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Doing Honours in Literary Studies enables a student to choose a field of study to become expert in and to find a supervisor who shares your passion about your area to guide your exploration of it. It often serves as a stepping stone to a higher degree in Literary Studies. Honours also offers opportunities to think through methodological and research issues particular to Literary Studies and to frame your research in self-consciously theorised ways. You will also have the opportunity to do a unit specifically on Literary Theory and to explore a range of theoretical models. You will extend your knowledge of literature via two reading units in areas not available as part of the undergraduate major.
An Honours degree can enhance students' career prospects in areas as diverse as the media and other parts of the cultural and communication 'industries', professional and community arts. Demand for advanced literacy and communication skills, and research and report writing skills, the kinds of expertise which our Honours graduates possess, are increasing in the twenty-first century.
Many students who do Honours in Literary Studies have postgraduate study in their sights and ultimately a job as an academic if they prove to have aptitude. However, some find Honours to be a useful way of increasing the depth of their teaching method in English. In recent years, honours graduates in Literary Studies who have gone on to complete a teaching qualification have jumped three increments (yearly advances in salary) because of having an Honours Degree.
Successful completion of an Honours degree also positions students for postgraduate study, whether immediately following or after settling into a career and wishing to develop further their expertise and prospects for professional advancement. Honours students have gone on to further study through Masters Degrees by Coursework, Masters Degrees by Research, and PhD.
The normal pattern is to complete two core units comprising AAR410 (Honours Research Methods) and AAR412 (Honours Theory), 4 credit points of thesis units, and two reading units.
Theses in Literary Studies normally take the form of extended analysis of text(s), or a genre, or a movement, or a new application of literary theory to texts. The thesis is about 15,000 words, and will demonstrate awareness of trends in the field of study.
Some literary studies staff are available to supervise creative literary theses, and such work needs to be written in conjunction with an exegesis, which comprises not less than 40% of the total word-length of 15,000 words.
Further information including units of study can be found in the Deakin course search.
Dr Geoff Boucher, Honours Discipline Course Adviser (Literary Studies)
Dr Elizabeth Bullen, Honours Coordinator
'Primarily, Honours is a gift of independence, allowing you as a student to mark your own territory in research. Developing targets, identifying problems and gaps in critical discourse and managing a project larger than any assigned in the undergraduate years provide valuable lessons in analytical thinking, self motivation and time management.'