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An internal applicant is a student who completes an APAC-accredited undergraduate (or bridging) sequence in psychology at UNSW the year immediately prior to commencing Honours (including students enrolled in dual degrees with an embedded Honours year*).
For example: a student completing at any point during 2023 would be considered an internal applicant for the 2024 Honours year.
* Dual degree students in embedded Honours programs should check with their Program Authority when the Honours year can/should be taken, as dictated by the program structure.
An external applicant is anyone else. This includes those who complete an APAC-accredited undergraduate (or bridging) sequence in psychology at another institution AND UNSW graduates who completed their program more than one year before they intend to commence Honours.
For undergraduate bridging sequence students the Psychology Average is calculated based on first attempt marks for all courses completed (i.e., from PSYC5001 to PSYC5010).
For undergraduate sequence students the Psychology Average is calculated based on first attempt marks for psychology core courses common to all psychology programs / specialisations (see below); and the three highest first attempt marks of any completed Level 3 psychology electives.
Psychology core courses common to all psychology programs / specialisations: PSYC1001, PSYC1011, PSYC1111; PSYC2001, PSYC2061, PSYC2071, PSYC2081, PSYC2101; PSYC3001, PSYC3011.
Note: Courses that do not count towards the Psychology average include 1) Level 1 PSYC electives, 2) psychology courses taken at another institution, and 3) courses graded SY.
This question does not apply to Graduate Diploma students.
Bachelor degree students are encouraged to take as many Level 3 PSYC electives as possible. The more Level 3 PSYC electives a student takes, the better prepared they will be for the Honours year. Students are also encouraged to substitute Level 3 PSYC electives for free electives in their program.
This question does not apply to Graduate Diploma students.
While it is not a compulsory course, completion of PSYC3371 Multivariate Data Analysis for Psychology, in conjunction with PSYC3001, is important as preparation for the Honours year, particularly for students planning undertaking an Honours project that will require the use of multivariate statistics.
The core course, PSYC3001, focuses on ANOVA models and provides a thorough coverage of statistical methods for analysing single dependent variable data from experimental designs. The elective, PSYC3371, focusses on Multiple Regression models and provides an extensive coverage of statistical methods for analysing data from non-experimental designs, and experimental designs with multiple dependent measures.
Together, these two courses provide a solid foundation for analysing data for different types of Honours projects.
PSYC3371 is listed as a Level 3 List A PSYC elective, but can be taken as a List B elective.
This question does not apply to Graduate Diploma students.
If you don’t take PSYC3371 you run the risk of lacking the statistical knowledge to analyse your Honours data adequately if you plan on undertaking an Honours project that will require the use of multivariate statistics. Your supervisor will expect you to understand data analysis methods, and without PSYC3371 you may have to learn multivariate statistics on your own.
Where a student has a choice between completing at the end of Term 3 or over Summer, the School does not recommend the Summer option as the Honours year begins before Summer results are released.
Students who appear to have no choice but to complete Stage 3 of their program/the Science component of their dual program in Summer should contact the School before applying.
No. The Honours year comprises 48 Units of Credit of unique, stand-alone content, so it is not possible to receive credit for any course previously completed.
You will be asked to nominate 10 supervisor preferences (from a list of around 35-40 available supervisors). Your preference order should reflect who you would most like to work with, as guided by your interest in different areas of psychology and the type of research projects available.
Preferences are just one factor considered during the allocation process, so you should not expect to be supervised by any particular member of staff. As the admission process is competitive, it may be that you cannot be matched with any of your 10 preferences. This could mean that you need to decide if you want to pursue Honours at UNSW with a supervisor you did not nominate, or not pursue Honours at UNSW at all.
Should the School have the supervisory capacity to accommodate any external applicants, they may not have the opportunity to nominate any preferences.
Factors considered during the allocation process include:
Supervisors are typically allocated between one and three Honours students. As the admission process is competitive, it may be that you cannot be matched with any of your 10 preferences; you should not expect to be supervised by any particular member of staff.
Yes, this can be a great way to find out more about their research interests, supervising style, and their availability. However, bear in mind that supervisors cannot make requests for specific students, so having a meeting with a potential supervisor should in no way be interpreted as having secured their agreement for supervision. Meeting with a potential supervisor will not have any influence on whether or not you are allocated to that supervisor.
The Honours year begins in late January with a mandatory Orientation Meeting for all Honours students. Those who may be travelling during the Summer break should plan accordingly and be back in Sydney in order to attend the meeting. Details of the meeting will be supplied to successful applicants when they are advised of their application outcome. The meeting is usually held in the final week of January.
After a student attends the Orientation Meeting, they 1) will be able to self-enrol in their courses for the year, and 2) are expected to meet with their supervisor and begin planning their research project.
No, it is not possible to defer your offer for Honours.
Category A (as defined by the Faculty of Science):
An offer in one year is not an unconditional guarantee of admission in any subsequent year. Should a successful applicant decide to decline their place in the Honours year they may re-apply for any subsequent year but will be assessed as an external applicant. Eligibility requirements for external applicants are not the same as for internal applicants. Places for external applicants, if any, are subject to the availability of appropriate research and supervision resources and will be assessed on the basis of academic merit.
