Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours)

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

Honours is a widely recognised and highly regarded additional year of undergraduate study available to you after you complete your undergraduate course. It's a unique opportunity for you to explore your research potential and put the theory from your undergraduate studies into practice. An honours qualification is not only well regarded in academia, but also in industry where further, concentrated studies in a specialised area is highly sought after.

Depending on your interests and the availability of honours projects, you might wish to undertake honours in anatomy, biochemistry, biology (genetics), cell pathology, histology and embryology, immunology, infectious diseases, microbiology, pharmacology or physiology.

Honours subject areas

Further course information

Honours projects

Honours projects in the Faculty of Science.

Honours projects in the Sydney Medical School.

Typical workload and assessment

Generally, the honours year after the Bachelor of Medical Science consists of the following three components, however there may be variations to this, depending on the school or discipline area in which you complete honours: a supervised but independent research program, additional courses in experimental design/technical training, and some coursework units of study (classes).

Science Week Honours Information Sessions are the best way to learn more about honours in your preferred subject area. Check session times.

Honours awards and classes

(1) The Bachelor of Medical Science is awarded as either Pass or Honours. The honours degree is awarded in classes ranging from First Class to Third Class according to the rules specified in the Resolutions of the Faculty of Science.
(2) Candidates for the award of the Honours degree who do not meet the requirements, and who have not already graduated, will be awarded the pass degree.

Ethics and honours research

As a general principle, any research involving human or animal subjects requires Ethics Committee approval, including (but not limited to projects involving the following kinds of methodologies:

1. questionnaires
2. surveys or interviews (including oral history)
3. telephone interviewing
4. recording by audio or video tape
5. observations of behaviour (including ethnographic fieldwork)
6. experiments involving animals or animal tissue

Please note that a key part of the approval process involves ensuring that the University complies with its duty of care to students. Safety protocols must be prepared for all students conducting any research off-campus, whether in Australia or overseas.

Applying for ethics clearance

Please consult the Faculty of Science for advice about ethics clearance applications.

Closing dates for ethics applications

Please consult the Faculty of Science, or the school/department through which you are undertaking honours, for advice about closing dates for ethics clearance applications.

Postgraduate research at the University

The Faculty of Science has an outstanding reputation for the quality of its postgraduate research programs across a wide range of science disciplines. With significant levels of funding from various research councils and bodies, and the provision of major research facilities, the Faculty is committed to providing leading education and research training to its students.

There are a range of research programs available, depending on which stage you are at in your academic career. Whether at the doctoral or masters level, you undertake self-directed, supervised research in your specialised area of science, and produce a thesis considered to be a substantially original contribution to the subject concerned.

The Honours year in Science provides a research training pathway to our higher research degrees, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Science (MSc). The postgraduate research programs offered by the Faculty attract a large number of domestic and international students each year.

Read more information about science research programs at Sydney.

Joint and double honours

Joint and double honours programs are possible across science disciplines, at the discretion of each discipline.

Joint honours is normally completed over the course of one year (worth 48 credit points) and involves the completion of one research project involving two disciplines. Your project is guided by two supervisors, one from each discipline involved. Discussion between disciplines should determine arrangements for your completion of joint honours.

Double honours involves completing all the honours work in two disciplines and thus normally lasts for two consecutive years (96 credit points). Students will be expected to inform both disciplines of their enrolment in two programs for double honours.

Admission

Admission requirements

To qualify for admission to the Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) you must:

  1. have qualified for or be a graduate with a Bachelor of Medical Science from the University of Sydney;
  2. have completed a relevant major (i.e., a minimum of 24 credit points of 3000-level units of study) relating to the intended Honours discipline;
  3. have achieved a Science Weighted Average Mark (SCIWAM*) of at least 65.00 or have a credit average (65.00) in 48 credit points of relevant** 2000-level and 3000-level units of study; and
  4. satisfy any additional criteria set by the relevant Head of School or Discipline.

Please note that, in some Schools and Disciplines, the minimum SCIWAM requirement is higher than 65.00, particularly where entry is very competitive. For example, a minimum SCIWAM of 75.00 is generally required for entry into Honours in Psychology.

