Studying Honours offers a chance to develop your research and professional skills guided by staff who are passionate about research and the development of new researchers. An Honours year provides the satisfaction of advanced study, a close supervision relationship with an academic, the ability to engage in specialised and extended research, and enhanced job opportunities. It is also a pathway to a postgraduate research degree such as a Masters by Research or PhD.

What is Honours?

Study at Honours level represents the highest level of training in an undergraduate degree within the Australian tertiary education system. Honours is an extra year of study, usually following immediately on from a pass degree, that combines aspects of undergraduate study with those of postgraduate research. It introduces advanced research training through the completion of a thesis or a creative or practice-based research project.

If you undertake a Bachelors degree in Australia, you typically have the opportunity to complete either a Pass degree or an Honours degree. A Pass degree, the standard course followed by most students, is structured around coursework and is usually completed in three years. An Honours degree is available only to students who have attained a specified level of academic achievement in a particular program of study, involves both coursework and advanced research training, and usually has an extra year of university study devoted to it. 

Why do Honours?

Undertaking an Honours year will allow you to get your first real glimpse of what being an academic involves. You will devise your own thesis/research project which will involve you developing your own research questions and conducting  original investigation, analysis and reporting to complete your project. Completing an Honours degree brings many rewards. These include:

  • obtaining a much deeper understanding of your academic discipline 
  • working one-on-one with your supervisor and receiving instruction on the finer points of reading, writing and critical thinking, and
  • developing a sense of collegiality with a select group of Honours students who will be your peers, and with whom you will share all the excitement, interests, aspirations, and insights that come with an intensive period of study.

Students undertake Honours for a variety of reasons including preparation for a research degree, improving their employment opportunities or simply a passion for advanced learning in their discipline.

Information on UNSW Honours

Individual Schools provide details regarding Honours on their websites. Information generally includes entry requirements, the structure of Honours and Honours projects in the School. You will also find details of the Honours Coordinator who will be able to answer any queries you have.

How to apply

If you are a graduate or graduand and you wish to undertake an end-on Honours year at UNSW, you must apply for admission directly to UNSW via Apply Online. You may also be required to submit an expression of interest directly to your Faculty. Please check with the relevent Faculty/School Student Office for details.

Application closing dates:

Semester 1 - 30 November

Semester 2 - 31 May

For application enquiries contact the UNSW Admissions Office.

Tel: 61 2 9385 3656
Submit an enquiry