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Bachelor of Arts with Honours

Why do Honours?

A fourth year in History or Art History and Theory enables students to hone their research and writing skills. A key component of the year is a research dissertation where students do original work based on primary sources.

Dissertations

At the end of the fourth year you will have written a 20,000-word dissertation on the subject of your choice. This enables you to demonstrate to prospective employers that you have key analytical and written skills.

Dissertation subjects

Students research a diverse array of issues.

In recent years Honours students have investigated sexual practices in 1950s New Zealand, studied missionary anthropologists in mid-20th century Australia, considered the development of Dunedin’s urban spaces, looked at mixed race histories and identities, and uncovered the importance of beach resorts and the coast to local and national identity.

The Department is very proud of the work our students produce and has published 3 volumes of essays based on their dissertations.

Further information on the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) can be found on the main Otago website.

Requirements for Honours

The requirements for a BA (Hons) in History and Art History and Theory are slightly different from each other:

Honours in History

Any students who want to pursue Honours at fourth year will be well advised to take the following courses:

  • HIST 252 Varieties Of History 

  • HIST 353 Practising History

These courses are designed to prepare students well for the research dissertation that forms a substantial component of the Honours year.

400-level Honours in History

Honours students are required to take 120 points comprising HIST 490 (Honours dissertation), HIST405 (Rethinking History) and another two 400-level History papers.

Any 400-level ARTH paper, ENGL 404, GEND 401, or MAOR 407 may be substituted for one 400-level HIST paper. The Honours year must be completed full-time.

Further information on the Major Subject Requirements for BA (Hons) History

Honours in Art History and Theory

Any students who want to pursue Honours will be well advised to take ARTH 324/424 (Histories of Art), which is offered alternating years. This course examines the historical foundations of art history and theory and the diverse range of contemporary methodological approaches.

Art History students who plan to write a more art historical dissertation that makes use of primary resources and/or local research collections are encouraged to take HIST 353 (Practising History).

These courses are designed to prepare students well for the research dissertation that forms a substantial component of the Honours year.

400-level Honours in Art History and Theory

Honours students are required to take 120 points comprising ARTH 490 (Honours dissertation) or ARTH 470 (Catalogue Project), and another three 400-level Art History and Theory papers.

Any 400-level HIST paper, CLAS 435, or MFCO 408 may be substituted for one 400-level ARTH paper. The Honours year must be completed full-time.

Further information on the Major Subject Requirements for BA (Hons) Art History and Theory

Double and combined Honours

Many students wish to complete Honours in 2 subjects.

Double Honours

Should you wish to do double honours, this requires a further time commitment beyond 4 years since it is necessary to complete the full Honours year in both subjects.

Combined Honours

We encourage combined honours students to complete their 490 with us, but understand that students may wish to carry out research in their other discipline.

Please discuss your plans with the HIST 490 coordinator, Associate Professor Alexander Trapeznik (alexander.trapeznik@otago.ac.nz), before selecting your options for the Honours year.

Honours papers offered

For a description of Honours papers offered by the Department of History and Art History please visit the Papers page.

Admission

Students entering 400-level Honours History or Art History and Theory need to have a grade average of B+ over 72 points at 300-level. Students should have completed at least 360 points (the requirements for the BA). Honours in can now be studied on a part-time basis.

Applying for Honours


In order to enter the Honours programme you need to apply for admission.

Go to the BA Honours information and application webpage.

Applications should be submitted by 10 December but late applications will be considered.

Department contact

For information about the Honours year, Postgraduate Diplomas and Diplomas for Graduates contact the History Department administrator Tel 64 3 479 8606 or history.arthistory@otago.ac.nz