In addition to our advanced degrees, we also offer entry into Honours year for students who are completing their undergraduate qualification and have at least a credit average. It is also highly recommended for those contemplating a postgraduate degree.

Domestic and international students who achieve first class Honours at the RSC are guaranteed a PhD scholarship at the RSC (subject to availability of a supervisor in the area of interest).


Honours in chemistry is highly respected by potential employers in industry and the public sector and provides a "real world" environment in which to round off your education. During Honours you have the opportunity to undertake project work, work as part of a team, and get to know everyone in the RSC on an informal as well as a formal level.

Candidates for Honours in chemistry are expected to consolidate their general knowledge in chemistry that has been gained in the undergraduate course, and to gain a considerable body of new knowledge and experience with some freedom of selection within fields of interest of the academic staff, and within the range of facilities available.


Honours in chemistry comprises both a schedule of specific lecture courses and a research project worth at least 50% of the final assessment. This strong research component allows Honours students to develop their research skills, placing them in an excellent position to continue their career, either in academic research or in the industry. Honours students are required to nominate a research project and find an academic supervisor. The supervisor will guide the candidate in the selection of a suitable program of study and will direct the research project. For more information please contact the chemistry Honours coordinator Russell Barrow.

Research project

Potential projects can stem from our current research activities described in the research section or our academic staff profiles. Some members of staff describe specific projects while others sketch out general areas of research in which projects could be developed.

Each Honours candidate is expected to make use of and gain skills in a range of techniques, and to acquire facility in interpretation of results. The project may involve substantial bench-work, or a purely theoretical emphasis, or some combination of both. The one important point to bear in mind in undertaking a project is that it involves working closely with a member of staff who is supervising the project. The significance of your relationship with your supervisor cannot be overemphasised.


The courses offered in the Honours year are selected to provide a range across the chemistry disciplines. The specific courses available vary from year to year - as an example, the list of courses available for 2011 are listed below. Some courses assume prior study of particular areas at undergraduate level while others have no prerequisite.  Courses offered are such that all Honours students have the opportunity to complete the requisite number of courses, within their chemistry discipline of interest, to satisfy Honours year requirements.

Students are required to complete four courses, each consisting of about eight lectures or equivalent. The courses are chemistry discipline based (organic, inorganic and physical) and given by staff associated with Honours in chemistry.  The best three Honours course marks will be used towards the overall Honours grade, and are collectively worth 30% of their final mark. Assessment for these courses is flexible, with some courses assessed by examination (including oral presentation), some by assignment, and some by a combination of the two.  There is no formal enrolment process for courses. It is the students' responsibility to attend the appropriate lectures and complete the examination for whichever four courses they choose.


  • A/Prof Geoff Salem: Inorganic Stereochemistry
  • A/Prof Russell Barrow: Elements of Biosynthesis
  • Prof Gottfried Otting: NMR spectroscopy
  • Dr Yun Liu and Prof Ray Withers: Microscopy and Materials Characterisation
  • Prof David Ollis: Introduction to Protein Engineering
  • Prof Mick Collins: Theory of Chemical Reactions in the Gas Phase
  • Dr Colin Scott: Biocatalysis
  • Profs Tony Hill and Mark Humphrey: Organometallics and Nonlinear Optics
  • Prof Martin Banwell: Methods for the Formation of Small and Medium Ring Carbocycles
  • Prof Denis Evans: Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics (Theory)
  • Prof Edie Sevick: Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
  • General: News and views article

Study load

Honours in chemistry is available both as full time (Chem4005F) or part time (Chem4005P). Contact Russell Barrow for more information.


Students who have attained a sufficient standard in the degree program for the pass degree may be admitted to an Honours year. Departmental consent is also required to enrol in this course.

For further advice and information about Honours entry requirements please contact the chemistry Honours coordinator Russell Barrow, or the College Enquiries Office.

How to apply

Enrolment for Honours involves both applying for admission to the School/Department and, once you have been accepted, taking the formal step of enrolling with the University (if not a current ANU student). Students should consult with Dr Russell Barrow about the application process.

How to apply for Honours in Science

How to apply for Honours in Science (PDF 434KB)

Current ANU students

Current ANU students should submit an Honours application form directly to the Science Enquiries Office (Peter Baume Bld 42, level 2) using the Application for admission to Honours (science/current ANU students) form (pdf, 148KB).

Domestic applicants

Domestic students applying for Honours year should use the Application for Admission to Honours Year (PDF, 109KB) form.

International applicants

International students applying for Honours year should apply online.

Updated:  28 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RSC/Page Contact:  Web Admin, RSC