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:
- Honours Methodology
- Theory in Psychology
- Evidence Based Assessment and Intervention (which covers basic counselling skills, as well as a detailed coverage of tests of intellectual functioning and personality)
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 options provided anew each year by academic staff. Honours cohorts are kept to a reasonable size in any one year (the School policy is that each staff member typically supervises up to four Honours students per year).
Before students start the Honours program, it is a good idea to think about the available range of possible research project topics and consult potential supervisors about those ideas for a research project. When talking about research topics with a potential supervisor these are some things to consider :
- the supervisor's research interests and research plans for the coming year
- the supervisor's preferred supervisory style (How often does he or she like to meet? Exactly how independent does he or she expect a student to be? Does he or she already have a specific project in mind?)
- what the supervisor expects of an Honours student
- potential supervisors can be found in the Honours program guide.
- please note that students will be allocated supervisors AFTER being accepted into the Honours Program.
Honours program guide
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 a student's pass degree, or as the final year of the four-year direct entry Bachelor of Psychology (Honours).
Expectations of students & supervisors
Honours students are at a stage intermediate between undergraduate and postgraduate work. Formally, the university classifies Honours students as an undergraduate. However, their work is more like that of a postgraduate student. During the Honours year, students will experience some of the independence and self-direction required of postgraduate research student's, but they also have close contact and direction from their supervisor(s).
All Honours students have a supervisor. The relationship between supervisor and student involves obligations on the part of both parties. Supervisors assist with advice, guidance and criticism and help students to achieve their personal academic goals. The supervisor is there to help students choose and design the research project, guide the research in a practical and productive way, and advise on writing the best thesis. At the same time supervisors can only guide a students efforts, and then only if the students are receptive to advice. Students must take the responsibility for the final results of their work.
We expect that students will:
- maintain a close dialogue and constructive working relationship with their supervisor(s)
- plan their research program and budget with their supervisor(s)
- consider advice seriously - if advice is not taken, the supervisor should be informed and given the reasons for the decision
- consult regularly with their supervisor - students should prepare in advance for consultations, by determining the help they require and the areas in which advice would be useful
- interact with other students and staff in accordance with the relevant university policies (e.g. Equity and Diversity Policies)
- contribute to the academic life of the School and program by attending all relevant seminars
- treat School facilities and resources with respect and care, and follow Occupational Health & Safety requirements
- observe the relevant School rules and regulations
- complete the formal requirements for Honours
- complete, to the best of their ability, a well written, thorough and competent bound thesis of the highest standard.
Supervisors also have responsibilities. These are:
- assist students in selecting and defining the scope of a suitable thesis topic or problem
- assist students in devising a schedule for the year's thesis work
- guide students in the selection and application of appropriate data collection and analysis procedures and advise on the solution of any difficulties that arise
- advise on matters of thesis content, organisation and writing, including the timely provision of comments, written and oral, on drafts or portions of the thesis
- meet frequently with students to discuss and evaluate each stage of the thesis project
- monitor students' progress and advise when progress is unsatisfactory
- assist students in gaining clearance from the ethics committee.
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 their research project.
Coursework starts the first week of the semester and an orientation session will also be held in that week. Students will be informed about supervisory arrangements in January and can then start working on their research projects from the offical start date for the Honours program.