Begin your research journey in social science.
This program gives you the opportunity to research an area you’re passionate about. You’ll build your research skills with the support of a Faculty of Arts, Business and Law academic with relevant research interests and expertise in your chosen area of study.
Learn to critically review relevant published literature and undertake useful and meaningful research. You are empowered to design and conduct a thesis study to contribute to social science research. Join our research student community and attend the Faculty’s fortnightly research seminar, thesis seminars and discussion groups with other research students.
You develop your presentation skills and deliver at least two lectures on your research progress. At the end of your honours program, continue your research with further postgraduate study or a higher research degree.
Counselling; development studies; geography; human services; Indigenous studies, politics and international relations; social work; sociology; sustainability.
Students must have completed a Bachelor of Social Science, or a related degree from a recognised higher education institution, with at least eight courses in the area of study of their thesis topic. A good level of achievement in the intended area of study must be demonstrated. These are minimum requirements and do not guarantee entry. Importantly, enrolment is contingent upon the Faculty's capacity to provide appropriate supervision in the intended field of research.
Depending on the research area selected, academia, government / corporate positions in applied sociology, community and welfare services, policy development, public administration.
Application and admission advice
Contact Student Central
+61 7 5430 2890
Ground floor, Building C, Sippy Downs
USC medal for makeup artist with psychology degree
A professional makeup artist who became fascinated by the psychology of customer care and business management has received a University Medal from USC for outstanding academic results in her Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology).
Graduate happy for guide dog to steal the show
Nicole Damarra’s guide dog, Nev, stole the show when she graduated from USC in 2013, with Chancellor John Dobson also shaking hands with the clever canine after congratulating Nicole on gaining a Bachelor of Social Science.
25 May 2016
Degree helps banker become community worker
A desire to effect social change in her hinterland community and to improve the health of people across the Sunshine Coast motivated former banking boss Gillian Hall’s recent graduation from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
20 August 2014
Psychology PhD examines 'food cues'
A USC researcher is examining whether food cues in the environment – such as supermarket, television and roadside advertising – are contributing to the obesity epidemic.
28 January 2014
Study examines how people cope after natural disasters
Research findings by a University of the Sunshine Coast Honours student could lead to improved psychological intervention programs for people traumatised by natural disasters.
20 November 2013
Psychologist heads Social Sciences at USC
An experimental psychologist who has worked as an academic from Canberra to Brisbane over more than 20 years is now Head of School of Social Sciences at USC.
What will I study
The Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) structure is usually as follows:
- a 48 unit coursework component (consisting of a combination of courses weighted from 12 to 24 units), and
- a 48 unit thesis component
Satisfactory participation in the Faculty Honours Seminar is also required.
If completing your honours program part-time over two years, the first year will normally comprise coursework and the second will be dedicated to your thesis.
Coursework comprises a mix of:
- ART411 Research Design: Methodology and Literature Review
- reading courses based on a program of supervised reading
- existing courses in the chosen area of study, with additional prescribed reading and assessment
- dedicated honours courses, or
- relevant courses through other universities
The thesis component consists of a sustained scholarly project developed from the research proposal a student submits with their honours enrolment application.
The nature and topic of the thesis component is determined by the student's interests, the interests of potential supervisors and the availability of appropriate supervision.
The research proposal accompanying the honours enrolment application is normally two to three pages in length. It includes an outline of the research topic, its rationale, and an indication of the research methodology, and should refer to relevant literature in the topic area.
The completed thesis is normally 15,000–25,000 words in length. The required length is determined by the precise nature of the research, in consultation with the supervisor and subject to the approval of the Dean.
The degree is awarded in one of the three classes:
- Class I
- Class IIA
- Class IIB
- Class III
The class of honours awarded may not be more than one grade higher than the grade for the thesis. For example, if you receive a ‘Credit’ grade for your thesis, you may not be awarded the honours degree at a higher level than Class IIA, regardless of the average mark.
Enrolment and fees
- In any semester, standard full-time enrolment comprises 0.500 EFTSL **
- In any semester, standard part-time enrolment comprises 0.250 EFTSL **
- The census date for withdrawal without financial penalty or academic penalty is the Semester 1 or 2 census date
- Commonwealth supported students pay student contributions
- Students who are not Commonwealth-supported pay full tuition fees
Note: Program structures are subject to change. Not all USC courses are available on every USC campus.
Total units: 96
Recommended study sequence
Students who commenced prior to the current semester must complete the courses from their original program structure unless otherwise advised. For courses no longer included in the current sequence, use the course links in your structure for details of requisites and scheduling. This is a recommended study sequence to complete your program within the specified full-time duration.
Faculty Honours Seminar Program
The University’s Honours Seminar Program helps build an honours research culture within USC, and provides opportunities for honours students from across the University to meet. At least one oral presentation at the Faculty’s honours seminars is a requirement of the Bachelor of Social Science (Honours).
All coursework is normally graded internally. A copy of your thesis will be sent to two independent examiners, one of whom is normally internal and the other of whom is external to the University of the Sunshine Coast.
How to apply
Am I eligible to apply?
- Confirm that you meet the program specific admission requirements, prerequisites and recommended prior study outlined on Why study this program?
- Confirm you meet the English Language Proficiency requirements
- Refer to the application dates for cut-off dates and deadlines
- Browse ideas for research projects
- Make an appointment with the Honours Coordinator within the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law to discuss your potential research topic and the availability of suitable supervisors.
- Download the Application for Honours program form
- Lodge the completed application form with supporting documentation to Student Central by the due date.
Apply direct to USC International
International students should contact USC International