The Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences (Honours) degree is an intensive year-long program of advanced study with research at its centre. Students take seminar classes and research and write a substantial thesis on a topic they work out in collaboration with a supervisor who is a specialist in the relevant field.
Where the pass degrees give students the opportunity to explore a range of fields and concentrate on one or two areas (the majors), the honours year enables students to engage with the subject of their major in depth and learn how to practise its methods by undertaking research of their own.
The Honours year is both a preparation for postgraduate study and a capstone to an undergraduate degree. For some students, honours is the culmination of their formal education, an experience that extends their intellectual range, hones their abilities in research, analysis, and communication, and helps them develop the body of personal and professional skills needed to see a major project though to completion. For other students, honours is the first step on the path to careers as professional researchers and academics.