An Honours thesis is a substantial project which should demonstrate understanding of research processes and scholarly conventions. In scope, the thesis does not necessarily make a new contribution, but should be an independent and valuable contribution to the field of study.
- Language: English (CHIN/INDN/JAP & KORN/RSSN); French (FREN), Spanish (SPAN), English or German (GRMN)
- Length: 15000-20000 wds (English); 12000-16000wds (Spanish/French/German)
- Submission date: by the last day of teaching of the respective semester. Submit at the School Office (Gordon Greenwood Level 3) addressed to the School Honours Coordinator (for the current Honours coordinator click here)
- TWO soft-bound printed copies. Double sided accepted. After examination, the copies will be kept in School library, and one by the supervisor. (They will not be returned to the student, so students may make an extra copy for themselves). An electronic copy should also be submitted to the School Honours Coordinator (for the current Honours coordinator click here).
The following requirements constitute a set of criteria which examiners are asked to take into consideration in arriving at a final thesis grade:
- Research problem - design and rationale. The identification of clear research objectives and the development of an appropriate research design to address these objectives;
- Quality of argument - Demonstration of an ability to formulate, develop and present a clearly defined and logical argument supported by literature and own study where relevant.
- Use of relevant literature. Demonstration of an ability to review and assess the relevant literature and to use it as the basis of an analytical framework for the thesis;
- Use of appropriate source materials including the primary language sources. Proficiency in selecting and locating relevant source materials/data and their appropriateness to the research objectives;
- Methodology. Understanding and justification of the use of appropriate methods and techniques;
- General presentation. Clear presentation and organisation of material without grammatical and other infelicities;
- Quality of language used will be assessed. Separate criteria may apply for theses written in LOTE.
- Assessment of the dissertation as a whole. Evidence of coherent, central argument.
In providing an overall assessment as requested in the last criterion, examiners are asked to consider the following general guidelines:
7 . Excellent. Class I. 80%+
makes an independent and valuable contribution to the field; well written and argued, revealing a perceptive and intellectually probing evaluation of the subject based on thorough research appropriate to an Honours thesis. Quality is evident in argument, insights or intellectual evaluation, supporting evidence and expression. Material is presented with correct scholarly documentation
6 Very Good. Class IIA. 70-79%
makes an independent and valuable contribution to the field; well written and argued on the whole and shows ability to draw perceptive conclusions and make an intellectually probing evaluation of the subject based on thorough research appropriate to an Honours thesis. Weaknesses or limitations are present, however, which when taken together exclude the thesis from the excellence category. Such limitations might include some limitation in insights or intellectual evaluation, gaps in supporting evidence, confused expression and occasionally inadequate or defective scholarly presentation.
5 Good. Class IIB. 60-69%
adequate treatment of the topic within the definition of an independent and valuable contribution to the field; relative limitations in scope, perception or argument; in addition, or alternatively, there may be flaws in such areas as documentation, quality of research or written presentation of such an order that the total result although adequate is not distinguished
4 Satisfactory. Class III. 50-59%
limited in such areas as its research, argument or documentation. Meets threshold requirements in insights or intellectual evaluation, supporting evidence, expression and presentation.
3 Fail. <50%.
neither an independent nor valuable contribution to the field, nor sufficiently well written and argued to meet the requirements of an Honours thesis. Quality of research inadequate, arguments unsound or too derivative, presentation unscholarly and writing poor.
Please note that final grades for Honours are awarded on the basis of the average weighted percentage for all courses taken and that awarded to the research thesis which comprises 50% of the total grade.