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Essential Science Honours Guide

Honours will give you a competitive advantage in your career. Most importantly, Honours will give you the first big chance to 'stretch your legs' on your very own project. It will also give you an excellent preparation for a higher degree by research (research master's, or the PhD) to further consolidate your communication and research skills, hone your project management and problem-solving ability, and make you stand out from the crowd as a future leader in your field.

As an honours student you will work one-on-one with an academic on a research project. Academics are excited about their research and take great pride in mentoring the next generation of scientists.

The honours program is available in most of the science areas of study listed in the Undergraduate Handbook. In special circumstances, the dean, acting on the recommendation of the head of school, may approve candidature embracing more than one discipline. Depending on the area of specialisation, you can begin in either semester one or semester two in any year. It is normally completed in one year of full-time study. Two years of part-time study may be available in some areas of study.

Before you begin the Honours application process, note the following

  • We encourage students from outside of Monash to apply for Honours at Monash.
  • It is possible to enrol in Honours prior to finishing a double degree at Monash.
  • Some discipline areas offer a mid-year intake (limited projects available) as well as intakes at the start of each academic year.
  • All applicants, domestic and international, currently at Monash or external to Monash, except those applying for Psychology honours, should view the online project information for the relevant Honours discipline and contact the relevant supervisor and/or School/Department Honours coordinator regarding project availability and internal processes for allocating projects BEFORE commencing the application process.
  • Project information for most disciplines is updated in late August for the following year.
  • Various Honours scholarships are available including the University wide Jubilee Honours Scholarship and School/Departmental Honours Scholarships.
  • If you are a Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) student, your application process is different. Please see Science Student Services for assistance.

How to apply for Honours

We are currently reviewing our Faculty application and School/Department project preference application processes for all disciplines except Psychology.

Application details for Semester 2, 2016 will be available in early May, 2016

Application details for Semester 1, 2017 will be available in early September, 2016

  • Psychology honours applicants should apply online via the School of Psychological Sciences when applications open in early September 2016 (no mid year intake).

Information for International applicants

All international applicants currently at Monash or external to Monash, applying for course S3701 (Bachelor of Science – Honours) for all disciplines, including Psychology, should:

1. Apply online through Monash International Admissions. When making your application, please indicate which Honours discipline you are applying for.

2. Complete the Faculty and School/Department application process when available for the relevant discipline.


Biological Sciences

Honours is a fourth year of study comprising two units: BIO4100 and BIO4200. BIO4100 focuses on a research project and involves: a written literature review and research proposal, research seminars, and a research thesis based on the project. BIO4200 is a unit of advanced coursework and involves modules on: experimental data analysis and presentation, current research colloquia and written critique, and critical analysis of School seminars.

Research projects are designed by students in consultation with a supervisor, and with advice from other members of the academic staff who act as examiners. Honours research is time-consuming and demands a lot of independence and initiative, but it is also an exciting and rewarding year. An Honours research thesis reporting the results of your work is written at the end of the year. Many thesis results are eventually published in scientific journals. The Honours year will sharpen your skills in independent research, critical analysis of data, and the oral and written presentation of your work, and also provide training in specialist techniques for field and/or laboratory-based research.

Available Projects + Supervisors

Download a PDF copy of all available Biological Sciences Honours projects.

Who to contact

Dr Damian Dowling
Biology Honours Coordinator (BIO4100 - Research Project)
+61 3 990 20479 
 damian.dowling@monash.edu

Dr Tim Connallon
Biology Honours Deputy (BIO4200 - Advanced Coursework)
+61 3 9905 0899
 tim.connallon@monash.edu

Kate Elliott
Biology Honours Technical Co-ordinator
+61 3 990 50508 
 Kate.Elliott@monash.edu

Fiona Hibbert
Biology Honours administrator
Fiona.Hibbert@monash.edu
Room 105, Zoology Building (Bldg. 18) 
School of Biological Sciences 
Monash University VIC 3800

FAQs

What are the Prerequisites?

BIO3011 or any level three GEN unit, or by permission of the Head of School.

