Program Overview

Program 4515

Computer Science (Honours) is a separate one year full-time or two years part-time program.

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.

Entry Requirements

Students who have graduated with a three year science degree in Computer Science 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.

How to Apply

Current UNSW Computer Science students wishing to apply for entry should email the undergrad team with a request for admission in their final semester.

Domestic students that have graduated with a three year Computer Science degree from another university may apply for entry into the program through UNSW Admissions by completing this form. Applicants will also need to submit Pre-Approval of their Thesis Supervisor, more information on this can be found op the Topic Nomination page.

International students can apply online through UNSW Admissions via UNSW Apply Online.

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
COMP4930 Thesis Part A 6 -
COMP4941 Thesis Part B - 12
  Year 4 or higher COMP Electives 18 12
    24 24

Formal Coursework

Students must complete 30uoc worth of level 4 or higher computing electives; the electives selected need to be relevant to the thesis topic and selected after discussion with a thesis supervisor. 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 are not permitted to select an additional major in this program.


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

The thesis projects consists of the two courses, COMP4930 and COMP4941 which must be completed in consecutive semesters. Information on selecting your thesis topic can be found here. You should talk to prospective supervisors about your proposed topic as soon as possible, otherwise you may find that the topic 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 completed in your honours program. Courses are weighted by their unit of credit value.

  • Honours Class 1 - WAM of 85 and over
  • Honours Class 2, Division 1 - WAM of 75 to less than 85
  • Honours Class 2, Division 2 - WAM of 65 to less than 75
  • Honours Class 3 - WAM of 50 to less than 65

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