BSc (Med) Honours Program

BSc (Med) Honours Program

Resources

 

Overview

The BSc (Med) Hons program is a one-year (34 weeks) supervised research program leading to the award of the degree of Bachelor of Science (Medicine) Honours. Students undertake the program in Year 4.

The course aims to:

  • enable students to acquire an appreciation of the value of observation and research in the development of medical science 
  • enable students to determine the ‘current state of knowledge’ in a defined field 
  • provide experience in the written and spoken presentation of scientific information and scholarly research, and 
  • provide an invaluable background in basic research philosophy and techniques on which a subsequent career in specialised medical research may be built.

 

Eligibility

  • Average Phase 1 Medicine only courses of at least 75, excluding the examination below:

1. MFAC1511 Phase 1 Portfolio Examination
2. MFAC1512 Phase 1 End-of-Phase Written Examination
3. MFAC1513 Phase 1 Clinical and Communications Skills Examination

  • The number of Honours students per year is capped at 30. If more than 30 students applied, the top 30 applicants with highest average will be selected.
  • Students can only do Honours if they pass all their Phase 1 examination and Portfolio and Phase 2 ICE (including online examination) on the first attempt.
  • Students who were accepted into an Honours program but subsequently fail any of the above mentioned examination, will be withdrawn from the Honours program and be allocated to an ILP project.
     

General Education Requirement

Enrolment in the BSc(Med)Hons program excludes all other enrolments.

The combined BMed MD and BSc(Med) Honours program is designed to take a minimum of six and a half years to complete. The extra six months allows for completion of the 12 units of general education courses. The Faculty discourages students from overloading in earlier years to complete the general education courses prior to commencing the BSc(Med) Hons Program. Students will need to apply to the Faculty for approval to take more than the standard load (usually 24 Units of Credit).

It is possible to complete the combined BMed MD and BSc(Med) Honours program in six years provided that you complete the extra courses outside BMed MD program requirement prior to commencing the Honours program. Students who wish to discuss their options are strongly recommended to contact the ILP administrator.

Applicants - FAQ

Applicants - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an ILP and a BSc(Med) Hons for 2008 onwards cohort students?

The ILP is 30 Units of Credit (UoC); the BSc (Med) Hons is 48 UoC. Therefore undertaking a BSc (Med) Hons normally adds a semester to the time for which you will be enrolled – your combined MBBS and BSc (Med) Hons will be 6.5 years in length. The work involved in an Honours project is substantially more than an ILP and the expected outcomes are more advanced. In addition, there will be additional HECS fees. The Honours program is reserved for students who have excelled in their studies over years 1-3, demonstrated by a minimum average of at least 70 for Phase 1 Medicine courses (excluding end of Phase 1 exams and portfolio).

The BSc (Med) Hons is designed for an enrolment over one full academic year whereas the ILP is the equivalent of 24 weeks full time (or 30 weeks when undertaken concurrently with 12 UoC general education courses). Students cannot enrol in any other courses while enrolled in the BSc (Med) Hons Program.

What are the requirements for consideration to the BSc(Med) Hons program?

Students need to have:

  • completed at least 3 years of BMed MD degree requirements before the commencement of the BSc(Med)Hons
  • obtained a minimum average of 70, calculated by taking a straight mean of Medicine subjects only from Phase 1 (excluding Portfolio, Clinical Skills, Written (MCQ and Practicals) Examinations)
  • pass all of End of Phase 1 examinations (including Phase 1 portfolio) and Phase 2 Integrated Clinical Examination on first attempt
  • acceptance by a supervisor
  • approval by the Honours Committee to undertake the proposed topic with the proposed supervisor

If I make the minimum academic requirement, will I automatically be approved for the BSc(Med) Hons?

Students who apply need to fulfill the academic requirement of a minimum average of 70 at the time of application. This, however, does not guarantee success for a place in the BSc(Med) Hons program.

How do I apply?

An Expression of Interest to undertake BSc(Med) Honours Program is required to submit to ilp@unsw.edu.au in March each year. A broadcast email will be sent to year 3 students to call for an expression of interest.

A successful applicant is then required to work with potential supervisor to submit a complete application package including:

  • the application form and the nomination of examiners submitted electronically from the supervisor's email, and
  • the supervisor's form

All fields in the form and the nomination must be filled; blanks/gaps in information will nullify the entire application.

How will applications be assessed?

Students must first pass the academic requirement. After that, the proposals will be assessed based on the potential of the projects to:

  • enable students to acquire an appreciation of the value of observation and research in the development of medical science
  • enable students to determine the ‘current state of knowledge’ in a defined field
  • provide experience in the written and spoken presentation of scientific information and scholarly research, and
  • provide an invaluable background in basic research philosophy and techniques on which a subsequent career in specialised medical research may be built.

Applications that do not explain/demonstrate how a student will be able to achieve the above aims will be rejected.

Can I take on a project from another university/country?

NO - Projects must be undertaken at UNSW and/or its affiliated centres/institutes.

What topics are available?
The topics available can change very quickly due to the nature of research. The best thing to do is to refer to the list of topics and supervisors and contact potential supervisors to discuss possible research projects.

When should I start BSc(Med) Hons project?

All BSc(Med)Hon students must start in TP1 of each academic year (in student's 4th year). Students who are not able to start in TP1 of that year may need to transfer to ILP.

