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Enhance your future career opportunities with a one-year research program

If you’re looking to improve your career prospects, open the door to further academic study, or simply indulge a passion, an honours degree is your next step.

Where will postgraduate research study lead you?

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

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.

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 will develop planning, problem solving and critical thinking skills that are essential for a career in any field. Furthermore, honours is 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)

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

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.

*Only available to students who have graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Science from the University of Sydney and met the additional admission requirements.

Find an Honours Coordinator and learn more about honours in your area of interest:

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 Scholarships are available to new or continuing students from all faculties intending to enrol 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.

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 offer a number 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 about how to apply for honours.