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Bachelor of Arts with Honours

Why do Honours?

A fourth year in History 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.


At the end of the fourth year you will have written a 16,000-20,000 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.

Requirements for Honours

Any students who want to pursue Honours at fourth year will be well advised to take HIST 353 Practising History, which is designed to prepare students well.

400-level Honours in History

Honours students are required to take 120 points comprising HIST 490 (Honours dissertation), HIST452 (Rethinking History) and another two further 400-level papers.

These might include HUMS 401, HIST 481, or any other relevant 400-level paper (which might include MAOR 407) with approval from the Head of Programme, History.

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

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 Head of the History Programme, Professor Mark Seymour, before selecting your options for the Honours year.

Honours papers offered

The list of History papers


Students entering 400-level Honours History 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 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 our administrator
Tel +64 3 479 8606 or