Research School of Psychology
Honours Study in Psychology
Honours programs at the ANU are completed over two semesters (one academic year - full time). Honours aims to build on the knowledge and skills that you have learned in your undergraduate career. In doing so, Honours continues and rounds out a process begun in the study of psychology at an undergraduate level. However, Honours is much more than this. It is a time of social, professional and intellectual development in which students become better acquainted with some of the central features of academic life: seminars, workshops, presentation of work to colleagues, research design and communication of scientific findings.
Accordingly, students are generally given much more autonomy and responsibility for their own intellectual development during this year than previously. Our Honours degree aims to develop your skills, under supervision, as an independent researcher and innovative thinker. Honours will also test your organisational skills; in particular, your ability to prepare, define, plan, carry out and report on research. As an Honours student in Psychology, you will undertake your own empirical research on a topic you choose to study and your research should involve the creation of new information and knowledge in your chosen field.
An Honours qualification may also enable you to join an international Psychological society. See information about overseas recognition of qualifications for further details.
Your year as an Honours student will probably be the most testing, but also the most rewarding, of your undergraduate career.
The honours program is made up of three coursework components and an empirical research project. The coursework components together contribute 50 per cent (16.7 per cent each) to the final assessment :
A) Honours Methodology
B) Evidence Based Assessment and Intervention (which covers basic counselling skills, as well as a detailed coverage of tests of intellectual functioning and personality)
C) One course of a choice of 3 including :
The thesis consists of a write-up of an empirical research project conducted by the student and constitutes 50 percent of the final assessment. This component provides students with the opportunity to conduct a major research project selected from a wide range of interests. Honours groups are kept to a reasonable size in any one year, allowing for one-on-one supervision that is tailored to the needs and circumstances of individual students (the departmental policy is that each staff member typically supervises three Honours students per year).
Before you start the Honours program, it is a good idea for you to think about a range of topics you would like to study in your research project. In your third year, you may consult potential supervisors about your ideas for a research project. When talking about your research interests with potential supervisors, you might like to discuss :
The Honours program in Psychology is accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) and is offered as a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Bachelor of Science (Honours), or Bachelor of Science (Psychology) (Honours), depending on your Pass degree, or as the final year of the four year direct entry Bachelor of Psychology (Honours).
Expectations of Students and Supervisors
As an Honours student, you are at a stage intermediate between undergraduate and graduate work. Formally, the university classifies you as an undergraduate. However, your work is more like that of a graduate student. During your honours year you will experience some of the independence and self-direction required of graduate research students, but you also have close contact and direction from your supervisor(s).
All Honours students have a supervisor. The relationship between supervisor and student involves obligations on the part of both parties. Your supervisor will assist you with advice, guidance and criticism and help you to achieve your personal academic goals. The supervisor is there to help you choose and design the research project, guide the research in a practical and productive way, and advise you on writing the best thesis of which you are capable. At the same time, your supervisor can only guide your efforts, and then only if you are receptive to advice. You must take the responsibility for the final results of your work.
We expect that you will :
Your supervisor also has responsibilities. These are to :
Support for Students
Honours in Psychology students have access to their own meeting area, which has computer access, work areas and a small kitchen. Students are also entitled to financial assistance for printing theses and questionnaires, and for purchasing equipment needed to complete your research project.
Early each year, we take our Honours students on a weekend trip to the NSW south coast, where the ANU has a large property facing the beach. The purpose of this weekend is largely social, but we also run a workshop on thesis writing and hear talks from invited speakers. The trip is paid for by the Research School of Psychology, although students are responsible for organising their own transport.
Minimum Entry Requirements
The basic requirements for Honours in Psychology (Science or Arts) are set out in the appropriate sections of the ANU Undergraduate Handbook and the ANU Rules. It is the responsibility of applicants to familiarise themselves with such requirements. Special requirements relating to Honours in psychology are detailed in the psychology section of the Undergraduate Handbook. Eligibility for honours in psychology is based on:
(a) Completion of the requirements for the award of a pass Bachelor degree with an accredited three year sequence in psychology courses.
See requirements for BSc (Psych) and BPsych students. Those students undertaking the Bachelor of Philosophy and planning to undertake an honours year in psychology must fulfil the same psychology requirements as BPsych students.
BScience and BArts students must complete a minimum of 72 units in psychology including:
PSYC1003, PSYC1004, PSYC2001, PSYC2002, PSYC2007, PSYC2008, PSYC2009 plus PSYC3018 and PSYC3026, plus a further 18 units of Level 3000 psychology.
(b) Achievement of an appropriate level of academic performance. For consideration for admission to the Honours Program applicants should have achieved an average grade of Credit (or equivalent) across all psychology courses, as well as in any approved substitute course. A Credit average is regarded as the minimum standard for eligibility to apply for admission to Honours. In practice, selection is generally based on a higher level of academic performance.
Those students who have not completed an accredited three year sequence in Psychology, may gain entry to Honours by completing the Graduate Diploma in Psychological studies or its equivalent.
