Bachelor of Science

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

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a three-year course with a very flexible structure that allows you to choose from over 30 specialist science majors within the one degree. Whether you have interests in a specific area of science and choose your major from the outset, or you want to explore a range of units from the science curriculum and decide on your major later, the Bachelor of Science offers you the flexibility to tailor your course to suit your abilities, interests and career aspirations. You are also free to take up to one third of your BSc in non-science areas.

You will attend lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions, each of which will give you the specialist science knowledge and skills which, combined, will develop your ability to think analytically and solve science-based problems both methodically and creatively.

Your first year will be spent taking general subjects to prepare you for your chosen major, and you will complete your major over your second and third years, with the option to take elective subjects from other faculties if you wish.

When you graduate, you’ll be able to pursue a career closely linked to your specialist field of study, or you may choose to consider a career in an area where your science knowledge and skills will be an advantage.

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

CEO of Google France, and former Managing Director of Google Australia & NZ, Nick Leeder, completed a Bachelor of Science, with honours in pure mathematics. In this video he talks about the importance of a science-based education and what it did for his career.

Course outline


View a sample study plan/course structure table.





Study plan





You can undertake the Bachelor of Science full-time over three years or part-time over six years. To complete the Bachelor of Science, you must undertake 144 credit points (cp) worth of units (ie. subjects). A typical unit of study has a value of 6cp. Full-time students normally enrol in 48cp worth of units each year. Each student is required to complete at least one science major. It is important to start planning your major in first year, because most second and third year units of study have prerequisites. The degree structure allows for the completion of two majors and you can find out which units constitute a major by reading the Enrolment Guide in the Science Handbook. You also have to complete a minimum of 12cp of mathematics during your course. In first year, you will normally complete 48cp of junior units, and this normally includes 12cp of maths units. In second year you will normally enrol in 48cp of intermediate units and in third year you will enrol in 48cp of senior units. 24cp of these senior units will constitute your major.



 







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Majors

What is a major?

A major in the Bachelor of Science is a specialisation in a chosen area of study and is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in a particular area. For some courses, the major is explicit in the course title, e.g. Bachelor of Psychology. For other courses, like the Bachelor of Science, you select a major from those available within the course.

Within the Bachelor of Science 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 choose your major at the outset of your course if you have a strong interest in a particular area of science, or if you're unsure about what you want to specialise in, you can choose your major at a later stage.

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) The Faculty will monitor students for satisfactory academic progress.
(2) In this Faculty a student shall not have made satisfactory progress in any semester if the student:
(a) fails to complete successfully 50% or more of the credit points in which the student was enrolled for that semester; and /or
(b) fails to complete successfully on the second or later attempt the same unit of study; and/or
(c) fails to complete successfully any compulsory or barrier unit(s) of study, field or clinical work, practicum, or professional experience; and/or
(d) is consequently unable to complete the degree within the maximum permitted time while carrying a normal student load.

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 course, you could be doing up to one third 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 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 (Chemistry)

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science 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.

You may decide to pursue a career closely linked to your specialist field of study, particularly if you have taken an honours year, or you may choose to consider a career in management and administration or teaching. Find out more about the kinds of jobs available to Science graduates.

One reason Bachelor of Science graduates are especially in demand is because employers recognise that the course provides graduates with adaptable skills and the ability to think creatively about difficult issues.

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.

Google Australia's Managing Director, Nick Leeder, completed a Bachelor of Science, with honours in pure mathematics. In this video he talks about the importance of a science-based education and what it did for his career.

Course accreditation

Most majors within the Bachelor of Science 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 graduates who wish to pursue further studies either by coursework or by research, subject to admission requirements.

If you maintain a credit average during your Bachelor of Science course, you may be able to continue on to an honours level course, which is an additional year of study and research in a specialised area.

You may also undertake postgraduate studies by coursework in one of the many coursework programs offered by the University of Sydney. Postgraduate coursework programs are great for furthering your knowledge and skills in a particular area of study, and most postgraduate programs 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 is 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 Admission 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.

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. 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.

Student profiles