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Why study with us?

  • #23 in the world

    The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences ranked 23rd in the world in the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

  • #1 in Australia

    Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 5th in the world for employability by the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019.

Overview

The Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences (Honours) degree is an intensive year-long program of advanced study with research at its centre. Students take seminar classes and research and write a substantial thesis on a topic they work out in collaboration with a supervisor who is a specialist in the relevant field.

Where the pass degrees give students the opportunity to explore a range of fields and concentrate on one or two areas (the majors), the honours year enables students to engage with the subject of their major in depth and learn how to practise its methods by undertaking research of their own.

The Honours year is both a preparation for postgraduate study and a capstone to an undergraduate degree. For some students, honours is the culmination of their formal education, an experience that extends their intellectual range, hones their abilities in research, analysis, and communication, and helps them develop the body of personal and professional skills needed to see a major project though to completion. For other students, honours is the first step on the path to careers as professional researchers and academics. 

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 Now' 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)

What you'll study

Sample study plan

Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences (Honours)

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

Applying for honours

To qualify for admission to candidature for honours  a student must:

  • have qualified for the award of the pass degree at The University of Sydney or an equivalent recognised tertiary Institution or be eligible for the award of the pass degree; and
  • must complete the honours requirements within no more than 10 years from commencement of candidature in the pass degree; and
  • have completed a minimum of 48 senior credit points with a Credit average or above in the intended subject area/s; and
  • have the permission of the chair of the department or program coordinator most concerned.

Admission requirement

Student need to have results of an average of 70% or above in eight senior units of study (48 credit points) in the subject in they wish to take honours. Some departments and programs have additional prerequisites, including advanced senior units designed to prepare students for the challenges of fourth-year study.

Career Pathways

  • Current affairs journalist
  • Diplomat
  • Government and public service administrator
  • Non-government or private sector administrator
  • Policy researcher and consultant 
  • Political adviser
  • Think tank participant

Graduate opportunities

For some students, honours is the culmination of their formal education, an experience that extends their intellectual range, hones their abilities in research, analysis, and communication, and helps them develop the body of personal and professional skills needed to see a major project though to completion. For other students, honours is the first step on the path to careers as professional researchers and academics.

Future study options

The honours year is the Faculty's essential research training pathway to higher degrees by research in the humanities and social sciences.

Domestic students

International students

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