Sponsored by Arnold Bloch Leibler, the Honours Conference serve as a platform for Honours students undertaking the Honours Research Unit to present their thesis.
The award of an Honours degree in Law is currently based on the weighted average of marks obtained in Monash Law units. (Please note however, that the award of a degree with honours on this basis will no longer be available from January 1st 2015).
Depending on your Honours Weighted Average (HWA) you may be awarded may be awarded an Honours classification of HI, HIIA, HIIB or HIII. For further information, see Honour Classification and Order of Merit.
The Honours Weighted Average is the weighted average of all of a student's Monash law units in the degree.
Each law unit is weighted according to its value in the Bachelor of Laws:
It is possible to qualify for the degree with honours without undertaking LAW5207 Research Unit 512, in which students complete an honours thesis. However, students who undertake the unit receive a 20% bonus added to the grade achieved in that unit for the purposes of the HWA calculation. See Honours Research Unit below for more information.
The Faculty of Law calculates the order of merit in February of each year, based on the HWA of every completing student.
Honours cut-offs were determined and endorsed by Faculty Board Meeting 1/08. The following cut-offs were applied when determining the Honours grade in 2008:
|Honours grade||Weighted average|
Honours are awarded by the Faculty of Law based on the Order of Merit. You do not apply for the award of Honours.
The Order of Merit list ranks each student in the graduating cohort by their HWA. Students are identified by ID number only.
If you do not wish your ID number to be included in the Order of Merit, you can request that the number be withheld in the published list.
For their final full year of law, many of the Faculty's top students elect to enrol in the Honours Research Unit (LAW5207 Research Unit 512).
In the Honours Research Unit, you write an 8,000 - 10,000 word thesis under the supervision of an academic member of staff, on a topic you've chosen. You must have your topic approved by a staff member.
Undertaking an Honours thesis gives you the opportunity to choose an area of the law that fascinates you and, under expert guidance from a member of staff, to:
Students also attend 3 symposiums throughout the year, designed to support them through the research process. At the end of the year students present their thesis findings to their peers and invited guests at the Annual Honours Conference.
The unit has been designed to develop high level research and writing skills, and give students a deeper understanding of the discipline. You are also more likely to be considered for some highly sought-after jobs, such as a judge's associate, if you've included a major research project in your degree.
To be eligible for the Honours Research Unit, you must have both:
In recognition of the high level achievement in researching and writing a thesis, a bonus 20% is added to the grade obtained in that unit when calculating the student's overall Honours Weighted Average.
That 20% bonus may have a significant impact upon a student's Honours Weighted Average, and could easily affect the class of honours awarded, as well as the student's ranking in the order of merit in the graduating class. See Honours classifications and order of merit above.
Assume a student obtains a mark of 80% for her Honours Thesis (the median result for Honours theses in 2011 was in fact 82%). For the purposes of ascertaining the student's Honours Weighted Average (HWA), the thesis mark of 80% will count as a mark of 96% (80% + (20% * 80%)). More accurately, since the Honours Research Unit is a 12 point subject, it will count as the equivalent of marks of 96% in two (6 point) units.
Because of that weighting, a student who is doing a 156 credit point LLB as part of a combined degree, and who receives 80% for the Honours thesis, will receive a bonus of 1.23 marks in calculating the HWA.
That bonus of 1.23 marks could be crucial to the class of honours a student obtains, since only two marks separate each class of honours award. (see table of numerical values of HWAs for each class of honours, See Honours classifications and order of merit above).
|Honours thesis mark||Bonus marks in HWA|
In each case, the bonus will not necessarily, but might well, catapult the student into the award of a higher class of honours.
If you would like to commence the Honours Research Unit in 2013 you must lodge your application by 30th November 2012. Download the Honours program application form (doc, 80kb) or obtain a copy from the Student Services counter.
Successful applicants will be notified in December.
You will then, in consultation with a member of staff, be required to develop a research proposal, which will be submitted for approval by the Director of the Honours Program.
For further information about the Honours program, please contact:
First floor, Faculty of Law
Phone: + 61 3 9905 3300
Dr Kathy Laster
Convenor, Honours Program