Students must also meet Faculty requirements for entry into Honours, which include being course complete, having an average above 70 for your top-four Level 3 BIO/GEN units, and having the agreement of a supervisor.

Students from other universities who wish to pursue Honours research in the School of Biological Sciences should have qualifications comparable to those above. Please contact the Honours co-ordinator for more information.

Can I start at mid-year?

Yes. Biology Honours may commence in either Semester 1 (mid-February) or Semester 2 (mid-July). However, the Semester start should be discussed or negotiated with your supervisor. Note that some projects, particularly involving fieldwork, may require a Semester 2 start date due to the seasonal nature of the flora or fauna being studied.

How are projects allocated?

For each applicant, the Honours co-ordinator will calculate the average for the top-four Level 3 BIO/GEN units, and check that the student meets the Faculty requirements for Honours entry (note that the ultimate decision for Honours entry is made at Faculty level).

The Honours co-ordinator will allocate projects in late November-December. Projects will be offered to students based on their marks. The top-ranked student will be offered their first preference, then the second-ranked student will be offered their highest remaining preference, and so on until all available projects have been allocated. Students will need to be contactable via email during this time to accept or decline project offers. Note that both the Semester 1 and Semester 2 projects are allocated during this time, for projects starting the following year.

For students that receive (and accept) a project offer from the School, they will also receive a separate notification from the Faculty regarding their enrolment in Honours. Honours commences two weeks prior to Week 1 of Semester. This is to enable students to undertake a 2-week Induction Program before they start their honours projects. Successful applicants will receive an email from Fiona close to the commencement date outlining the Induction Program.

What does the induction program involve?

The School runs a two week induction program for new Honours students, which starts two weeks prior to Week 1. The program is compulsory and students should be available between 9am-5pm for these two weeks. A detailed program will be emailed to students by Fiona prior to the commencement of the program. The Induction Program consists of:

  • Meeting School staff
  • Information and workshops on the honours program and assessment
  • Introduction to a range of technical, safety and administrative matters
  • Library information and workshops
  • Occupational health and safety sessions
  • A series of relevant programs

Mathematical Sciences

The School of Mathematical Sciences is leading the way towards finding effective solutions to some of society's most pressing problems.  Maths is the language of science and forms the basis of most of modern science and engineering. Our enthusiastic mathematicians love finding the true magic and beauty in maths and subsequently pass this passion on to their students. The School of Mathematical Sciences focuses on these main areas of research:

  • Applied and Computational Mathematics
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Stochastic Processes

You can find out more information on our Research page.

Available Projects + Supervisors

Each honours student will need to complete one project. A complete list of the available projects can be found in the topics list.

Who to contact

General Enquiries:
 +61 3 990 54465
 enquiries@maths.monash.edu.au

Dr Jerome Droniou Honours Coordinator 
  +61 3 990 54489 
  Jerome.Droniou@monash.edu
Room 415, 4th Floor,
Building 28, Monash University

Scholarships

School of Mathematical Sciences – Honours Scholarships*

The School of Mathematical Sciences offers its own Honours Scholarships for incoming 2016 Honours applicants who have obtained an average of 85% or above in 24 points of relevant 3rd year units as required for honours entry.

In addition to the above requirements students must also have obtained a final mark of 70% in each individual undergraduate unit in mathematical sciences that counted towards completion of their degree.

For students who meet the above requirements and who have received an average of at least 90% in these units, the value of this award is $2,500.

For students who meet the above requirements and who have received an average of 85% - 89% in these units, the value of this award is $2,000.

You do not need to apply for this scholarship: when you submit your honours application you will be registered for this scholarship through Monash Scholarships Unit automatically.

*Note that if you are awarded another university honours scholarship such as the Monash Jubilee Honours Scholarship or the Monash Vice Chancellors Honours-PhD Scholarship you are unable to hold the School of Mathematical Sciences Scholarship as well.

Special Activities

AMSI Summer School 2016

2016 Honours Students in all disciplines within the School of Mathematical Sciences are able to take one or two of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Summer courses as credit to their honours degree.

