Honours Information

Earth and Environmental Sciences Honours Information 2019

BSc(Geol), BSc(PGEG), BSc (Env) and IBSc(Hons) 

An Honours degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences

The Honours program is a great opportunity to undertake an independent research project for one year that culminates in a BSc(Hons) thesis which builds important research and project management skills. Honours is an intense period of independent research involving advanced training in specific analytical equipment and research skills in collaboration with an academic supervisor in a topic chosen in your area of interest, and in one of the research areas within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The Honours program is based on a research project and there are no formal subjects. The successful completion of this period of study will indicate that you have further advanced skills in research, report writing, oral presentations, project management and data analysis and interpretation. Honours will provide you with further future opportunities, such as jobs which require a higher level of technical skills, report writing and possible entry into postgraduate studies, such as a PhD. 

An information session for students interested in beginning Honours in 2019 will be given on Wednesday, 16 October in 41.G03a at 12.30 pm. There are two start dates for Honours in 2019: 11 February, or 15 July.

Admission into Honours

Students must normally achieve a weighted average mark (WAM) of at least 70 for the 24 credit points of 300-level subjects of an Earth and Environmental Sciences major (e.g. physical geography and environmental geosciences, geology, environment) relating to the honours discipline. Students must also have satisfied their degree requirements (please check with Head of Students, Science). Graduates from other Universities may also apply to undertake Honours at the University of Wollongong providing they meet equivalent requirements to those at the University of Wollongong.

Deciding on Honours Project Options

As soon as possible, students should approach academic staff members to discuss possible options for projects. It is a good idea to first decide on the general area of research that appeals to you. Please find the research area and interests of particular academics at: Earth and Environmental Sciences Research and the individual Academic Staff Page. 

Applying for Honours

You need to have a suitable project and supervisor arranged prior to submission of your application. The Head of School will only approve entry into Honours if a suitable project and supervisor are nominated in the Honours application. You must prepare a project summary, including a page with the title and a brief summary of your project (< 200 words) and the name(s) of your supervisor(s). The project summary must be signed by the supervisor(s) and added to your application.

Applications should be submitted no later than the second Friday in December in the year preceding enrolment; however, it is preferable to submit an application in October/November prior to the determination of your results. Late applications will be accepted, although this will result in delays with enrolment. Note that Honours projects can also begin mid-year and that applications should be submitted no later than 30 June. Application forms are available from Future Students in the administration building (36) or download the application form [PDF]. Applications are submitted to Future Students and are likely to take at least one month to be processed. BSc(Hons)DS &IBSc(Hons) students are able to enrol directly in EESC401/SCIE403 on SOLS. .

For any enquiries regarding your enrolment please contact UOW Future Students (Building 36, Ph 1300 367 869), email: future-students@uow.edu.au 

Timeframe for Honours 

The start date for Honours Students is 11 February 2019 and the finish date is 16 October 2019. (For students operating in a mid-2019 to mid-2020 cycle, the start date is 15 July 2019 and the finish date is 3 April 2019). The maximum length of a full-time honours project is 35.5 weeks (37.5 weeks for the mid-year cycle) with an official start date that can only be changed in exceptional circumstances by prior arrangement. Required materials that can take some time to organise, such as aerial photographs, should be ordered well before the start date. Requests for extensions as a result of failure to order essential materials in time will not be considered.

Earth and Environmental Sciences Honours Program Components  

The Honours program in 2018 contains seven components, namely, two seminars presented by the candidate; submission of an outline of the Honours Project including a brief literature review; Submission of full Literature Review and Methodology; Submission of Draft Report; the production of a thesis; and attendance at School and Research Centre seminars designated as benefiting Honours students.

  1. Seminar 1
    Length 5 minutes plus 5 minutes question time.
    Presented by the candidate in weeks beginning 11/18 March (12 August for students starting in Spring Session).
    The subject is an outline of the candidate's Honours project. No marks are given for this seminar.
  2. Seminar 2
    Length 10 minutes plus 5 minutes question time.
    Presented by the candidate weeks beginning 12/19 August (27 January 2019 for students starting in Spring Session).
    The subject to be based on the thesis progress to date, experimental results and placing projects within their context, future work anticipated, and problems encountered. A scientific rather than logistical talk is required but also with the intent of receiving feedback and advice from staff and your peers.
    No marks are given for this seminar.  
  3. Outline of Honours Project including a review of relevant literature
    To be completed in the Outline of Honours Project template as provided.
    Due at noon, 25 March to be submitted to ‘Turnitin’ on SEES Honours Moodle site (26 August for students starting mid-year).
    The Outline will be read by two markers (two academics in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences in addition to the student’s Supervisor). It wil be assessed as either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. 
  4. Submission of full Literature Review and Methodology
    Due at noon, 20 May to be submitted to ‘Turnitin’ on SEES Honours Moodle site (21 October for students starting mid-year).
    The draft will be read by the student’s supervisor. It will be assessed as either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

  5. Submission of Draft Report|
    Due at noon, 25 September to be submitted electronically to the student’s supervisor (11 March 2020 for students starting mid-year). It will be assessed as either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

  6. Thesis and associated materials
    Topic to be approved by the Head of School in consultation with the proposed supervisor.
    Thesis to be submitted by noon, Wednesday, 16 October 2019, to the School Administration Assistant. [The submission date for students operating in a mid-2018 to mid-2019 cycle is noon, Wednesday, 1 April 2020.]
    A single electronic copy of the thesis (pdf format including maps, figures, appendices, specimen lists on one of the following: CD-ROM, DVD, thumb drive) is to be submitted. This material constitutes the ‘assessable thesis’. An electronic copy will be kept within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and via the ‘Honours Thesis Declaration Digital Copy’ form, the open access digital archive in the University of Wollongong Library (after approval by the School assessment committee at the time that the Honours marks are determined).
    The thesis should not exceed 25,000 words and may well be less than this.
    100% of final mark. 
  7. Attendance at Seminars
    Honours students are encouraged to attend a wide range of School and Research Centre seminars. 


Further information

For further information on Honours please contact:

Jenny Fisher, Honours Coordinator (02 4221 5484)

Marina McGlinn, Honours Student Liaison (02 4221 4396)

Please see also:

Last reviewed: 19 September, 2018