Honours study at Sydney

Why honours?

If you are looking to improve your career prospects, open the door to further academic study, or simply indulge a passion, then honours is your next step. For many students, honours is an introduction to further academic research with many using it as a pathway to undertake a PhD. For others, it is the springboard to a high-flying career in the workforce or further postgraduate coursework study. The honours year 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 potential and put the theory from your undergraduate studies into practice.

What is honours?

As an honours student you will study advanced coursework topics and/or complete a research thesis.

The coursework units have been developed to build your mastery of research methods and expertise in a given 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. The specialist knowledge and skills developed and applied in an honours year are sought-out by employers, and set you on an upward trajectory.

How to apply

Gaining entry into honours is competitive – the standard you need to achieve must meet certain minimum requirements, but will also depend on the number and quality of other applicants in that year.

You will be required to lodge an application form with the faculty and in some schools/disciplines you will be required to lodge an expression of interest at the discipline/school level.

Please refer the faculty websites for discipline specific information:


There are a small number of scholarships offered to honours students.

Each year the University of Sydney offers around 50 honours Scholarships, each worth $6000. These scholarships are open to students who are an Australian or New Zealand Citizen or permanent resident of Australia. Also included are students who have completed their undergraduate degree at a university other than the University of Sydney. Further information about these scholarships is available on the Scholarships Office website.

The following faculties offer a limited number of scholarships for specific discipline areas.

Summer research scholarships

Faculty of Science Summer Scholarships

Summer Scholarships are a great way to gain research experience and an insight into research process while working alongside our leading scientific researchers. Research projects are available in most disciplines for a duration of between 4-6 weeks over the Summer holiday period (November-February). The Division of Natural Sciences at the University of Sydney offers a variety of Summer Scholarship opportunities for students in the 2nd or 3rd year of their undergraduate degree.

The program is open to both current University of Sydney students as well as students from other Australian Universities. Each scholarship is valued at $488 (in accordance with APA rate) per week for the duration of the project. Students living outside of metropolitan Sydney may also be eligible for an additional scholarship – valued at $250 per week for the duration of the Summer Scholarship project – to assist with travel and relocation costs.
Applications close Friday 30 August. Find out more

Sydney Medical School’s Summer Research Scholarships

The Summer Research Scholarships offer you a unique opportunity to obtain experience in medical-related research and provide a fantastic insight into the research process.

These eight-week research projects will also give you the chance to work with well-established researchers in our high quality medical research facilities.

Sydney Medical School awards 60 Summer Research Scholarships and each scholarship recipient will receive a $300 per week stipend. The scholarships are open to students currently enrolled full-time at an Australian University in an undergraduate degree or professional doctorate; including students enrolled in an MD program at the University of Sydney or other Australian University.

Applications close 21 September 2014. Find out more

Charles Perkins Centre Summer Research Scholarships

At the Charles Perkins Centre, we offer a select group of high-achieving students enrolled in any full-time undergraduate program, the opportunity to learn valuable research skills and learn from senior researchers.

The 2014/15 summer scholarships program is now open to all University undergraduate students, from any area of study and with any level of research experience. Our summer scholarships provide students an exclusive opportunity to join the Centre’s mission and undertake paid research with leading academics in world-class facilities. Your research project will contribute to the understanding, management or prevention of the individual and societal impacts of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and related conditions.

Successful candidates will develop research skills, gain experience and contribute to finding real world solutions through eight weeks of paid research.

Applications close 30 September 2014. Find out more