University of Sydney Handbooks - 2019 Archive

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Science Honours

Honours in the Bachelor of Science (including all streams and combined degrees), Bachelor of Medical Science and Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science

SCIWAM for all degrees

SCIWAM means the weighted average mark calculated by the faculty from the results for all intermediate and senior units of study with a weighting of 2 for intermediate units and 3 for senior units.

The SCIWAM is calculated by summing the products of the marks achieved and the weighted credit point values of the units of study taken in the degree and then dividing by the sum of the weighted credit point values, with all attempts at units of study being included in the calculation, except where units of study are discontinued with permission; the formula used is:


  Calculating SCIWAMs    
   sum(Wc x Mc)  

where Wc is the weighted credit point value, ie, the product of the credit point value and level of weighting of 2 for 2000-2999 units of study and 3 for 3000-3999 units of study; where Mc is the mark out of 100 for the unit of study.

In calculating the SCIWAM for a student transferring from another university, units of study are assigned level weightings and credit point values consistent with their equivalent units of study at the University of Sydney.

A mark is assigned to each unit of study credited based on the results provided on a validated academic transcript from the University. Where no mark is provided by the institution an appropriate estimate is used. Students are encouraged to obtain actual marks from departments at those universities that do not issue formal marks.

Determination of marks and grades

To qualify for the award of an honours degree, students shall complete 48 credit points of honours units of study in the table of honours units of study, as prescribed by the Head of School concerned.

The grade of honours and the honours mark are determined by performance in the honours course.

Disciplinary areas and schools are required to make recommendations concerning honours marks and grades of honours for consideration by the faculty. These recommendations are considered at the Faculty’s Board of Examiners' (Honours) meetings at the end of each semester. To ensure consistency across the Faculty, recommendations by disciplinary areas and Schools may be amended at the Board of Examiners' meeting.

Honours in the Bachelor of Psychology


To qualify to enrol in the honours course, students shall have completed 144 credit points as specified in Resolution 5 (1) of the BPsych including completion of all intermediate and senior units of study in Psychology with an average grade of Distinction or better.

You should also note the following:

  • Students shall complete the requirements for the honours course full time over two consecutive semesters. If the faculty is satisfied that a student is unable to attempt the honours course on a full time basis and if the Head of School of Psychology so recommends, permission may be granted to undertake honours half time over four consecutive semesters.
  • A student may not re-attempt an honours course.