The standards for admission to honours of applicants from institutions other than the ANU are the same as those that apply to internal applicants (as set out above). Programs with degree structures different from the ANU's are translated into ANU terms.
For students who did not obtain their three year pass degree qualification within Australia or New Zealand, must have those qualifications assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) to ensure equivalency with Australian qualifications. This is a requirement of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council. The ANU is unable to offer entry to the honours program unless students can provide an assessment letter from the APS. http://www.psychology.org.au/
Students are advised to contact the APS at least two months before the close of applications for the honours program.
Provisional Entry to the Honours Program
See above on this page for information about entry requirements for Honours in Psychology.
Any student may apply in July for provisional entry to the Honours program commencing in February of the following year. That is, applicants who have a sufficiently strong record (mostly strong Distinctions or High Distinctions) by the end of semester 1, may be offered entry to the Honours program on the basis of their results so far. This provisional offer is conditional upon an equivalent academic standard being maintained during Semester 2.
Both ANU and non-ANU applicants are eligible to apply for provisional entry. Refer to How To Apply information and submit the Research School of Psychology Supplementary Information for Honours in Psychology to the Research School of Psychology by 31 July. All students must attach a copy of their academic transcript with results to the end of Semester 1, (ANU students may attach a print-out from ISIS).
You can also commence honours mid year. The closing date for applications is the last Friday in May. Note, our mid-year honours intake is very small, and the range of potential supervisors is limited, given that most of the supervisors take on all of their students in Semester 1. Therefore we recommend student apply for the standard intake at the beginning of the year. Also, unlike students beginning in semester 1, mid-year student need to arrange a potential supervisor prior to applying for honours.
Arranging a supervisor
Students starting in semester 1 do not arrange a supervisor prior to applying for honours. Leave that part of the form blank. Only mid-year students need to arrange a supervisor prior to applying.
What if I am a current Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) student?
Do I need to apply?
YES, you will still need to complete the Science Honours Application Form
Coursework starts the first week of the semester and an orientation session will also be held in that week. Students will be able to arrange their supervisor in January (actual date to be confirmed) and can then start working on their research projects. The program finishes at the end of October when theses are submitted.
Students have the option of doing honours part-time. Coursework would be completed in the first year and the thesis in the second year of study.
If your application for a provisional offer is successful, you will be notified by email, by mid-August. Please note that all Honours applications are re-considered in late November.
If you are offered a confirmed place in November, you will be notified by the Honours Convenor, by telephone. All offers are dependent on confirmation from the relevant College or external University, that you have completed the requirements for the award of a Pass degree. Non-ANU applicants will receive an official offer letter from Student Administration. This offer will include details on how to accept your offer and how to complete your enrolment with the College of Science (or the College of Arts and Social Sciences).
Every effort is made to notify unsuccessful applicants as quickly as possible.
Unsuccessful ANU applicants are normally notified by email, by the Research School of Psychology, before Christmas. Unsuccessful non-ANU applicants receive official notification via Student Administration, which may not occur before January.
Fees and Scholarships
The Honours Program at the ANU is Commonwealth-supported for Australian/New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. International students are liable for the payment of full-fees. The fee is the same for the BPsych (Hons), BSc (Psychology) (Honours), BSc (Honours) and BA (Honours).
Fee information ANU - STUDYAT
Scholarship information http://www.anu.edu.au/sas/scholarships/honours.php
The ANU offers Honours Scholarships (across all disciplines) each year, selection for which is based on academic merit. Students must apply for scholarships at the same time they apply for admission to the program. Students applying for the honours program in Psychology ARE NOT required to have identified a supervisor before submitting an application for the program or for a scholarship. The 200 word statement to support an application for an honours scholarship should outline your research interest. Supervisors for honours in Psychology are not confirmed until the beginning of the semester.
Applicants are ranked according to the marks they have achieved in 1st, 2nd and 3rd year psychology courses. If you have passed a course but repeated it, we will count only the grade you got the first time you did it. We will not assess any subsequent attempts at the same course. If you have failed a course and repeated it then passed, we will count the fail and the grade you got the second time you did the course. If you achieved a NCN Grade for a course we will count that as a mark of 45.
Generally, successful ANU applicants achieve average marks of above 68, although this does vary from year to year.
External applicants are ranked according to their Grade Point Averages (GPAs). The minimum required to get into Honours is a 6 on a 10 point scale. However, in practice, the minimum is closer to 8 for external applicants. These figures are intended as a guide only, as in any year, cutoffs are determined by the number of places available and the standard of applications.
To calculate your Psychology GPA : Award a score of 4 for a Pass, 6 for a Credit, 8 for a Distinction and 10 for a Higher Distinction. Multiply each of these scores with the number of units or credit points associated with that course (e.g, if you got a Distinction for a course worth 12 units or credit points, you would multiply 8 x 12 = 48. Add up the results of all these multiplications (we'll call this A). Now add up all your units or credit points (call this B). Divide A by B and you have a weighted GPA. Below is a worked example.
Sara is in second year and her academic record so far is as follows :
Request More Information
Enquiries about the application process should be directed to: