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Honours at the ANU

ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

An Honours degree in arts and social sciences gives students the opportunity to refine their analytical skills and research techniques while expanding job and study options. Employers regard an Honours degree as a significant extra marker of achievement and potential; it is also the most effective way of qualifying for higher degree work at Masters and PhD level.

A wide range of Honours programs are available in the College, corresponding to our list of undergraduate degrees. Programs differ between disciplines with most involving both course work elements (typically two or more courses during the year) and a substantial piece of written work (typically 12,000–15,000 words). Or, in areas such as Visual Art (including Design and Media Arts) or in Music or Drama, practice-based research can comprise a major study component. As well, it is possible to undertake a combined Honours program in two disciplines.

You will have access to staff who are leading researchers and experts in their field and mix with students equally committed to furthering their skills and understandings. Undertaking an Honours degree is an excellent way to get a deeper understanding of your chosen field.

For further information please refer to the Honours page on the College website.

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

In the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, an Honours year is a great opportunity for those who have completed a good pass degree to do independent research on a chosen topic in one of the world's leading universities in the study of Asia. Honours in Asia-Pacific Studies can lead to academia, or to positions in industry, government and NGO's in Australia or overseas.

The Honours year in Asia-Pacific Studies is open to all who have a degree with a grade average of 70 or better from the ANU or an equivalent university. Before the year starts, you must have the language skills to read the material on which you will be working. Imperfect knowledge of a relevant Asian language makes it difficult to skim read reference material and / or produce accurate, polished and timely translations of passages to be included in your thesis. You will also need a good grounding in the intellectual discipline(s) within which you will be doing the research and writing the thesis.

The Honours Year at the College of Asia and the Pacific begins at the start of the first semester of each year.  You will take a methodology core course, take part in a work-in-progress seminar, and produce an independent research dissertation on an Asian topic, of 20,000-25,000 words. The College welcomes enquiries from ANU students considering transferring to one of our Asia-Pacific Studies degrees and the Honours Program, before the Honours Year.

For more information please refer to the Honours page on the College website.

ANU College of Business and Economics

There are several reasons why students should consider doing Honours in Economics and Commerce. The Honours degree offers significant advantages for those interested in pursuing careers in the private and public sector as well as for those interested in pursuing an academic career. An Honours degree marks you as a special graduate, one with a distinguished academic record. This distinction combined with the knowledge and thinking and problem solving skills gained during the Honours year opens up more job opportunities and accelerated career prospects.

For those individuals considering further studies, an Honours degree opens the door to coursework graduate levels studies in Australia and overseas. For example, Honours graduates have gained entry into the Harvard and Cornell MBA programs.

For those individuals considering an academic career, a strong result in Honours will gain you entry into most PhD programs in Australian and overseas. In addition to entering the best Australian PhD programs, Honours graduates have gained entry in to PhD programs at Stanford University, the University of Rochester, the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago among others.

For more information please refer to the Honours page on the College website.

ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science

Completion of a good Honours degree improves employment opportunities and sets graduates apart from the rest. It also opens up the opportunity for students to pursue a higher degree by research such as a PhD and also obtain an attractive scholarship package.

Honours in Computer Science consists of an additional year of study on top of an existing undergraduate degree in Science or Information Technology. Honours is a rigorous program of study, half of which is spent on advanced course work, with the other half dedicated to an individual research project. Honours is challenging, but the rewards are great. The course work will take students understanding of selected areas of computing to a new level, while also exposing them to other areas not covered in the pass degree. The project, for which students receive individual supervision from an experienced researcher, will allow them to demonstrate their advanced academic capability.

In the Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Software Engineering all students completing the degree programs are eligible to be considered for honours. Honours grades are awarded by the Faculty in recognition of excellent or outstanding performance in the degree program. The fourth year of study includes advanced coursework and a major project. Students have a choice of topics that can range from the strongly practical to a more research-oriented approach that is also a preparation for further university research. Projects in software engineering also involve working for a real client.

Students from other universities who have completed part or all of a course recognised by the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology are welcome to apply to complete their honours program with the Faculty.

For more information please refer to the following pages on the College website:

Computer Science Honours
Bachelor of Software Engineering Honours
Bachelor of Engineering Honours

ANU College of Law

Although Honours in Law at ANU are awarded on the basis of results across the entire LLB degree, the dedicated Honours program involves two consecutive semester-length courses taken in final year - a preparatory course, Research Methodology, designed to develop and refine research and writing skills and to work up a thesis topic, and a further course, Research Paper, devoted to the writing of an extended paper of around 11,000 words on a topic of the student's choice. Choice of topics is diverse - from cybercrime to the legal and moral dilemmas faced by Huck Finn, from constitutional reform to the operation of the international war crimes tribunal. Students find Research Paper one of the most stimulating and worthwhile aspects of their law studies - undertaking a major piece of legal writing not only stretches them intellectually and personally but also often leads to their first publication. An Honours degree in Law is also proving to be an important mark of distinction in an increasingly competitive job market.

For more information please refer to the College website.

ANU College of Science

Honours is a very exciting year in the Faculty of Science. For many, it is the pathway to a PhD at the ANU and for some the pathway to a PhD at another of the world's leading universities. Furthermore, for many areas, an honours year is required for practice of many science disciplines professionally. An undergraduate Science degree at ANU will get you many interesting jobs, but there is a much greater variety of technically demanding and fascinating jobs available after honours.

Unlike many experiences in a pass degree, Honours in Science involves a research project worth at least fifty percent of the final grade. Students pass from studying specified courses to being part of teams generating breakthroughs in Science. For many students, the honours year is the most important step towards a lifelong fascination with discovery and research.

Science at ANU is extremely strong internationally and honours students study with internationally renowned scientists right across the campus. Evidence of the strength of Science at ANU came from the fact that ANU was by far the most successful University in Australia in the tough competition for Discovery Grants of the Australian Research Council. In many Science areas, ANU ranks amongst the top 100 universities in the world (measured by references to our research by other scientists).

Detailed information on Honours is available at the Departmental websites below:

Mathematical Sciences Institute

The Fourth Year Honours Program in Mathematics is offered in collaboration between the Department of Mathematics and the Centre or Mathematics and its Applications, both in the Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI). The MSI has been uniquely distinguished by its research success. Among its research staff there are six Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science and three Fellows of the Royal Society of London.

The fourth (or honours) year normally consists of 50% coursework and 50% thesis. The MSI has exceptionally strong academic programs in both theoretical mathematics and contemporary applications. Students have the choice of studying mathematics or statistics in their own right and/or applying them in disciplines such as bioinformatics, financial mathematics, computational science, theoretical astrophysics, environmental science. Joint supervision with other Research Schools in the ANU is often available to students when relevant.

For more information please refer to the MSI website.

The information published on the Study at ANU 2013 website applies to the 2013 academic year only. All information provided on this website replaces the information contained in the Study at ANU 2012 website.

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