Australian business leaders share how honours shaped their success.
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The Business School Honours Program is an additional year of intensive study that students with a superior academic record may undertake upon completion of their undergraduate degree. The program aims to produce Honours graduates who are highly motivated, organised and demonstrate superior initiative.
The Honours Program is designed to challenge and inspire the best and brightest students.
As an Honours student you will study advanced coursework topics and complete a research thesis. The coursework units have been developed to build your mastery of research methods and expertise in a given Business discipline. In completing your honours thesis you will work one-on-one with an expert in the discipline to investigate a research problem and expand the existing body of knowledge within your area of study.
Honours can fast track your future, whether you want to go into advanced research study or industry.
Business School Honours graduates join an exclusive and exceptional club. The specialist knowledge and skills developed and applied in an honours year are sought-out by employers, and set you on an upward trajectory. Our alumni are now represented throughout senior positions in academia, government and the business sector.
Success in the Honours program is driven by the applied focus of the student. If you have unanswered questions from your undergraduate pass degree, the Honours program gives you the opportunity to go further. This is the first time in your education you get to ask the questions you want to answer.
An honours degree from the University of Sydney Business School is a prestigious qualification that distinguishes graduates both in industry and future research studies including PhDs. An honours year is an investment in your future career opportunities.
Honours students are targeted by employers for their exceptional ability. Being awarded honours considerably enhances the quality of a qualification and the graduate's transferable skill set, particularly their research, critical thinking and communication abilities. In the more specialised careers open to the Business School's graduates, employers may be looking for a level of expertise that is not provided in an undergraduate pass award course. Similarly, if students want to qualify for specialist postgraduate research study, an undergraduate pass award course is not normally sufficient.
The Honours Program is a full time year of study commencing in semester one. The program has two components, course work and a thesis. Students develop in the coursework and thesis research expertise, analytical problem-solving skills, and written and oral communication abilities.
Honours students study three coursework units comprising a compulsory unit in research foundations and methods, and two specialisation electives. Depending on the specialisation of the student, coursework may be completed in semester one or across both semester one and two.
The thesis is a 20,000 word research-based dissertation on a topic in which the student has a strong intellectual interest. The research should identify an area for investigation which makes a relevant contribution to and extends the body of knowledge in the student's chosen domain. The quality of the research design, development of research question, application of appropriate methodologies and interpretation of findings, as well as the student's ability to effectively communicate this research are assessed in the thesis. Students will work on their thesis across their candidature in the program.
The final mark for the Honours year is derived from 40% coursework and 60% thesis. The total mark for the year corresponds to an Honours grade as determined by the University scale set out below.
First-class and considered for University Medal
Second-class (Division I)
Second-class (Division II)
Honours not awarded
Completing Honours with a specialisation in Accounting has a range of benefits. Program graduates make significant contributions to firms working in accounting, finance and management. To discuss current research areas in Accounting, contact the 2016 Discipline of Accounting honours coordinator Associate Professor Maria Dyball.
To discuss current research areas in Business Analytics, contact the Discipline of Business Analytics Honours Coordinator Dr Artem Prokhorov.
Students specialising in Business Information Systems in the Honours Program equip themselves with the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out research in an area of BIS. The program develops the use of a variety of research methods; knowledge of recent developments in the theory and practice of BIS; in conjunction with a supervisor identifying a research topic, research planning, implementation and evaluation; and research writing - culminating in the completion of a dissertation. These skills are highly valued by many employers.
To discuss current research areas in BIS, contact the Discipline of Business Information Systems honours coordinator Dr Catherine Hardy.
The Honours Program objectives include the further development of students' research and writing skills by undertaking intensive training in semester I in the course work component of the Program. The course work will provide a good foundation for students to undertake independent research in semester II for their thesis. An important objective is to give students the opportunity to research in depth a topic of interest to them in an area of business law.
Staff members of Business Law have research expertise in a number of areas in which they may be interested in supervising. In addition, from time to time, staff members of Business Law may be interested in supervising particular topic areas. Students should not feel constrained by these areas and are invited to submit proposals on other topics for research in which they are interested.
