Your Honours year can be the most exciting, intense, challenging and transformative period of your scientific career. 'Doing Honours' not only means attending advanced lecture courses, but also undertaking a research project. This takes you from the knowledge gained in coursework into the uncertain and unknown world characteristic of a research environment. An Honours year also requires you to learn to communicate the results of your project by way of seminars and in the writing of an Honours thesis. This will allow you to communicate your scientific results and understanding in a clear and unambiguous way to a wider audience. All this needs to be accomplished in a limited time frame!
Honours in chemistry (CHEM4005) 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. The Honours year is very different from your earlier years at University. As an Honours student you work mostly on your own (with assistance and encouragement from your supervisor and examiners' committee), at your own speed, and you make your own decisions on how your work and research should proceed.
Honours is also a socially rewarding experience that involves interacting with a wide range of fellow students and research staff. 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 is the usual path in Australia if you wish to continue on to a PhD and pursue a career as a research scientist. It also opens the door to a wider range of career options. Employers are increasingly looking for Honours graduates, even when the advertised job does not involve scientific research, because Honours equips students with the analytical, technical, problem-solving and communication skills required to successfully tackle the challenges of any job.