Honours Programs

Please note that students applying for Honours in Art History and Curatorial Studies are not required to follow the portfolio and interview process. Students applying for this program should follow the advice on the CASS Honours website: https://cass.anu.edu.au/current-students/honours/how-to-apply

The below instructions are relevant for students applying for the Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) or the Bachelor of Design (Honours).


Applying for Honours in Visual Arts and Design

Admission to Honours in the School of Art and Design is assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement: applicants must have a weighted average mark (WAM) of 70% or greater across 36 units (6 courses) at 2000- and 3000-level, counting towards the student’s major or primary area of study.
  • Merit of the applicant’s project proposal: applicants must provide a written proposal describing their proposed Honours project – the area of research, studio process, subjects, themes, contextual research and methodology. More information about writing a proposal is available below.


Step 1: Submit Thesis Supervision form and project proposal to the School of Art and Design

Applicants for Honours must submit the following two documents electronically to admin.somad@anu.edu.au:

  • One College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) Thesis Supervisor Confirmation Form, signed by the applicant.
    • Do not nominate a supervisor or seek their signature – leave this field blank. A supervisor will be appointed to you by the Honours convenor, based on your project proposal.
    • Once a supervisor has been allocated, the form will be returned to the applicant no later than Friday 29 October 2021. The applicant must upload the completed form to their online application for the Honours program (see below).
  • A project proposal of between 500 and 800 words describing your proposed Honours project. See below for detailed instructions on how to format and assemble your project proposal.

Both documents must be submitted in PDF format to admin.somad@anu.edu.au no later than 11.55pm on Sunday 24 October 2021.

This timeframe allows for completed Thesis Supervisor Confirmation Forms to be returned to applicants in time to submit their formal applications by the closing deadline of 31 October 2021.


Applicants who are completing their Bachelor degree at an external university are required to submit the following materials to admin.somad@anu.edu.au, in addition to the Thesis Supervisor Confirmation Form and project proposal:

  • A portfolio of work comprising a maximum of 10 jpeg files. These can be submitted by email or by file-sharing service (OneDrive etc.).
  • Two written references from academics, artists or technologists who can speak to your practice, skills and experience.
  • A scanned copy of your official academic transcript from your home institution. Screenshots or unofficial transcripts are not acceptable.

Applicants who are already enrolled in an ANU Bachelor program are not required to submit a portfolio for assessment – only the thesis supervision form and the research proposal.


Please note that applications submitted without the necessary material will not be assessed.


Step 2: Apply to ANU Student Central for admission to Honours

Formal applications for the Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), the Bachelor of Design (Honours) and the Bachelor of Design Arts (Honours) can be lodged by following the below links and clicking on ‘Apply’:


Make sure that you upload both your research proposal and your completed Thesis Supervisor Confirmation Form with your application. Your application is not complete without these.

Enquiries about the application process should be directed to admin.somad@anu.edu.au from your ANU student email address, or from your applicant email address for non-ANU candidates.


Important information: Writing a project proposal for Honours in the School of Art and Design

Applicants should organise their project proposal under the following headings:

The applicant:

  • Name
  • ANU ID number
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • List the academic staff whom you worked closely with in your third year
  • Have you discussed your proposal with any academic staff at SOAD?

The project:

  • Title of the proposed project
  • Summary of the proposed project (maximum 50 words)
  • Project proposal (500-800 words)
  • Bibliography
  • List 5 artists who contextualise your research
  • List a minimum of 5 texts that contextualise your research
  • Requested studio area (if applicable) – e.g. painting workshop, glass workshop
  • ANU equipment you anticipate using (if applicable)


Your proposal should tell us what you intend to do in your Honours year. It needs to describe your studio process, subjects and themes. Outline what you intend to explore. For example: figurative paintings that describe a sense of place; cast ceramic multiples installed in garden spaces to evoke micro and macro worlds; human and animal interactions viewed through digital animations.

Tell us what interests you about your area of research. Why is it important? What do you hope to find out about making art in this way? What are your intentions for the work that you will make?

Explain simply and directly what you will be making. For example: ceramic vessels; black and white photographs; etchings etc. Include the sort of technical assistance and resources you will need.

You also need to identify the contextual research you will undertake. What artists/writers/ designers/film makers have particular relevance to your proposed project? Describe how these artists influence your thinking about your theme/subject/material approach.

Include a list of at least 5 texts that you will use to start your contextual research. A ‘text’ might be: a website of an artist; a monograph on an artist; a film; a catalogue that addresses your chosen theme or subject; a journal article that discusses your chosen theme, subject, or artist of interest; an art historical or theoretical text.

Are you having trouble with the list of texts? Have a look at one of your art history courses that you enjoyed – what readings from that course are in line with your interests?

Make sure you include a brief summary of the project before the proposal itself. Some examples of useful summaries:

  • To make a series of lithograph prints on the topic of refugees.
  • To make a series of cast glass objects based on plant forms.
  • To make a video installation. The video will use live action and animation.


More information about preparing a proposal can be found at the following link, provided by the Academic Skills and Learning Centre.

Updated:  12 October 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications