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The International and Political Studies Honours program prepares students who have majored in Politics, Policy Studies, International Relations and other related fields to undertake research into problems of conflict and power, as well as those of ideology and methodology. Advanced studies in politics and international relations will enhance students' abilities to comprehend and analyse complex issues and also to construct cogent arguments about them.
The study of politics and international relations provides the knowledge and skills needed for positions in policy analysis and formulation, in both the public and private sectors and in non-government organisations (NGOs). Our graduates have secured employment in diverse occupations and professions across a wide range of organisations including: public service departments and statutory authorities (local, state and federal); State and Federal parliaments; domestic and international non-government organisations and lobby groups; business (from small business to multinational corporations and umbrella associations); political parties and electoral offices; secondary and tertiary education; and, the mass media.
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.
An honours thesis, sometimes also known as an honours dissertation, is a document of independent research which is 14,000 to 16,000 words in length. A thesis is written under the supervision of a member of staff whose responsibilities are to advise the student as to the form and content of the dissertation. Your thesis topic will be developed in conjunction with your supervisor. Your supervisor is there to direct your thesis research and the overall theoretical, methodological and conceptual themes that emerge from your own work. Beyond that, the scope of your thesis is entirely up to you (provided of course you fit in with the prescribed ethical guidelines established by Deakin University).
The Honours program consists of four credit points of coursework plus four credit points of research work on a 14,000 - 16,000 word dissertation. That is, Honours students will study four separate coursework units and write a thesis based upon independent research.
The precise mix in a given semester will depend on whether you enrol full time (one year) or part time (over two years) and whether you commence at the start of the year or mid-year. Please discuss your plans in this regard with the School Honours Coordinator. The School Honours Coordinator ensures that students have their own thesis research supervisor. The supervisor advises the student on the research and preparation of the thesis.
Students submitting a thesis will be required to give an oral presentation of their research at a School Honours Seminar. This is an important opportunity to field advice and constructive criticism from academics other than your own supervisor.
It is important, for your own motivation, that you write on a topic or examine or analyse a problem that interests you. This topic must, however, be viable. This means that the sources it requires must be readily available and not too voluminous to make the task beyond the scope of a dissertation of this length. You should be able to research and write your thesis in six months if you are a full-time student, or one year if you are part-time. Please discuss your plans in this regard with the School Honours Coordinator.
Your choice of topic must be refined in discussions with the academic staff in your discipline area. The School Honours Coordinator ensures that students have their own thesis research supervisor and will refer you to the member of staff whose interests most closely align with your own. The supervisor advises the student on the research and preparation of the thesis.
Information regarding the units of study for the Honours program can be found in the discipline sequence section, of the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) course summary.
Dr Andrew Vandenberg
Politics and Policy Studies Honours Course Adviser
Dr Chengxin Pan
International Relations Honours Course Adviser