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Frequently Asked Questions

Question

What’s the difference between Honours and a PGDipArts (Research)?

Answer

To enrol in Honours in SAMSS, students must have completed a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences or a related degree, with high results in the major that is their chosen field of honours study. Honours eligibility requires having attained average grades of 70 per cent or better in 24 points at second and third levels, which must include 18 points at third year level, in the relevant major (or a cognate discipline).

To enrol in a PGDipArts (Research) in SAMSS, students must have completed a Bachelors degree, and have attained average grades of 60 per cent or better in 24 points at second and third levels, which must include 18 points at third year level.

The PGDipArts (Research) provides an opportunity for students whose undergraduate studies were in a different field, or who did not quite achieve the standard required for Honours, to transition into specialised studies in Arts disciplines.

Question

Why would I complete a fourth year of study at uni?

Answer

Honours or PGDipArts (Research) provide pathways to a higher degree that is research based. However, a fourth year of study also adds depth to a Resume, indicating high level capacities for independent work and advanced skills in written communication and analysis.

Question

What is a thesis?

Answer

A thesis is a major piece of work on a specific topic. It is comprised of several chapters that examine aspects of a substantive research topic.

Question

Who decides what a thesis topic should be, and how?

Answer

A thesis topic is usually negotiated between a student and an academic staff member who provides them with research supervision. Students usually generate ideas for possible research topics, but sometimes students only have a vague idea of the area they would like to research.

Question

Who decides who the academic supervisor will be?

Answer

Students often want to work with a specific staff member, and this is often possible (depending upon staff workloads). In these cases, students usually approach staff to ask if they might be able to provide supervision. In other cases, students might not know an appropriate staff member to supervise their research, and possible supervisors are approached by the relevant Discipline Head.

Question

Can an Honours project be continued into a higher degree?

Answer

Certainly! A fourth year project must be able to be completed within the limited timeframe of an academic year, so if your initial idea is big, it might well have aspects that need to be set aside during fourth year, but can easily be picked up again later on.

Question

What if my idea doesn’t fit a specific discipline in SAMSS, or seems to fit more than one discipline?

Answer

You could discuss your idea with the Honours Coordinator to see if it might fit with some of the research interests of academic staff. If your research seems to fit more than one discipline, you might want to consider completing a fourth year that combines two disciplines (subject to eligibility requirements). This option can also be discussed with the Honours Coordinator.

Question

Why isn’t Public Relations on the list of disciplines?

Answer

Public Relations is not available as a discipline for Honours or a PGDipArts (Research) in 2012.

However, if this is your area of interest, and you hold a major in Public Relations in your bachelor’s degree, you might like to discuss options for fourth year study with Dr. Mark Symmons by emailing Mark.Symmons@monash.edu.