Thinking about Honours?
The Honours degree in the School of Molecular & Biomedical Science (MBS) is an advanced degree undertaken via an optional 4th year. Students completing Honours graduate a second time with a new degree. For example, students who have completed the B.Sc. would graduate with a B.Sc.(Hons).
The School of Molecular & Biomedical Science offers Honours programs in the following disciplines:
- Honours Biochemistry (Biochem 4000A*),
- Honours Genetics (Genetics 4000A*),
- Honours Microbiology and Immunology (Micro 4000A*)
(* note that the linked courses are only the calendar entries for the first semester (part A). All students also need to complete semester 2 (part B) of the appropriate program )
Each of the four discipline areas has developed an Honours program appropriate to its particular needs, with unique elements (click here for program specific information). Each course has a separate entry in the University Calendar. The School uses a single application process for all four programs (see Applications). See the Applications page also for information on informal early offers of places in Honours, mid-year entry into Honours, part-time study for Honours and applying for Honours with qualifications from other universities and other disciplines.
What is involved?
The Honours course consists of a research project and theoretical work. The course aims to:
- provide advanced education and training in the principles of scientific research
- provide training in the current state of knowledge and techniques used in a field of research
- to develop the practical skills required for a successful career in scientific research or related activities.
Thus, students learn to search and understand literature relevant to their chosen discipline, to formulate and assess research proposals, to design, evaluate and present scientific experiments, and to develop written and verbal communication skills.
Each student carries out a laboratory based research project during the Honours year (usually from February to November). At the end of the year each project is written up as a thesis using a form similar to that required for publication of research data, i.e., the thesis should include a Summary of work done, an Introduction outlining the theoretical background related to the work actually carried out, Materials and Methods, Results and a Discussion of the results obtained in relation to the general background of the study.
As one of the goals of the course is developing expertise in scientific writing, supervisors assist students with thesis planning and writing at early draft stages, but the final preparation and finished product is the sole responsibility of the student.
Assessment of the thesis is based on how the student defines the problem, designs and carries out relevant experiments and interprets the results
Click on Projects in the left hand toolbar for detailed information about Honours projects in The School of Molecular and Biomedical Science.
The Honours year consists of a major research project and associated theoretical work on various aspects of Science throughout the year. The research project is carried out either in a laboratory in the School or in a laboratory that is closely affiliated with the School (for example, in the teaching hospitals or CSIRO).
As an Honours student you become a member of the School and a valued colleague. You will spend most of your time as part of a research group sharing goals, triumphs, disappointments and all of the other things that are part of the adventure of scientific research. For the first time, you become responsible for the outcome of your own scientific work. Honours students also partake in all aspects of the social life of the School. You will form friendships and professional associations that could last a lifetime.
The Honours degree gives you a thorough training in the scientific method and a detailed insight into molecular and biomedical processes in the area of research that you pursue. The scientific approach to problem-solving, maturity and self-discipline gained during the Honours year equips you for a wide variety of careers. Many of our students elect to continue in the research domain by enrolling in the PhD programs, both within the School, and in the wider research community. However, the analytical and communication skills that you will acquire have led other Honours graduates into careers in many diverse fields. Many of the skills you acquire will be of tremendous value even if you decide to pursue a career outside research.
For more information about Honours see the Faculty of Sciences website.