To discuss current research areas in Business Law, contact the Discipline of Business Law honours coordinator Eva Huang.
An honours degree specialising in Finance at the University of Sydney Business School is a prestigious and highly sought after qualification.Since the Honours Program was introduced in 1996, the Discipline of Finance has graduated over 200 honours graduates. This elite group of alumni have gone on to excellent graduate positions with leading Investment Banks, Investment Management, Private Equity firms and other financial services organisations. A number of these students have also undertaken PhDs in Finance.
During the honours year, students work on a research thesis which allows them to develop expertise in a specific area of finance. It also provides students with considerable research experience and allows them to develop their writing skills and to develop and structure ideas. Much of the honours year involves independent learning which requires students to be highly self-motivated. Students must also develop time management skills. This experience is critical for successful careers after the honours year.
To discuss current research areas in Finance, contact the Discipline of Finance honours coordinator Dr Reuben Segara.
Honours study in International Business has a dual purpose. On the one hand, it is directed towards the development of the analytical and conceptual skills required to conduct independent research in the field. Those pursuing Honours from this angle may be interested in postgraduate study and an academic career, or in working as a research analyst in either the private or the public sector. On the other hand, International Business Honours also builds on and further develops the practical management skills acquired in the major program. From this perspective, the Final Honours Year adds value to an undergraduate degree and can lead to a range of opportunities in private firms, NGOs, international agencies, and government departments.
To discuss current research areas in International Business, contact the 2016 Discipline of International Business honours coordinator Professor Bo Nielsen.
An Honours degree specialising in Marketing provides a high level of specialist training in the analytical and research skills required to solve problems in marketing practice and/or to prepare students for further studies in marketing (e.g. PhD). Past honours students from the Marketing discipline have gone on to a wide range of careers within marketing and wider business roles in world class companies including Microsoft, Proctor and Gamble, AC Nielsen and Clemenger.
The honours year allows students to develop a wide range of additional skills that are highly prized by employers in industry and government. Honours graduates are recognised as possessing levels of knowledge and skill well beyond those obtained by pass degree graduates.
To discuss current research areas in Marketing, contact the Discipline of Marketing honours coordinator Dr Ulku Yuksel.
Students completing an Honours year specialising in Work and Organisation Studies are SURE: Smart, Unique, Ready and Employable. The Honours year with WOS puts you in a smart cohort of like minded, clever, sharp students. As an Honours student you will develop with them and meet challenges. Honours is a unique opportunity to turn your pass degree into something very special. Completing the Honours year will give you the academic skills necessary to be ready for postgraduate study. Finally, the Honours year with WOS boosts employability. Why? Because you develop critical research and writing skills; as well as connection with business and workplace problems and challenges. Honours graduates from WOS go on to leading roles in business, consulting firms and government.
To discuss current research areas in WOS, contact the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies honours coordinator Dr Stephen Clibborn.
Students are expected to commit themselves to their coursework and thesis over their Honours candidature. As a guide, students can expect to have 10-15 class-hours per week and regular meetings with their thesis supervisor. However, success in the Honours year requires a large amount of self-study, particularly in the development and completion of the research thesis. The time each student will need to dedicate themselves to their studies will vary, though should not be less than 30 hours per week. As such, students need to consider carefully the implications of attempting outside employment in the course of the Honours program and whether they will have the time and flexibility to achieve the best outcome in their coursework and thesis.
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.
24 February 2016
2016 Honours Orientation Day
29 February 2016
Semester 1 Classes Commence
29 August 2016
Honours Applications open for 2017
14 September 2016
University Honours Week, Business School Information Event
24 October 2016
|Submission of Written Thesis|
26 October 2016
3 Minute Thesis Presentations
30 November 2016
Honours Applications close for 2017
There is only one intake each year to the Business School Honours Program, commencing in Semester I. Applications for the 2017 Honours Program will open on 29 August 2016 and close Wednesday 30 November 2016. Offers may not be deferred. Candidates who receive an offer to the program and are unable to accept will need to reapply to the program for the following year.
