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Study honours

Gain a competitive edge, undertake a research project
If you’re looking to improve your career prospects, open the door to further academic study, or pursue research with impact, honours is your next step.

Honours is an additional qualification that can be completed as part of a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree, through an embedded or integrated year in some professional or specialist degrees or via a one-year standalone Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) or appended honours degree following completion of a qualifying undergraduate degree.

To be admitted to honours you need to meet specific and additional entry requirements.

Why study honours?

Independent research can be a life-changing opportunity to become a subject matter expert in a niche area. You’ll have the chance to develop significant insights, and make your own meaningful contribution to a field of knowledge.

An honours pathway can open the door for further research study, equipping you with the prerequisite research skills to undertake a research degree such as the PhD.

Alternatively, if you decide to only complete an honours pathway without pursuing further research, you will graduate with a robust set of transferrable skills including:

  • time management and research skills
  • project management and delivery
  • showing future employers you can investigate independently and achieve more complex goals.

Completing honours also shows you have achieved high academic standards and gives you an honours-level award.

How does honours work?

Honours is an optional full-time pathway usually taking one year to complete. It is also available part-time in some disciplines. Generally, your honours year consists of:

  • an independent research project, mentored by your academic supervisor
  • additional units in research design/technical training
  • some honours and coursework units.

Under the guidance of an academic supervisor, you’ll select a thesis topic, create a reading list, and identify your method of research.

During the year you’ll be mentored by scholars in your faculty as you write a thesis to document your research journey from proposal to conclusion.

Types of honours

If you’re about to apply for your undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney and already know you want to do honours, you can apply for one of our combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Currently studying a single undergraduate degree? 

Some University of Sydney bachelor’s degrees have an embedded Honours component. This means you will complete your honours study in the final semesters of your current undergraduate degree by completing specific units. Your honours component will not increase the overall time taken to complete your studies. Generally, you will apply for embedded honours directly to your faculty or school. 

In some degrees, honours is integrated and runs alongside the pass degree. This means you won’t have to apply separately to do honours and won’t need to complete specific honours units. An example is the Bachelor of Engineering Honours where all students will complete and be awarded honours as part of completing the requirements of the degree.

Some integrated honours degrees may additionally require students to maintain a certain minimum weighted average mark to be eligible for an honours award, or alternatively exit with a non-honours degree.

Stand-alone or appended honours are additional courses you enrol into after completing your undergraduate degree.

These are the types of stand-alone honours:

Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours)

You can apply for the standalone Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) if you:

  • have completed or are on track to complete two majors and
  • are a current University of Sydney student in their last semester of study of an eligible single bachelor degree or
  • are an undergraduate student from another university, or
  • finished your undergraduate studies a while ago.
Appended honours

If you do not have two majors or aren't on track to complete them, you can still pursue honours via our appended honours degrees:

If you are a Sydney University student in a pre-2018 curriculum degree, or an external student who does not meet the requirement of a double major for the Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) degree, you will be able to undertake honours via the below appended honours degrees:

If you are a current University of Sydney student in an eligible bachelor's degree and haven't yet started your final semester of study (or completed more than 120 credit points), you can apply to a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies. You'll need to have completed or be on track to complete two majors by the end of your combined degree. Once transferred into one of the combined degrees, you will be able to apply for honours via a link that will be available on the student portal when you reach 132 credit points (for a four-year combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree). Application deadlines apply. If you do not have two majors or are not on track to complete them in your undergraduate degree, you can consider an appended honours year instead. 

If you are a Commonwealth supported student (who commenced your degree prior to 2021) and you are considering transferring to a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree at the University of Sydney, please be aware that this transfer will be treated as a new course enrolment. This means you will be charged the new Jobs-ready Graduates Package fee rates for units going forward in your new degree. In some cases, this may mean that you will be paying higher tuition fee rates. Any units you have already studied will be credited to your new course and noted as paid under the old rates.

Please carefully check information on fees and consider the implications of transferring courses before you take any action. 

Further information on the Jobs-ready Graduates Package can be found on the StudyAssist website.

Some students choose to complete either double honours or joint honours.

Double honours mean you complete two separate honours thesis in different subject areas. Which usually takes an additional year, extending your studies by two years full time.
Joint honours are when you complete an honours thesis in two subject areas closely related to each other. This type of honours allows you to complete the course concurrently in one year.
To apply for double or joint honours, you need to meet the eligibility requirements for both honours programs.

For more information, check the honours page for your faculty or school. Please note that some faculties and subject areas may not offer this study option.


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