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.
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 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.
Students must complete a major in the area they intend to study their Final Honours Year. 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 relevant disciplinary area. Students should contact the discipline honours coordinator for queries in relation to any variation from these requirements.
Some disciplines may stipulate particular units of study that must be undertaken as part of the pass degree in order to meet the entry requirements for the honours year. Students should check the relevant discipline honours web site and contact the coordinator if more information is required.
Please note. Any 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.
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.)
There is only one intake at the beginning of each year (March) for the Final Honours Year. The closing date for applications for the Final Honours Year is the last working day in November. * Only applications for commencement in 2014 will be considered.
* Note. The School of Economics also has a mid-year intake (commencing in July) into its honours program (Economics and Econometrics honours) - please contact the School of Economics for further details and application deadlines.
Business School students who plan to undertake their honours year with another faculty, such as Science or Arts and Social Sciences, 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.
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.