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Enhance your future career opportunities with a one-year research program
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If you’re looking to improve your career prospects, open the door to further academic study, or simply indulge a passion, honours is your next step.

Where will postgraduate study in Health and Medicine research lead you?

Our students doing research in Health and Medicine share their stories about the opportunities that postgraduate research study opened up for them.

About honours

About honours

Honours is a year of additional study following an undergraduate degree. It enables you to build on the foundations of your undergraduate degree and explore your interests through a research project of your own choosing, completed in your own time.

Under the guidance of an academic supervisor, you’ll be responsible for selecting a thesis topic, creating a reading list, and identifying your method of research.

You can tailor your honours program to your academic ambitions. Throughout the year you’ll be mentored by academics in your faculty as you write a thesis to document your research journey from proposal to conclusion.

What are the benefits of doing honours?

Independent research can be a life-changing opportunity to become a subject matter expert in a niche area. You’ll have the chance to develop significant insights, and make your own meaningful contribution to a field of knowledge.

Honours opens the door to many opportunities, particularly in the field of research and provides a common pathway to apply for a PhD. Honours students have the opportunity to undertake exciting, original research under the supervision of internationally recognised research staff, and some end up publishing research 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?

Honours will develop planning, problem solving and critical thinking skills that are essential for a career in any field.  Furthermore, Honours is also a great stepping stone to a higher research degree.

In most cases, the Honours year is an optional, additional one-year full-time course. It is also available part-time in some disciplines.

Generally, the Honours year consists of the following three components, however there may be variations to this, depending on the discipline area in which you complete Honours.

  • A supervised but independent research program
  • Additional courses in research design/technical training
  • Some coursework study (classes)

Even if you don’t plan on pursuing a research career, honours will develop planning, problem solving and critical thinking skills that are essential for a career in any field.

To learn more about what an honours year looks like, contact the honours coordinator in your faculty, or read up on the application process

What honours programs can I apply for?

Embedded honours (for internal applicants)

Honours can be taken with most undergraduate courses, so if you're already enrolled in a bachelor's degree, there's a good chance you'll be able to apply for honours as an embedded year within your current program.

Stand-alone honours (for internal and external applicants)

You don't have to be a current University of Sydney student to take honours here. We also welcome applications from students from other universities, or if you finished your undergraduate studies a while ago.

These are the stand-alone honours courses we currently offer.

•      Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Arts (Languages) (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications)(Honours)

•      Bachelor of Commerce (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Design Computing (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Design in Architecture (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Economics (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Environmental Systems (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Music Studies (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Nursing (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Project Management (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Science (Honours)

•      Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours)


There are a small number of scholarships available for honours students, which are awarded on the basis of academic merit and equity. 

The University of Sydney Honours Scholarship 2016 is available to new or continuing students from all faculties intending to enroll in an honours program at the University of Sydney for the following year. 

The University of Sydney Business School offers a number of scholarships.

The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies offers a Project Management Program honours scholarship.

Summer Research Programs

Interested in getting a feel for research?  Offered during your semester break, summer research programs are a great way to gain research experience and an insight into research process while working alongside our leading scientific researchers. Find out more:

Charles Perkins Centre

The Charles Perkins Centre is committed to delivering real world solutions to some of humanity’s greatest health challenges: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and related conditions. 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. We we offer a select group of high-achieving students enrolled in any undergraduate or postgraduate coursework program the opportunity to learn valuable research skills and learn from senior researchers. Find out more.

Sydney Nursing School

Each year, Sydney Nursing School offers up to 10 Summer Scholarships to provide currently enrolled students an opportunity to learn about nursing and midwifery research, to develop research skills and to encourage exploration into further research studies. Summer Scholars will work on a project under the supervision of one of our leading researchers for a four week full-time period over summer (140 hours between January and February). Find out more.

Faculty of Science

Research projects are available in most disciplines for a duration of between 4-6 weeks over the Summer holiday period (November-February). The program is open to both current University of Sydney students as well as students from other Australian Universities.  Follow the links below to find information about summer scholarships in each of these disciplines:

Find out more.


How to apply

Honours as a domestic or international student

Entry to honours in your chosen major or discipline usually requires an undergraduate degree with a minimum credit average.

Most faculties accept applicants to honours from other universities, so if you’ve completed your degree elsewhere, you can still apply to do honours with us (see Changing universities).

Attend an honours information evening with your faculty (usually held in September) to find out more about how they handle the honours application process. Find out more.

Embedded honours (for internal applicants)

Some courses require you to complete a pre-honours subject as part of your final undergraduate semester, which means you’ll need to plan for honours up to one year ahead. 

Before the end of your final semester, you should submit your honours thesis topic proposal. However, bear in mind that pre-approval of a particular topic doesn’t guarantee entry to your honours program. 

To qualify for honours, you will still need to achieve the required grades to ensure a high enough weighted average mark (WAM), and show that you have the ability to conduct high-quality academic research.

To apply, contact your faculty's honours coordinator and lodge your application with the faculty.

Stand-alone honours year (internal and external applicants)

See the list of stand-alone honours courses we offer. To apply, use 'Find a course' to select your honours program, then click the 'apply now' button.

Getting your application together

Regardless of whether you’re an internal or external honours applicant, there are a few common things you will need to do.

  1. Show a strong academic record: You’ll need a minimum WAM of 65 to 70 percent. If you’re at Sydney, this is automatically checked along with your application, but if you’re from another university, your application should include an academic transcript.
  2. Prepare a research topic proposal: You’ll need to choose a topic, that your faculty considers of academic importance, to study for the entire year. Picking the right topic is crucial to success, so most faculties have an honours coordinator to help you through the process. They may even provide a list of available projects. In some faculties, you may be required to put together a preliminary topic proposal which, once approved, will be followed by a more detailed research proposal that will form part of your thesis.
  3. Find a supervisor: This person is your mentoring academic for the duration of your honours project. They’ll help you set goals and deadlines, and provide feedback and advice along the way. To find out about available honours projects contact the honours coordinator in your faculty.
  4. Fill in the paperwork: When you’re ready to apply, most faculties require you to submit a standard application form with your supporting documents using Sydney Student (if you’re already a student here) or Find a course.

Please note a non-refundable application processing fee of A$100 is charged for new prospective students. This fee is waived if you’re a sponsored student, or if you are granted an exemption by a University staff member during an office interview or recruitment event.