Bachelor of Science (Advanced)

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Bachelor of Science (Advanced) is a three-year course which retains much of the flexible structure and range of choice of the Bachelor of Science. The material taught in this course caters to the needs of the very best students, allowing you to stretch your abilities to their full potential in the scientific areas that interest you. The advanced units you undertake are challenging and can be demanding, but the results are extremely rewarding.

As with the Bachelor of Science, you have over 30 majors to choose from, a selection of which can be studied at the advanced level. The majors that you can study at the advanced level are listed below. To see a complete list of majors offered to Bachelor of Science students, visit the Bachelor of Science course entry. To complete the course, you must undertake at least one major at the advanced level, but you can also complete another major if you plan your study well. This second major can be done at the normal or advanced level. As part of the course you will usually need to complete around two to four subjects at the advanced level each year.

Employers know that graduates of the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) are of an extremely high calibre. Graduates of the advanced course can expect to proceed to postgraduate studies and to work at the frontiers of research in universities, private enterprise, CSIRO or other national and international science organisations.

What kinds of jobs can you get after a Science degree? Find out here.

Course outline

View a sample study plan/course structure table.

Study plan


The Bachelor of Science (Advanced) may be undertaken full-time over three years or part-time over six years. To complete the course, you undertake 144 credit points (cp) worth of units (ie. subjects) including at least one major at the advanced level. A typical unit is worth 6cp. In first year, full-time students normally enrol in 48cp of junior units, with 24cp of units completed at advanced level. In second year you normally enrol in 48cp of intermediate units, and at least 12cp of these must be studied at the advanced level. In third year, you will enrol in 48cp of senior units, building on intermediate study to complete a minimum of one major of 24cp of senior units of study in science. At least 24cp in third year must be taken at the advanced level in a single science area, to complete your advanced major. You must meet minimum progression requirements to continue to study in the BSc (Advanced) course.

Majors

What is a major?

A major in the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) is a specialisation in a chosen area of study and is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in a particular area.

Within the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) course, over 30 different majors are offered, and you are required to complete at least one major, in order to complete the course. You can complete your major at the advanced level or the normal level. However, of the available majors, only some are available for study at the advanced level. The majors that you can complete at the advanced level are listed above under Majors. To view ALL available majors, see the Bachelor of Science entry.

To complete a major, you need to undertake an approved combination of subjects (units of study). Most students undertake one major, but you can take up to two majors if you plan your course carefully. Normally, but not always, you need to undertake 24 credit points worth of senior units of study in a particular subject area, to complete a major.

Core majors

Optional majors

Further course information

Progression rules

(1) Candidates enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) or Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) are required to maintain a minimum average mark of 65 in all intermediate and senior units of study in science subject areas in each year of enrolment. Failure to maintain the required average will result in candidates being transferred to the Bachelor of Science in their next year of enrolment with full credit for the units of study completed.

(2) Candidates enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) or Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) who fail to achieve an average mark of 65 across all science units of study attempted in their final year but have otherwise completed all the requirements of the degree will be awarded the Bachelor of Science.

What is an elective?

An elective is a unit of study (subject) which you are allowed to enrol in as part of your course and which will count towards the completion of your course. It differs to a core unit in that you have a choice about which electives, amongst a given set of electives, you want to study.

Depending on how you structure your Bachelor of Science (Advanced) course, you could be doing up to a quarter of your units as non-science electives. Elective units are available from any other faculty at the University, provided that you receive permission from the relevant department and the Faculty of Science to add that elective to your course plan.

See the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) study plan table to get an idea of how electives fit in amongst your other units of study.

Course opportunities

The course includes opportunities to participate in the University's Study Abroad and Exchange Program, the Science Link-Up and Mentoring (SLAM) Program and the Science Talented Student Program (entry by invitation from the Dean of Science), and opportunities specific to majors or subject areas, such as the Year in Industry program offered by the School of Chemistry.

Study Abroad and Exchange Program

Science Link-Up and Mentoring (SLAM) Program

Science Talented Student Program

Year in Industry Program

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) course have distinguished themselves in many areas of endeavour. Some have won prestigious prizes and scholarships such as the Nobel Prize and the Rhodes Scholarship. Others have gone on to occupy positions in the world's best research institutes and many have established successful careers in education, business, banking and government.

