Overview of Honours in Indonesian

The honours program in Indonesian is a full one-year program of study or part-time over two years. Full-time students complete 48 credit points over one year: part-time students do so over two years, with 24 points completed each year.

The program consists of 24 points of coursework and 24 points of research and thesis writing. Students may choose either (i) to do one semester of intensive work in-country, with the rest of the work being done at Monash, or (ii) to do the entire program at Monash.

Combined honours may be taken with another discipline provided that all Honours requirements are met in both disciplines and the program is approved by the head of both schools.


Honours is a competitive and challenging program and only students who have an adequate research proposal and demonstrated ability in previous studies will be accepted. Students must have a major in Indonesian or Indonesian Studies and an average grade of 70 percent or better for four subjects (24 points), consisting of three third-year subjects and one second- or third-year subject.

The Honours program in Indonesian is open to students from other universities. Monash students are highly recommended to complete ATS3747 Theory and Research in Asian Studies or a similar unit in research methodology in their second or third year of study in order to be able to work constructively over the summer period on a literature review on initial research.

Structure of the program

Students enrolled in Honours in Indonesian will normally complete the following coursework:

      • ATS4653 – LCL Honours workshop: theory and method in the humanities (12 points)
        and also
      • Electives (12 points)
        These are generally two language units at the appropriate level, but students with high levels of proficiency in the Indonesian language may opt to do other coursework worth 12 credit points. At the time of application, students should consult with the Honours Coordinator about the level of language study they should undertake.


      • Coursework in Indonesia (up to 24 points)
        Students may arrange to do the coursework component in Indonesia through Monash-UGM Intensive Program (January-February) or ACICIS (The Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies).
      • The Indonesian Program has links with several universities in Indonesia such as Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta University, University of Padjajaran, Muhammadiyah University Malang, and Indonesian Arts Institute (Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta). Honours students may study at one of these universities, usually through the ACICIS program.
      • There are some scholarships to support that study and a range of options exist. Students should consult with Ms Yacinta Kurniasih, the Coordinator of Indonesian Language Study Abroad Program (Yacinta.Kurniasih@monash.edu).

The Research-Thesis Component

The thesis should present original research which examines issues relevant to understanding contemporary Indonesian, to the Indonesian language or to Indonesia-Australia relations. Students may also consider doing a thesis in Indonesian translation. For more information on the format of research and translation theses in our School please consult the School Honours page

The Indonesian Studies Program at Monash is staffed by academics with a wide range of research interests. Normally one of those staff will be appointed to supervise (or Co-supervise) the Honours research. A list of staff members and their research interests is given below, and it is expected that students will locate their own supervisor in consultation with the Honours Coordinator.

Current and previous Honours topics:

      1. The contrasting influences of globalization and Islamization on students in the pesantren in Indonesia
      2. Language maintenance of Chinese-Indonesian community in Kalimantan
      3. The way forward for the Indonesian women’s movement in the post Suharto era
      4. Gender, power, development and family planning
      5. Adat law and the land right; a case study in Central Java
      6. Identity, activism and motherhood (joint with School of LLC)
      7. The role of the Indonesian Press during separatist movement
      8. “Rainbow Heart”: a narrative of an NGO for disabled people in Solo, Central Java
      9. Australian and Indonesian media representations of the Refugee and Asylum Seeker Issue in 2001 (with Anthropology Department)
      10. An environmental law and its implementation; a study case in Lampung
      11. Pisau Dengan Dua Sisi: The Effect Of Donor Dependence On Human Rights NGOs In Indonesia”
      12. “Before And After May 1998: Chinese Indonesians And The ‘Imagined Community'”
      13. “Environmnetal law enforcement in Indonesia”
      14. “The Bali Bombing: Jihad, Matyrdom and Islamic Extremism”
      15. “‘Spaces For Representation’: The Struggle For The Streets In Post-New Order Indonesia”
      16. Young Indonesian and their perception about Australia: Inter-cultural Communication
      17. Language maintenance and language Shift in the Indonesian migrant community in Germany
      18. Drug and Alcohol Policy in Indonesia: The zero tolerance approach
      19. SBY: A new era in Political Rhetoric in Indonesia
      20. Regulating Indonesia’s Environment: Enforcement of Criminal Environmental Law within the Context of Illegal Forest Fires
      21. Apotik Komik and Public Art: The Struggle for ‘Democratic Spaces’ in Post-New Order Indonesia

Students are advised to select an area for research and to discuss their vision for the research with the Honours Coordinator and a potential supervisor before the summer break, so that background reading can be started before the first semester begins. Those planning to do research while in Indonesia will need to have a very good outline of their research and a clear plan for obtaining ethical approval before leaving Melbourne.


Please contact Ms Yacinta Kurniasih for information for Honours Indonesian Studies Program, aiming to support a research trip to Indonesia. Refer also to the Monash Scholarships Office for more information. The School also offers travel grants and publication grants to Honours students. Please consult the School Honours page.

Life after Honours

The Honours program is designed to prepare students both for further study and research at the postgraduate level and for employment in areas which involve on-going contact with Indonesian and Indonesian organizations. Many graduates find employment in Indonesia or Australia to be a useful way of extending further the skills and knowledge acquired during the Honours program.

Postgraduate programs offered at Monash which would be of particular interest to graduates with an Honours Degree in Indonesian include the Masters in Applied Linguistics, the Masters in Interpreting and Translation, and the Masters in Asian Studies. Those who do exceptionally well in Honours may qualify to become a PhD candidate pursuing research in many fields of Indonesian studies.

Why do Honours in Indonesian?

      • to extend further one’s knowledge and skills relevant to working in Indonesia or in contact with persons having a Indonesian background;
      • to acquire a four-year degree, with advanced skills in research and report writing, skills which are highly valued in a variety of employment situations;
      • to gain a greater appreciation for Indonesia and a fuller sense of the Indonesian cultural context;
      • to expand expertise in the discipline area in which research is conducted;
      • to gain entry into various postgraduate programs.

Staff in Indonesian Studies and areas in which they supervise

Mr Paul Thomas
Journalism in Indonesia.
The history of the Indonesian-Malay language.
Representations of Indonesia/Indonesians in popular culture.
Environmental Tourism in Indonesia
Translation Studies

Ms Yacinta Kurniasih
Indonesian Language & Society
Javanese Language & Society
Gender & Education in Indonesia
Language Education

Adjunct Ass Prof. Stuart Robson (Co-supervisor)
Old Javanese language and literature
Modern Javanese language
Lexicography of Javanese and related languages
Translation (Javanese-English; Dutch-English; Indonesian-English)

Further Information

If you would like specific information on Honours in Indonesian, please contact:

Paul Thomas
Ph: (03) 9905 2243
Fax: (03) 9905 5437

Yacinta Kurniasih
Ph: (03) 9905 2235
Fax: (03) 9905 5437
School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Further information about Honours is available from the School’s Honours page.
For general information on Honours in the Faculty of Arts.