Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts

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

The Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts is a four-year, combined course which allows you to combine a range of interests and complete a major in both science and arts. It is ideal if you have a strong interest in humanities and sciences.

The course offers a rich choice of subject areas, allowing you to combine your personal interests, or pursue complementary academic studies in the humanities and sciences ensuring a range of career opportunities following your graduation. You can choose from over 30 majors offered by the Faculty of Science, and over 40 majors in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

When you graduate, you will be awarded two degrees, which will allow you to pursue a career closely linked to your specialist fields of study, or consider a career in an area where your combined science and arts knowledge and skills will be an advantage.

Course outline

View a sample study plan/course structure table.

Study plan


The combined Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts may be undertaken full-time over four years or part-time over eight years. Full-time students will enrol in units of study to the value of 48 credit points (cp) in each year.

The combined course allows you to complete both a major in science and the humanities and social sciences. You will complete a minimum 12cp of mathematics, plus 24cp of junior units in science, a minimum 96cp of units in science including a major with the Faculty of Science, and a minimum 72cp at senior level from subject areas offered as majors in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Majors

What is a major?

A major is a specialisation in a chosen area of study and is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in a particular area. All students in the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts must choose a science major and an arts major. There are 49 arts majors to choose from, and over 30 science majors to choose from.

To complete a major, you need to undertake an approved combination of subjects (units of study). Depending on which majors you choose, you will need to undertake between 24-36 credit points worth of senior units of study in a particular subject area, to complete a major in that area.

Core majors

Optional majors

Further course information

Progression rules

(1) A candidate may proceed concurrently to the degrees of Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science (Advanced), Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) and Bachelor of Arts.

(2) 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.

(3) 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. You will be able to choose some electives as part of the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts course.

Depending on how you structure your course, you could be doing up to 3 non-science/non-arts 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/Bachelor of Arts 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

Upon graduating from the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts, you will be well equipped to pursue a career closely linked to your specialist fields of study, particularly if you have taken an honours year, or you may choose to consider a career in management, administration or teaching.

You will be awarded two degrees and have specialised in two areas, which will grant you a lot of choice in what kind of career you can pursue.

Depending on your majors, some fields you might find yourself working in include: academia, administration, education, business, information technology, management, human resources and recruitment and more.

Course accreditation

Most majors within the Bachelor of Science and some within the Bachelor of Arts 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

After completing the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts, you have a whole range of postgraduate study opportunities available to you. Postgraduate studies enable you to concentrate further on your major area of interest, to diversify your studies, or to study for a professional qualification such as the Master of Commerce.

This course also provides ideal preparation for postgraduate study in the University of Sydney's graduate medicine, law or commerce programs. The right subject combination will also enable you to go on to study in a professional area such as psychology, nutrition and dietetics or teaching.

About honours

Honours 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 is not only well regarded in academia, but also in industry where further, concentrated studies in a specialised area is highly sought after.

Honours can be undertaken in almost any area of science and arts, depending on what you specialised in as part of your undergraduate studies. It involves designing a research program in your chosen area of interest in consultation with one or more supervisors. 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.

Assumed knowledge

Mathematics or Mathematics Extension 1. Other assumed knowledge depends on subjects chosen.

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.

Further requirements

There are no formal prerequisites for candidates wishing to enrol in the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. 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.

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 and Bachelor of Arts. 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 2014 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 2013 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 2014, 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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