The Honours program provides an exciting and challenging opportunity for students who wish to extend the depth and breadth of their undergraduate studies. You will engage in both high-level, sustained research, and in the acquisition of a more wide-ranging knowledge of your chosen discipline.
Honours is a one-year (for full-time students) or two-year (for part-time students) degree program. It is offered in the School of Arts in all discipline areas and can be studied on-campus or by distance (off-campus). The Honours program provides a clear pathway to future postgraduate studies; to progress to further postgraduate study you would normally require a pass of 2nd Class Honours, Division 1 or 1st Class Honours. It is also a qualification held in high regard by employers.
The program involves a combination of a coursework unit (401H), and a dissertation unit (402H). The coursework provides training in advanced research methods and selected focus areas of study (according to each discipline), while the dissertation offers you the opportunity to pursue in-depth research in an approved area.
NB: There may be a mandatory intensive school for off-campus students. Dates of the intensive school will be advised early in the year.
To be eligible for Honours, you should have a strong academic background in the chosen area of study.  Full details of eligibility for each program can be found in the information below.

School of Arts Honours Programs - Description

The School of Arts offers Honours programs as set out below:

Honours Course No. of required
credit points/units in discipline
in undergraduate course
No. of required
credit points/units in
discipline at 300-level to be passed
at Distinction or higher
Bachelor of Arts with Honours:  BA(Hons) 60cp (10 trimester-long units); 12cp can be in a related subject, with the approval of Head of School

18cp (3 trimester-long units)

Bachelor of Media and Communications with Honours:  BMedComms(Hons)

78cp (13 trimester-long units) from Bachelor of Media and Communications;
60cp (10 trimester-long units) from another Bachelor's (AQF Level 7) degree; 12cp can be in a related subject, with the approval of Head of School

18cp (3 trimester-long units)

Bachelor of Music with Honours:  BMus(Hons) 96cp (16 trimester-long units) from Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Teaching
60cp (10 trimester-long units) from another Bachelor's (AQF Level 7) degree; 12cp can be in a related subject area, with the approval of Head of School

18cp (3 trimester-long units)

Coursework Component
Dissertation Component

The dissertation, 402H, requires students to work independently on a subject that they take responsibility for; students determine the focus of this project, and are expected to undertake extensive research prior to writing up their findings in accordance with discipline expectations. While the responsibility for choosing your topic and developing your dissertation is yours, there is substantial academic support available to you in preparing your dissertation. As part of the application process, you must write a dissertation proposal, outlining the focus of your dissertation using the School of Arts Initial Dissertation Proposal form. Prior to contacting the Discipline Hons Coordinator with your proposed application and dissertation proposal, you may wish to discuss your proposal with a potential supervisor who is currently working in your chosen study area.  

For discipline specific information please click on the relevant link below and refer to the Unit Description

CHIN402H – Chinese Hons Dissertation
COMM402H – Communication Studies Hons Dissertation
ENGL402H – English Hons Dissertation
FREN402H – French Hons Dissertation
GRMN402H – German Hons Dissertation
INDN402H – Indonesian Hons Dissertation
ITAL402H – Italian Hons Dissertation
JAPN402H – Japanese Hons Dissertation
MUSI402H – Music Hons Dissertation
SPAN402H - Spanish Hons Dissertation
THEA402H – Theatre Studies Hons Dissertation

Each discipline will have its own Handbook that sets out the assessment tasks, assessment criteria, and presentation requirements (referencing conventions, presentation of essays) needed for successful completion of the units 401H and 402H.

Research and Supervision Plan

Honours students and supervisors are requested to formulate and sign a mutually agreed research and supervision plan using the School of Arts Research and Supervision Plan for Honours Candidates and Supervisors form. Once signed, a copy of the plan will be given to you. The original will be filed according to the University's record keeping requirements.
Please note the following key points:  

  • the completed dissertation should be your own independent work;
  • the role of a supervisor will depend on the topic you are undertaking, but it is essentially to provide constructive criticism and advice about your work;
  • you will need to negotiate the input your supervisor can provide in facilitating your research;
  • your supervisor will wish to see that you are effectively managing your time, so that the project can be completed in the designated period;
  • consequently, your supervisor will wish to see regular drafts of your work, and offer advice, and at least 4 weeks before the dissertation is submitted; andthe supervisor's task does not include correcting your grammar, or proofreading your work.

