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Overview

The honours year in science is a widely recognised and highly regarded additional year of undergraduate study available to you after you complete your undergraduate course. It's a unique opportunity for you to explore your research potential and put the theory from your undergraduate studies into practice. An honours qualification in mathematics is not only well regarded in academia, but also in industry where a command of scientific thought processes are highly sought after.

Honours can be undertaken in any area of science, and involves designing a research program in your chosen area of interest in consultation with one or more supervisors. Your research program may include components in more than one area of science (eg. mathematics and biology) and depending on the nature of your project you may also have to undertake some courses in experimental design or complete technical training to use a particular piece of equipment.

Further information about honours in the Faculty of Science.

The Faculty of Science has an outstanding reputation for the quality of its postgraduate research programs across a wide range of science disciplines. With significant levels of funding from various research councils and bodies, and the provision of major research facilities, the faculty is committed to providing leading education and research training to its students. There are a range of research programs available, depending on which stage you are at in your academic career. Whether at the doctoral or masters level, you undertake self-directed, supervised research in your specialised area of science, and produce a thesis considered to be a substantially original contribution to the subject concerned. The honours year in science provides a research training pathway to our higher research degrees, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Science (MSc). The postgraduate research programs offered by the faculty attract a large number of domestic and international students each year.

More information about science research programs at Sydney .

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How to apply

This course is only available for internal applicants, i.e. applicants who are completing or have completed the Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) at the University of Sydney. External applicants who are completing or have completed the Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) at another university are not eligible for this course. They should instead apply for Bachelor of Science (Honours). To apply for honours, you will need to:

  1. Fulfil any requirements of the School or Discipline prior to lodging an online application at the University. This might include matching projects and available supervisors with students or completing a School or Discipline application form. Please refer to the School or Discipline's website for specific requirements.
  2. Apply online to the University. This will require you to upload relevant documents as outlined below.
  3. If you are applying for Honours in more than one area, you must clearly and precisely list all your areas in order of preference on your online application form.

All applications require the following to be uploaded:

  • Proof of contact with the relevant School or Discipline for each Honours area preferenced in your Honours application must be uploaded. Proof of contact comes in different forms and will vary depending on the School or Discipline. Proof of contact may be in the form of:
    • Email correspondence with the proposed research supervisor or with the Honours coordinator in the relevant School or Discipline. The name of the proposed research supervisor must be clearly stated in the email.
    • A completed Expression of Interest (EOI) form, which you would have lodged directly with the relevant School or Discipline.
    • For Honours in Psychology, a receipt of your School application form. (You will need to apply online for Honours admission directly through the School of Psychology's website. Following completion of the School's online process, you will be issued with a receipt, which you can then upload to your application to the University.)
  • If undertaking joint or double Honours, proof of contact will be required for both Honours areas. A second or third preference will not be assessed if proof of contact is not provided.

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 30 November of the preceding year

Semester 2 - 30 June of the commencing year

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

This course is only available for internal applicants, i.e. applicants who are completing or have completed the Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) at the University of Sydney. External applicants who are completing or have completed the Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) at another university are not eligible for this course. They should instead apply for Bachelor of Science (Honours). To apply for honours, you will need to:

  1. Fulfil any requirements of the School or Discipline prior to lodging an online application at the University. This might include matching projects and available supervisors with students or completing a School or Discipline application form. Please refer to the School or Discipline's website for specific requirements.
  2. Apply online to the University. This will require you to upload relevant documents as outlined below.
  3. If you are applying for Honours in more than one area, you must clearly and precisely list all your areas in order of preference on your online application form.

All applications require the following to be uploaded:

  • Proof of contact with the relevant School or Discipline for each Honours area preferenced in your Honours application must be uploaded. Proof of contact comes in different forms and will vary depending on the School or Discipline. Proof of contact may be in the form of:
    • Email correspondence with the proposed research supervisor or with the Honours coordinator in the relevant School of Discipline. The name of the proposed research supervisor must be clearly stated in the email.
    • A completed Expression of Interest (EOI) form, which you would have lodged directly with the relevant School or Discipline.
    • For Honours in Psychology, a receipt of your School application form. (You will need to apply online for Honours admission directly through the School of Psychology's website. Following completion of the School's online process, you will be issued with a receipt, which you can then upload to your application to the University.)
  • If undertaking joint or double Honours, proof of contact will be required for both Honours areas. A second or third preference will not be assessed if proof of contact is not provided.

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 30 November of the preceding year

Semester 2 - 30 June of the commencing year

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

Honours projects

For further details about honours and who to contact for more information, please visit the Science honours page.