*SCIWAM is the average over all second and third year units attempted. For more information please consult the current Faculty of Science Handbook and visit the SCIWAM Calculator.

**Relevant units of study must be nominated by the School or Discipline and must be accompanied by strong written support from the School or Discipline.

Willingness of a member of academic staff to act as your supervisor does not guarantee entry into Honours. However, admission into Honours is subject to an appropriate supervisor and project being available.

Students who are not admitted to the Science Honours program may alternatively consider the Graduate Diploma in Science. The diploma is offered as either a one-year full-time or a two-year part-time course with similar content, structure and assessment as the Science Honours year. The Graduate Diploma in Science is a full fee-paying postgraduate coursework program.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

This course is only available for internal applicants, i.e. applicants who are completing or have completed the Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of Sydney.
External applicants who are completing or have completed the Bachelor of Medical Science at another university are not eligible for this course. They should instead apply for Bachelor of Science (Honours).

To apply for honours, you will need to:

  1. Fulfil any requirements of the School or Discipline prior to lodging an online application at the University. This might include matching projects and available supervisors with students or completing a School or Discipline application form. Please refer to the School or Discipline’s website for specific requirements.
  2. Apply online to the University. This will require you to upload relevant documents as outlined below.
  3. If you are applying for Honours in more than one area, you must clearly and precisely list all your areas in order of preference on your online application form.

Further requirements

All applications require the following to be uploaded:


  • Proof of contact with the relevant School or Discipline for each Honours area preferenced in your Honours application must be uploaded. Proof of contact comes in different forms and will vary depending on the School or Discipline. Proof of contact may be in the form of:
    • Email correspondence with the proposed research supervisor or with the Honours coordinator in the relevant School or Discipline. The name of the proposed research supervisor must be clearly stated in the email.
    • A completed Expression of Interest (EOI) form, which you would have lodged directly with the relevant School or Discipline.
    • For Honours in Psychology, a receipt of your School application form. (You will need to apply online for Honours admission directly through the School of Psychology’s website. Following completion of the School’s online process, you will be issued with a receipt, which you can then upload to your application to the University.)
  • If undertaking joint or double Honours, proof of contact will be required for both Honours areas. A second or third preference will not be assessed if proof of contact is not provided.

International students

How to apply

This course is only available for internal applicants, i.e. applicants who are completing or have completed the Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of Sydney.

External applicants who are completing or have completed the Bachelor of Medical Science at another university are not eligible for this course. They should instead apply for Bachelor of Science (Honours).

To apply for honours, you will need to:

  1. Fulfil any requirements of the School or Discipline prior to lodging an online application at the University. This might include matching projects and available supervisors with students or completing a School or Discipline application form. Please refer to the School or Discipline’s website for specific requirements.
  2. Apply online to the University. This will require you to upload relevant documents as outlined below.
  3. If you are applying for Honours in more than one area, you must clearly and precisely list all your areas in order of preference on your online application form.

Further admission requirements

All applications require the following to be uploaded:

  • Proof of contact with the relevant School or Discipline for each Honours area preferenced in your Honours application must be uploaded. Proof of contact comes in different forms and will vary depending on the School or Discipline. Proof of contact may be in the form of:
    • Email correspondence with the proposed research supervisor or with the Honours coordinator in the relevant School of Discipline. The name of the proposed research supervisor must be clearly stated in the email.
    • A completed Expression of Interest (EOI) form, which you would have lodged directly with the relevant School or Discipline.
    • For Honours in Psychology, a receipt of your School application form. (You will need to apply online for Honours admission directly through the School of Psychology’s website. Following completion of the School’s online process, you will be issued with a receipt, which you can then upload to your application to the University.)
  • If undertaking joint or double Honours, proof of contact will be required for both Honours areas. A second or third preference will not be assessed if proof of contact is not provided.

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Undergraduate Student Contribution Amount

The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the 2017 amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study in the course, and the specific units of study in which you enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Students

The tuition fee for international undergraduate students is an indication of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total tuition fees, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, course-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from https://sydney.edu.au/students/materials-and-equipment.html.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

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