University of Sydney Handbooks - 2012 Archive

Download full 2012 archive Page archived at: Wed, 02 May 2012 14:20:25 +1000


About this section

This section contains general information about the degrees:

  • Bachelor of Design in Architecture (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Design Computing (Honours).

You should read the frequently asked questions, followed by the section relevant to your degree which can be viewed by clicking the appropriate link on the left menu. This section is a summary of the degree resolutions for the relevant degree. Where there are inconsistencies the degree resolutions take precedence.

Frequently asked questions

What is an honours degree?

The undergraduate degrees of the faculty are awarded at two levels: pass and honours. While most students will complete their degree at pass level, the degree may be awarded with honours by completing a course of advanced study involving the production of a dissertation by research.

What is involved in gaining an honours degree?

In addition to the three years of study for the pass degree, the honours degree requires an extra year of full-time study engaged solely in a research task under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

What is an honours degree for?

For students who have demonstrated a level of academic excellence in their undergraduate degree, honours provides the opportunity to pursue a program of research in an area of study they select. Honours allows the development of research skills and methods under the supervision of an experienced academic researcher.

Why would I complete an honours degree?

An honours degree has recognised prestige that is highly regarded by employers and other universities.

Honours degrees provide a strong grounding for undertaking higher research degrees such as the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). A PhD is now practically a prerequisite to a career in academia.

An honours degree enables students to be eligible and competitive in applying for scholarships such as an Australian Postgraduate Award or an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, which pay a tax-free living allowance for the duration of master’s or PhD level higher degree study.

What is meant by first-class honours?

Honours in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning is awarded in two classes, each with sub-categories. These are, in order from highest to lowest:

  • First class with the University Medal
  • First class
  • Second class, Division I
  • Second class, Division II.

The class of honours is determined by the student's weighted average mark (WAM) (see below). Awarding of the University Medal is at the discretion of the Dean. Candidates should ordinarily have a truly outstanding record over the duration of their degree and additionally produce an outstanding dissertation.

What is a WAM and how do I calculate it?

WAM stands for weighted average mark. It is a calculation used to decide eligibility and class of award of honours. WAM is calculated using the following formula:

sum(Wc x Mc)  

where Wc is the unit of study credit points multiplied by the unit weighting, and Mc is the mark achieved for the unit. The mark used for units with a grade AF is zero. Pass/fail units and credited units from other institutions are not counted.

In this faculty, junior units are weighted zero and senior and graduate units are weighted one.

Are there scholarships available to honours students?

Yes. Please consult the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning website for a list of scholarships available.

Applications are required in the year prior to commencement. Further information can be accessed at: