Humanities and Social Sciences - Arts (Honours) course

Honours - Philosophy


The Philosophy Honours program prepares students who have majored in Philosophy and other related fields to undertake research into the works and ideas of key philosophical thinkers, and examine issues in areas such as political philosophy, ethics, epistemology and metaphysics. Advanced studies in philosophy will enhance students' abilities to comprehend and analyse complex issues, also to construct cogent arguments about them.


The study of philosophy provides students with 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; secondary and tertiary education; and, the mass media.

What is involved?

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 Philosophy Honours Coordinator. The Philosophy Honours Coordinator ensures that students have their own thesis research supervisor. The supervisor advises the student on the research and preparation of the thesis.

Honours thesis

An honours thesis, sometimes also known as an honours dissertation, is a document of independent research which is 14,000-16,000 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).

Finding a topic

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.

Your choice of topic must be refined in discussions with the academic staff in your discipline area. The Philosophy Honours Coordinator will refer you to the member of staff whose interests most closely align with your own.

Humanities and Social Sciences supervisors

Further information

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.

Contact details

Dr George Duke
Honours Course Adviser - Philosophy


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