Honours - What honour students say:
Anthropology honours 2011
Working at an organisation for young refugees
I still had a great thirst for knowledge after finishing my bachelor degree; anthropology had instilled a deep desire in me to learn more. Therefore, I continued my studies with an honours degree.
The year was challenging and involved more reading than I had done in my entire life, but the elated feeling I got from handing in my thesis was well worth the effort. I now have a fantastic job, which I love, working with young refugees and I really believe that if it wasn't for honours and the independent research skills which it provided, I would not have gotten this job.
I now have a fantastic job, which I love, and I really believe that if it wasn't for honours and the independent research skills which it provided, I would not have gotten this job.
Criminology honours 2011
Working at the Australian Institute of Criminology
Undertaking my honours year at Deakin University was one of the most rewarding experiences of my university studies. The combination of thesis and course work challenged my time management skills but allowed me to extend my understanding of contemporary criminological theories and research. The fortnightly criminology seminar was invaluable in providing specific learning outcomes. They helped my writing, essay structure and helped me prepare for presentation at the Australian and New Zealand Criminology Postgraduate Conference.
In October 2011 I started work at the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) where I am working with the Crime and Populations Team undertaking a variety of research projects on Indigenous and youth justice. My position requires high standards of research and writing, flexibility, adaptability and an understanding of the current issues facing the criminal justice system - skills that were fostered and developed during my honours year at Deakin.
Criminology honours 2011
Tutoring at Deakin University
As well as developing new skills through my research project on 'drugs and crime', the 2011 Deakin honours program honed my analysis of contemporary criminological issues. My hard work during my honours year is now paying off. Currently I am working to get my honours research findings published in a reputable journal and I am tutoring at Deakin University. As my prospects for becoming a PhD candidate in 2013 remain high, I feel that honours has provided me with new opportunities that would not have been available with a three year undergraduate degree.
I decided to do my honours as I want to work in research in the criminology field. In attempting to write a thesis I wanted to see if I was going to be up to the task in pursuing my goal of working with research. My experience Deakin thus far has been fantastic, as they have enable me to intermit my studies whilst I had my 2 children, so now hopefully once I get my honours degree I will be ready to start my new career.
'My job requires high standards of research and writing, flexibility, adaptability and an understanding of the current issues facing the criminal justice system - skills that were fostered and developed during my honours year'
History honours 2011
Cadet, Pagemasters (Australian Associated Press)
After completing my undergraduate degree in international relations and history, I knew that I wanted to pursue further study. Undertaking honours appealed to me, as I wanted to delve into a specific area to make an original contribution. During the early stages I could not decide on my thesis topic, however, I had always taken an interest in 19th century history and more specifically, the relationship between church and state. I became a regular at the State Library of Victoria and visited Victoria University's exclusive Rationalist Collection.
Writing an honours thesis enabled me to develop my own ideas and get what was once in my head, on paper. Working on a project of that magnitude has greatly assisted me in sharpening my research, writing and editing skills - all of which are essential for a career in journalism.
History honours 2011
Tutor at Swinburne University
Two years into my undergraduate degree - which included an overseas exchange to both Sweden and the USA - I developed a real interest in Australian foreign and defence policy in the region and was determined to pursue this area. As I wanted to work in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and I knew that entry was very competitive, I felt that my strongest chance would be served through a masters in my area of interest from a respectable overseas university. However, I knew that I would need to demonstrate a high level of skill and commitment to gain a place. An honours degree seemed like the perfect solution. Two years after submitting my honours thesis, I completed a masters degree at Kings College London!
What did the Honours year allow you to do? How did it enhance your prospects? Was it intellectually satisfying?
Research. I could do independent research and could do what I wanted. I felt that my undergraduate units did not allow me to undergo original research.
The thesis allowed me to do original work that no one had done before. It was very satisfying to know that I am making some contribution, however, small, to knowledge and learning. The feeling of independence was very exciting.
Supervisor. I loved working with my supervisor. I was in absolute awe of her. I wanted to hear her say that I was doing well. I was in awe of the knowledge that she could share with me after such a long and important career. The fact she was prepared to put so much effort into my work was very exciting and satisfying and made me feel grateful and excited. She came to my graduation and our friendship is ongoing.
What doors did it open?
In the first three weeks, my supervisor asked if I wanted to do post-grad, I laughed as I didn't think I would survive the year. However, my ambitions changed through the year and I am now doing postgraduate study because I love the environment and combining research and teaching is deeply satisfying.
|Undertaking honours appealed to me, as I wanted to delve into a specific area to make an original contribution.|
International Relations honours 2010
The most rewarding component of the honours degree was that it allowed me to pursue my own research. After three years of essays and set questions, the opportunity to do my own research project was liberating. More to the point, the honours program provided the platform to take my research, writing and intellectual skills to another level. At the end of the program you have a sense of ownership over the research and your thesis.
Immediately after the honours program I completed an internship at the Global Poverty Project in Sydney. I have also worked as a tutor at Deakin on a number of occasions. Most importantly, the honours program provided me with the skills and pathway to further postgraduate research.
'The honours program provided the platform to take my research, writing and intellectual skills to another level.'
Doing Honours in Sociology was a life changing experience for me. It is a total change of pace from the undergrad experience, and I loved being able to put the years of learning into practice through conducting my own research project.
Doing Honours was a great way for me to experience the practicalities of doing social research and gave me the training and confidence to go on to tackle a PhD after my honours year. The best part about doing honours is that you no longer are one of hundreds, you receive individual, focussed attention and mentoring from your supervisors and are able to access a depth of personal expertise that is not available during your introductory undergrad years.
I highly recommend doing Honours to anyone who wants to put their academic skills to the test in a very relevant and well supported way. Doing Honours not only gave me a challenging and rewarding project to work on, but it also gave me a professional edge in my career and a true sense of personal satisfaction to have reached a pinnacle I'd never in my wildest dreams thought I'd achieve one day.
'Doing Honours in Sociology was a life changing experience for me. It is a total change of pace from the undergrad experience, and I loved being able to put the years of learning into practice through conducting my own research project.'