FAQ: Applying for Honours at SPIR

How do I find a supervisor?
Check the ANU Researcher website to find an academic undertaking research in a field that you're interested in.  You'll need to check with the individual School about potential supervisors.  All Schools have an Honours Convenor that can help you with this step. A list of potential supervisors at SPIR can be found on the SPIR website
Does the supervisor have to be from SPIR?
Yes.  Your supervisor needs to be a part of the School that teaches the discipline you're interested in doing as part of your honours program.  In very exceptional circumstances, the supervisor may be from outside of the School.  You'll need to speak to the Honours Convenor about this. SPIR requires honours students to be supervised by a member of the School.
What if my supervisor will be away for the second half of the Honour year (I.e. Going on sabbatical in July)?
If the academic staff member knows that they won't be able to supervise you for the whole honours year, then they should not agree to supervise you.  If their absence is unexpected and for a significant amount of time, then the School needs to find another supervisor for you.
What should be the format of the thesis proposal? How long? What to include?
This will vary from school to school so you need to check with your Honours Convenor. At SPIR the honours thesis should not exceed 17500 words. The precise format of the thesis may vary depending on the subfield and the methodology employed. Students are advised to consult with their thesis supervisor to ensure that they are following an appropriate format.
Will the grades from a year abroad count?
If the year abroad has counted towards your undergraduate degree, then yes those grades will count in the calculation for entry into the Honours program.
Is it possible to apply for both Honours in Politics and International Relations?
Currently the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) program has one specialisation called Politics and International Relations so you cannot apply to undertake honours separately in these disciplines.
What are the requirements to be eligible to apply for Honours?
Admission requirements are available on the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) program page.
What is the required grade average?
See above.
What is the process of application?
See the How to Apply section on the CASS website.
Can students who have done PPE with JD course over the last three years, do the PPE Honours next year and then continue with their JD?
What is the longest time period that a student can apply for Honours after completing a respective undergraduate degree?
Students must commence their honours program within 2 years of completing their undergraduate degree.  This allows them to have 1 year away from studies.
Do I need recommendation letters?
No.  You need to satisfy the admission requirements on the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) program page.  Your potential supervisor may require additional information to be able to assess your research potential.  Check with the Honours Convenor.
How long should the Honours thesis be (in words)?
See the Honours and Masters Guide. At SPIR the honours thesis should not exceed 20 000 words. The word count does not include front matter or the bibliography.
Can I start Honours mid-year (in July)?
Some disciplines have a mid-year intake but not all.  You’ll need to confirm with the Honours Convenor. Please not that SPIR does not allow students to begin their honours programme mid-year.
Can I apply to multiple honours programmes at the same time? (see combined honours question below)
Normally this is not allowed however you may be able to make a case.  Check with your Honours Convenor.
In the event that my application is rejected, can I apply again at a later date?
If it has been rejected because you have exceeded the 2 year time limit, then you will not be able to apply again. 
If it has been rejected on academic grounds then unfortunately you may have to complete further undergraduate studies before you can apply again. 
If it has been rejected because your research proposal was not strong enough then you’ll need to revise this and will be able to apply again.  Before applying again, you are strongly encouraged to discuss your submission with your potential supervisor and Honours Convenor. 
What is combined honours? How do I apply?
Combined honours is where you do a normal one year honours program (48 units) but you cover two different but related disciplines.  You also have two supervisors and undertake coursework relevant to both disciplines. Further information is available in the Honours and Masters Guide.  This is not normally allowed and you’ll need to make a special case if you would like to pursue this.
I’m not an ANU student, can I apply to the honours programme at SPIR
Yes.  You would be considered a ‘transferring student’.  See the How to Apply section on the CASS website.
Can you pick a supervisor for me?
No.  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.  It is critical that you identify your potential supervisor as your research interests will need to align with theirs so that you have a fruitful and successful relationship.
I took a methods class already, can I be exempted from the methods class?
Each honours program has set coursework that students have to complete.  These courses will give you the skills and techniques you will need to undertake your research and write a successful thesis.  These have been carefully selected by the discipline areas and are unique to honours programs.  In the rare case where you have completed a course in your undergraduate degree that is identical to a course prescribed in your honours program, you may request exemption through your supervisor and Honours Convenor. Students accepted into the honours programme at SPIR are required to complete the methods class. There are no exceptions to this requirement.


Updated:  31 March, 2017/Responsible Officer:  College Dean/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications