Honours

Honours in Media and Communications/Honours in Digital Cultures

The Department of Media and Communications offers two Honours Programs:

  • Honours in Media and Communications
  • Honours in Digital Cultures

What is Honours?

The Honours year is an intensive program of advanced study with research at its centre. It allows students to further explore ideas and concepts introduced in their undergraduate degree and develop skills and approaches that will enhance their abilities as researchers and practitioners in media and communications and/or digital cultures.

An Honours qualification is highly prized by employers because it demonstrates that you have the discipline and skills to thoroughly research, write and manage a project to completion.

An Honours year is also traditionally considered to be the first step on the path to careers as professional researchers and academics, and prepares students to undertake a research higher degree in the form of an MPhil or PhD.

The Honours program is a mix of coursework and individual research, designed to allow students to develop their research skills and to conduct their own research project, under academic supervision. In their Honours year, students develop skills in critical analysis and research methodologies and work closely with an academic supervisor to design their own research project, on a personally selected topic, culminating in an 18-20,000 word thesis.
Note: Mid year enrolment is not available. Part time enrolment is not available. Students from other institutions may be accepted into the program, and are requested to provide samples of previous academic work as well as a proposal. Please contact the Honours coordinator, ideally by early November in the year prior to intended enrolment.

Applying for Honours

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.

From 2018-2020, in addition to the requirements in the degree resolutions, admission to Honours in Media and Communications requires:
(i) an average of 70 percent or better in Media and Communications
Honours in Media and Communications requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 4000 level Honours seminar units
(ii) 36 credit points of 4000 level Honours thesis units

From 2021, in addition to the requirements in the degree resolutions, admission to Honours in Media and Communications requires:
(i) An average of 70 percent or better in Media and Communications
(ii) 24 credit points of 1000-level core units
(iii) 18 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(v) 18 credit points of 3000-level core units
(vi) 6 credit points of interdisciplinary project unit
(vii) Completion of a second major
Honours in Media and Communications requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 4000-level Honours seminar units
(ii) 6 credit points of 4000-level Internship unit
(iii) 30 credit points of 4000-level Honours thesis units

From 2018-2020, in addition to the requirements in the degree resolutions, admission to Honours in Digital Cultures requires:
A major in Digital Cultures with a WAM of 70 or above

From 2020/2021, in addition to the requirements in the degree resolutions, admission to Honours in Digital Cultures requires:
A major in Digital Cultures with a WAM of 70 or above
A second major
Honours in Digital Cultures requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 4000 level Honours seminar units
(ii) 36 credit points of 4000-level Honours thesis units

The application process for Honours is through the online system Sydney Student. For more detail, please go to the Faculty Honours page.

Potential Honours students must also consult with the Honours Coordinator before making their application through Sydney Student. All students interested in applying for Honours must make an appointment to speak with the Honours Coordinator as early as possible and definitely before the end of October in the year prior to their intended enrolment.

It is in the student's interest to have a reasonably well-developed idea of what his or her area of research will be so that an appropriate Supervisor can be arranged. Students may wish to refer to the Departmental Staff Page to gain an understanding of the research strengths and interests of the department. Students should not confine their attention to academics who have taught them before, and should not hesitate to seek advice from the Honours Coordinator about possible supervisors.

All students applying for Honours must submit a research proposal to the Honours Coordinator via email (Word doc. attachment) by the end of November in the year prior to their planned enrolment. This will enable the coordinator to determine whether appropriate supervision will be available in the following year.

The Honours Proposal should outline the intended research project (minimum 1500 words) and include:

  • A description of the field the student is interested in studying for the thesis and a question/problem within that field that he or she believes requires investigation.
  • A brief literature review that outlines the key theorists in the field, identifying where the student believes his or her work will enhance the existing body of work and/or address a gap in knowledge.
  • you may email the Honours Coordinator for a past example of a thesis proposal.

Further information about Honours in Media and Communications and Honours in Digital Cultures can be found in the Faculty Handbook.

Scholarships

Each year the University of Sydney offers around 50 Honours Scholarships, each worth $6000. Further information about these scholarship will be available on the Scholarships website each year from late August.

Previous Honours Theses titles include:

  • Play to win: How competitive modes of play have influenced cultural practice in digital games
  • Capture - Upload - Broadcast. A case study in the gatekeeping of amateur footage
  • Daily Life: pink ghetto or feminist triumph? An analysis of the content of and responses to Fairfax’s women’s news website.
  • I am your worst fear, I am your best fantasy: new approaches to slash fiction
  • False Start: Representation of sportswomen in The Sydney Morning Herald
  • Regulating the Political Blogosphere
  • The Disconnect Between Journalism and Governance: A Critical Analysis of the Interaction of Journalism and Governance in the Virtual World Second Life
  • The Mythic Monument and Monumental Myth: 9/11 Through Film Posters
  • Telling Bodies: Reading Pro-anorexia websites in search of anorexic voices
  • Niche Publications and Subcultural Authenticity: The Case of Stealth Magazine
  • Difficult Territory: Reporting and Representing under the Northern Territory Permit System
  • The Friend I Hate the Most: British Popular Culture, Cultural Studies and the American Other
  • Informing A Distracted Audience: News Narratives in Breakfast Television
  • In the Public Interest? Investigative Journalism and Fourth Estate Philosophy within the Australian Press
  • Technology and Culture: Charting the Conceptualisation of Digital Audio
  • Broadcasting in Australia
  • So everyone's a rock critic? Music Journalism in a Networked Society
  • MySpace: a place for friends? A Study of Friendship on MySpace
  • Misconceived: Representations of 'The RU486 Debate' in Australian Media
  • Making Traks: Hip-hop subculture in Sydney (Video and discussion paper)