The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) is a specialised year of study for students who have achieved academic excellence in their undergraduate degree. An honours year enables you to extend your knowledge of your area of specialisation.


This extra year of study on top of your three-year Bachelor of Arts degree is designed to qualify you for graduate research degrees (Doctor of Philosophy – Arts or Masters by Research). Most undergraduate degrees offer an honours option. Honours gives you advanced research, analytical and communications skills, plus greater experience working on independent projects. It can also reduce the length of time by up to a year for some Masters degrees offered at the University of Melbourne.

Why choose honours in Arts at the University of Melbourne?

Expand your career options

Honours graduates are highly regarded by employers due to their advanced research, analytical and communications skills, and their ability to undertake independent projects.

Create pathways into further study

Faculty of Arts honours study can reduce the length of time by up to a year for some Masters degrees offered by the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Honours graduates are eligible to apply for the Masters by Research or Doctor of Philosophy – Arts.

Choose from a broad range of disciplines, including:

Ancient World studiesAnthropologyArabic studiesArt History
Asian studiesChinese studiesClassicsCreative Writing
CriminologyEconomicsEnglish and TheatreFrench studies
Gender studiesGeographyGerman studiesHistory
History and Philosophy of ScienceIndigenous studiesIndonesian studiesIslamic studies
Italian studiesJapanese studiesLinguistics and Applied LinguisticsMedia and Communications
PhilosophyPolitics and International StudiesPsychologyRussian studies
Screen and Cultural studiesSociologySpanish and Latin American studies 

Course structure

The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree consists of 100 points of study in subjects at fourth year level. Most pure honours programs consist of a 50-point thesis and a 50-point coursework component.

  • Most combined honours programs consist of a 50-point thesis, one 12.5-point compulsory subject in the department in which the thesis is taken, and a 37.5-point coursework component in the combining area of study
  • There is no combined honours option for Psychology, Economics, Geography, Classics or Ancient World Studies

Entry requirements

In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • within the last 5 years a Bachelor of Arts with a weighted average mark of at least H2B (70%), or equivalent, with a major relevant to the discipline stream within the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) that they seek to enter

Applicants are also required to meet any specific subject prerequisites and prior academic performance requirements associated with the discipline stream that they seek to enter. For more information about these requirements please visit the Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours)(BH-ARTS) and select the entry for the relevant specialisation.

Please note: Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

Applicants holding an undergraduate degree other than a Bachelor of Arts (eg Bachelor of Psychology or Bachelor of Commerce) or applicants who completed their Bachelor of Arts more than 5 years ago may be eligible to apply instead for the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced)(GDA-ARTS).

Tuition fees

For more information on fees please visit the Study Fees web page.

How to apply

Application closing dates

The closing dates for most Bachelor of Arts (Honours) programs are May 31 for mid-year admission and November 30 for start-year admission.

Please see below the exceptions to these standard dates:

  • The closing date for the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology or Economics is October 31
    There is no mid-year intake for the Psychology or Economics Honours programs
  • The closing date for the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Anthropology, Criminology, Geography, History, Politics and International Studies or Sociology is November 30.
    There is no mid-year intake for the Anthropology, Criminology, Geography, History, Politics and International Studies or Sociology Honours programs

Applications are considered in a selection round following the relevant application closing date. Application outcomes are usually provided within three to four weeks after the relevant application closing date.

More information

Complete the BA Honours enquiry form

Please note: Deferral is not available for the Bachelor of Arts (Honours).

Transcripts and supporting documentation

Applicants who completed their degree at a different institution can upload an unofficial transcript of their results to date with their online application if their official final transcript is not yet available. Successful applicants will then be required to submit an official final transcript of results satisfying course entry requirements prior to enrolment. University of Melbourne graduates do not need to submit a transcript.

Thesis proposal

Applicants for all specialisations except Psychology must prepare and submit an Honours thesis proposal using the Honours thesis proposal form (890kb Word docx) as part of their application by the application closing date (except applicants for the Geography or Economics programs who should submit a different thesis proposal document, see notes below). Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek feedback from a potential supervisor prior to applying. Thesis supervisors are usually assigned when you commence your course and discussing your thesis proposal with a staff member does not guarantee your choice of supervisor.

Please note: Applicants for the Geography program are required to contact a supervisor and submit the Geography Honours supervisor and research allocation form (200kb Word docx) with their online application (instead of the standard Arts Honours thesis proposal form mentioned in the above paragraph). The list of available projects and supervisors in the Geography program is available on the School of Geography Research projects for geography honours and masters students web page.

Please note: Applicants for the Economics program must provide a maximum one-page document (no template required) outlining a potential area of research for their Honours Essay (instead of the standard Arts Honours thesis proposal mentioned above). Both clarity of expression and the idea(s) expressed are important. The one-page document should be written in your own words without using any economics or econometrics jargon. Reference to an article (or two) from the economics literature closely related to the potential research area is suggested as one way to support a research idea. Any such reference(s) should be cited fully (ie. names of authors, title of article, journal name and number) at the bottom of the one-page document.

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Current students

If you are a current University of Melbourne student please apply for honours in the final year of your undergraduate study via the My Unimelb Student Portal. After logging into the Student Portal you will need to:

  • Click on the tab “Student admin” at the top of the page
  • Click on the tab “Enrolment” at the top of the page
  • Click on “Track and apply for another University of Melbourne Course” under the heading "Applications and Offers”

Future students

If you are an student external to the University of Melbourne please apply through the Course and scholarships applications web page.

Apply now