Postgraduate Pathways in Environmental and Rural Sciences

Honours Programs

If you are seeking to improve your career prospects, aspiring to further academic study, or simply wishing to indulge a passion, then honours is your next step. For many students, honours is a first step towards advanced academic research pathways such as Masters and PhD. For others, it is the catalyst to an outstanding career in the workforce.  Honours research helps improve your problem solving skills, your capacity to work independently or under supervision, and gives you the opportunity to develop your self-motivation. These skills are highly desirable in the workplace or in further research.

Our Honours programs are designed to allow well-qualified graduates to extend their studies in areas relevant to the sciences, either to improve their career prospects through gaining specialised skills or to proceed to higher degree studies. Honours provides a pathway for technical and research career options in industry, government, universities and research organisations.

Admission to the MSc requires an AQF Level 7 Bachelor degree in a cognate discipline with a GPA of 5.5 or better. Completion to the standard of Honours Class II Division 1 or better is the normal mode of entry to candidature for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Bachelor of Science with Honours (HBSC)

Majors in Agronomy, Animal Science, Botany, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geoscience, Genetics, and Zoology.

The Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc Hons) program, offered through the School of Science and Technology and School of Environmental and Rural Science, is designed to allow well-qualified graduates to extend their studies and gain high level conceptual and theoretical knowledge and technical skills in a range of disciplines/majors offered by each school. The School of Environmental and Rural Science offers majors relevant to Agronomy, Animal Science, Botany, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geoscience, Genetics, and Zoology.

The honours student will also gain cross-disciplinary exposure to a range of professionals and professions in their major area. Each candidate will receive support from the School to undertake and complete their project. Students will develop the ability to design, critically analyse and interpret scientific data, to develop solutions in the context of technical, management and/or scientific frameworks and will demonstrate high-level written and oral communication skills.

Further Information

Honours 2019 Information Seminar

Bachelor of Science Honours Handbook

Possible BSc Hons projects for 2019

Thesis Proposal for Admission to Honours


ERS Honours CoordinatorDr Sue Wilson

S&T Honours CoordinatorDr Heather Nonhebel

Or, apply through the School of Science and Technology to complete a Bachelor of Science with Honours (HBSC).

Bachelor of Rural Science, Bachelor of Animal Science (4th year honours)

All students wishing to be considered for award of the BRurSc or BAnSc with Honours must undertake and complete the unit Rural Science/Livestock Science Honours (RUSC 490) in their final year of candidature.

The award of Honours is based on the student's performance in the second, third and fourth years of candidature including the thesis.

Rural Science Honours Coordinator Dr Sam Clark


Honours Level Scholarships


Postgraduate Programs

Graduate Certificates

The Graduate Certificate programs are intensive but flexible courses and are designed to provide candidates with the opportunity to broaden or develop their professional knowledge and management skills in their chosen area of study.

Graduate Certificate in Agriculture

The Graduate Certificate in Agriculture is the first award level of a fully articulated program which gives qualified applicants the opportunity for study at progressive levels in agriculture related disciplines - Master of Agriculture or Master of Science in Agriculture.

Graduate Certificate in Environmental Science

The Graduate Certificate in Environmental Science is the first award level of an articulated program which gives qualified applicants the opportunity for study at progressive postgraduate levels in Environmental Science. The flexibility of the program gives students the opportunity to gain fundamental skills from foundation units in Ecology or broaden and develop their professional knowledge and management skills in a chosen area of study.

Graduate Certificate in Science

The Graduate Certificate in Science is a flexible course designed for students who wish to expand on their undergraduate program or students who wish to change the direction of their focus. The Graduate Certificate in Science is the first level in an articulated program which can lead to further study at Graduate Diploma or coursework Masters level.

Graduate Diplomas

The Graduate Diploma programs provide an opportunity for graduates to upgrade or extend their qualifications in a field of study not covered in depth in their undergraduate studies. The Diplomas are the second level in a suite of courses that provide the opportunity for students to progress through to a Master program. On completion of the four core units, candidates may, however, exit with a Graduate Certificate.

