Fourth Year and Honours

In your fourth year, you can choose one of two options in order to complete your degree.

Fourth Year

The degree offers greater scope for you to take additional minor and major sequences allowing you to deepen your specialisation in language and studies of different societies, cultures and histories. You will do this by undertaking senior units of study (i.e. second and third year level) in order to obtain a pass degree.


Honours is done over two semesters (full-time) or four semesters (part-time) and involves advanced coursework and research that culminates in a thesis (an extended argumentative research essay). It gives you the opportunity to explore in depth what interests you in your language/culture area. Normal undergraduate courses only give you a glimpse. If you desire to pursue an academic career, Honours is an essential step to Masters and PhD programs. Otherwise it serves usefully to distinguish your Bachelor degree from that of others in the workplace.

If you wish to do Honours as your fourth year in the BA Languages structure, you cannot do it within a non-"language" department. That is, you cannot do it, for example, exclusively within History or Psychology. You would do it in French or German, for instance, or as a joint program with between French and History or German and Psychology.

This isn't to discourage you from doing Honours in your 4th year. The fact that the year would be based entirely or partly in your language department does not make it any less "serious" as an academic venture. Indeed, each language department has expertise that extends well beyond language teaching and study. Look at your individual language department academic staff pages to find out more about the research, teaching and supervision areas currently covered.

You may follow either path in order to complete the 192 credit points that you need in order to graduate. In order to obtain a BA (Languages) degree with honours, you must obtain honours in your chosen language or joint honours, combining your chosen language with another subject.

Follow this link for more information on Honours.