Honours provides scope to refine your analytical skills and research techniques while significantly enhancing your range of options after graduation.

A recent survey of graduates (including Honours students) showed that a large number went on to further graduate study, while others were successful in finding work in the following areas:

  • State and Federal government: public service, diplomatic service
  • Local government: libraries, education, policy, interpreting and translating
  • Private companies: international trade, media, airline industry, public relations, travel and tourism, law
  • Teaching: primary and secondary
  • Research: universities, government

Honours can be taken in:

  • Languages
    • French studies
    • German studies
    • Italian studies
    • Russian studies
    • Spanish and Latin American studies
  • Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Honours subjects

To find out about the offerings consult the Handbook entry for the Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours) (BH-ARTS) and the relevant honours representative for your language.

Student guidelines for supervision

Student guidelines for supervision

  • Honours representatives
    RepresentativeDiscipline Handbook entry
    Dr Tess Do and Dr Diane de Saint-Leger French studies French
    Associate Professor Birgit Lang German studies German
    Matthew Absalom Italian studies Italian
    Dr Maria Karidakis Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
    Dr Robert Lagerberg Russian studies Russian
    Associate Professor Mara Favoretto Spanish and Latin American studies Spanish and Latin American Studies
  • Languages / Linguistics and Applied Linguistics coordinators


    Coordinator:  Tess Do and Lara Anderson

    Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

    Coordinator: Dr Olga Maxwell

    To qualify for admission to honours in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics students must normally have completed a major in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics with an average result of H2A across their second/third year linguistics and applied linguistics subjects.

    Full details of the Honours program in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics is available from the relevant Linguistics and Applied Linguistics honours Handbook entry.

  • When does honours start?

    You should start thinking about your research project well before the start of the official semester of enrolment. Both beginning of year and mid-year starts are available. The beginning of year cohort of students is larger, as it ties in with honours Language 1 and 2 modules.

  • Selecting a thesis topic

    Choosing a workable (and rewarding) thesis topic is crucial to the success and enjoyment of your honours year. You should be thinking about this during your third year. Decide which area within the discipline interests you most, then start to try to identify a problem which could be investigated within the very limited time-frame of fourth year honours. Your supervisor is there to advise you, but ultimately it is your responsibility to define the topic - that is an important skill to learn in research training. Very few students hit on the one perfect idea straight away - most have to work to refine the idea over the first few weeks of their research - so be prepared to be flexible.

  • Finding a thesis supervisor
    1. Look at research strengths and staff research projects
    2. Make contact with prospective supervisors via email to discuss possible thesis topics and supervisory arrangements
    3. Ask the question: is this the right supervisor and the right thesis topic for me?
  • Timing your research

    You should start as early as possible, certainly before the official beginning of the academic year in March. Many of the most successful honours students start soon after the end of the previous semester in order to take advantage of the summer vacation.

    Official deadlines are advised in detail at the start of the academic year, but you should take note of these general timelines:

    • Mid November preceding your honours year
      Identification of potential supervisor/s and clarification of the thesis topic
    • Beginning of Semester 1
      Clear statement of the research problem
    • Beginning of October
      Full draft of thesis
    • Mid October
      Honours seminar presentation
    • 1 November
      Submission of final version of thesis
  • Honours enrolment: How do you apply?

    All honours applications are made online. For general information on eligibility, entry requirements, application procedures, and course structure, see the Faculty of Arts Honours web page and apply through that page.

    1. Students need to apply through The Faculty of Arts Honours web page to formally be admitted to do Honours or a Graduate diploma equivalent program. Students must then formally enrol online through the Student Information system. Contact Stop 1 13 MELB (13 63 52) if you have any difficulties.
    2. They will then receive the selection decisions signed by the Director of Academic Programs in the form of an offer letter and the "Fourth year thesis proposal form"
    3. At this point students will need to consult with the relevant honours representative about their thesis topic and the choice of supervisor
    4. Only then students will need to fill out the "Fourth year thesis proposal form" that states your thesis topic etc. Students will need to return the filled in form to the school at the appropriate deadline. All honours applicants are asked to submit the following (in addition to the application form, citizenship details and academic transcripts):
      • A 300 word thesis proposal
      • A 200 word statement if they wish to study part time (please note: may be approved by the selection committee at its discretion)
      • A plan of coursework subjects and thesis including any study abroad components
    5. The honours coordinator will sign the "Fourth year thesis proposal form" and send it to Arts
  • Honours thesis

    What is a reasonable thesis schedule?

    This is a proposed schedule for normal entry full-time honours.

    • Before start of academic year
      Start doing bibliographical research and drafting of thesis research question
    • First week of semester 1
      Discuss thesis topic, material collected so far and draft thesis research question of thesis with your supervisor
    • Middle of April
      Discuss revised/amended thesis research question with your supervisor
    • First week of semester 2
      Submit first draft of thesis to supervisor
    • 30 September
      Submit final draft of thesis to supervisor. Your supervisor will endeavour to respond to the draft within two weeks
    • End of semester
      Submit thesis by Friday of Week 12

    Academic Skills has developed a Study honours booklet (3.3Mb pdf) which contains useful learning and research strategies especially targeted at honours students.

    When is the thesis submission date?

    • Friday of Week 12 Semester 2 for normal entry
    • Friday of Week 12 Semester 1 for mid-year entry

    If you require an extension, please consult with your supervisor and/or the honours coordinator. For a prolonged extension you also need to contact the Faculty honours coordinator.

    You need to submit three hard copies to your Honours representative plus an electronic version (preferably pdf) to your supervisor.

    What information needs to be on the title page? How is the thesis supposed to be formatted?

    The binding of thesis should be plastic coil/comb. Please use double-spacing, 12 font, one and half inch left-hand margin, single-sided. Footnotes should be at the bottom of the page or at the end of each chapter. You need to submit three hard copies to your Honours representative and a pdf version
    directly to your supervisor.

More information