One question commonly asked by most undergraduate students is whether taking an Honours year is really worth the time and money.
After you have covered a wide range of topics in your undergraduate studies, you will have a wide range of research topics to consider for your Honours year. The Honours year will then allow you to explore the topic of your choice in greater depth. In fact, spending a year researching a specific topic of your interest might even help with your career in future.
The Honours degree will also demonstrate to prospective employers your ability to achieve complex goals, do thorough research and meet tight deadlines.
In this article, we will look at what the Honours degree covers, what to expect in your Honours year, and who the Honours programme is best suited for.
1. What is an Honours Degree?
Although there are universities that offer degrees with Honours without an extra year, some universities provide you with an option to spend an extra year in school to pursue an Honours degree after you have obtained your Bachelor’s degree. However, keep in mind that you will need to meet minimum academic qualifications to qualify for the Honours year.
So what does the Honours year entail exactly?
An Honours year is basically an opportunity to delve further into academic research in your chosen topic. During the additional year after your undergraduate course, you will be spending time completing a thesis paper and conducting intensive research to support your thesis. You will have to decide on a research question from the topics you studied in your undergraduate years.
2. What to Expect for Honours Year
During your Honours year, you will basically be working on your thesis or dissertation. It is therefore important to ensure that you have chosen a topic you are comfortable with or have good knowledge about before you start the project.
Before starting your research project, you will spend some time thinking, reading extensively and consulting with professors and your peers about important elements of the project. This includes choosing a potential topic of interest, independent research, and finally, writing the dissertation.
It is always a good idea to be prepared ahead of time. You can start thinking about possible research topics even before you start your Honours year. Ensure that your interest or passion for the topic is sufficient to sustain you for an entire year of research, and at the same time, has gaps to be filled in current research or knowledge. Another critical factor to consider would be to ensure that your thesis can be completed within a year.
Take time to think carefully, read a lot, and consult with your peers and professors before you set your eyes on a research topic. Make sure that you understand all the important elements of the topic so you can have a less challenging time when writing the thesis paper.
3. Who Should Consider Taking an Honours Degree?
An Honours degree is an introduction to further academic research, with many graduates making use of this opportunity as a pathway to undertake a PhD. Some graduates continue their education after publishing research papers based on their honours projects.
Completing an Honours degree will help to prepare you for Master’s degree and PhD, it will also demonstrate to prospective employers your capacity for independent research, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Well, if you are thinking of attaining a PhD in future, spending a year in university doing research can kickstart your pathway to graduate school and eventually propel you towards a doctorate. An Honours year gives you a chance to explore your expertise and passions before committing to a Master’s or PhD programme in future.
Besides, attaining an Honours degree considerably enhances your undergraduate qualification and transferable skills, greatly increasing your chances of gaining employment in Singapore upon graduation.