As one of the premier science honours courses at UNSW, the School of Biomedical Sciences honours provides undergraduate students with an excellent introduction to medical scientific research from disciplines taught within the School of Biomedical Sciences. 

Honours projects are offered through School of Biomedical Sciences laboratories in addition to affiliated research institutes and hospitals. Diverse research areas coupled with exemplary student support and development (via the School of Biomedical Sciences honours mentoring program) make this an attractive start to your career in medical research.

Available scholarships for honours:

  • Primary supervisors of School of Biomedical Sciences honours students must have an academic appointment (paid or conjoint) through UNSW Medicine & Health. Co-supervisors or associate supervisors may be appointed to play a role in the training and supervision of the student in the laboratory. This role can be undertaken by postdoctoral staff, however, postgraduate students cannot take on the role of the associate or co-supervisor. Primary/Co/Associate supervisors in a close personal relationship must declare this to the Honours Convenor, who will then appoint an additional independent, school associate supervisor. 

    Supervisors who are new to the School of Biomedical Sciences honours program should view the online induction via Blackboard Collaborate. A link to the recording (with updated assessment dates/times) will be forwarded to supervisors at the start of term.

    Given the time and energy commitments needed to effectively supervise students, primary supervisors will generally have only one honours student. However, experienced supervisors may be allowed a second student, after providing evidence to the Honours Convenor of a successful track record of supervision in the School of Biomedical Sciences and justification of how they can effectively supervise two students. Supervisors are required to confirm, prior to the commencement of the project, that they are financially able to support the project for the duration of the honours year and that all ethics and other approvals required for the project have been obtained. 

    Supervisors should bear in mind three important points when proposing an honours project: firstly, honours is only an introduction to research so expectations should be realistic; secondly, the proposed project needs to yield results within the period of the honours “year”; and finally, the honours year is, in fact, not a full year but only 6 months of research activity plus approximately 2 months to produce and submit a Literature Review and a Project Manuscript. 

    Supervisors are required to attend the Introductory and Final Seminars of their honours students in order to be aware of their student's performance. Please see the assessment timetable for the due dates of the assessments. Detailed information regarding the requirements, structure, and format of the Literature Review, Introductory and Final Seminars and Project Manuscript are listed in the course outline. 

    Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that their student(s) meet the assessment deadlines of the honours program, including ensuring attendance at the seminars and timely submission of Literature Review and Project Manuscript, for which late submission penalties exist (see “Penalties” in the Course Outline). Supervisors should also ensure that their student(s) attend the School/Department/Institute research seminars (throughout the year). Supervisors are asked to regularly review the students’ Seminar Notebooks ensuring that they are attending at least 80% of relevant seminars, and taking notes and reflecting on selected seminars throughout the year (see “Research Performance and Seminar Engagement” in the Course Outline). Supervisors should also regularly check up on the students’ laboratory books to ensure experimental details and protocols are being effectively recorded. 

    Supervisors are required to assess their student(s) performance using the “Research Performance and Seminar Engagement” assessment rubric and submit this at the end of the honours project. This assessment form outlines the criteria for assessing the student's performance.  

    Primary supervisors should have prior primary or co-supervision experience of a School of Biomedical Sciences honours or postgraduate research student, or of a student in a similar honours or postgraduate research program. 

    Primary supervisors may also be asked to be an Examiner of another School of Biomedical Sciences honours student, and this role is part of the responsibility of supervision of a School of Biomedical Sciences student.

  • Each student will have (at least) two examiners. Examiner 1 will be nominated by the supervisor for approval by the Honours Committee. Examiner 2 will be appointed/confirmed by the Honours Committee from amongst the cohort of primary supervisors or from the School of Biomedical Sciences academic staff.

    Examiners with readily identifiable conflicts of interest should not be nominated. Examiners are asked to declare that they have no conflict of interest with the candidate, supervisor, or the project. Potential examiners who should be excluded include those: (i) have a current collaboration with the supervisor on the research area of the project or have published in the last 3 years or currently hold a grant with the supervisor on the research area of the project, or (ii) have substantial direct involvement in the student’s work or (iii) have a current or previous personal relationship with the supervisor or student. Those potential examiners who have collaborations/publication/grants with the supervisor in a different area of research to that of the student’s project may be an examiner; however, they are asked to declare this conflict. No reciprocal examiners are allowed (e.g., research group A and research group B cannot examine each other’s students and the examiner must be from outside the research group). The appropriateness of the examiner will then be assessed by the Honours Committee.

    Examiners who are new to the School of Biomedical Sciences honours should view the online induction via Blackboard Collaborate. A link to the recording (with updated assessment dates/times) will be forwarded to examiners at the start of term.

