General Honours Information

Objectives of Honours

  • To expand the student's knowledge in selected areas of biotechnology and biomolecular sciences and to encourage critical appraisal of research literature.
  • To develop the student's level of competence in:
    • application of a wide range of contemporary techniques in the field
    • general principles and techniques required in specialised research areas within biotechnology and biomolecular sciences
  • To foster interest in some of the broader issues implicit in science and technology

These objectives are achieved by:

  • introductory skills workshop, tutorials and seminars    
  • Honours project of an experimental nature, carried out under the supervision of an academic staff member     
  • discipline-specific activity

Components of the Honours program

BABS Honours orientation course

Orientation for BABS Honours students comprises a series of tutorials and seminars held during the first week of the semester. Attendence is compulsory. During this time, students will be fully occupied with workshop activities and will be discouraged from attempting research work.

Research plan seminar

This is a 10-minute seminar that is held in March (August for mid-year entry). Other students, staff, will attend. In consultation with your supervisor, you will develop and present a plan of your research for the year: Why? How? When? Your supervisor will provide a critique of your research plan in a written summary that will subsequently be provided to you in April (October for mid-year entry).

Literature review

The literature review is an important component of the continuous assessment for all Honours projects. It comprises a major assignment of approximately 3,000 words (not more than 4,000 words) on the topic of each student's project, selected in consultation with the project supervisor. The aims of this review are for students to become familiar with the UNSW library and all its resources, and to develop a critical approach in assessing published literature in the area relevant to their research project.

Final research seminar program

Each student will present a 15-20 minute seminar to the School on the outcomes of their research towards the end of their project in October (April for mid-year entry). This component is worth 10% of the final mark.

Research project

This is the major part of the Honours year and accounts for 90% of the final mark. Close consultation with supervisors is essential. A written practice thesis is due for lodgement in August (February for mid-year entry). The student's final report will then be submitted as a thesis in October (May for mid-year entry).