What jobs are there for Science graduates? Find out here.

Employers know that graduates of the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) are of an extremely high calibre, owing to their ability to undertake advanced and challenging material, and the dedication and hardworking qualities that often characterises advanced students.

The course forms an ideal basis for graduate research in science or for professional coursework programs such as the University's graduate medical and dental programs.

Course accreditation

Most majors within the Bachelor of Science (Advanced) are recognised by the relevant professional association. For example, if you complete a major in chemistry you are eligible for graduate membership of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI).

Further study

There are many opportunities for Bachelor of Science (Advanced) graduates who wish to pursue further studies either by coursework or by research, subject to admission requirements.

Many advanced students who are interested in exploring their research potential continue on to an honours level course, which is an additional year of study and research in a specialised area.

You can also undertake postgraduate studies by coursework in one of the many coursework degrees offered by the University of Sydney. Postgraduate coursework degrees are great for furthering your knowledge and skills in a particular area of study, and most postgraduate degrees offered by the Faculty of Science are available at the graduate certificate, graduate diploma, and master's level.

About honours

The honours year in science is a widely recognised and highly regarded additional year of undergraduate study available to you after you complete your undergraduate course. It’s a unique opportunity for you to explore your research potential and put the theory from your undergraduate studies into practice. An honours qualification in science is not only well regarded in academia, but also in industry where laboratory experience and a command of scientific thought processes are highly sought after.

Honours can be undertaken in any area of science, and involves designing a research program in your chosen area of interest in consultation with one or more supervisors. Your research program may include components in more than one area of science (e.g. physiology and biology) and depending on the nature of your project you may also have to undertake some courses in experimental design or do some technical training to use a particular piece of equipment.

Other study options

It is possible for non-degree students to enrol in a unit of study (subject) offered in the Faculty of Science without being enrolled in an award course (degree). This provides a valuable opportunity for professionals to update their knowledge to enhance career pathways or for personal interest. Non-degree students pay full tuition fees, take the unit of study with award course students, and are assessed at the same level. Non-degree applicants meet the same prerequisites as students enrolled in an award course at the University of Sydney (or have completed equivalent units of study at another institution) to be able to enrol in any particular unit of study.

More information about non-degree study.

Units of study may also be undertaken cross-institutionally by students, subject to the approval of the Dean. Cross-institutional candidates are enrolled in an award course at another university and have approval from their home institution to complete a unit or units of study at Sydney, to be credited toward their degree.

More information about cross-institutional study.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to this course is on the basis of a secondary school leaving qualification such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (including national and international equivalents), tertiary study or an approved preparation program. English language requirements must be met where these are not demonstrated by sufficient qualifications taught in English. Special admission pathways are open for domestic mature aged applicants who do not possess a school leaving qualification, educationally disadvantaged applicants and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Applicants are ranked by merit and offers for available places are issued according to the ranking.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications for the University's undergraduate courses are made through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). On-time applications for the March Semester close on the last working day of September.

Assumed knowledge

Mathematics or Mathematics Extension 1. Other assumed knowledge depends on the areas or programs studied.

Applicants for the BSc (Advanced), in addition to achieving satisfactory ATARs are required to obtain marks in specified subjects in the HSC or equivalent which will allow enrolment in the necessary advanced units of study.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply:

(i) directly to the University's International Student Office using the online application form, or
(ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent), or
(iii) through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) International, for students applying on the basis of a current Australian Year 12 secondary school examination, or studying either an International Baccalaureate** in Australia or a New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3.

** All International Baccalaureate (IB) applicants seeking admission to the University of Sydney may now apply either directly to the International Student Office using the online application form or through UAC International.

Further admission requirements

There are no formal prerequisites for candidates wishing to enrol in the Bachelor of Science (Advanced). The degree is, however, taught on the assumption that candidates will have successfully completed Mathematics or Mathematics Extension 1. You may attend one of the bridging courses in mathematics offered by the Mathematics Learning Centre if you feel you need to.

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative Undergraduate Student Contribution Amount

This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2014 your student contribution may differ.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

International students

Indicative international tuition fees for undergraduate students

This international tuition fee is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact tuition fees that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total tuition fees, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

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