    Examiners should attend the Introductory seminars and final seminars of the students they agreed to examine (the seminar schedule will be emailed to the examiners and posted on the website). Note: Examiners who are unable to attend these seminars should provide two questions and the answers such that the session chair can ask those questions. 

    Examiners are required to fill out the assessment forms, on each occasion of providing their grades, for the Literature Review and Project Manuscript, and for the Introductory and Final Seminars. Dedicated examiners are required to have assessed the Project Manuscript prior to attending the Final Seminar. Feedback regarding the Literature Review should be provided for the student to use in their writing of the Project Manuscript. 

    To try to standardise marking, examiners are asked to grade students using the rubric assessment tables available in the course outline and on the School of Biomedical Sciences website. A completed example will be circulated to examiners along with the assessment rubrics. Please circle or mark the relevant levels attained for each criteria and base your score (/10) on these levels. Please provide feedback for the Literature Review and Project Manuscript by giving specific comments on strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for improvement.

How to apply

  • The School of Biomedical Sciences honours program welcomes applications from students across a diverse range of backgrounds. Typically, we receive applications from science students (such as UNSW Science 3970, Advanced Science 3962 and Medical Science 3991) who have completed level III majors in biomedical science disciplines. However, students from other disciplines who are interested in biomedical research are welcome and should discuss their honours year with a potential supervisor and/or the Honours Convenor.

    The minimum eligibility requirements for honours at the School of Biomedical Sciences are:

    Prior study requirement

    3 year full-time bachelor degree specialising in Anatomy, Pathology, Physiology, Pharmacology or other relevant science specialisation

    WAM requirement

    Minimum credit (65) weighted average mark (WAM) for overall degree or a minimum credit (65) WAM for stage three (final year) relevant science subjects. An applicant with an overall WAM of between 60 to 64 will only be considered if the weighted average for their relevant stage three (final year) courses is ≥65%.

    Project/supervisor allocation

    The student is responsible for arranging a supervisor and project before applying for honours. Prospective students are advised to consult the School of Biomedical Sciences honours website for the list of supervisors and their honours research projects.

  • Secondly, you will need to find a research area and an appropriate supervisor.

    For students interested in honours, masters or PhD in 2023:

    Please refer to the below from the School of Biomedical Sciences & SoHS Research Information Session (2023 intake) Online Event which took place on Weds 6 July 2022.

    Event Document: Potential Projects for School of Biomedical Sciences Honours, Neurhonours and HDR (2023 intake)

    Event Recording: Overview of Honours and HDR by Honours and HDR convenors (entry requirements, enrolment procedures, assessments and more). To turn on close captions, select ‘CC’ in the bottom right corner of the screen. ‘Chapters’ can be selected in the top right corner.

    • Go to the Potential Projects section and investigate the relevant research areas and supervisors*
    • Use the search engines on the UNSW Research Gateway to find the sections and supervisors that best align with your area of research. If you are using a key word or tag, please use the search engine on the top right-hand corner of the Research Gateway.
    • Establish contact with your potential supervisor (it is best to have an interview with the supervisor).
    • Check with the supervisor regarding the honours plan for the project.

    * Students interested in doing honours with a supervisor in a clinical school/hospital, or one who does any research or data collection at the hospitals must be fully compliant with the NSW Health Requirements.

  • If your potential supervisor agrees to take you on as an Honours student, you are now ready to submit your formal application. Please read the information on selecting an honours plan and check with your potential supervisor before completing the form. You and your supervisor should complete and sign the internal Honours Application Form.

    Please see the Faculty of Science honours webpage regarding the application process. Please upload a copy of the internal Honours Application Form or provide email confirmation from the supervisor in "Section 4: Honours Supervision" addressing the same information from the application form when submitting the Intention to Undertake Honours form.

    NOTE: Students interested in doing honours with a supervisor in a clinical school/hospital, or one who does any research or data collection at the hospitals must be fully compliant with the NSW Health Requirements.

    See the how to enrol section below for the next steps.

     

How to enrol

  • If your application is successful:

    • internal students will receive an offer letter via email from the Honours Convenor as well as an offer letter from the Admissions Office (for B Science & B Med Science students).
    • external students will receive an offer of admission from the UNSW Admissions Office. Please follow the instructions listed in your offer letter on how to accept your offer and other further actions that you may need to complete.
  • The Admissions Office will issue eligible students with a letter of offer by email. The offer needs to be accepted via myUNSW. After you have accepted the offer online and have been matriculated into the honours program, you should enrol in SOMS4888 School of Biomedical Sciences Honours (full-time) for all 3 terms. Students who wish to study part-time should contact the Honours Administrator for enrolment.