The 2016 AMSI Summer School will be held at the RMIT University between 4 and 29 January 2016.

To receive more information about the Summer School please visit the 2016 AMSI Summer School in the Mathematical Sciences website here.

Travel grants are available for interstate applicants.

First registration deadline: 1 November 2015 – for students seeking Travel Support.
Final registration deadline: 25 November 2015 – for students not seeking Travel Support.

If you plan on taking any of the summer courses, please contact Dr Jerome Droniou.


Chemistry

An Honours year in chemistry is offered to students who have achieved good chemistry grades at level three. The major component of the honours year is an advanced research project.

If you are a third year student studying chemistry, you are eligible to take a fourth honours year of study, provided the requirements to study honours are met, and a supervisor is available. You will be allocated to supervisors and projects on the basis of your third year results and your personal choice. 

The School of Chemistry has guidelines on allocation of Honours students. Great care is taken to ensure all our students are treated fairly, and that they will generally be allocated to the area and supervisor of their choice, but this is not always possible. However, past experience indicates most students will receive either their first or second preference.

Available Projects + Supervisors

The honours projects booklet is intended to provide an overview of the research activities within the School of Chemistry and give you an overview of the Honours projects available in 2016. We recommend you review these projects and speak with at least four potential supervisors before choosing your preferred project.  

Download a PDF copy of all available Chemistry Honours Projects.

Please note that the project descriptions are very short and full details are given when speaking to supervisors.

Who to contact

Associate Professor Michael Grace
Honours Coordinator
 +61 3 9905 4078 
 Michael.Grace@monash.edu


Earth, Atmosphere and Environment

The Earth, Atmosphere and Environment (EAE) based Honours program is diverse and covers all major sub disciplines taught by the School. Our Honours graduates are sought after by industry and government agencies and many continue to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) studies to build research careers.

Available Projects + Supervisors

Supervisor

Expertise

Dr.Duncan Ackerley

Climate science and tropical meteorology

Dr. Laurent Allieres

Structural Geophysics & 3D Modelling

Prof Michael Asten

Field geophysics, seismic methods, regolith studies, engineering geophysics

Mr. Robin Armit

Structural Geology, Structural Geophysics, Proterozoic tectonics

A/Prof. Peter Betts 

Structural Geology and Precambrian tectonics/AD Research Training

Mr. Barrie Bolton

Environmental geochemistry and Economic geology

Prof. Joel Brugger

Synchrotron Geoscience & Geochemistry

Prof. Ian Cartwright

Hydrochemistry, groundwater, Surface water, Isotope tracers in Hydrogeology    

Dr. Fabio Capitanio 

Geodynamics and Basin Analysis

Dr. Jennifer Catto

Climate science and Midlatitude weather

Prof. Sandy Cruden 

Experimental Tectonics and Structural Geology

Dr. Dietmar Dommenget

Climate science; Tropical Meteorology

A/Prof. David Dunkerley

Geomorphology and Ecohydrology

Dr. Barbara Etschmann


Dr. Rebecca Farrington

Computational Geodynamics

Dr. Andrew Frierdich

Biogeochemical interactions between minerals, microbes, and metals in aqueous solutions

