Honours Areas of Study

Ancient Cultures

Ancient Cultures combines the former areas of study of Archaeology & Ancient History and Classical Studies.

Monash offers a comprehensive approach to understanding ancient cultures, focusing on the Mediterranean. Monash is also the only university in Victoria where you can study ancient Egypt in depth with staff who conduct archaeological fieldwork in Egypt.

This area of study looks at the reconstruction of past societies and their evolution. It deals with every aspect of ancient life based upon all surviving data – art, architecture, objects, religious beliefs, cultures and social structures.

Handbook entry


In its broadest sense, anthropology is the study of all things human. It explores all aspects of humanity – everything from cultures, behaviours and communication to evolution, social structures and relationships. In recent years, there have been major social and political movements throughout the world in which people are stressing a sense of community, shared identity and assertions of difference. At the same time, many people are expressing concerns for social justice, environmental degradation and so on. As a result, anthropologists are playing an increasingly important role in the world – wherever human diversity is an issue, anthropologists are called upon to provide their expertise.

Handbook entry

Child and Youth Development

Available at Monash South Africa only.

Poor early life experiences of children and adolescents, which can lead to harmful outcomes like underachievement, behavioural problems and crime, is the major focus in the study of child and youth development.

Handbook entry

Chinese Studies

Not only is China becoming the powerhouse of the world economy, it is among the fastest growing economies in the world, and is of increasing importance to Australia within both government and private sectors. Australia also maintains educational and cultural exchanges with China, and tourism between Australia and China is growing. As a result, the demand for graduates with expertise in Chinese studies is ever increasing.

Handbook entry


Communications focuses on the role of media in society and how this influences our communications. Today, we get most of our news and knowledge from mass media and social media, so it is vital that students learn about the structures of communications industries and how to critically analyse the media. Students also explore the relationships between media, culture and power.

Handbook entry


Crime is an issue that all citizens and governments confront on a daily basis. In this study area, students debate the causes of crime, the problem of crime, and how it should be dealt with. They also gain the skills to understand the complexities of crime and how to critically analyse its workings and tensions.

Handbook entry

English as an International Language

English as an international language provides students with a new perspective on the use of English in today’s globalised world by looking at the implications of intercultural communication. Students explore the use of English in a range of contexts – academic, professional, and international.

Handbook entry

Film and Screen Studies

This teaching program extends and enhances everyday ways of thinking about film and television into more sophisticated and specialised methods and approaches. Students explore the film and television cultures of Asia, the United States and Europe, looking at everything from contemporary popular Hollywood to documentary film, and everything in between.

Handbook entry

French Studies

French Studies at Honours level offers students the opportunity to develop a deep specialisation in an area of expertise. We welcome students interested in pursuing Honours in the areas of French film, literature, visual arts, philosophy, linguistics, language pedagogy, society and politics, cross-cultural communication and more, and we are always happy to talk with students who want to discuss possible Honours topics with us. The language in which the thesis is written is to be decided in negotiation between supervisor and student.

Handbook entry

Geography and Environmental Science

Geography and environmental science is concerned with natural environments, societies and communities, as well as human environment relations and environmental management. Students develop an analytical understanding of the current state of the global environment and have many opportunities for hands-on experience through field studies both within Australia and overseas.

Handbook entry

German Studies

Our German program is designed for students who want to specialise in German language, linguistics and culture. Students explore each of these areas and look at how they relate to German society.

Handbook entry


History is not simply about dates and facts, but about new ways to interpret and understand the past, allowing us to make sense of the world today. History at Monash delves into different aspects of the human experience, and considers societies and civilisations across a range of periods and continents. Students can study everything from medieval and renaissance Europe to contemporary worlds, Asian civilisations and nations at war.

Handbook entry

Indigenous Cultures and Histories

Indigenous Cultures and Histories studies students are encouraged to engage with what it means to be an Australian today, how our history might have unfolded differently, and how Australia can further enhance its democratic ideals. Students use a comparative approach to understand the key issues and experiences of Indigenous peoples not only in Australia, but in international contexts.

Handbook entry

Indonesian Studies

Monash has been teaching Indonesian culture and language for 50 years. Our Indonesian language students come from a range of backgrounds and begin at a variety of levels – from no prior knowledge of the language to proficient speakers. Students develop knowledge of the broader social, political and cultural contexts that make up the Indonesian environment and are encouraged to engage with our community of scholars who specialise in Indonesia and the Southeast Asian region.

Handbook entry

International Studies

International Studies now includes the former areas of study of Asian Studies and European and European Union Studies.

As the world globalises and nations and economies become more integrated, understanding our world and the ideas and beliefs of our neighbours is vital. International studies criss-crosses history, politics, international relations, sociology and economics.

Handbook entry

Italian Studies

Knowledge of Italian is useful in itself, but is also essential to the study of other areas like history, literature, music, art and economics. Italian studies students at Monash explore contemporary literature, cinema and theatre, as well as medieval and Renaissance history and culture.

Handbook entry

Japanese Studies

Communicating in Japanese requires cultural knowledge as well as language ability. At Monash, we have established ourselves as a national leader in developing innovative and effective programs for teaching Japanese. In additional to language skills, students learn about Japanese culture and society, history, the media, and its broader Asian context.

Handbook entry

Jewish Civilisation

Now offered under History Honours.

A primary objective of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC) is to provide students with an understanding of Jewish civilisation in its many aspects – language and literature, history, theology, philosophy, law, politics and sociology. As a result, students are able to study a diverse range of topics covering the spectrum of Jewish civilisation – such as the Holocaust in an age of genocide, modern Israel, and Jewish philosophy and Kabbalah – just to name a few.

