Qualification group

Honours degrees


A postgraduate honours degree allows you to delve deeper and more rigorously into the subject you are passionate about. It involves a personalised study programme in the subject of your first degree; typically taking one year of full-time coursework which will include a research component.

Usually students need to have good final undergraduate grades to be eligible. However, prerequisites vary between subjects — you will need to check with the relevant school or departmental website.

Honours degrees are often a pathway to further study, for instance students who complete to a satisfactory standard may be able to progress to a master’s degree by thesis only.

Entry requirements

Usually your honours degree will be in the same subject you majored in for your undergraduate degree, and you need to have good 300-level grades to be eligible. However, prerequisites vary between subjects – you need to 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.

Qualification options

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.

The following honours degrees are offered at the University of Canterbury:

Note: Other honours degrees at UC eg, the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours and Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology Honours, are studied as part of a four-year undergraduate programme of study. Some undergraduate degrees offer an honours programme to high-achieving students and participation is by invite-only (eg, the Bachelor of Laws and the Bachelor of Fine Arts).


Normally, an honours degree at UC is a stand-alone one-year full-time (or longer part-time) programme of coursework, totalling 120 points, undertaken after completion of a bachelor’s degree.

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

Further study

Students who complete an honours degree to a satisfactory standard may be permitted to proceed to a master’s programme by thesis, a master’s by research programme or a provisional enrolment in a PhD. For more information about this, contact the relevant school or department.

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