About Mind and Morality

Female student in Graffiti Tunnel

Students who enrol in Mind and Morality embark on a fascinating philosophical journey. Our ultimate goal is to acquire a deeper understanding of who we are and how we should live. As we grapple with fundamental questions about the nature of mind, personal identity and ethics, we will also improve our ability to think critically, to engage in constructive rational discussion, and to set out clear and persuasive arguments. Mind and Morality is designed for students who are doing well at school and are looking for an extra challenge.

The advantages of studying Mind and Morality

  • The analytical thinking skills and essay writing skills acquired by Mind and Morality students prove very useful in other essay-based HSC subjects, such as English, History, Geography, Legal Studies and Society and Culture.
  • On successful completion of Mind and Morality, students have earned six credit points (equivalent to a semester-length unit of study) that they can count towards a degree in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences or a range of other degrees offered by the University of Sydney. Other faculties at the University of Sydney may also offer credit for Mind and Morality. Please seek advice from the relevant faculty.
  • The course fee represents approximately one-third of the full fee rate for a six credit point unit of study at the University of Sydney. Students who count Mind and Morality towards a degree will not incur a HECS-HELP debt or be liable for the full fee for these six credit points.

How is this course recognised?

Mind and Morality is endorsed by the Board of Studies as a Year 11 preliminary one-unit course, and forms part of a student’s final HSC record. Board Endorsed Courses are designed for high-achieving students to supplement and extend the HSC curriculum, though results in these courses are not included in the calculation of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). The result for Mind and Morality will appear on a student’s Record of Achievement and can be counted towards a range of degrees at the University of Sydney.

Eligibility for the course

Any student who has the ability and aptitude to undertake university-level study is welcome to apply. Students can do Mind and Morality during the January that falls after either Year 10 or Year 11.

Dates and times

All classes are held at the University of Sydney Camperdown campus.



Monday 12 January to Friday 23 January 2015

10am to 2pm

Saturdays 7 and 21 February, 7 March

10am to 2pm


Assessment for Mind and Morality consists of two 1000-word essays (one on Mind, and one on Personal Identity or Artificial Intelligence) each worth 22.5%; and a 2000-word essay on Ethics, worth 45%. The final 10% the student’s overall mark comes from class participation. As part of the course, students are taught how to write essays to university standard.

Application process

Applications are assessed by the course convener on the basis of a student’s past academic record and the School Principal’s recommendation. We take into account ability to meet the intellectual demands of the course and to study in a university environment.

How much will it cost?

Mind and Morality is offered by the University on a cost-recovery basis. The tuition fee for the Mind and Morality Unit of Study in 2015 is $775*. Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee) also applies to all students studying with the University from January 2012. Detailed information on the Student Services and Amenities fee is available at: Student Services and Amenities Fee. All fees are payable once you are accepted into the course.

*Please note: fees are indicative and subject to change

Candidates should complete the application form and take it to their school principal for approval and submission to the University. Students should also attach a copy of a recent school report.

Completed applications (including all attachments) should be sent to:

HSC Mind and Morality Coordinator
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
Quadrangle A14
The University of Sydney NSW 2006

Applications for Summer 2015 close Friday 14 November 2014.

Late applications will be considered subject to the availability of places.

Download the Mind and Morality application form (PDF 85KB)

Download the Mind and Morality brochure (PDF 315KB)