Honours in Law

What is Honours?

Honours in Law is a special commendation that appears on your University degree and academic record. Rather than ‘B.Laws’ after your name, your degree is listed as ‘B.Laws(Hons)’. It is a distinguishing feature that stays with you for life.

Unlike other courses, Honours in Law does not require an extra year of study – Honours takes the place of three alternate subjects in your final year of study (‘embedded’ Honours rather than ‘end-on’ Honours). Honours is a year-long course of study but is broken into two subjects. From 2022, all Honours students will need to complete the subject LAWS4016 Legal Research and Methodology in Autumn (10 credit points) and the subject LAWS 4011 Law Honours Dissertation (20 credit points) in Spring.

Enrolment in Honours is by application only. In line with Western Sydney University’s Honours in Bachelor Awards Policy, admission into the Law Honours program is not guaranteed for applicants who meet the criteria to be considered for admission. Applicants for the Honours program can be ranked on the basis of their entry marks if the Dean of the School indicates the number of applications exceeds the availability of supervised places.

There are three ‘Levels’ to Honours:

  • Honours First Class
  • Honours Second Class, Division 1
  • Honours Second Class, Division 2

What is covered in the subject LAWS 4016 Legal Research and Methodology?

This subject will give students enrolled in any undergraduate law course, the requisite skills and knowledge to prepare for the 20 credit point thesis subject LAWS4011 Law Honours Dissertation. The subject will assist Honours students in formulating a research topic, designing a plan for writing and research, putting together a literature review, writing a research proposal and writing and structuring a thesis. Honours students will also receive training in research methodologies and legal theories.

Honours students who do not complete the subject LAWS 4016 Legal Research and Methodology to a satisfactory level will not be permitted to progress in their Honours program.

What is covered in the subject Law Honours Dissertation?

The subject comprises the continued research and writing of a research dissertation of between 8,000 and 12,000 words on an approved topic in law that was developed in the subject LAWS 4016 Legal Research and Methodology. The subject is only open to students who have successfully completed the requirements of LAWS 4016 Legal Research and Methodology. The subject provides an opportunity for law students to further develop and refine their legal research and writing skills and to explore and analyse a legal topic in order to produce a high-quality piece of academic work.

The Honours Dissertation

Ultimately, you work with a supervisor to submit a dissertation of between 8,000 and 12,000 words at the end of the year on a topic of legal significance, which is then marked by two independent examiners.

What’s next?

If you are interested in Honours in Law, then you should see whether you are eligible to apply. You need to show the likelihood of having an Honours Weighted Average Mark (HWAM) of at least 70 at the time of graduation.

{See the FAQ page and the AAM/GPA Ready Reckoner for more information on how to conduct these calculations.}

If you might be eligible, then you need to consider a research topic and a possible supervisor. Students may be required to select from a list of topics set by the School of Law.

You can write to an academic staff member directly to arrange a consultation or you can write to the Law Honours Coordinator lawhonours@westernsydney.edu.au, who can make suggestions on possible supervisors.

Please note that satisfying the entry requirements and securing a supervisor do not guarantee you a place in the Honours program.

Applications for Honours in 2023 need to be submitted by 15 January 2023.