Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) (PhB)

The Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) or PhB is a four-year program for intellectually ambitious students wanting to focus on research in their bachelor degree. You will be part of an influential cohort of students, working alongside leading academics solving real-world research problems together.


Advanced Studies Courses (ASCs) or research projects will make up 25 percent of your courses in your first three years of the PhB, allowing you to develop your research skill. Projects are as diverse as looking into the psychology of pianists and identifying and dating star clusters in astronomy. Many of our students go on to publish their research at an undergraduate level.


You will be paired with a world-class academic mentor who will provide you with individual support and help you choose your courses and research projects. In the fourth, or Honours year of your PhB, you will undertake a year-long research project under the guidance of an academic supervisor. This is where you can really indulge your passion and explore a topic in detail. You can create and negotiate a research project of your choice, or your mentor can help you find one.

Support for PhB students extends to financial assistance too: students outside the ACT will be automatically considered for a relocation grant valued at $6,500.


The PhB program is designed with flexibility in mind. Each year, you will work with your mentor to develop an individual program you will find stimulating and challenging. Specialisations are available in:

  • astrophysics
  • biology, biotechnology, botany, life sciences,  microbiology and parasitology, molecular biology and zoology
  • chemistry
  • computer science and software engineering
  • Earth science and geology
  • environmental science and geography
  • mathematics, mathematical physics and bioinformatics,
  • medical science, biomedical science, human sciences and neuroscience
  • physics and materials science
  • psychology.

You also have the option to explore disciplines outside of science.


We encourage you to take your studies global. You can conduct research in collaboration with other universities around the world, go on exchange to one of our 150 partner universities, undertake an internship with other International Alliance of Research Universities such as Cambridge, Yale or Oxford, present at international conferences, or complete our joint PhB program with the National University of Singapore. These opportunities will help you form invaluable networks for your future.

Your pathway to medicine

The PhB allows you to gain entry to postgraduate medicine at ANU without having to sit the GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test). Each year, ten places are reserved in our Doctor of Medicine and Surgery (MChD) program for students who successfully graduate from the ANU Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) in Science. Coming into medicine via the PhB means you will already have research experience in the medical field.

How to apply

In addition to applying via UAC, applicants are required to complete the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) supplementary form and nominate two referees to support their application. Applicants must also fill out relevant sections of the referee form (PDF, 86KB) prior to forwarding the form to their referees for completion. Referees should submit the form and their report directly to the College via email at

Career opportunities

Many of our graduates have used the PhB program as a pathway to completing PhDs in some of the best universities around the world, such as Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, UC Berkley and of course ANU. The networks you develop during your PhB will give you an edge in an academic career.

The PhB equips you with similar advantages when entering the workforce. Your skills in independent research, communication and teamwork are all highly marketable in any field.