Dr. Ailie Gallant

Climate science, Palaeoclimatology

Prof. Mike Hall 

Structural Geology and Basin Analysis

Dr. Simon Jowitt

Economic Geology, Igneous Petrology and Mineral Economics

Dr. Chris Mays 

Palaeoecology, Palynology and Biostratigraphy

Dr. Yuan Mei

Understanding the metal behaviour in ore forming fluids by molecular modelling

Dr. Shayne McGregor

Theory, Observations and Modelling, understanding climate variability and change

A/Prof. Steven Micklethwaite

Structural and Economic Geology

Dr. Bree Morgan

Low-temperature environmental Geochemist

Dr. Oliver Nebel

Geochemist, focus on high temperature processes

Dr. Ian Nicholls 

Igneous Petrology and Geochemistry

Dr. Hamish Ramsey

Tropical, Mesoscale Meteorology, Severe storms and Numerical modelling

Prof. Michael Reeder

Dynamical and Tropical Meteorology/Numerical modelling

Dr. Wouter Schellart

Geodynamics of Subduction zones

A/Prof. Steven Siems

Climate science, Micrometeorology and Numerical modelling

Dr. Anja Slim

Fluid Dynamics

A/Prof. Jeff Stilwell 

Systematic and Applied Palaeontology

Prof. Nigel Tapper

Climate Science Micrometeorology

Dr. Andy Tomkins 

Economic Geology & Planetary Science

Dr. Jozua Van Otterloo

Volcanology, Igneous Geochemistry and Magma Transport Dynamics

Prof. Roberto Weinberg   

Structural Geology, Granites & Crustal Fluid Flow

Prof. Chris Wilson

Structural geology, Tectonics, gold deposits, Glaciology, Microstructure and Numerical modeling

Dr. Sasha Wilson 

Environmental Mineralogy and geochemistry, Carbon Sequestration

Dr. Vanessa Wong

Soil Science

Dr. Xuan Zhu

GIS and Environmental Management

FAQ's

What projects are offered?

A list of projects and potential supervisors will be made available each September for the coming year, but students are encouraged to discuss options with academic staff prior to that. A wide range of projects are available, but we are not able to offer projects in every field or offer large numbers of projects in any one discipline. Potential Honours supervisors include the regular teaching and research staff, our research only staff and adjunct staff within the School.

Choosing a supervisor?

It is your responsibility to make contact with potential supervisors to express an interest in one of their projects or to discuss potential projects. Supervisors may not be able to take on all students who are interested. In the case of a supervisor receiving too many applications, the decision on which students obtain a project with that supervisor is based on merit. You need to talk to multiple potential supervisors and list preferences on your application. Honours supervision is a considerable workload for supervisors and typically supervisors do not take on more than three or four students. We will try to offer all eligible students a project but we cannot guarantee you a place in the program and you may not be able to obtain a project in any specific field.

When do I start?

Once the Faculty of Science has made you an offer, the Honours year commences in the last week of January or the first week of February and runs until late October. The first week is an induction week that you must be here to attend (i.e. if you miss it, your enrolment lapses). Mid-year entry is also possible (start of Semester 2 in July and runs until early June the following year); however, projects may be more limited.

Who to contact

Further information is available from our Honours pages on our website or contact either:

General Enquiries:
 +61 3 9905 5767 

Laurent Ailleres
Honours Coordinator, ESC
  +61 3 990 51526
 Laurent.Ailleres@monash.edu

Michael Reeder
ATM
  +61 3 990 54464
 Michael.Reeder@monash.edu

David Dunkerley
GES
 David.Dunkerley@monash.edu

Robert Oakley
Student Services Coordinator
  +61 3 990 54464
 Robert.Oakley@monash.edu

FAQ's

What projects are offered?

A list of projects and potential supervisors will be made available each September for the coming year, but students are encouraged to discuss options with academic staff prior to that. A wide range of projects are available, but we are not able to offer projects in every field or offer large numbers of projects in any one discipline. Potential Honours supervisors include the regular teaching and research staff, our research only staff and adjunct staff within the School.

Choosing a supervisor?

It is your responsibility to make contact with potential supervisors to express an interest in one of their projects or to discuss potential projects. Supervisors may not be able to take on all students who are interested. In the case of a supervisor receiving too many applications, the decision on which students obtain a project with that supervisor is based on merit. You need to talk to multiple potential supervisors and list preferences on your application. Honours supervision is a considerable workload for supervisors and typically supervisors do not take on more than three or four students. We will try to offer all eligible students a project but we cannot guarantee you a place in the program and you may not be able to obtain a project in any specific field.

When do I start?

Once the Faculty of Science has made you an offer, the Honours year commences in the last week of January or the first week of February and runs until late October. The first week is an induction week that you must be here to attend (i.e. if you miss it, your enrolment lapses). Mid-year entry is also possible (start of Semester 2 in July and runs until early June the following year); however, projects may be more limited.


