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Honours frequently asked questions

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, and of the Associate Dean (Students). Before approaching a potential supervisor, you must consult with the Honours Convenor for your degree of, if in the BA or PhB, the Convenor of your Honours Specialisation.

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.

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

Will the grades from a year abroad count?

If the year abroad has counted towards your undergraduate degree, 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.

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

Admission requirements are available on the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) program page.

What is the required grade average?

See Programs and Courses: Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

What is the process of application?

Please contact the CASS Student and Education office if you wish to apply for Honours for either second semester 2018, or first semester 2019

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?


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

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 on the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) program page.  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 the 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.  See the How to Apply section on the CASS website.

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 this part-time Honours application form

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.

Updated:  20 March, 2018/Responsible Officer:  College Dean/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications