Honours in Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies

‘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 the 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. Many staff in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences find Honours teaching the most rewarding part of their job.


Entry Requirements

Biblical Studies To qualify for honours you complete 48 senior credit points of Biblical Studies which must include at least two Classical Hebrew units of study. The honours program allows students a broader integration of the overall Biblical Studies program with the Classical Hebrew program in which students study courses on biblical compositions and themes, and write a research thesis on a topic of their choice.

Hebrew Studies (Classical) To qualify for honours you need to have completed 48 credit points from senior units of study with a credit average or above. This includes the 36 senior credit points required for a major plus another 12 senior credit points. The honours program allows a broad integration of the overall Classical Hebrew program with the Biblical Studies program in which you will study biblical compositions and themes which involve a high level of Hebrew knowledge, and write a research thesis on a topic of your choice

Hebrew Studies (Modern) To qualify for honours, you need to have successfully completed 48 senior credit points at Credit average or above including 36 senior credit points from amongst HBRW2603 - HBRW3615. An honours year affords you an even broader exposure to Modern Hebrew which involves a high level usage of the language as well as a deeper understanding and knowledge of its linguistic features. Honours culminates with the completion of a research thesis on a topic of your choice, which you can write in either English or Hebrew.

Jewish Studies Admission to honours requires completion of 48 senior credit points at Credit average or above. This requirement includes the six senior units of study required for the major and two language units, from either Modern or Classical Hebrew. The language units can be studied in a semester abroad at the Hebrew University, and participation in a semester in-country exchange experience is encouraged. An honours year allows you to focus on a specific area of specialisation within the broad spectrum of the Jewish experience.

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 Honours Coordinator to discuss whether the classes they have taken are equivalent to these prerequisites.

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.

Assessment

The Honours Program in Biblical Studies consists of:

  1. a thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff
  2. two seminars in semester 1 and one seminar in semester 2, each two hours per week.

The thesis should be of 15000 words in length. Each seminar will require 5000 words of written work or its equivalent. The thesis is worth 40% of the final Honours mark and each of the seminars is worth 20%.

The Honours Program in Hebrew Studies (Classical) consists of:

  1. a thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff
  2. two seminars in semester 1 and one seminar in semester 2, each two hours per week.

The thesis should be of 15000 words in length. Each seminar requires 5000 words of written work or its equivalent. The thesis is worth 40% of the final Honours mark and each of the seminars is worth 20%.

The Honours Program in Hebrew Studies (Modern) consists of:

  1. a thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff.
  2. two seminars in semester 1 and one seminar in semester 2, meeting weekly for 2 hours each.

The thesis should be of 12000 words in length if written in Hebrew or 15000 words in length if written in English. Each seminar requires 5000 words of written work or its equivalent. The thesis is worth 40% of the final Honours mark and each of the seminars is worth 20%.

The Honours Program in Jewish Studies consists of:

  1. 1. a thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff
  2. 2. A total of two seminars that meet weekly for two hours, with either one seminar each semester, or two seminars in the first semester of the degree.

The thesis should be of 20000 words in length. Each seminar requires 5000 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%. Students will choose two IV Honours options. Students can choose to specialise in either the Classical or Modern period. Their dissertation must be in their area of speciality.

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

Seminars

The following seminars are on offer in 2014. All students take "Methodology", on offer in Semester 2.

Biblical Studies and Classical Hebrew honours seminars:

  • Biblical Themes (Dr Ari Lobel)
  • Biblical Texts in Hebrew (Assoc Prof Ian Young / Dr Ari Lobel)
  • The Book of Daniel (Assoc Prof Ian Young)

Modern Hebrew honours seminars:

  • "Language in use" as reflected in Modern Hebrew Discourse I
  • "Language in use" as reflected in Modern Hebrew Discourse II

Jewish Studies seminars will be offered from the following list in 2014:
- Classical Period:

  • Biblical Themes (Dr Ari Lobel)
  • Biblical Texts in Hebrew (Assoc Prof Ian Young)

- Modern Period:

  • The Evolution of Judaism in the New World (Prof Suzanne Rutland)
  • Modern Hebrew Literature (Ms Yona Gilead)

Thesis

The honours thesis constitutes an original piece of research and writing in a field that is supervised by a member of staff. It must demonstrate both a command of a wide range of secondary source material in Hebrew, Biblical or Jewish studies, as well as a command of a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary approach to the topic of the research.

Thesis Supervision

Contact the Department's Honours Coordinator to discuss your preferred field of Honours study. The Honours Coordinator will then be able to suggest the most appropriate member of staff within the department to supervise the thesis. The list below, whilst not exhaustive, gives an idea of the areas of interest of staff from the Department.

  • Assoc Prof Ian Young supervises research in Language and Text of the Hebrew Bible.
  • Lucy Davey supervises research in Classical Hebrew – poetic texts * Biblical Studies * Ugaritic.
  • Dr Ari Lobel supervises research in Modern, Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew * Biblical and Talmudic law and philosophy * Biblical interpretation * Aramaic.
  • Yona Gilead supervises research in Sociocultural theories of second/foreign language (L2) learning & teaching * Methodology of L2 learning and teaching * Modern Hebrew language-learning processes and behaviours.
  • Prof Suzanne Rutland supervises research in Australian Jewry, the Holocaust and Jewish education in Australia.
  • Dr Avril Alba supervises research in the Holocaust, its memory and representation, Museums and memorials, Judaism and modernity, Jewish theology/ post Holocaust theology.

Enrolment

In the first instance you should discuss your intention to apply for Honours with the Honours Coordinator. Students will enrol in BBCL, HBRW or JCTC4011, 4012, 4013 and 4014. These, however, are merely generic or ‘shell’ units for your coursework component.

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

Contacts

The Honours Coordinator can answer any queries relating to the Honours program.