Typical workload and assessment

Generally, the honours year after the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) consists of the following three components, however there may be variations to this, depending on the school or discipline area in which you complete honours: 

  1. a supervised but independent research program
  2. additional courses in experimental design/technical training,
  3. some coursework units of study (classes)

Honours awards and classes

(1) The Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science (Advanced) and Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) are awarded as either Pass or Honours. The honours degree is awarded in classes ranging from First Class to Third Class according to the rules specified in the Resolutions of the Faculty of Science.

(2) Candidates for the award of the Honours degree who do not meet the requirements, and who have not already graduated, will be awarded the pass degree merited.

Ethics and honours research

As a general principle, any research involving human or animal subjects requires Ethics Committee approval, including (but not limited to projects involving the following kinds of methodologies: 

  1. questionnaires
  2. surveys or interviews (including oral history)
  3. telephone interviewing
  4. recording by audio or video tape
  5. observations of behaviour (including ethnographic fieldwork)
  6. experiments involving animals or animal tissue

Please note that a key part of the approval process involves ensuring that the University complies with its duty of care to students. Safety protocols must be prepared for all students conducting any research off-campus, whether in Australia or overseas.

Applying for ethics clearance

Please consult the Faculty of Science for advice about ethics clearance applications.

Closing dates for ethics applications

Please consult the Faculty of Science, or the school/department through which you are undertaking honours, for advice about closing dates for ethics clearance applications.

Postgraduate research at the University

The Faculty of Science has an outstanding reputation for the quality of its postgraduate research programs across a wide range of science disciplines. With significant levels of funding from various research councils and bodies, and the provision of major research facilities, the faculty is committed to providing leading education and research training to its students.

There are a range of research programs available, depending on which stage you are at in your academic career. Whether at the doctoral or masters level, you undertake self-directed, supervised research in your specialised area of science, and produce a thesis considered to be a substantially original contribution to the subject concerned.

The honours year in science provides a research training pathway to our higher research degrees, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Science (MSc). The postgraduate research programs offered by the faculty attract a large number of domestic and international students each year.

Joint and double honours

Joint and double honours programs are possible across science disciplines, at the discretion of each discipline. 

Joint honours is normally completed over the course of one year (worth 48 credit points) and involves the completion of one research project involving two disciplines. Your project is guided by two supervisors, one from each discipline involved. Discussion between disciplines should determine arrangements for your completion of joint honours.

Double honours involves completing all the honours work in two disciplines and thus normally lasts for two consecutive years (96 credit points). Students will be expected to inform both disciplines of their enrolment in two programs for double honours.

Units of Study

Sample study plan

Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) (Honours)

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

Admission requirements

To qualify for admission to the Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) (Honours), you must:

  1. have qualified for or be a graduate with a Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) from the University of Sydney;
  2. have completed a relevant major (i.e., a minimum of 24 credit points of 3000-level units of study) relating to the intended Honours discipline;
  3. have achieved a Science Weighted Average Mark (SCIWAM*) of at least 65.00 or have a credit average (65.00) in 48 credit points of relevant** 2000-level and 3000-level units of study; and
  4. satisfy any additional criteria set by the relevant Head of School or Discipline.

The University's Coursework Rule requires Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) (Honours) students to complete their Honours program within 10 years of the commencement of their original qualifying Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) degree. As such, if your original Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) degree was commenced more than 10 years ago or close to 10 years ago, you may be ineligible for admission.

Applicants whose original Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) degree was commenced more than 10 years ago or close to 10 years ago are strongly recommended to seek advice from the Admissions Office prior to submitting an application for Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) (Honours). The Admissions Office will consult and confer with the relevant contacts in the Faculty of Science and the relevant School as appropriate.

Please note that, in some Schools and Disciplines, the minimum SCIWAM requirement is higher than 65.00, particularly where entry is very competitive. For example, a minimum SCIWAM of 75.00 is generally required for entry into Honours in Psychology.

* SCIWAM is the average over all second and third year units attempted. For more information please consult the current Faculty of Science Handbook and visit the SCIWAM Calculator.

**Relevant units of study must be nominated by the School or Discipline and must be accompanied by strong written support from the School or Discipline.

Willingness of a member of academic staff to act as your supervisor does not guarantee entry into Honours. However, admission into Honours is subject to an appropriate supervisor and project being available.

Students who are not admitted to the Science Honours program may alternatively consider the Graduate Diploma in Science. The Graduate Diploma in Science is offered as either a one-year full-time or a two-year part-time course with similar content, structure and assessment as the Science Honours year. The Graduate Diploma in Science is a full fee-paying postgraduate coursework program.

Career pathways

  • A pathway to a PhD.
  • Business analyst
  • Bioinformatician
  • Data scientist
  • Economic modeller
  • Energy forecaster
  • Game designer
  • Health planner
  • Quantitative analyst in banking
  • Statistician
  • Market analyst
  • Meteorologist
  • Financial analyst
  • Teacher (with further study)
  • Researcher
  • Web analyst

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