National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Fall/Winter 2012, Volume 13, Number 2


Copyright 2012 by the National Collegiate Honors Council


In this essay we consider the unique position of honours within undergraduate programs in Australian universities and the consequent implications for constructing pathways to research. A tension arises in academic disciplines that see honours as a fourth-year skilling program focused on the workplace when, at the institutional level, honours is positioned as the prerequisite for entry to a PhD. What emerges are competing pressures for advanced vocational training and preliminary research training for doctoral research. The tension is exacerbated by the need for universities to generate research cohorts in order to attract the funding that such cohorts bring to a university.