The minimum entry requirement to the Business School Honours Program is a completed pass degree with a minimum Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 65 across all units of study taken, and a minimum of 70 in units completed in the major relating to the intended specialization in the Honours Program. Students are required to have a major in the field of study in which they intend to undertake their Honours Year. Entry requirements may be waived for an applicant by the Associate Dean (UG) and Honours Program Director only in exceptional circumstances.
Places in the program are offered competitively and where there are appropriate supervisory resources. Preference may be given to applicants with a higher academic standard, applicants who have completed additional, relevant undergraduate units of study, and/or applicants who have a demonstrated research interest and ability within a specialisation.
Currently enrolled University of Sydney Business School applicants who plan to undertake their Honours year with another faculty, such as Science or Arts and Social Sciences, need to submit an application online with the Business School (following step 1 above). Your application will be assessed as per the admission criteria at both the Faculty and Discipline level to which they are applying to study Honours.
Non-Business School students enrolled in another University of Sydney degree who plan to undertake their Honours year at the Business School (eg Bachelor of Economics wishing to study Finance in their Honours year) should submit an application through FASS. This will be forwarded to the Business School for consideration.
Students from institutions external to the University of Sydney and from faculties outside that of the Business School are encouraged to apply to the Honours Program. However, it is the decision of individual disciplines to accept students from other institutions who have not undertaken relevant undergraduate units.
Honours Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and personal attributes such as leadership and creativity.
In order to be eligible, the programme you are studying must have an additional year following the normal Bachelor degree. Please check with the relevant Faculty if you are unsure whether your course of study is considered to have an additional Honours year. Some Honours degrees do not include an additional year of study and are therefore not eligible for this scholarship.
Please note that, applications are open once a year only, irrespective of whether you intend to commence in the first or second semester.
You must be a local student (ie. Australian or New Zealand citizen, or permanent resident of Australia).
International students may apply for this scholarship only if undergraduate studies were undertaken at The University of Sydney.
For more information go to the University of Sydney Honours Scholarships page.URL
A scholarship opportunity is available in 2016 for local and international students intending to enrol in undergraduate honours in International Business.
Applicants for the International Business Scholarship in Honours will be selected by the Discipline of International Business based on most proficient performance in coursework, examination results and by formal application detailing their thesis proposal.
Funded by the Discipline of International Business up to four scholarships are available each year. The scholarships are valued at $6,000 each and tenable for one year, the recipient's honours year.
Applications are accepted at Student Services, Abercrombie Building H70 between 11am and 6pm weekdays (excluding public holidays) until Friday, 12 February, 2016.URL
The Business School is offering a scholarship opportunity to undergraduate students commencing honours with the University of Sydney Business School in 2016.
The Phillip Noel Hartley Smith Distinguished Honours Scholarship is awarded on application and academic merit with a dissertation topic that focuses on 'business ethics' or 'business history'.
The scholarship is valued at $6,000 per annum and is tenable for one year.
Applications are accepted at Student Services, Abercrombie Building H70 between 11am and 6pm weekdays (excluding public holidays) until Tuesday 16 February 2016.URL
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Reserve Bank of Australia have established the Brian Gray Scholarship program in memory of Brian Gray, who died on 24 August 2001 while serving as Executive General Manager of APRA’s Policy, Research and Consulting Division.
The Brian Gray Scholarship program will fund up to four scholarships annually, to the value of $15,000 each.
The scholarship purpose is to support students who intend to focus full time on their studies and research.
Who can apply?
The Brian Gray Scholarship is open to any Australian/New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, studying a topic of relevance to APRA. The focus will be on honours year students, although postgraduate students can apply.
Full details can be found on the Brian Gray Scholarship Program section of the APRA website.URL
The scholarship established in 2009 by a joint donation from alumnus, David Anstice and the University of Sydney Business School is titled the 'Westbrook and Jessie Anstice Honours Scholarship in Business'.
