following units:

  • GCST4201 Cultural Studies Honours Thesis A
    Research towards and preliminary writing of an Honours thesis of 18-20,000 words, in collaboration with the supervisor, approved by the Honours coordinator.
  • GCST4202 Cultural Studies Honours Thesis B
    Completion and submission of an Honours thesis of 18-20,000 words, in collaboration with the supervisor, approved by the Honours coordinator.
  • GCST 4200 Arguing the Point
    Dr. John Scammel
    This seminar aims to introduce students to a range of research practices and methods, writing styles and forms of argumentation. Through the study of different examples of Gender and Cultural Studies research, we will seek to encourage students to develop their own research practices and writing skills. Students who are writing their thesis will be encouraged to experiment with different ways of arguing and writing their research. Students who are just starting will have the opportunity to develop their ideas.

Seminars

In 2018, Students choose from the following seminar options, both of which run in Semester 1:

  • GCST 4203 Gender in Cultural Theory
    Dr Alifa Bandali
    What is the relation between femininity, masculinity and culture? Does sexual difference affect our identity and, if so, how and in what circumstances? Does it affect our relations with others? Is there any link between cultural and racial difference and sexual difference? What contexts may shape such links? Where does equality fit into all this? Drawing on the work of major cultural theorists and feminist thinkers this unit examines various theoretical conceptualizations and popular representations of gender; the issue of embodiment; and how sex and race are articulated within gendered conceptual frames.
  • GCST 4206 Gender, Media and Consumer Societies
    Dr Anthea Taylor
    This unit examines theories of consumption in regards to cultural and media products and practices. From the basis of sociology, cultural studies and gender theories, we will critically analyse different forms of belonging and identity that are created through these practices. We will also pay close attention to the critiques of globalisation and consumption, theories of the 'citizen consumer' and the realities of geo-political and economic inequalities that underpin many forms of consumption. The unit focuses on theories of culture, media and consumption, principally through the analyses of case studies.

Mid-year entry and part time enrolment

Mid-year entry is allowed for this degree, but this may not be ideal, and you are strongly advised to consult with the Honours coordinator. It is also possible to take Honours part time.

How do I apply?

All students wishing to apply for Honours must to apply via the Courses online website. Instructions can be found here.

If you are interested in applying, you are encouraged to discuss your application with the departmental Honours coordinator before submitting your application.

Registration with the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies

Students also need to register with the Department itself. Each student’s program of seminars and thesis topic must be approved by the Honours co-ordinator, who will sign the student’s registration form. The completed form should be emailed to the co-ordinator by Wednesday 18 April 2018 (for entry in July 2018) or Wednesday 17 October 2018 (for entry in March 2019). It’s possible to change your seminar choices before semester begins, but we do need an indication of what your program will be. Download registration form here.

Marking

The Department complies with the Faculty's Honours Grade Descriptors which apply to all Honours work.

Faculty Honours Grade Descriptors

80-100: First Class (I)

90+
Work demonstrating the highest levels of accomplishment and intellectual autonomy that can be expected from an undergraduate student. An overall Honours mark of 90 or higher is a requirement for the award of a University Medal, though Medals are not automatically awarded to students with overall results of 90 or more.

In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range indicates substantial and innovative research; wide and deep reading in the scholarly literature; sophisticated, perceptive, and original interpretations of data, documentary evidence, fieldwork, literary texts, or works of art; and a very high level of independent thought and argument.

In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates an excellent level of grammatical accuracy, syntactical sophistication, and nuance in use of vocabulary and register.

85-89
Work that demonstrates a very high level of proficiency in the methodologies, subject matter, and modes of expression and argumentation appropriate to the field or fields studied. Work in this range shows strong promise for doctoral study.

In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range indicates substantial original research; wide and deep reading in the scholarly literature; a very high level of skill in interpreting data, documentary evidence, fieldwork, literary texts, or works of art; and a high level of independent thought.

In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates a very high level of grammatical accuracy with only some mistakes, as well as syntactical sophistication, and nuance in use of vocabulary and register.

80-84
Work that demonstrates a high level of proficiency in the methodologies, subject matter, and modes of expression and argumentation appropriate to the field or fields studied, and shows potential for doctoral study.

In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range can indicate thorough research; a firm grasp of the relevant scholarly literature; and a high level of skill in interpreting data, documentary evidence, fieldwork, literary texts, or works of art.

In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates a very high level of grammatical accuracy with few mistakes and only very rare basic errors, with vocabulary and syntax varied and expression highly coherent and well structured.

75-79: Second Class, First Division (II.1)
Work that demonstrates a generally sound knowledge of the methodologies, subject matter, and modes of expression and argumentation appropriate to the field or fields studied.

In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range can indicate solid research; a firm grasp of the relevant scholarly literature; and competent interpretations of data, documentary evidence, fieldwork, literary texts, or works of art. However, work in this range may also show evidence of a higher level of independent thought combined with some significant lapses in research or expression.

In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates a high standard of grammatical accuracy with few mistakes and only very rare basic errors, with vocabulary and syntax varied and expression highly coherent and well structured.

70-74: Second Class, Second Division (II.2)
Work that demonstrates an adequate but limited performance in the methodologies, subjects, and/or languages studied.

In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range can indicate an adequate general knowledge of the subject from the reading of both primary material and secondary literature, straightforward argumentation, and clear expression. A mark in this range may also reflect a superior performance in one or more of these areas combined with serious lapses in others.

In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates a good standard of grammatical accuracy, albeit with some mistakes, including occasional basic ones; the work shows a good grasp of complex sentence structures and an appropriately varied vocabulary.

65-69: Third Class (III)
Work only barely above the standard of pass-degree work in the field studied. A mark in this range indicates a basic but limited understanding of the methodologies and subject matter of the field or fields studied, and skills in argument and expression that are only just adequate for Honours-level study and research.

Below 65%
Honours not awarded.