Graduate Diploma in Science

The Graduate Diploma in Science focuses on developing future leaders and managers of eco-service markets, such as carbon and water trading markets, and environmental sustainability issues, such as climate change. Students have the opportunity to pursue interests in four aspects of environmental systems and markets: (a) the biophysical sciences; (b) relevant aspects of behavioural change including education and communication; (c) business including economics, accounting and strategy; and (d) law and institutional arrangements.

Coursework Masters

Our coursework Masters programs are designed for students with a strong science-based Bachelor degree in the field of agriculture, ecosystem management, geographic information science; natural resources, mining, environmental consulting, environmental science and resource policy and management who wish to obtain specialist professional knowledge and skills.

Master of Environmental Science and Management

The Master of Environmental Science and Management is a coursework and research-based program designed to equip environmental scientists with specialist or multi-disciplinary professional knowledge in conceptual, scientific and field and laboratory technical competencies related to environmental science and natural resources management.

NR591(A-D) - Research Project Report: Unit Handbook and Assessment Information >

Master of Science in Agriculture

The Master of Science in Agriculture is a program of course work and research designed to provide advanced training to supplement a first degree and to provide an introduction to research. The course work component is designed to provide advanced knowledge and to develop a range of skills, applicable to the candidate's background and area of interest. Areas of specialisation are: animal science; meat science and technology; wool science; genetics and animal breeding; agricultural and resource economics; agronomy and soil science.

RUSC594 - Research Project Report: Unit Handbook and Assessment Information >

Master of Scientific Studies

The Master of Scientific Studies is designed to provide specialised training in a specific field of study. The degree involves advanced level course work study in selected areas plus a thesis embodying the results of an approved research project.


Postgraduate Research Programs

We encourage prospective postgraduate research students to explore our Research Laboratories and Groups to learn more about our areas of interest, and to contact an academic staff member directly to explore opportunities for study in a particular area. You are encouraged to contact our academic staff directly and discuss your research interests with them.  By providing them with a full CV and details of your academic record, together you can find topics and degrees that best suit your needs.

Contact the School's postgraduate co-ordinator A/Prof. Brian Wilson if you have any problems with finding a suitable supervisor, or if you have problems with administration contact Shirley Fraser.

Masters Programs

The following Masters programs are advanced research degrees taken by thesis only. These courses are suited to candidates wishing to pursue a particular research topic with the objective of entering a research based rather than a management based career.

Master of Rural Science

This course is suited to candidates wishing to pursue a particular research topic related to the rural science and agriculture.  Graduates are also qualified for employment in research organisations such as CSIRO, universities, departments of primary industries, and with agricultural planning consultants.


Master of Environmental Science (Research)

This course is suited to candidates wishing to pursue a particular research topic related to the science with the objective of entering a research based rather than a management based career. Graduates are also qualified for employment in research organisations such as CSIRO and ANSTO, universities, environmental protection agencies, and scientific research laboratories.


Master of Science

Master of Science graduates are eligible to apply for admission to PhD candidature.Graduates are also qualified for employment in research organisations such as CSIRO and ANSTO, universities, environmental protection agencies, and scientific research laboratories.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree enables students to undertake a substantial piece of independent and sustained research on an original topic under academic supervision. The research is expected to make an original and innovative contribution to the discipline knowledge.

All Australian and New Zealand students who meet the criteria for entry to the PhD will not incur fees and will be funded under the Government's Research Training Scheme (RTS) for the normal duration of the course. International Students incur tuition fees. For information on how to apply please see Prospective Research Students.

Postgraduate Scholarships

Many staff can offer targeted research scholarships, usually related to specific research grants, and staff can often work with prospective students to create projects targeted to their specific needs. Please contact the Research Lab or supervisor you are interested in PhD level study. UNE Research Scholarships are also available through a competitive application process.

JASON is a postgraduate scholarship search engine. Scholarships in the database apply to Australian students wishing to study at home or abroad, and to international students wishing to study in Australia.