Program Overview

Computer Science Honours takes one year full-time or two years part-time of study.

The honours year has two components:

  • formal coursework
  • thesis project work

Students who attain a 1st Class, or 2nd Class Division 1 Honours degree are eligible for direct entry to a PhD or research Masters program at most Australian universities. An award of 1st Class Honours is required for a successful application to an APA (Australian Postgraduate Award), worth approximately $16,000 per annum, to pursue a higher degree, provided the candidate is eligible for such an award.


Students who have graduated with a three year computer science degree from the University of NSW or another university can apply for admission to honours. Normally, students are expected to have attained an overall weighted average mark (WAM) of 65 to qualify for entry to the honours year. Students who do not meet this expectation may be admitted in special circumstances.

In certain circumstances it may be possible to apply for admission into honours before you have completed third year, please contact the student office if you need to request this option. If you are admitted early, you must maintain a 65 average or you will be put back into the computer science major study plan.

How to Apply

Current UNSW Computer Science students wishing to apply for entry to Computer Science Honours should email the undergrad team with a request to transfer.

Students that have graduated with a three year Computer Science degree from another university may apply for entry into the honours year through UNSW Admissions. 

For more information:

Goals and Objectives

The goals of the program are to:

  • Provide advanced training in computer science to enable graduates to competently undertake sophisticated computing tasks in industry and commerce.
  • Provide investigative academic training in preparation for undertaking postgraduate research, through Masters and PhD programs.

In attaining these goals the following objectives are considered important:

  • To expand the scope and depth of training, by course work, in chosen areas.
  • To foster the development of personal initiative and group interaction by encouraging individual and cooperative investigation of topics of interest.
  • To foster the development of creativity and project management by the planning and undertaking of significant project work.
  • To promote the development of verbal and written presentation skills.
  • To provide an environment for open and free enquiry based on the accepted tenets of academic scepticism.
  • To expose students to the rigour and excitement of novel enquiry.

Program Structure

UOC denotes Units of Credit, a measure of the amount of work required in a course.

Honours Year S1 UOCS2 UOC
COMP4910 Thesis Part A 3 -
COMP4911 Thesis Part B - 15
  Year 3/4 COMP Electives. 24 6
    27 21

Formal Coursework

Computer Science Honours students must complete 30uoc worth of level 3 or higher computing electives; at least 18uoc must be level 4 or postgraduate electives. Students may substitute courses with level 4 courses from other schools with the permission of the Program Director.

The details of each course appear in the Undergraduate handbook.

Students enrolled in Computer Science Honours are not permitted to select an additional major.


You should consult the thesis homepage to learn what the requirements for the thesis project are.

The thesis project consists of the two courses, COMP4910 (semester 1) and COMP4911 (semester 2). View a list of projects. You should talk to prospective supervisors about projects as soon as possible, otherwise you may find that the project that interests you has been taken by another student.

Honours Year Assessment

Honours grading is based on the weighted average mark (WAM) of all the courses in your honours year or all the courses in all four years of your degree, whichever one gives a higher grade of honours. Courses are weighted by their unit value.


4 year WAM

Honours year WAM

Medal 85 88
1 76 79
2/1 69 72
2/2 65 68

To receive the medal, the thesis must also be outstanding (typically 90+).