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Honours and Higher Degrees by Research

Study with us and open the door to a range of rewarding career opportunities. Become a part of a community of alumni that includes Nobel Prize winners, pioneering researchers and world-renowned leaders in health. Our research programs are held in high regard, their quality and impact respected by peers and the community.

Why study honours or a higher degree by research?

Studying honours or a higher degree by research can provide you with the skills and experience to pursue different career opportunities, particularly a career in research. Employers recognise that the research ability and broad range of transferable skills which University of Adelaide graduates possess equip them well for challenging and diverse roles in industry, government and business, as well as in research and academic organisations. By undertaking a research degree with us, you will be involved in discovery, innovation and cutting-edge research. Our strong focus on addressing global challenges creates a highly stimulating setting for our postgraduate students interested in changing the world.

What is honours?

Honours is a one-year qualification studied as an addition to an undergraduate degree. Completing an honours degree provides an opportunity to investigate an area of interest in greater detail. As an extension of an undergraduate degree, honours is recognised as a prestigious qualification and develops specific knowledge and skills in your chosen research field as well as working independently, critical reasoning, scientific writing and presentation. An honours degree will prepare you for further postgraduate study, such as a masters and/or PhD. For those interested in academia or a research-based career, honours is the platform to kick start these professions. The skills and knowledge developed throughout an honours degree are highly transferable and are sought by employees and can provide a distinct point of difference in a competitive job market.

Which degrees offer an honours program?

You can choose to undertake honours in the following:

How do I apply to study honours?

The application process varies depending on which degree you are applying for. Choose your desired degree and follow the steps outlined below.

Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (Honours)

Step 1: Find a supervisor and project opportunity
Identify an area of interest and potential supervisor by browsing research areas in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. You can also discover research groups and projects offered by Adelaide Medical School in the Honours and Postgraduate Research Opportunities booklet.

Step 2: Complete the relevant form
To initiate an expression of interest download the Honours Project Expression of Interest form. Complete this form in conjunction with your proposed honours supervisor. 

Step 3: Meet with the Honours Coordinator
Organise a meeting with the respective Honours Coordinator to confirm project suitability.

Step 4: Submit 
Submit your completed Expression of Interest along with a copy of your current academic transcript to fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au.

Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (Honours) - Public Health specialisation

Step 1: Find projects that interest you
Read the School of Public Health Research Activities booklet to find out what project opportunities are available. Choose three preferred projects from the list. If your application is successful, the Honours Coordinator will allocate you to one of these projects.

Step 2: Complete the relevant form
Complete a Public Health Honours Project Expression of Interest form. If you have any questions when completing the form, contact fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au

Step 3: Submit
Submit your completed Expression of Interest along with a copy of your current academic transcript to fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au.

Bachelor of Nursing (Honours)

Step 1: Find a supervisor and project opportunity
Identify an area of interest and potential supervisor by browsing research areas in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Contact the Honours Coordinator to discuss project opportunities.

Step 2: Complete the relevant form
To initiate an expression of interest download the Honours Project Expression of Interest form. Complete this form in conjunction with your proposed honours supervisor. 

Step 3: Meet with the Honours Coordinator
Organise a meeting with the respective Honours Coordinator to confirm project suitability.

Step 4: Submit 
Submit your completed Expression of Interest along with a copy of your current academic transcript to fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au.

Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)

Please note:  Eligibility  to this course requires  a  major  in  Psychology  from  a  University  whose  program  has  been  accredited  by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).

Step 1: Attend the information session
If you were unable to attend the 2017 Psychology Honours Course Information Session in September, you may review a recording of the presentation.

Step 2: Complete the application form
Complete the Honours Psychology application form

International students: apply via the International Office.

International students currently studying at the University of Adelaide: apply for an internal transfer.

Bachelor of Science in Dentistry (Honours)

Step 1: Find a supervisor and project opportunity
Identify an area of interest and potential supervisor by browsing research areas in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Contact the Honours Coordinator to discuss project opportunities.

Step 2: Complete the relevant form
To initiate an expression of interest download the Honours Project Expression of Interest form.  Complete this form in conjunction with your proposed honours supervisor. 