The Scholarship is valued at $7,000 to be paid during the recipient's honours year. It is open to all students enrolling in an honours program under the administration of the Business School in 2016. Selection is based on the best thesis proposal complementing the theme of 'Innovation and Entrepreneurship - New Thinking and practice'.URL
Established in 2002 by a donation from Canon Australia, Canon has a strong commitment to the academic development of Australia's youth and as one of the world's most recognised brands are particularly interested in encouraging outstanding academic endeavour in Marketing.
The scholarship valued at $6000 will be offered to a student undertaking Marketing Honours in 2016. The recipient is selected annually by the Discipline of Marketing. No application is required.
Full details of the award are listed below:
Please note: Only students applying to the Discipline of Marketing to undertake honours in 2016 and enrolled in an honours degree under the administration of the Business School may be considered for this award.URL
A scholarship opportunity is available in 2016 for local and international students intending to enrol in undergraduate Honours in Finance.
The Finance Honours Scholarships are intended to promote excellence in research study in the discipline of Finance. Each scholarship is valued at $5,000, tenable during the recipient's undergraduate honours year. Up to five full scholarships may be allocated each year and at the Academic Honours Coordinator's discretion, these may be awarded as full or half value scholarships.
Students are assessed on their application for admission to the Honours program in Finance. No scholarship application is required.URL
The University of Sydney Business School is pleased to present a scholarship opportunity for undergraduate students intending to pursue an honours year within the Discipline of Finance.
The scholarship, established in 2006 from a generous donation from the alumnus, Mr. Gilles Kryger and the Business School is titled 'The Gilles Kryger Honours Scholarship in Finance' and is open to both local and international students commencing undergraduate honours in Finance in 2016. The scholarship is valued at $15,000, tenable for one year, in the recipient's honours year.
The University of Sydney Business School will award the scholarship based on academic merit in the student’s finance specialisation. Selection will be made by academic staff within the Discipline of Finance at the discretion of the Chair of Discipline.
Full details of the award are listed below:
Please note: Only students applying to the Discipline of Finance to undertake honours in 2016 and enrolled in an honours degree under the administration of the Business School may be considered for this award.URL
The Discipline of Work and Organisational studies is proud of its long-standing relationship with Qantas Airways and is pleased to offer this distinguished scholarship opportunity once again in 2016, thanks to the generosity of Qantas.
The Qantas Honours Scholarship was established in 1996 by the offer of an annual donation by Qantas Airways and is awarded to a student proceeding to their final Honours year with the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies. The recipient will have achieved academic excellence as measured by performance in their Bachelor’s degree, with particular reference to achievement within the Industrial Relations major. The scholarship is offered on the recommendation of the Chair of Discipline, Work and Organisational Studies. No application is necessary.
The scholarship is valued at $7500, tenable during the recipients honours year.
Please read the Qantas Honours Scholarship Conditions of Award for full details of this award.URL
The R.J. Chambers Honours Scholarship was established in 2003 by an offer of an annual donation from the Accounting Foundation and the Discipline of Accounting for the purpose of providing financial assistance to students undertaking the Honours Program within the Discipline of Accounting.
The scholarships are valued up to $10,000.
Students are eligible for the awards when they have been successful in their admission to the Honours program under the specialisation of Accounting. No separate application is required. The scholarships are awarded on academic merit.
For more information on these awards, please read the Conditions of AwardURL
The scholarship established in perpetuity in 2008 from a generous donation from Mr. Robert R. Sterling and the University of Sydney Business School is intended to support academic study and investigation in the field of financial accounting.
Valued at a total $10,000, two instalments will be paid in the recipient's honours year. Students are assessed for this award on their application to the Discipline of Accounting for admission into Accounting Honours. No separate application for this scholarship is required.
Full details of the award are listed below:
Please note: Only students applying to the Discipline of Accounting to undertake honours in 2016 and enrolled in an honours degree under the administration of the Business School may be considered for this award.URL
There are no pre-requisite subjects that you need to take for entry to Honours. Entry is competitive based on your grades, and meeting the minimum entry requirements.
