The following information gives you the basics on how to enter and complete honours. These guidelines will differ from discipline to discipline. Students should contact the honours coordinator for each discipline to confirm these variations. For contact details and discipline specific information, see the relevant discipline links.
When considering undertaking honours, you may want to know the potential benefits associated with an undergraduate honours degree.
In some of the more specialised careers open to the Business School's graduates, employers may be looking for a level of specialisation that is not provided in a three-year pass award course. Similarly, if students want to qualify for specialist postgraduate research study, a pass award course is not normally sufficient. For all graduates, a four-year honours award course considerably enhances the quality of a qualification and singles students out to an employer as having exceptional ability.
"It was a real challenge but the rewards are immense because they are fully attributable to your own efforts." - Robin Balcomb
Honours award courses are available in most of the subject areas in the respective degrees. Honours may involve extra work at second and third year level in the chosen subject area and, in all cases, an additional year of study spent entirely on that subject area.
Normally students will not make any decisions about honours courses until the end of their first year of study in the Business School. In order to enter and remain in an honours stream, students must perform at a credit level or better in the chosen subject area. A bare pass level of performance in a first year subject will not be sufficient to secure entry into honours courses.
If required, students must complete the honours preparation or pre-requisite units of study to be eligible for Final Honours Year. These units are listed in the discipline honours web site and in the Handbook. Typically, pre-honours prerequisite units begin in the second year of an undergraduate degree and continue into the third year. However, not all disciplines offer pre-honours prerequisite units. Pre-honours prerequisite units will count towards a major in the field of study. Students must complete a major in the area they intend to study their Final Honours Year.
Please Note. All honours preparation and prerequisite units of study required to be completed for students to be eligible for honours must be completed within the total credit point limit required for the award of a student’s pass degree. For example, Bachelor of Commerce students must complete all honours preparation units as part of the 144 credit points required for the pass degree.
A minimum weighted average mark (WAM) of 65% is required across all units taken within an undergraduate degree and a minimum of 70% in senior units completed in the subject area of the discipline of intended honours study (pre-honours units or pass stream units). Contact the discipline honours coordinator for queries in relation to any variation from these requirements.
Update: Change to preparation units for Finance honours
In previous years, students were encouraged to undertake several preparatory honours units. Given difficulties in integrating these units into normal degree structures, these preparatory units will no longer be offered. This in no way affects the 4th Year Honours program. If you have any enquiries regarding these units, please contact the Finance Honours Coordinator.
Students from institutions external to the University of Sydney and from faculties outside that of the Business School are encouraged to apply to the Final Honours Year. However, it is the decision of individual disciplines to accept students from other institutions who have not undertaken relevant disciplinary preparatory units. Prospective students must provide evidence of contact with the relevant honours coordinator (email correspondence is acceptable). Processing cannot proceed without this information being uploaded with your application. (Please check the Discipline Coordinators contact details.)
External applicants should apply before the deadline of the last working day in November. Applicants will be notified of the outcome prior to the University Christmas shut-down.
The closing date for applications for Final Honours Year is the last working day in November. Continuing University of Sydney students and non-University of Sydney students can apply using the:
- Bachelor of Commerce Final Honours Year application form
- Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) Final Honours Year application form
The Final Honours Year (the 4th year) involves a combination of coursework and a thesis. This year provides knowledge and training for candidates in research methods as well as experience in planning, performing and writing up research under the guidance of a supervisor. Generally, students will be provided with examiner guidelines and details relating to the thesis proposal, writing and supervision upon entry into the Final Honours Year. Students should check the discipline web page for these details.
Business School students who plan to undertake their honours year with another faculty, such as Science or Arts, need to submit an application online via the relevant link above, and must include confirmation from their proposed supervisor regarding their acceptance by that discipline/school. This can be in the form of an email and must be uploaded with relevant documentation with their application. Applications that do not have this supervisor approval will not be processed.
Students should refer to the individual discipline's honours webpages below for coordinator contact details and a detailed overview of the honours course in the particular discipline area.
- Business Analytics
- Business Information Systems
- Business Law
- International Business
- Work and Organisational Studies
- Business School Scholarships for Current Students
A comprehensive list of scholarships offered by the Business School for current students, including several honours scholarships.
- Business School Scholarships and Prizes
- University of Sydney Honours Scholarships
The Business School has developed student/supervisor protocols which outline the expectations that a student and supervisor can reasonably have of each other, during the honours year. Please refer to the Administration Manual for Students' Honours and Honours Preparation page for details on this.
Where problems arise with presentation of seminar papers, the student should notify the member of staff responsible for the option as soon as possible.
Business School policy relating to the Final Honours Year is available on the Administration Manual for Students' Honours and Honours Preparation page.