Category B (as defined by the Faculty of Science):
Single degree students are expected to undertake Honours directly after completion of Stages 1-3 of their embedded degree. Dual degree students may – with the approval of the non-Science Program Authority – undertake Honours at a later stage of their embedded degree, which may or may not be immediately after completion of Stages 1-3 of their Science component. Students wishing to take a break from studying before entering their Honours year must be transferred to the relevant pass degree in order to graduate. They would then apply, as an external applicant, for the stand-alone, one-year Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) program when they are ready to resume studying.
A successful application in one year does not guarantee a successful application in any subsequent year. Admission is based on merit and availability of School resources in the given application round.
Category A (as defined by the Faculty of Science)
Single degree students should be able to graduate as planned. Dual degree students without an embedded Honours year should either be able to graduate as planned or continue with the non-Science component of their dual degree.
Category B (as defined by the Faculty of Science)
In order to graduate, embedded Honours students will need to be transferred to the relevant pass degree. For example, if you are enrolled in 3632 BPsych(Hons) you will most likely be transferred to 3435 BPsychSc. Similarly, AdvSc(Hons) students would most likely be transferred to 3970 BSc.
Completion of an Early Exit/Graduation Request webform may be required.
Dual degree students will likely need to be transferred to a relevant dual degree without an embedded Honours year and should contact their Program Authority for advice.
Coursework consists of PSYC4093 Psychology 4A (12 UOC) in Term 1, and PSYC4103 Psychology 4B (6 UOC) in Term 2, with each course comprising a core and elective component. Core content has traditionally been delivered via one two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial per week, and elective content – on an advanced topic in psychology – via a two-hour weekly seminar.
Your thesis courses will span the entire year, and you will take PSYC4072 Honours Research Project 6 UOC in Term 1, PSYC4073 Honours Research Project 12 UOC in Term 2, and PSYC4073 Honours Research Project 12 UOC again in Term 3.
Core component (centrally-timetabled lecture and tutorials)
After a student attends the Orientation meeting they will be able to self-enrol in their courses for the year. Once class registration opens for Terms 1 and 2, students will be able to self-enrol in their preferred tutorials. Timetable information is available well before class registration opens, and tutorial capacity is capped, so students should identify their preferred tutorial and try to register as soon as their enrolment appointment allows.
Elective component (School-timetabled seminar)
Allocation to elective seminars is guided by student preferences and the goal of achieving balanced class sizes.
An elective timetable is created each term based on the availability of each Elective Convenor. We aim to release the Term 1 elective timetable at the Honours Orientation Meeting, and the Term 2 elective timetable tends to be released around the same time as the University timetable.
Students should be aware that their allocated elective may not necessarily be offered at their preferred time. Further, as elective preferences for both terms are submitted at the start of the year, students will not be able to use the timetable to guide their preference nominations for Term 2.
Elective topics vary from year to year, but each will consider an advanced topic in psychology. At the Honours Orientation Meeting in January, you will be provided with a description of the elective offerings available in each term, and asked to submit your preferences. Your elective convenor will provide you with a full course outline at the start of the term. Examples of past electives include The Neurobiology of Obesity; More than Happy: The Psychological Science of Wellbeing; Associative Learning – Thinking Outside the (Skinner) Box.
Contact hours will depend on your project and vary over time. Students attend 5 hours of mandatory classes each week during Terms 1 and 2, which tend to be spread out over several days.
Time spent on research varies from student to student. Different stages of your project require differing levels of attention, and the type of project you are doing is also a factor. For example, if you are running rat experiments you will most likely have to come in on consecutive days during that period. It would be reasonable to expect that you will be required on campus most days of the working week, if not every day.
The Honours year is a full-time program. Even though there may be fewer class contact hours than you experienced during your undergraduate years, you should think of Honours as a full-time job. You should expect to spend about 10-15 hours per week in independent study for the coursework component, and about 20 hours per week for the research component.
The ability to work independently is critical. Regardless of how closely your supervisor works with you on your Honours project, you will be expected to carry out many aspects of the project by yourself. Being independent is a skill that you will become more familiar with throughout the year as you identify your working style and how that fits with your supervisor’s working style. You are the one responsible for meeting deadlines and making sure you know the ins and outs of your project.
You are advised not to take on outside work while enrolled in Honours. At most, you should limit outside work to one day per week because outside work commitments can interfere with meeting the demands of the Honours program. In any case, if you plan to undertake outside work you should discuss these commitments with your supervisor and with the Honours Coordinators (if necessary) at the start of the year.
All scheduled classes are mandatory – lectures, tutorials, and elective seminars. A work commitment is not considered a reasonable justification for missing a class and students should consider this carefully.
Depending upon the nature of your project and any participants, you may be able to carry out your data collection. In any case, even though there are no class requirements, most students find that they use the breaks between teaching periods to continue working on their Honours project and thesis.
Information current at: May 2022