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Honours degrees

20 September 2023

A postgraduate honours degree lets you delve deeper into a subject from your undergraduate bachelor's degree. It involves a personalised study programme that usually takes a year of full-time coursework and includes a research component. An honours degree is often a path to further study. Check out the qualification options and entry requirements.


A postgraduate honours degree allows you to delve deeper and more rigorously into the subject from your first undergraduate bachelor's degree. It involves a personalised study programme typically taking one year of full-time coursework, including a research component.

Honours degrees are often a pathway to further study, such as master’s degrees.

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The following honours degrees are offered at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury:

Some undergraduate bachelor's degrees offer an honours programme to high-achieving students and participation is by invite-only:

Note: Other honours degrees at UC eg, the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours, the Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours, the Bachelor of Digital Screen with Honours, the Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours, and the Bachelor of Social Work with Honours are studied as part of a four-year undergraduate bachelor's degree programme, and are open to students without previous university studies.

Usually your honours degree will be in the same subject you majored in for your bachelor's degree, and you need to have good 300-level grades to be eligible. However, other requirements may vary between subjects – check with the relevant school or department. A good indication of your readiness for honours-level study is the achievement of B grades or better in your final-year undergraduate courses.

Each honours year is an individual, personal course of study, devised in consultation with staff from your department or school. It is therefore important that you contact them as early as possible to discuss your plans.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements if English is your additional language.

Find out how to apply for postgraduate qualifications.

An honours degree at UC is usually a one-year programme of coursework totalling 120 points. Part-time study is also available, usually for up to two years.

Honours programmes normally begin in the first semester (February). Honours 400-level courses are generally offered in first semester (February–June) and second semester (July–October), however some courses run through both semesters (whole year courses).

Those who complete an honours degree to a satisfactory standard may be able to proceed to a master’s degree, or gain provisional enrolment in a doctoral degree. For more information about this, contact the relevant school or department.

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