The College of Asia and the Pacific announced the introduction of the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) for Humanities and Social Sciences (PhB (HaSS)) disciplines commencing 2022. The PhB program currently exists at ANU specifically for science disciplines, and both the PhB (HaSS) and PhB Science exist as four-year honours degrees. Current students are welcome to transfer into the degree.

The PhB program was also offered in Arts and Social Sciences, and as a joint degree with the National University of Singapore, however both were discontinued after an internal review. 

The PhB is heavily research based, and it aims to attract high-achieving students with interest in interdisciplinary research studies. Within the program, students will receive extensive one-on-one time with advisors and researchers to aid with their final honours thesis. According to the course page, “the flexible nature of the PhB (HaSS) allows you and your academic mentors to design the program to suit your interests and includes advanced PhB-only courses tailored to provide you with the high-level academic skills you need to lead in your research and analysis career”. PhB students are strongly encouraged and supported to undertake internships and exchange opportunities during their time in the program. 

The PhB requires strict academic requirements. To maintain their spot in the program, students must maintain Distinctions and High Distinctions in their core course-work, and need first-class honours to graduate with a PhB. Otherwise, students may be asked to step down from the PhB, but can continue their undergraduate studies in traditional degrees. For example, a PhB Honours student majoring in Political Science may be asked to step down to a Bachelor of Political Science or PPE. As stated by course convenor, the conditions of the PhB are “far too demanding” for students to complete the program as a double degree. 

Recent school leavers require a 98 ATAR for admission, lower than the 99 required in previous years. Current ANU students who have attained a Distinction average in previous course-work and/or a 6.5 GPA are welcome to transfer into the PhB degree. Interested students can reach the CAP Student Centre for further information. 

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