Honours degrees

If you’re passionate about your subject, an Honours degree brings huge rewards: go deeper and know your mind even better with a personalised study programme.

About Victoria’s Honours Degrees

Normally, an Honours degree at Victoria is a stand-alone one-year full-time (or longer part-time) programme of coursework, totalling 120 points, undertaken after completion of a Bachelor’s degree.

Exceptions are the LLB(Hons) and BE (Hons). The LLB(Hons) is a separate degree, which runs concurrently with the LLB for above-average students selected by the Faculty during the course of undergraduate studies.

What an Honours degree offers

An Honours year gives you the opportunity to further explore and develop areas of interest in your chosen field. It is often seen as a pivotal year, with a change of orientation, from attending many lectures in different subjects to carrying out focused, self-directed study and individual research under guidance.

It is a vital step in synthesising your ideas, developing your skills and preparing you for independence in your field—whether in paid employment, further research or study or another aspect of your life.

A different kind of study

You will usually find there are fewer lectures than at undergraduate level. Often your classes will be student-run seminars, where a student prepares and presents a seminar on a specified topic to the other members of the class.

Next steps

Each Honours year is an individual, personal course of study, devised in consultation with staff from your School. It is therefore important that you contact them as early as possible to discuss your plans.

Honours programmes normally begin in the first trimester, in which many have a core course introducing you to graduate study in the discipline. Honours (400-level) courses are generally offered in Victoria’s first two trimesters (February–June, July–October); some courses run through both trimesters.

Most Honours degrees at Victoria, while offering as much flexibility as possible, are taught as integrated programmes of study, and, as such, are normally studied full time. However, all Honours programmes may, with approval, be spread over two years, and a BA(Hons) may be taken over four years. These options may require permission—contact the relevant Faculty Student Administration Office for details.

Study options

What do you need to apply for an Honours programme?

Admission to an Honours programme at Victoria normally requires a good Bachelor’s degree in the same discipline, with the appropriate prerequisite courses. However, all applications are considered individually and recognition can be given to appropriate academic and relevant work experience.

Victoria offers Graduate diplomas, which can be taken by students who do not have the prerequisites for entry into an Honours programme.

Honours’ study is more demanding and rigorous than undergraduate study. It requires intense, in-depth study and an ability to work in a self-directed way in a programme of reading, analysis and writing, and in many cases semi-independent academic/experimental research. A good indication of your readiness for Honours-level study is the achievement of B grades or better in your final-year undergraduate courses.

After Honours—next steps

Students who complete an Honours degree to a satisfactory standard may be permitted to proceed to a Master’s by Research programme or a provisional enrolment in a PhD. For more information about this, contact the relevant Faculty.

Applying and enrolling

Find out about applying and enrolling for an Honours degree in the Postgraduate admissions section. 

Unsure about what to study? 

If you are unsure about which postgraduate option would suit you best, contact Charlotte Deans, our Postgraduate Liaison Officer. If you are a domestic student (a New Zealander or Australian citizen or permanent resident) she can assist you with information on postgraduate study options, give you general information about enrolment and get you in touch with the right people. (eg. the relevant postgraduate coordinator).

Phone: +64-4-463 6667 or 0800 VICTORIA
Email: postgrad-enquiries@vuw.ac.nz 

International students should contact Victoria International.