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 two alternate units in your final year of study (‘embedded’ Honours rather than ‘end-on’ Honours).

Enrolment in Honours is by application only.

There are three ‘Levels’ to Honours:

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

[The Law School does not award Honours Third Class.]

What work does Honours involve?

Honours is a year-long unit. You attend fortnightly seminars, during which you receive advanced training on research, argument and writing. You also meet regularly with a supervisor, who is a member of the Law School academic staff and helps you develop your dissertation.

Ultimately, you submit a dissertation of between 10,000 and 12,000 words at the end of the year on a topic of legal significance, which is then marked by two independent examiners.

There are also assessments during the year that assist with the dissertation – a detailed research proposal, an oral presentation of your proposal, a literature review and an oral presentation of your final dissertation. These assessments are marked on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis and your grade in the unit is based solely on your dissertation mark.

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. The form you complete includes a list of topics defined by academic staff in the School, or you can define your own. You can write to an academic staff member directly to arrange a consultation or if you are considering nominating your own topic and unsure which staff member to approach, you can write to the Law Honours Program Coordinator (lawhonours@westernsydney.edu.au), who can make suggestions on possible supervisors.

If you wish to take on a supervisor-defined topic, you need only submit your application via the online application form (see right margin). If you wish to define your own topic, then you should first meet with a possible supervisor and obtain an indication of interest from that person before completing the form.

The form allows you to express preferences for supervisor-defined topics as well as defining one of your own.

Applications for Honours in 2021 need to be submitted by mid-February 2021.