Relationship between Coursework and Dissertation
As a general principle, there is typically little or no duplication of material between the coursework and dissertation. However, some disciplines may expect and require some degree of duplication, and this will need to be clarified in the early stages of your Honours program, via discussions with your supervisor and discipline coordinator. This should then be stated clearly in the Research and Supervision Plan.


Any research conducted at UNE by staff or students must comply with the University's Ethics policies and procedures. You must identify any potential ethics issues with your supervisor (or potential supervisor) as soon as possible. It is especially important that any research activities involving human participants are clarified early so as to allow time for processing of any required forms and approval processes.

For further information, please visit the Human Research Ethics page at UNE Research Services.

Marks and Grade

Your final grade will be calculated on the basis of 50% for 401H and 50% for the dissertation (402H). To gain First Class Honours you will need to do well in all sections of the course. Your final result will be calculated as a percentage and then converted to an Honours Grade in accordance with the UNE system:

Total Mark (%)Grade
50-643rd Class Honours
65-742nd Class Honours, Division 2
75-842nd Class Honours, Division 1
85-1001st Class Honours
List of Contacts
Name and PositionPhoneEmail

School of Arts Honours Enquiries
Email onlyartsadmin@une.edu.au
Dr Shi Li
Chinese Honours Coordinator
+61 2 6773 2621shi.li@une.edu.au
Professor Dugald Williamson
Media and Communications; Writing Honours Coordinator
+61 2 6773 1983dwillia7@une.edu.au

English Honours Coordinator
Email onlyartsadmin@une.edu.au
Dr Kim Hajek
French Honours Coordinator
+61 2 6773 4339khajek@une.edu.au
Dr Astrid Gesche
German Honours Coordinator
+61 2 6773 2071agesche@une.edu.au
Dr Zi Adnan
Indonesian Honours Coordinator
+61 2 6773 3516zadnan@une.edu.au
Anna Cavallaro
Italian Honours Coordinator
+61 2 6773 2245acavalla@une.edu.au
Dr Kiyomi Yamada
Japanese Honours Coordinator
+61 2 6773 3028kyamada2@une.edu.au
Dr Jason Stoessel
Music Honours Coordinator
+61 2 6773 2624jason.stoessel@une.edu.au
Professor Anne Pender
Theatre Studies Honours Coordinator
+61 2 6773 3248anne.pender@une.edu.au
Application Information

The School of Arts has only one intake for Honours per year, in Trimester 1, and the approval process can take longer than some students expect, as the application is assessed at a number of levels: discipline, Committee and Head of School.

It is therefore essential to submit the application well in advance of the Trimester 1 commencement date; the School of Arts recommends that applications be submitted no later than the end of November in the year prior to the commencement of your Honours candidature.

Initial Dissertation Proposal

In order to enrol into Honours, an initial research topic must be approved, and provisional arrangements for supervision must be arranged. The Initial Dissertation Proposal should demonstrate your capacity to work at honours level; it should outline a suitable dissertation topic.

If you undertake Honours full-time you will enrol in 401H and 402H concurrently. You will have two trimesters (from the beginning of Trimester 1) in which to complete the requirements for 401H, and 39 weeks (again from the beginning of Trimester 1) in which to complete 402H.

If you undertake Honours part-time you will enrol in 401H in your first year, and 402H in your second year. You will have two trimesters (from the beginning of Trimester 1) in which to complete the requirements for 401H, and 39 weeks (from the beginning of Trimester 1 in the second year) in which to complete 402H.

Below is a list of documents to help you with your Honours Application.

Should you require additional information prior to applying for Honours, or at any stage in the process, please don't hesitate to contact the relevant Discipline Honours Coordinators, the School Honours Coordinator and/or a member of the administrative support team.  See List of Contacts above.  We are more than happy to offer support and guidance, and hope that you will enjoy the intellectual challenges provided by the Honours program in your chosen discipline.