Can I take on other courses (i.e. extra courses to fulfil my general education requirement) while in the BSc(Med) Hons program?

NO - Enrolment in the BSc(Med)Hons program excludes all other enrolments.

Can I complete the MBBS and BSc(Med) Hons programs within six years?

The combined MB BS/ BSc (Med) Hons program is designed to take a minimum of six and a half years to complete. The extra six months allows for completion of the 12 units of general education courses. The Faculty discourages students from overloading in earlier years to complete the general education courses prior to commencing the BSc (Med) Hons Program. Students will need to apply to the Faculty for approval to take more than the standard load (usually 24 Units of Credit).

It is possible to complete the combined MB BS/ BSc (Med) Hons six years provided that you complete the extra courses outside MB BS program requirement prior to commencing the Honours program. Students who wish to discuss their options are strongly recommend to contact the ILP administrator.

Can I upgrade from a negotiated ILP to the BSc(Med) Hons?

NO - An upgrade from an ILP to Honours may not be logistically feasible. Any BSc(Med)Hons project requires a fair amount of time and resources to be put in place before the project can go ahead and hence resources may not be available in time for an upgrade.

If I am successful, what is expected of me?

Students will be assessed formally during the two oral presentations and submissions of a literature review and a thesis. Students must physically be present for the two oral presentations. They will also be informally assessed on the following:

  • Adherence to schedules – e.g. lab work, essay, seminars, thesis
  • Ability to learn and improve, e.g. in experimental work, writing and surveying literature
  • Ability to understand and communicate ideas and respond appropriately to instruction
  • Ability to think logically and critically, and to plan effectively
  • Ability in laboratory or experimental procedures and in writing
  • Degree of initiative, motivation and perseverance in experimental work and writing
  • Degree of independence in work and in writing

Supervisors - FAQ

Supervisors - Frequently Asked Questions

How will applications be assessed?

Students must first pass the academic requirement.

After that, the proposals will be assessed based on the potential of the projects to:

  • enable students to acquire an appreciation of the value of observation and research in the development of medical science
  • enable students to determine the ‘current state of knowledge’ in a defined field
  • provide experience in the written and spoken presentation of scientific information and scholarly research, and
  • provide an invaluable background in basic research philosophy and techniques on which a subsequent career in specialised medical research may be built.

The Subcommittee will be looking for supervisors to explain how and what the the student will be doing during the 34 weeks allocated for BScMedHon.

Why is the BScMedHon application so demanding?

It comes down to the timing - Students who intend to undertake the BScMedHon program have only 34 weeks in which they have to conduct research activities and produce a final report in the form of a scientific manuscript (5000 - 7000 words). The Subcommittee has to assess if the suggested research activities/projects are sufficient to satisfy an Honours degree or if it is too ambitious.

If an applicant fulfills the academic criteria, the application will be assessed on the proposed project's suitability for the BScMedHon program. If the application/proposal is deemed to be unsuitable for the BScMedHon program, either due to depth or scope of research, then it will not be successful. Also due to the nature of BScMedHon program, it is necessary to cap the number to 30 students per year.

Must a co-supervisor be nominated at the time of application? What is the role of a co-supervisor?

Yes. The co-supervisor should act as the supervisor whenever the supervisor is unable to do so for any reason. The co-supervisor should be involved in all stages of the planning of the candidate's research plan. The co-supervisor should maintain a level of communication with the supervisor and the candidate during the period of candidature so as to allow him or her to participate in the supervision or act as a substitute for the supervisor whenever this is necessary.

Must examiners be nominated at the time of application?

Yes - Again due to timing constraints, we are unable to wait on supervisors to nominate examiners after a project has commenced.

In nominating examiners, supervisors must choose appropriate academics who will not allow any pre-existing relationship to prejudice the marking of the student's performance. If the integrity of any examiner's assessment is suspect, it will negatively impact on the student.

Internal examiners must have Faculty of Medicine appointments, external to the supervisor's laboratory (or research group) and grade the literature review and final manuscript.

External examiners must be external to the school where the project will be completed and are only required to grade the final manuscript.

Honours Seminar

BSc(Medicine)Honours Seminar

Students are required to present their research projects at the BSc(Med)Hons seminars held twice a year. Seminars will consist of a 10-minute presentation followed by a 5-min question time. For ease of presentation, students are encouraged to use the PowerPoint program. All students undertaking projects are required to come on campus to present.

At the first seminar, students will present the aims and methodology involved in their research project.

At the end-of-year seminar, students will present the findings of their research project. At the beginning of this seminar students will be required to make a statement regarding their contribution to the work being presented.

Below is the Honours seminar schedule.

  1. Tuesday 29 September 2015 - Please click here to see Tuesday program
  2. Wednesday 30 September 2015 - Please click here to see Wednesday program
  3. Friday 2 October 2015 - Please click here to see Friday program

 

Key Contacts

ILP & Honours Convenor and Coordinator
Dr Barbara-Ann Adelstein
T +61 (2) 9382 8890
E b.adelstein@unsw.edu.au

ILP & Honours Administrator
Ms Khanh Vo
T +61 (2) 9385 1317
E ILP@unsw.edu.au

Find a Supervisor

ILP & BSc (Med) Honours

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