Handbook entry


Our journalism program is the largest undergraduate journalism program in Australia. Our students are taught by real journalists. Through a combination of academic and practice-based work, students gain a solid foundation in all production technologies – print, video, radio and online – in metropolitan, regional and international contexts.

Handbook entry

Korean Studies

Did you know that Korean is Australia’s second largest trading partner? This means that employers in business and trade, law firms, schools and universities, and Federal and State Governments have a need for people with Korean expertise. Teaching of Korean at Monash incorporates interactive and multimedia resources to enhance students’ learning and bring Korean culture to the classroom.

Handbook entry


Put simply, linguistics is the study of language. It looks at the structure of language, such as grammar, its meaning and how it is used, or in other words, its context. Students explore how languages differ and how they are alike, and learn techniques and principles to use in analysing any language. Examples of practical applications of linguistics include communication within organisations, the development of language policies in government and education, and intercultural communication.

Handbook entry

Literary Studies

Literary Studies combines the former areas of study of English, Comparative Literatures and Cultural Studies, and Creative Writing.

Literary Studies students combine a love of reading with a passion for thinking, debating and analysing. Literary Studies at Monash includes a focus on English literature and language, and its uses for a range of communication and cultural purposes. We aim to equip students with excellent communication skills, knowledge of a wide range of literary genres, and an understanding of the theoretical frameworks that underpin reading, writing and language use.

Students can also focus on comparative or world literature; cultural studies, which is the study of literature in relation to other arts and media e.g. film and television; and critical theory, which is the study of contemporary approaches to literary and cultural criticism.

Handbook entry


Become the complete 21st century musician by surrounding yourself with some of the finest professionals in their fields at one of the best music schools in Australia – the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music. Students receive one-on-one teaching to develop their solo and ensemble performance skills, and also explore composition, musicology (the academic study of music), and ethnomusicology (the study of music of different cultures).

Handbook entry


In the discipline of Philosophy we aim to think deeply about the most fundamental questions of human life. Using several different methods of inquiry, we engage in systematic and critical thought about topics that underlie many other human concerns, including (i) the fundamental nature of the world (metaphysics, ontology, philosophy of science), (ii) the nature of belief, knowledge, rational thought and inference (logic, epistemology, philosophy of mind), and (iii) the nature of rightness/wrongness and goodness/badness (ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law, aesthetics).

As a discipline we are also concerned with how thinkers throughout history have understood these kinds of topics and the inquiries they have undertaken in relation to them. In a Philosophy Honours degree, students will engage with contemporary research issues in the discipline, focusing on at least four different areas of inquiry.

Handbook entry


Politics at university is more concerned with explaining how and why different political systems are constructed, and how they work, than surface level politics such as current affairs. Students look at what happens, but also investigate why, such as the causes of political events and hidden meanings and motivations.

Handbook entry


Taught by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in Australia, and the School of Health Sciences at Monash South Africa.

Psychology draws on a range of phenomena including remembering and forgetting, thinking, learning, problem solving, how we communicate, our emotions, and our social interactions. It allows us to examine how we respond to the world around us, providing valuable insights in how we can interact with the world more effectively and safely.

Handbook entry

Religious Studies

Is there more than what we see? It is important for all of us to acquire an appreciation of the various religions and spiritual traditions that shape our world. Only in doing so can we truly understand contemporary debates and the relationship of different religious and spiritual traditions with the modern world. Students have the opportunity to study a range of religious traditions, beliefs and theological systems within a variety of contexts.

Handbook entry

Sociology and Gender Studies

Sociology combines Gender Studies and students doing gender-focused work are encouraged to apply.

Monash offers one of the largest and most dynamic Sociology programs in Australia.  Our department is ranked among the worlds’ best for its research (QS university ranking). Sociologists are at the frontiers of knowledge about human society: we explore new and emerging social trends and practices, and we tackle global challenges confronting society. Sociological research addresses issues such as environmental change, health, cultural diversity and gender equality.

In the last few years, Honours students in Sociology have explored topics such as: generation Y attitudes to domestic labour; ethnic identity amongst young Turkish men; digital music listening and social connection; feminism and the Slutwalk movement; The Keepcup and sustainable consumption; youth drinking cultures; the wellbeing of young people from refugee backgrounds; and social patterns of marriage attitudes in Australia. Sociology provides students with vital analytical skills for understanding the key issues of social change, social justice, and inequality that underpin many careers.

Handbook entry

Spanish and Latin American Studies

Spanish is the language of over 400 million people. It is spoken officially in 23 countries, and is the second language of the US. While developing their language skills, students also explore the rich diversity of Spanish and Latin American cultures, including literature, film, music and history, allowing them to develop cultural competency alongside their linguistic skills.

Handbook entry

Theatre and Performance

Theatre and performance is concerned with both performance and analysis of theatre texts and processes. The undergraduate program covers Asian theatre, contemporary and postcolonial drama, music theatre, performance, theatre practice and process, and script development.

Handbook entry

Translation Studies

Students develop skills in translation to and from English and another language, and an awareness of practical and theoretical approaches to translation and translation studies. Languages available include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Other languages may be available depending on student numbers.

Translation Studies is taken in conjunction with a language, and applicants must have met the entry requirements for Honours in that language.

Handbook entry

Ukrainian Studies

At Monash, Ukrainian studies is taught by the Mykola Zerov Centre for Ukrainian Studies. Students develop skills in written and spoken language, while exploring the culture, history, literature, and everyday life in the Ukraine today.

Handbook entry