Honours is a one-year program that you can take after a three-year Bachelor Degree in Science. In Biology, Honours is entirely research-based and will introduce you to all aspects of scientific research: experimental design, data collection, statistical analysis, scientific writing and publishing.

The Honours year is very different from your earlier years at University. As an Honours student you work mostly on your own (with assistance and encouragement from your supervisor and examiners' committee), at your own speed, and you make your own decisions on how your work and research should proceed. Honours is also a socially rewarding experience that involves interacting with a wide range of fellow students and research staff.

While Honours is essential if you wish to continue on to a PhD and pursue a career as a research scientist, it also opens the door to a wider range of career options.  Employers are increasingly looking for Honours graduates, even when the advertised job does not involve scientific research, because Honours equips students with the analytical, technical, problem-solving and communication skills required to successfully tackle the challenges of any job.

Apply for Honours  

You can commence your Honours year either in late January/early February or in July. There are a limited number of Honours places available and there are limits on how many students a supervisor may take. Therefore, it is important to make your decision about Honours early. The application deadline is 15 December (February start) or 31 May (July start).

There are two main entry requirements for Honours;

  1. Satisfactory completion of your undergraduate degree, with a minimum of a 70% average calculated from your 6 highest marked 2000 and 3000 level courses relevant to the proposed field of Honours study.
  2. The agreement of a Research School of Biology Lab Leader to act as your supervisor (please fill out the Nomination of Supervisor Form (PDF, 156K) which the potential supervisor must sign) and one of the honours applications below. If a primary supervisor has not participated in the Biology Honours Program previously or is external to RSB, an experienced co-supervisor in RSB may be required.  Please ask the Honours Convenor if you are unsure.

Your first step is to identify a supervisor who will be your principal mentor and academic adviser. Preferably, you should start looking for a supervisor around the beginning of the final semester of your Bachelor Degree. Talk to several academics as their ability to accept you as a student in their laboratory depends on many things – what other students they have, what funding they have and whether they will be available for the whole year. Potential projects are listed in the links below, but discuss them with supervisors as they can be tailored to your interests and skills. Once you decide on a project in agreement with a supervisor, if you have discussed projects with other supervisors, please let them know as a courtesy. They need to remain informed as it affects their decision to accept other students.

View potential RSB research projects


  1. The Biology Honours program starts 1-3 weeks prior to the official start of semester. Future honours students can contact rsb.studentadmin@anu.edu.au to confirm the actual start date or request the actual timetable. Current honours students can access timetable information through Wattle.
  2. The Honours course is BIOL4001 Biology Honours if enrolment is full-time. Students interested in part-time enrolment should discuss this with the Honours Convener (listed on the Honours BIOL4001 page).