Step 3: Meet with the Honours Coordinator
Organise a meeting with the respective Honours Coordinator to confirm project suitability.

Step 4: Submit 
Submit your completed Expression of Interest along with a copy of your current academic transcript to fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au.

If you have any questions about the application process, contact the relevant Honours Coordinator. You will receive a confirmation receipt of your expression of interest upon submission. 

Further information

The University offers scholarships to undergraduate students. These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students. 

Are you a current medical student? Students enrolled in the MBBS program at the University of Adelaide will need to apply for a leave of absence and supply a banding letter (request this by emailing fhsassessment@adelaide.edu.au).

Are you currently studying at another university? If you are completing undergraduate studies at another institution, you will need to provide a copy of your academic transcript once your final results are available. 

Closing deadlines and next steps  

You are strongly encouraged to apply by 30 November (unless a due date is specified). All other applications will continue to be accepted up until mid-January. Please be aware that many scholarship closing dates are earlier than November. 

Once final results for the semester are available (in July or December), Honours Coordinators will finalise their recommendations for honours projects. Successful students will then be emailed with instructions to submit a formal application for admission to the honours degree via a University internal transfer or, for external applicants, via SATAC.

Want an exceptional student experience? Our postgraduate research students receive a world-class education from a university ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world.

Our postgraduate research degrees allow you to specialise and extend your knowledge in a research area of your choice. As part of the South Australian Health and Biomedical Precinct, we offer significant state of the art core technologies capabilities and facilities enabling students to provide innovative solutions to their research questions.  

The benefits of completing a postgraduate research degree include:

  • The opportunity to attend conferences and symposiums to present your research and to network with national and international researchers in your field.
  • The development of strong time management and organisational skills.
  • The development of professional skills in presenting research in an academic context, both within your School and the wider University community, as well as nationally and internationally.
  • A wider range of employment opportunities including higher paid jobs, both in Australia and overseas.

Finding a supervisor

A key component of a successful postgraduate research experience is finding the best supervisor to help you achieve your investigative goals. Depending on your area of interest, there are several avenues for you to explore potential postgraduate research topics and locate a supervisor.

For an overview of all research within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, explore our areas of research.

For the Adelaide Medical School, browse research groups and projects in the Honours and Postgraduate Research Opportunities booklet.

For the School of Public Health, check out the Research Activities and Student Research Projects booklet.

How to apply

The Adelaide Graduate Centre administers both domestic and international postgraduate research applications.

To be eligible for entry into a research degree, you must have honours or proven experience in research, either through a coursework program with a substantial research component or industry experience. For more information, visit the Adelaide Graduate Centre website.

For all enquiries regarding postgraduate research studies in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences please contact the Office of Research Development and Research Education. Email fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au or phone +61 8 8313 9996.

International study opportunities for PhD students

In 2015, the University of Adelaide and our priority partners, Nagoya University (Japan) and the University of Freiburg (Germany) signed formal agreements to offer Joint PhD programs in the area of medical and biomedical research. In these programs, PhD students are enrolled in both the University of Adelaide and the respective partner university and will be supervised by experts from each university. At PhD completion, students will receive a jointly awarded PhD degree.

Students undertaking the joint PhD program will spend most of their candidature at the University of Adelaide and at least one year under academic supervision within the School of Medicine, Nagoya University or International Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine at the Albert-Ludwigs-University/University of Freiburg. All instruction is undertaken in English. 

What are the benefits?

  • obtain world class training and experience in quality research environments at two highly ranked universities
  • build international networks between researchers in Adelaide and Nagoya or Freiburg
  • attend Japanese or German language and culture training before departure to Japan or Germany
  • receive a Joint PhD Degree at completion
  • scholarships are available.

Who is eligible?

Students interested in a biomedical or medical research area who received a first class honours or research master degree. You must be interested in working on your research project at both universities.

Are you interested?

If you would like to learn more about the program, the application process and how to get in contact with suitable supervisors at both universities, please contact the Office of Research Development and Research Education at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide. Email fhsresed@adelaide.edu.au or phone +61 8 8313 9996.

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