Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours)

Course BH-SCI (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 014791D
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Associate Professor Michelle Livett


Currently enrolled students:

Future students:

Course Overview:

The Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) provides an advanced, specialised year of study that follows students’ completion of the requirements of the Bachelor of Science. It extends students’ knowledge and skills through a supervised research project together with advanced coursework in related areas of study.

The Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) can be undertaken in a range of programs/departments.

Learning Outcomes:

The Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) year provides students with the opportunity to integrate their previous science or technology studies and focus their knowledge, skills and intellect on an exciting piece of original research.

Each program within the Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) comprises two components:

  • The advanced coursework component provides opportunities for increasing students’ depth of knowledge in their particular areas of interest and expanding the theoretical basis on which they will undertake their research work. It provides students with the opportunity to develop expertise in the broad scientific field(s) in which their individual research project is placed, including the methodologies of the relevant field(s), and the use of the scientific literature in their specialist area of study.
  • The research project provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and technical skills in a supervised research project and develop skills in experimental design, project implementation and in the communication of the outcomes of a research project. The project develops students’ technical and data acquisition skills, their problem-solving and critical thinking capacities in the context of research, their skills in communicating to a variety of audiences and the application of appropriate risk assessment and ethical approval processes.

Honours also develops students’ capacity for independent study and research that will help develop maturity and skills for transition to employment in a range of occupations and industries or a research higher degree.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) programs are prescribed 100-point programs (equivalent to eight 12.5-point subjects) comprising Advanced Coursework and Research Project components as outlined below.
The balance between the advanced coursework and research project components may vary from program to program, with each comprising at least 25 points and no more than 75 points of the 100-point program. The balance specific to each program will be specified in the handbook entry for each program.

1. Advanced coursework:

  • two to four, 12.5-point honours or postgraduate level advanced coursework subjects.

The coordinator of the honours program in which the student is enrolled must approve each student’s advanced coursework program.

Each student’s advanced coursework program will comprise advanced coursework subjects offered by one or more departments teaching into the degree’s honours program, which may include cognate subjects offered in relevant Masters degrees where students meet the prerequisite requirements of those subjects.

The honours coordinator may approve a student including one 12.5-point Level 3 coursework subject. Inclusion of a Level 3 subject will also require approval of the appropriate subject coordinator. This option is only available if it specified in the details of the individual program which can be found using the links below.

2. Research project:

  • A research project subject or subjects with total points value of between 50 and 75 points.

Duration and commencement of honours programs

The duration of the Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) programs is approximately 36 weeks within a total duration of 40 weeks for Semester 1 entrants, and approximately 36 weeks within a total duration of 46 weeks for semester 2 entrants. Not all programs are available as mid year entry. Refer to individual program entries for details.

The dates of the honours programs may vary between programs.

For Semester 2 entrants, up to ten weeks of leave may be taken within this 46-week period, in negotiation with the supervisor.

Completion Requirements

To be awarded honours students must gain:

  • a pass in at least 100-points of subjects in their chosen program;
  • a result of at least 65% in the research project;
  • a weighted credit-point average of 65% or greater.

Students may be given permission to repeat an advanced coursework honours subject/component, or enrol in additional subject(s), in order to meet the requirement to pass 100 points. However the honours result will be determined over all subjects for which a result is entered. When the weighted credit-point average is less than 65% the honours degree will not be awarded.


Honours Programs available within the Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours)

Honours programs are grouped by the responsible Faculty/organisational unit.

Faculty of Science


Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences


Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Each honours project is offered by one of the following departments / institutes. Some projects are offered within multiple departments / institutes. Please refer to the MDHS Honours website for full details on selecting a project.


Psychological Sciences

Entry Requirements:

In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • within the last 10 years a Bachelor of Science with a weighted average mark of at least H3 (65%), or equivalent, with a major relevant to the discipline stream within the Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) that they seek to enter; or
  • within the last 10 years an undergraduate degree, of which at least the equivalent of two full years comprises science or technology areas of study, with a weighted average mark of at least H3 (65%), or equivalent, and containing at least 50 points of study at third year level in science or technology areas of study.

Applicants are also required to meet any specific subject prerequisites and prior academic performance requirements associated with the discipline stream that they seek to enter. For stream specific requirements please click here.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance, and
  • the availability of supervision and resources in suitable project areas.

Quotas may be applied to the degree as a whole or to individual discipline streams and preference may be given to applicants with evidence of appropriate preparation or potential to undertake research.

The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

For applicants who have not completed the Victorian Certificate of Education or the International Baccalaureate Diploma, the undergraduate English language requirements must be met.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and degree policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the degree.

The Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) requires all students to enrol in subjects where they will require:

  1. the ability to comprehend complex science and technology related information;
  2. the ability to clearly and independently communicate a knowledge and application of science, and technology principles and practices during assessment tasks;
  3. the ability to actively and safely contribute in clinical, laboratory, and fieldwork/excursion activities.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

There may be additional inherent academic requirements for some subjects, and these requirements are listed within the description of the requirements for each of these subjects.

Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the relevant Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit:

Further Study:

The opportunity to specialise during the honours year provides a strong foundation for the future direction of graduates. Graduates may progress to higher degree research in the sciences at the Masters or Doctorate level. They are also eligible to progress to a range of graduate coursework programs.

Graduate Attributes:

The Bachelor of Science (Honours) has the objective of preparing graduates who embody the University of Melbourne graduate attributes.

Generic Skills:

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science (Degree with Honours) programs will have been provided with the opportunity to develop the skills to:

  • Use and evaluate scientific literature;
  • Apply their understanding to the design and implementation of a research plan;
  • Acquire, analyse, evaluate and interpret data using appropriate techniques;
  • Communicate advanced concepts in their discipline in written and oral form;
  • Exercise responsibility for their own learning;
  • Work effectively in teams, both collaboratively and independently;
  • Manage their time effectively.

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