What is the difference between pre-2015 Honours degrees and the current Honours degrees?

The AQF has redefined the Honours degree - with its traditional focus on research training - to include a focus on advanced knowledge and skill acquisition for the professions. This change in definition means that many more of our degrees are now classified as Bachelor Honours degrees.

What was an Honours degree prior to the revised AQF?

Honours in many areas has traditionally been a first step on the pathway to pursue a research higher degree (e.g. a Research Masters or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). Students with an Honours degree rather than the pass degree would typically have undertaken research relevant to their discipline. In some areas an Honours degree has also indicated a superior level of academic achievement

What is the Honours degree now?

The AQF now recognises that an Honours degree is much more than just a pathway to a research higher degree and that it also provides the skills that qualify individuals to apply a body of knowledge in a specific context to undertake professional work. This new definition aligns Australia better with international practice.

Students who now undertake an Honours degree will have the following graduate outcome:

Graduates at this level will have advanced knowledge and skills for professional or highly skilled work and/or further learning (Australian Qualifications Framework).

The AQF defines a Bachelor Honours degree as a qualification that prepares graduates:

  • For a higher level qualification involving research, or
  • To advance the knowledge, skills and application gained in their Bachelor Degree, or
  • For professional practice for which higher level of learning outcomes are required for entry

The University's current 4-year degrees include research and research training to ensure our graduates are prepared for professional or highly skilled work and/or further learning.

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