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About Honours

The fourth year Honours programs in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of International Studies provide an exciting opportunity for committed students to develop their research skills and to acquire a more specialised knowledge of a topic. The program is based on a combination of coursework and a research project in the chosen field of study.

Honours is an intense year which allows the best undergraduate students to realise their full academic potential.

Why do an Honours year

Honours requires and fosters a degree of independent thinking, time management and theoretical engagement. Many students take Honours to push themselves intellectually and to pursue a particular topic that interests them. While a coursework Masters can also facilitate this, Honours offers a unique opportunity to develop these skills in an intensive form along with a small and highly engaged cohort in our Graduate Centre.

Honours is one of the most common pathways into research higher degrees such as a PhD, and is a first step in preparing for an academic career. An Honours degree is also an attractive credential for those seeking employment in the public or private sector because it offers students the opportunity to further develop their analytical and research skills. It is particularly highly regarded in some parts of the Australian public sector as it demonstrates a capacity for high-level independent thinking and research.

Program Structure

Throughout the Honours degree, students plan, research and write of a 16,000 word independent research thesis with the support of an academic supervisor.  This project allows students to develop research skills and to obtain experience in the planning and execution of a major study.  This compromises 50% of the total Honours course load and results.

In addition to the thesis, students must complete:

  1. a research methods course designed to help develop their thesis and to build a broad range of research skills that will help prepare them for postgraduate research degrees or for careers requiring developed analytical and research skills, and
  2. an advanced theoretical course designed to extend their understanding of the disciplines of political science or international relations. 

Each of these courses is taken across one semester (usually the research methods course in first semester and the theoretical course in second semester in a one year full time degree) and comprise 25% each of the final result (50% in total).

We encourage full-time enrolment in the Honours program, however Honours may be completed over a maximum of four consecutive semesters on a part-time basis.



For academic advice contact the Honours Coordinator: Dr. Alissa Macoun
Room 564, GPN3 (Building 39A)
Email: a.macoun@uq.edu.au

For administrative enquires, contact the Student Enquiries Officer: Ms Marian Ophof
Room 536, Level 5, GPN3 (Building 39A)

Telephone: +61 7 3346 9544
Facsimile: +61 7 3365 1388
Email: pols@uq.edu.au