Honours frequently asked questions

Supervision

How do I find a supervisor?

Check the ANU Researcher website to find an academic undertaking research in a field that you're interested in. All Honours degrees and Honours specialisations have an Honours Convenor who can help you with this step. You can find a list of these convenors at this link.

Does the supervisor have to be from CASS?

No. Your supervisor needs to have academic expertise in the discipline or field in which you will write your thesis and must also agree to supervise your thesis. This agreement is subject to the approval of the Head of School in which the supervisor is based. Before approaching a potential supervisor, you must consult with the Honours Convenor for your degree or, if in the BA or PhB, the Convenor of your Honours Specialisation. The CASS Student and Education Office unfortunately cannot assist in finding a supervisor.

What if my supervisor will be away for the second half of the Honour year (i.e. Going on sabbatical in July)?

If the academic staff member knows that they won't be able to supervise you for the whole honours year, then they should not agree to supervise you.  If their absence is unexpected and for a significant amount of time, then the School needs to find another supervisor for you. You can then put in two Thesis Supervisor Confirmation Form s with your application.

Proposal

What should be the format of the thesis proposal? How long? What to include?

This will vary from school to school so you need to check with your Honours Convenor

Is says I have to put a thesis topic on the Thesis Supervisor Confirmation Form. Is this the same as the thesis proposal?

Yes - it is different. You are required to say what your thesis topic is on the  Thesis Supervisor Confirmation Form (maximum 50 words). This is a precis of what you intend to do. Your thesis proposal is separate and negotiated with your supervisor.

Will the grades from a either a exchange or study abroad count?

If the mobility has counted towards your a) undergraduate degree, and the courses you completed there count toward your major for honours entry, then yes those grades will count in the calculation for entry into the Honours program. You will need to provide an official transcript from you host institution with your application.

Is it possible to apply for both Honours in Politics and International Relations?

Currently the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) program has one specialisation called Politics and International Relations so you cannot apply to undertake honours separately in these disciplines.

Eligibility

What are the requirements to be eligible to apply for Honours?

Admission requirements are available on the How to Apply for CASS Honours site

What is the required grade average?

It is best to check the entry requirements under your program as listed on the How to Apply for CASS Honours site, but generally it is an average grade of 70% for the top 36 units in the major associated with your intended honours specialisation, or list courses as per the Program you are applying for. 

What is the process of application?

How to apply for honours is described on... the How to Apply for CASS Honours page.

Can students who have done PPE with JD course over the last three years, do the PPE Honours next year and then continue with their JD?

Yes. 

What is the longest time period that a student can apply for Honours after completing a respective undergraduate degree?

Please note that according to the Coursework Award rules 2016 of the ANU, Section 18 point (3) says: "If a person is admitted to a 1-year honours program for a degree of Bachelor Honours, the person must enrol in the program within 2 years after the day the person completes the requirements for the award of the pass degree relevant to the program." That is, that students must apply within 2 years of completing their UG degree, or they are ineligible to apply (as they couldn’t start within two years, as it has passed). If you completed your Undergraduate program more than 2 years ago, you may like to consider a Masters program. More information can be found here Students must commence their honours program within 2 years of completing their undergraduate degree.  This allows them to have 1 year away from studies. After this time, your application will not be assessed.

Do I need recommendation letters?

No.  You need to satisfy the admission requirements as listed under your program on the How to Apply for CASS Honours site.  Your potential supervisor may require additional information to be able to assess your research potential.  Check with the Honours Convenor.

Can I start Honours mid-year (in July)?

Some disciplines have a mid-year intake but not all.  You’ll need to confirm with your Honours Convenor.

Can I apply to multiple honours programmes at the same time? (see combined honours question below)

Normally this is not allowed however you may be able to make a case.  Check with your Honours Convenor.

In the event that my application is rejected, can I apply again at a later date?

If it has been rejected because you have exceeded the 2 year time limit, then you will not be able to apply again. 

If it has been rejected on academic grounds then unfortunately you may have to complete further undergraduate studies before you can apply again. 

If it has been rejected because your research proposal was not strong enough then you’ll need to revise this and will be able to apply again.  Before applying again, you are strongly encouraged to discuss your submission with your potential supervisor and Honours Convenor

What is combined honours? How do I apply?

Combined honours is where you do a normal one year honours program (48 units) but you cover two different but related disciplines.  You also have two supervisors and undertake coursework relevant to both disciplines.  This is not normally allowed and you’ll need to make a special case if you would like to pursue this.

I’m not an ANU student, can I apply to the honours programme at the ANU?

Yes.  You would be considered an external student.  Admission requirements are available on the How to Apply for CASS Honours site

Can you pick a supervisor for me?

No. The supervisor is there to help you choose and design the research project, guide the research in a practical and productive way, and advise you on writing the best thesis of which you are capable.  It is critical that you identify your potential supervisor as your research interests will need to align with theirs so that you have a fruitful and successful relationship.

I took a methods class already, can I be exempted from the methods class?

Each honours program has set coursework that students have to complete.  These courses will give you the skills and techniques you will need to undertake your research and write a successful thesis.  These have been carefully selected by the discipline areas and are unique to honours programs.  In the rare case where you have completed a course in your undergraduate degree that is identical to a course prescribed in your honours program, you may request exemption through your supervisor and Honours Convenor.

I want to do part-time Honours. How do I do it?

  • If you want to do part-time Honours from when you apply, there is a specific question on the application form. Your request will be factored into the application process. It is very important to decide before you start if you are going to be a part-time student, as it can be difficult to go part-time once you commence.
  • If you want to do part-time Honours after you start your program, you will need to complete the Thesis Supervisor Confirmation Form again, changing the reason field to Part time application.

Please note that part-time Honours can only be taken as 12 units per semester. Students are required to complete their program within two years of commencing.

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Updated:  3 July 2018/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications