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Why study with us?

  • #22 in the world

    Ranked 22nd in the world for arts and humanities in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

  • #1 in Australia

    Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 4th in the world for employability by the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.

Overview

The Bachelor of Arts honours year is both a preparation for postgraduate study and a capstone to an undergraduate degree. Honours can be the culmination of your formal education, an experience that extends your intellectual range, hones your research abilities, as well as analytical and communication techniques, and helps you to develop the personal and professional skills needed to see a research project though to completion.

Honours can also be the first step on a path to a career as an academic or professional researcher. The honours year comprises seminar classes and work toward a short thesis on an independent research project under the supervision of an academic staff member who is an expert in the field of your research.

The following Honours subject areas are not available for mid-year entry: Ancient History, History.

Subject areas

American Studies Germanic Studies (German) (Advanced)
Ancient History History
Anthropology History and Philosophy of Science
Applied Mathematics Indonesian Studies (Introductory)
Arabic Language and Cultures (Introductory) Indonesian Studies (Intermediate)
Arabic Language and Cultures (Intermediate) Indonesian Studies (Advanced)
Arabic Language and Cultures (Advanced) Information Systems
Archaeology International and Comparative Literary Studies
Art History Italian Studies (Advanced)
Asian Studies Italian Studies (Intermediate)
Biblical Studies and Classical Hebrew Italian Studies (Introductory)
Biochemistry Japanese Studies (Introductory)
Biology Japanese Studies (Junior Intermediate)
Celtic Studies Japanese Studies (Senior Intermediate)
Chemistry Japanese Studies (Advanced)
Chinese Studies Jewish Civilisation Thought and Culture
Classics Korean Studies (Introductory)
Cultural Studies Korean Studies (Intermediate)
Digital Cultures Korean Studies (Advanced)
Economics Latin
English Linguistics
European Studies Microbiology
Film Studies Music
French and Francophone Studies (Introductory) Philosophy
French and Francophone Studies (Intermediate) Physics
French and Francophone Studies (Advanced) Political Economy
Gender Studies Psychology
Geography Pure Mathematics
Geology Socio-Legal Studies
Geophysics Sociology
Germanic Studies (German) (Introductory) Spanish and Latin American Studies (Introductory)
Germanic Studies (German) (Intermediate) Spanish and Latin American Studies (Intermediate)
Germanic Studies (German) (Advanced) Spanish and Latin American Studies (Advanced)
Government and International Relations Studies in Religion
Greek (Ancient) Theatre and Performance Studies
Germanic Studies (German) (Introductory) Work and Organisational Studies
Germanic Studies (German) (Intermediate)  

Subject areas
Shared pool

Admission, fees and how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status

My qualification is

The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

For standalone honours degrees, apply directly to the University via the online application portal before the closing date. Before you apply, visit the How to Apply information for honours (and the faculty page for specific information). When you are ready to apply, select the `Apply' button on the right-hand side of this page.

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 30 November of the preceding year

Semester 2 - 30 June of the same year 

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

For standalone honours degrees, apply directly to the University via the online application portal before the closing date. Before you apply, visit the How to Apply information for honours (and the faculty page for specific information). When you are ready to apply, select the `Apply' button on the right-hand side of this page.

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 30 November of the preceding year

Semester 2 - 30 June of the same year 

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - visit the scholarships webpage for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

Course information

Typical workload and assessment

Each honours year involves a mix of seminars and a thesis. Some honours years require three seminars and a shorter thesis (12,000-15,000 words). Others involve two seminars and a longer thesis, up to 20,000 words. Seminar work is marked by the academic staff member leading the class. In some departments, a second academic staff member will mark work written for seminars. A thesis is read by at least two academics in the field other than the student's supervisor. Examiners write detailed reports on each thesis, which the student receives, and assign a tentative grade.

The final grades for each thesis are decided by the department or program staff collectively. Each department or program ranks all honours candidates based on their thesis and seminar results. These departmental results and nominations for the University Medals are then considered by the Faculty Honours Board, which includes the Honours Coordinators from every department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Honours awards and classes

The classes of honours awarded are:

  • Honours Class I (where the Honours mark is in the range of 80 - 100)
  • Honours Class II Division 1 (75 - 79)
  • Honours Class II Division 2 (70 - 74)
  • Honours Class III (65 - 69)
  • Pass (50 - 64)

Joint and double honours

It is possible to complete either double honours or joint honours in some Arts subjects. Double honours involves completing all the honours requirements in one subject area and then in another and thus normally takes an additional year. In joint honours the two units of study are more generally closely related and a special program of study is designed for the honours year. This will usually entail doing approximately half the final honours requirements for two subject areas.

Sample study plan

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Year Sem  Units of study 
1 1 Honours semester one
  2 Honours semester two

Applying for honours

All students who plan to undertake Honours in Arts must submit an application to the University. As soon as you decide you may want to do Honours in a subject area of your choice, you should read the relevant department information from the Honours page to understand exactly what the specific requirements will be for that subject area and plan your degree structure accordingly.
 

Admission requirement

To qualify for admission to honours students need to have completed a major in the intended subject area with an average of 70% or above. Some departments and programs have additional criteria, including advanced senior units of study designed to prepare students for the challenges of fourth year study.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

Career Pathways

Our graduates can be found in a broad range of careers and roles, including:

  • Anthropologist
  • Archaeologist
  • Archivist
  • Art historian
  • Business administrator or manager
  • Editor or publisher
  • Foreign affairs and trade officer
  • Government policy officer
  • Historian
  • Heritage specialist
  • Information specialist
  • Journalist
  • Language specialist
  • Media and communications officer
  • Museum or gallery curator
  • Researcher
  • Sociologist
Future study options

The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) year is the Faculty's essential research training pathway to higher degrees by research in the humanities and social sciences. For more details, see our research degrees:

The world is changing, and university education needs to change too

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.