Physics and Astronomy

Studying Honours in the School of Physics & Astronomy allows you to strengthen your experimental, numerical, computational, analytical and problem solving skills. The School can guide you in pursuing your own research in astrophysics (computational or observational) or physics (theoretical or experimental).

As an Honours student in the School you will be allocated a desk and a computer, and have access to all the School's facilities, including: photocopiers, scanners, imaging services, computer services, research laboratories, and excellent technical support including the services of the Monash Facility for Instrumentation and Technology Development which can provide a range of support in electronics and mechanical applications.

Please note:

  • Honours studies in Physics or Astrophysics may be undertaken full-time or part-time.
  • There are mid-year intakes as well as intakes at the start of each academic year.

Available Projects + Supervisors

To enrol in Honours you need to choose a research project in consultation with an academic from the School of Physics & Astronomy. We provide you with several resources to help you with this choice:

  • In the Research Groups section, you can find a list of researchers and their areas of interest.
  • In the Example Projects section you can find a list of possible projects, which you can sort, or filter, by "Academic" and "Research Group".

You need to contact the academic(s) related to the area(s) of interest in which you wish to pursue a research project and discuss possible projects with them. You can start a conversation about possible projects by emailing the relevant academic(s).

Please note:

  • You can contact an academic about a possible project, even if they do not have any example projects listed.
  • Even if you are interested in pursuing research similar to one of the example projects, you still need to contact your potential supervisor to discuss the details with them.
  • Potential projects, and academics' research interests, are not limited to the example projects listed.
  • Many academics are listed under more than one Research Group.
  • Previous Honours projects in the School of Physics & Astronomy have led to students publishing papers in high-impact research journals - this could be you!

Course structure

The Honours year involves both a coursework unit (PHS4200 or ASP4200) and a research project unit (PHS4100 or ASP4100) as detailed in the Coursework and Project sections of these pages.

Part-time study for Honours in Physics involves the units PHS4110 and PHS4120 (in place of PHS4100), and PHS4210 and PHS4220 (in place of PHS4200) - they only differ in the time taken to complete the course.

Whether you enrol in Honours in Physics (PHS4100 & PHS4200) or Honours in Astrophysics (ASP4100 & ASP4200) will depend on the academic field of the research project you choose. Your potential Honours project supervisor will provide advice in regards to this.

Your final mark is an average of your coursework and research project units. Your overall mark for Honours will appear on your transcript under PHSHONS or ASPHONS along with one of the standard Monash grade indicators as detailed in the Honours section of the Results Legend.

Who to contact

General Enquiries:
 +61 3 9905 3652
 Physics.Enquiries@monash.edu

Professor Michael Morgan
Head of School / Honours Coordinator
  +61 3 990 53645
 michael.j.morgan@monash.edu

Mrs Jean Pettigrew
Staff and Student Services Officer
  +61 3 990 53651
 jean.pettigrew@monash.edu


Science Honours disciplines taught by other faculties/schools/departments


Faculty administration contacts

For general science honours application and enrolment enquiries:

Clayton campus
Mrs Janette Skoufis
 +61 3 990 54604
 sci-enquiries@monash.edu

Monash University Malaysia
Ms Zurina Samsudin
 (+603) 5514 6000, ext: 46186 (DID: 5514 6186)


Honours Policies and Procedures

Honours

2016 Honours program policy, procedures and guidelines coming soon.

The guidelines cover policies and procedures, and provide details of good practice and specific information on matters including period of candidature and enrolment, intermission, and special consideration.

Honours intermission applications

Intermission from Honours programs will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. In order to apply for intermission, both of the following forms must be completed and submitted to the relevant science office on your home campus:

Honours special consideration applications

Special consideration for in-semester assessment should be lodged with and approved by the Honours coordinator of the relevant school/department.

Extension of thesis submission or deferment of final assessment for Honours coursework units will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and must be lodged with the relevant Faculty of Science, Student Services office for approval by the Associate Dean (Education) upon the recommendation of the relevant school/department Honours coordinator.

Eligibility criteria and application process details and forms are available here.