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Arts and Design (Honours)

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The Bachelor of Arts and Design (Honours) is a one-year degree open to high-performing students who have completed a 3-year Bachelor Degree. Honours provides you with the opportunity to enhance your academic skills, develop your portfolio and pursue industry-based experiences in your chosen profession.

During Honours you will participate in an exciting research community of students and academics with access to the Faculty's research expertise, support and networking opportunities.

Arts and Design Honour students receive research training in coursework units and work one-on-one with a supervisor to produce either:

  • a 15 000 - 20 000 word thesis on a research question of your choosing; OR
  • a creative work, design work, or industry-relevant/work-integrated practice project of your choosing along with
  • a 3 000 - 5 000 word analysis about your work and how it relates to your field.

The practical work could be a novella, a building design, a design/prototype, PR campaign or any number of other projects related to your undergraduate field of study. You also have the opportunity to develop a project with an industry-partner, so you can be employed while studying as well. Previous partners include the Australia Institute of Sport, Calvary Hospital and The National Museum of Australia

There are University-wide scholarships available and a variety of scholarships available to excellent students from the Faculty of Arts and Design. In 2015 we are taking students on a scholarship-funded study-tour of China, culminating in an exhibition of student work in a local Shanghai gallery.

Honours Course Information

Bachelor of Arts and Design (Honours)

What Our Students Said About the Program

Gen Rossi Picture 

Genevieve Rossi (graduated Hons 2013)

Honours Project: Redesigned the Seeing Eye Dog Harness

"I am currently working as a product graphics designer for a company whose major clients specialise in household appliances. They are expanding into Europe, so this is a very exciting opportunity for me to learn and build on my skills.

The Honours year challenged me in several ways. The result was that I learnt to work independently, meet tight deadlines and have confidence in my own abilities. I was able to combine my love of design and research through the exploration of theory and practice. This has helped me in the workforce because it has made me a more versatile employee.

This is definitely a must! The ability to choose a project I believed in made it so rewarding and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Having Honours on your CV as one of your achievements definitely shows your future employer you went that extra mile."

Wendy Somerville Picture 

Wendy Somerville (graduated Hons 2013; Current PhD student)

Honours Research: Exploring contemporary Aboriginal Identity through the Confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Descent Certificate.

"Following my Honours year I took a break of one semester and then enrolled to do a PhD. My subject is a comparative Indigenous study that will build on add and to existing knowledge in Australia and New Zealand.

My Hons year gave me the confidence to continue on the research path and to undertake a PhD. Even though the majority of the research and the writing up took only six months of that year I found that I was able to sustain my interest with a longer term project.

For potential students the Honours year will enable you to decide whether you wish to do further study. The Hons year shows potential employers that you are serious and committed."

Beaux Guarini Picture 

Beaux Guarini (graduated Hons 2013; Current PhD student)

Honours Research: How can museums be more inclusive of people who are blind/have low-vision.

"I was certainly challenged but thoroughly enjoyed my experience of the honours year at the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra. Through the lens of a social research project, my dissertation explored the social and cultural opportunities latent in museums and their collections. I was nervous but excited to make contact with a community-based organisation in the hope of hosting a workshop with their members.

As it turned out, the warm reception I received from the Royal Society for the Blind – Canberra Blind Society inspired me to extend my honours study into doctoral research: my honours workshop was the perfect pilot study for the sensory-based workshops I recently held at the National Museum of Australia!

The honours program at UC definitely prepared me for the joys, agonies and resilience needed for doctoral research!"

Scholarships for Arts and Design Honour Students

Digital Treasures Honours Scholarships ($5000)

Digital Treasures is a creative research program working with digital cultural collections from galleries, libraries, museums and archives. Our work is supported by the National Archives, the National Library, the State Library of NSW and more. Earlier this year (for example) we launched Discover the Queenslander for the State Library of Queensland.

We are seeking Honours students to work on creative production projects with real live digital collections. Research areas include:

  • rich websites for digital collections - improving interfaces, enabling exploration
  • creative reuse and interpretation (mashup) of digital collections
  • linking and combining collections- digital engagement, audiences and social media

For 2015 we will offer up to two $5000 scholarships for selected Honours students. Applicants should have a background in a relevant discipline - design, media, heritage, or IT - as well as practical web production experience. For more information contact Mitchell Whitelaw

Honours Fellowships at the National Museum of Australia ($1000)

The People and the Environment Program at the National Museum of Australia welcomes this opportunity to host honours students from the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. Over the course of 2015, the Museum will appoint up to two students as associates of the Museum's Research Centre.

Through consultation with curators, the students will identify historical collections relevant to their scholarly interests, and the Museum will support their research into these collections. Some research outputs may be published within the People and the Environment section of the National Museum's website, see

In the first half of 2015, the People and the Environment Program's curatorial team will be developing ideas for the redevelopment of the Museum's environmental history gallery. Students may wish to focus on collections that relate directly to the emerging redevelopment proposal, which will consider human experience in relation to bioregions, individual species and natural forces.

Contact for further information.

Merit Based Scholarships for Study Tour to Shanghai ($2000)

The China 2015 Honours Study Tour initiates an innovative program of events and experiences designed to enhance cultural understanding and the development of professional skills with a view to producing students who are work-ready in today's global environment. The tour will provide students with an understanding of the contemporary design culture, design industry and visual language of Shanghai, Suzhou & Ningbo, China. To be selected for the tour, students must propose an honours project that reflects on their discipline in the Chinese context. Prior to the tour, students will be given mentors – Chinese research students – with whom students will be able to work with to solidify their research concepts.. This offering is only available to students studying Honours in the Faculty of Arts & Design.

This offering is only available to students studying Honours in the Faculty of Arts & Design.

For further details please read through the following flyer: Shanghai 2015 ( )

Honours study gives you the edge for employment opportunities in your field. The focus on portfolio development in the creative arts and design stream enables you to develop a product to effectively promote your skill set and research potential.

Honours enables all students to demonstrate to future employers their potential for independent, sustained research. The options to develop industry partnerships related to your project and develop international professional experiences (through study-tours) further enhances the opportunities to develop work-ready skills.

Honours study can also position students to be fast-tracked into PhD study.