Honours in the Faculty of Science

What is Honours?
What are the benefits of doing Honours?
What's involved?
Am I eligible?
How do I apply?
Costs and scholarships
What Honours Projects are available?

What is Honours?

Honours in the Faculty of Science is a widely recognised and highly regarded additional year of undergraduate study available to students who have recently completed their undergraduate degree. Honours is a unique opportunity for students to explore their research potential by designing an independent project and producing a thesis of their work.

Attend an Honours Week Information Session to find out more about honours in your particular discipline.

What are the benefits of doing Honours?

Completing a science degree with an Honours year opens the door to many opportunities, particularly in the field of scientific research. Honours students have the opportunity to undertake exciting, original research under the supervision of internationally recognised scientists, and some end up publishing one or more scientific papers based on their Honours projects. Honours also enhances your career prospects. Graduate Destination Surveys consistently reveal that students who have completed an Honours year are significantly more likely to gain employment in an area related to their field of study, compared to students who have completed a 3-year science degree.

What's involved?

The Honours year in most science degrees is an optional, additional one-year full-time course. It is also available part-time in some Schools and disciplines of the Faculty.

Generally, the Honours year 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
  • Some coursework study (classes)

The Research Program

The research program is designed in consultation with one or more supervisors. Your research program may include components in more than one area of science (e.g. computer science and biology), and it may consist of components supervised by more than one staff member.

Experimental design course and other technical instruction

In some Honours programs, you may also have to undertake a compulsory course in experimental design or have some technical training to use particular equipment. You should consult with potential supervisors regarding this component of your Honours year.

Coursework and study program

As part of the Honours program you may be required to undertake coursework subjects (i.e. classes).

Admission requirements

Admission into Honours is highly competitive.

To qualify to enrol for the Honours course, you must satisfy both the Faculty and the relevant School entry requirements and criteria. In order to be considered for admission to Honours, you must:

  1. have qualified for or be a graduate with a relevant pass degree from the Faculty of Science, or hold an equivalent qualification from another institution;
  2. have completed a relevant major relating to the intended Honours discipline;
  3. have a grade average of at least 65, averaged across at least 48 credit points of undergraduate units of study. These 48 credit points should not include Junior Units where the degree is available on a full time basis to high school graduates;
  4. have met the Science Weighted Average Mark (SCIWAM*) requirement of at least 65;
  5. satisfy any additional criteria set by the Head of School concerned; and
  6. be aware that admission is also subject to an appropriate supervisor and project being available.
  7. In some Schools and disciplines the SCIWAM requirement is much higher for consideration for entry into Honours, particularly when entry is very competitive. For example a minimum of a Distinction average is generally required in the School of Psychology.

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

Visit the WAM Calculator.

What are my options if I don't satisfy the admission requirements?

The Graduate Diploma in Science is offered as either a one-year full-time or a two-year part-time course with similar content, structure and assessment as the Honours year. The Graduate Diploma is a full fee-paying postgraduate program.

Note: The Graduate Diploma in Science (Psychology) is not available to new students. Students wishing to undertake a fourth year of study in psychology are directed to the Psychology Honours program.

Costs & scholarships

Domestic students are offered a Commonwealth Supported Place for the honours year. View the indicative student contribution amount under the Essentials section on the right hand side of Bachelor of Science (Honours) course page.

International students are required to pay fees for the Honours year. View the indicative fee amount under the Essentials section on the right hand side of this page.

There are some honours scholarships available which are awarded on the basis of academic merit and equity. Applications are now open for 2013 honours scholarships.


What Honours projects are available?

Detailed information on Honours is available at the School and discipline websites below.

It is possible to commence Honours in Science in March, or mid-year in some Schools and disciplines.

How do I apply?

Read about the steps to Applying for Honours

Please Note: All students who plan to undertake Honours in Science will need to submit an application to the Faculty of Science Office, including students who are enrolled in a four year degree with a compulsory Honours year.