Meet HASS Honours Alumni

What can you do with an Honours degree from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences?

Our graduates end up all over the globe undertaking PhD's, working for governments, the private sector, non-for-profits, galleries, they go on to do teaching, researching, being project managers and undertaking many other roles! Having your Honours gives you a step up from the competition and opens you up to a world of opportunities. 

Check out some of our graduates and be inspired to undertake 'One year. One extraordinary research experience'. 

11. Christian Rizzalli, BA (Hons) in Art History

What was the best thing about your program at UQ?

One of the things I enjoyed most about the Honours program was the fact that we had such a solid cohort of students, both in the specific Art History discipline as well as in the broader Communication and Arts school. The general Communication and Arts Honours coursework subject, which involves all Communication and Arts Honours students, was a great avenue for interdisciplinary discussion, and many of the friends I came to know in that class have also gone on to further study at UQ (there are five of us, to my knowledge, who are currently in some form of postgraduate study at UQ). 

Beyond the broader aspects of the Honours program, I cannot fail to stress the importance of the thesis component in providing some insight into the world of close research. Of course, Art History (and the Humanities more broadly) is compelled by close research - this is precisely what the discipline is built upon, though it is not something that students are usually able to experience in the earlier undergraduate level courses of the standard Bachelor of Arts degree. That is one of the most fundamental reasons I chose to undertake an Honours year, and the experience it gave me with close research and long form academic writing was very rewarding and enjoyable. And for that reason it's certainly not something that I could ever regret!

What was your Honours about and what are you up to now? 

For my Honours thesis I looked at the use of photography in an illustrated magazine called Il Politecnico, which was published in Italy during the postwar period. I have embedded my Honours research into my current PhD research, in which I am looking more broadly at the alliance between photography and radical politics throughout the middle decades of the 20th century in Italy. Having completed an Honours thesis, the PhD application process was far smoother and more stress-free than it could have otherwise been; for example, a lot of the filtering processes that are used by the university to select postgraduate students were not necessary to go through. Further, the recent experience of writing an Honours thesis has proved to be invaluable in providing a foundation for my current postgraduate study: it allowed me to develop efficient strategies for reading, note-taking, document storage, and many other facets of close research which are essential at the postgraduate level.