To enter the Honours Program you must, at a minimum, have completed a Bachelor degree in Commerce, or equivalent, with a major in the area you intend to specialise in through Honours, as well as a weighted average mark (WAM) of 65 and a WAM in your major of 70.
There are no pre-requisite subjects you need to take for entry to Honours. In terms of recommended subjects, you should consider doing additional elective units of study in the discipline in which you intend to pursue an Honours year. Specific disciplines may also have a list of recommended subjects. For example, empirical research in finance requires a good knowledge of quantitative methods, so you might want to consider studying electives in Business Analytics, Econometrics or Statistics if you can. You should contact the relevant discipline coordinator for further advice.
No, offers to the Business School Honours Program must be accepted to the cohort year you have applied. If you are successful in your application to the program and are subsequently unable to accept you will need to reapply to be eligible for entry in future years.
If you are a current University of Sydney student, you may be able to study in a Business School discipline but you need to apply for and enrol in Honours in the faculty of your undergraduate enrolment. For example, if you are enrolled in a Bachelor of Economics degree, majoring in Finance (or another Business School discipline) and wanting to further your studies in an Honours year, your application must be made with the Faculty of Arts and Social Science. Your application will be assessed on the criteria of the discipline and Faculty in which you will be studying.
Note that scholarship eligibility may be linked to the Faculty in which you are enrolled. That is, there are Business School and FASS specific scholarships. If you are enrolled in a Bachelor of Economics and intending to study in a Business School discipline for your Honours year you may not be eligible for Business School specific scholarship. Further information on scholarships can be found under Scholarships.
You are eligible to apply to study Honours once you complete the requirements of your Bachelor of Commerce (subject to minimum entry requirements).
Most students in this situation will study Undergraduate Commerce and Honours consecutively (that is, entering Honours immediately after completing your Commerce degree), which means deferring study in your other degree for a year. Alternatively, you are eligible to apply to study Honours several years after completing your Bachelor degree.
It is possible to apply and be eligible for entry to Honours if you have taken a break in study since completing your Bachelor degree. As a general rule of thumb, entry to Honours is permitted if you commenced your undergraduate study less than ten years ago, subject to other requirements for entry.¿¿ If Honours is not an option but you are interested in higher degree research study, you may want to consider the Master of Philosophy degree.
All information on scholarships relating to Business School Honours can be accessed under Scholarships.
The University of Sydney policy states that students may hold only one primary scholarship (valued at $6,000 p.a. or more). Students may be eligible for a secondary scholarship (valued at $5,000 p.a. or under) that can be held concurrently with a primary scholarship. You will need to check the conditions of the specific scholarship/s.
The fees for Honours are the same as for other Undergraduate programs studied at the Business School. Students can find more information about fees here: Finances, fees and costs
If you are expecting to complete your Bachelor's degree in Summer School then you are still eligible to apply. The Business School will assess your application based on your completed results to date and, if there is a place for you in the program, you will receive a conditional offer. Once the offer conditions are satisfied, your offer will convert to an unconditional offer and you will be ready to enrol.
Yes, you are eligible to study Honours. However, there is no mid-year intake. You will need to apply to study Honours in the following year.
Regarding your Honours class (first, second etc) it is calculated as a weighted average mark based exclusively on your grades in the Honours year. BUSS4001 Business Honours Research Methods is weighted 20% , BUSS4X02 Honours A and BUSS4X03 Honours B 10% each and the thesis is weighted 60%.
The only time your undergraduate grades are considered is in the awarding of the University Medal. The University Medal is awarded based on outstanding academic performance by an Honours student over their complete student enrolment.
The University Medal is not necessarily awarded every year or from each discipline. Disciplines are invited to nominate students completing Honours who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance. The decision to award the University Medal is made by the Honours Board of Examiners and based on student grades in the Honours year and evidence of outstanding excellence across the candidate's complete academic career.
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