How to apply for an honours degree

Completing honours demonstrates that you have achieved high academic standards and gives you an honours-level award. A year of honours can open the door to further research, such as a PhD, and enhance your career prospects.

Applying as a new student

The steps outlined on this page are for students not currently studying at the University of Sydney. Final year students and graduates from any university can apply for honours.

Step 1: Show a strong academic record

You’ll need a minimum Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 65 to 70 per cent. If you’re already studying at the University of Sydney, this is automatically checked along with your application, but if you’re from another university, your application should include an academic transcript.

Step 2: Prepare a research topic proposal

You’ll need to choose a topic that your chosen faculty considers of academic importance to study for the entire year. Picking the right topic is crucial to success, so most faculties have an honours coordinator to help you through the process. They may even provide a list of available projects. 

In some faculties, you may be required to put together a preliminary topic proposal which, once approved, will be followed by a more detailed research proposal that will form part of your thesis.

Step 3: Find a supervisor

This person is your mentoring academic for the duration of your honours project. They’ll help you set goals and deadlines, and provide feedback and advice along the way. 

Contact the honours coordinator in your chosen faculty


Step 4: Fill in the application

Search for your course page. This will list any additional admissions criteria, as well as the required supporting documents. Where applicable, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the English language requirements.

The course page will provide you with a link to the online application form so that you can lodge your application. 

For international students, a non-refundable application processing fee is charged if you are a newly commencing student. This fee is waived if you’re a sponsored student, or if you are granted an exemption by a University staff member during an office interview or recruitment event.