    If you are in B Advanced Science, please enrol in SOMS4888 School of Biomedical Sciences Honours (full-time) for all 3 terms after you have been given the School of Biomedical Sciences honours offer letter. Students who wish to study part-time should contact the Honours Administrator for enrolment.

  • The project information form will be sent out via email to all successful honours applicants. This form should be completed (all sections) and signed by you and the supervisor(s) of your nominated project. Please note the submission deadlines on the form.

    Please submit the completed project information form to the Honours Administrator (School of Biomedical Sciences Administration 2W, Room 255, Level 2, Wallace Wurth West).

  • All research students at the School of Biomedical Sciences must complete the relevant Health & Safety courses. Your supervisor should advise you regarding the courses you need to do for your particular project. Please refer to the UNSW Health & Safety website for further information.

Find key due dates and schedules for the core components of your medical science research program, such as literature reviews, progress reports, and project manuscripts. Be sure to view the correct timetable relevant to the term and year you commence.

  • Component

    Due Date

    Venue for Seminar or Place for Submitting Assessment

    Expectations and milestones document (formative)

    Week 2 of Term 3

    27 Sep 2021, 4:00 pm

    Online via Moodle

    Research Skills (formative)

    03 Dec 2021

    Moodle

    Literature Review (20%)

    Week 9 of Term 3

    8 Nov 2021, 4:00 pm

    Online via Turnitin on Moodle

    Introductory Seminar (10%)

    29 Nov – 1 Dec 2021

    Schedule and venue TBC

    Progress Report
    (formative)

    Week 9 of Term 1

    19 Apr 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Moodle

    Project Manuscript (50%)

    Week 8 of Term 2

    18 Jul 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Turnitin on Moodle

    Final Seminar (20%)

    2 Aug 2022

    Schedule and venue TBC

    Research performance & seminar engagement (formative)

    5 Aug 2022

    From supervisor

  • Component

    Due Date

    Venue for Seminar or Place for Submitting Assessment

    Expectations and milestones document (formative)

    Week 3 of Term 1

    28 Feb 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Moodle

    Research Skills (formative)

    29 May 2022

    Moodle

    Literature Review (20%)

    Week 9 of Term 1

    19 April 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Turnitin on Moodle

    Introductory Seminar (10%)

    9 May – 11 May 2022

    Schedule and venue TBC

    Progress Report
    (formative)

    Week 8 of Term 2

    18 July 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Moodle

    Project Manuscript (50%)

    Week 8 of Term 3

    31 Oct 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Turnitin on Moodle

    Final Seminar (20%)

    14-16 Nov 2022

    Schedule and venue TBC

    Research performance & seminar engagement (formative)

    18 Nov 2022

    From supervisor

  • Component

    Due Date

    Venue for Seminar or Place for Submitting Assessment

    Expectations and milestones document (formative)

    Week 3 of Term 2
    14 Jun 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Moodle

    Research Skills (formative)

    11 Sep 2022

    Moodle

    Literature Review (20%)

    Week 9 of Term 2
    25 Jul 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Turnitin on Moodle

    Introductory Seminar (10%)

    15 Aug – 17 Aug 2022

    Schedule and venue TBC

    Progress Report
    (formative)

    Week 8 of Term 3
    31 Oct 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Moodle

    Project Manuscript (50%)

    Week 8 of Term 1
    3 Apr 2023, 4:00 pm

    Online via Turnitin on Moodle

    Final Seminar (20%)

    17 – 19 Apr 2023

    Schedule and venue TBC

    Research performance & seminar engagement (formative)

    21 Apr 2023

    From supervisor

  • Component

    Due Date

    Venue for Seminar or Place for Submitting Assessment

    Expectations and milestones document (formative)

    Week 3 of Term 3
    26 Sep 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Moodle

    Research Skills (formative)

    9 Dec 2022

    Moodle

    Literature Review (20%)

    Week 9 of Term 3
    7 Nov 2022, 4:00 pm

    Online via Turnitin on Moodle

    Introductory Seminar (10%)

    28 – 30 Nov 2022

    Schedule and venue TBC

    Progress Report
    (formative)

    Week 8 of Term 1
    3 Apr 2023, 4:00 pm

    Online via Moodle

    Project Manuscript (50%)

    Week 8 of Term 2
    17 Jul 2023, 4:00 pm

    Online via Turnitin on Moodle

    Final Seminar (20%)

    31 Jul – 1 Aug 2023

    Schedule and venue TBC

    Research performance & seminar engagement (formative)

    3 Aug 2023

    From supervisor