Introduction to the TSP from the Associate Dean (Talented Student Program)

Associate Professor Tony Masters
Associate Dean (Talented Student Program)

The Science Talented Student Program (TSP) is a unique offering for students who are seeking to expand their intellectual horizons and indulge their intellectual curiosity.

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Associate Professor Tony Masters | Video

A flagship program within the Faculty of Science, the TSP is designed around the needs and talents of high achieving students. The aim of the program is to offer students of exceptional merit additional challenging material - including exposure to cutting-edge research within the faculty - to enable them to maximise their intellectual growth and potential. The program is offered to students enrolled in degrees administered by the Faculty of Science, is also available for science components of degrees administered by other Faculties with the permission of the relevant administering Faculty.

As a TSP student you will have greater course flexibility, undergraduate research opportunities, networking opportunities and an academic mentor from your nominated interest area to provide you with individual advice and direction. These are just some of the personalised factors that have helped our 1600 graduates over the past 20 years to not only succeed at University, but also on their chosen career path.

The TSP is not exclusive to those who want a career in science or research. In fact, many of our graduates pursue careers and professions outside of these areas including law, medicine, business, information technologies and government just to name a few. What sets our TSP graduates apart is their experience in creative, critical-thinking and problem-solving, making them highly sought after employees who as leaders, will go on to positively contribute to improving our world.

Follow your curiosity and find out what the TSP has to offer.

Download the TSP information booklet.


Advantages of being involved in the TSP

Flexibility: You have greater flexibility in your choice of study and can individually tailor your degree to align with your interests, needs and talents. As a TSP student you are able to enrol in subjects, or in combinations of subjects, which may not otherwise be available within your degree.

Academic mentor: You are matched with an academic mentor based on shared scientific interests. This ensures you receive individual supervision and guidance throughout each stage of your degree.

Exposure to research: You are introduced to research from your first semester when you have the opportunity to engage in research projects with small numbers of fellow students, a senior student mentor as well as an academic mentor.

Acceleration: It is possible for some students (such as International Olympiad participants) to accelerate their studies by simultaneously undertaking a TSP activity and entering second year study in that particular field. TSP students may also accelerate their degree by studying more than the usual workload each semester (subject to academic approval).

Recognition: Projects undertaken in the TSP are included separately on your university transcript so that all potential employers are aware that you have completed challenging units of study.

Networking opportunities: Each year the Faculty holds a variety of activities and events exclusively for TSP students, providing you with networking opportunities with other TSP students, TSP alumni, academic and research staff as well as community and industry leaders.


The TSP Process

At the start of each year the Dean invites students to participate in the TSP. A Welcome takes place during Orientation Week at which students new to the program meet with the Faculty's TSP coordinator who will then assign them each a mentor.

The mentor is usually the departmental TSP coordinator from the discipline most closely aligned with the student's interest/s. Together the mentor and the student plan activities for the year. These activities can cover different fields and so this planning may involve discussions with TSP coordinators from other departments. A proposal is put to the Dean for approval and for enrolment in TSP units of study. Throughout the course of the year the student and the mentor will meet several times to ensure everything is proceeding well.

The mentor and the academic staff involved assess the TSP activities. At the end of the semester the mentor reports the results to the Faculty and the Dean arranges for the TSP activity to be recorded on the student's transcript.


TSP Options

As an individually customised program, the TSP will generally be different for each student. TSP activities may be in a single discipline, in several different disciplines or they may be interdisciplinary, that is, they may allow the student to relate several fields to one another. Students can choose either TSP activities that do not count towards the formal requirements for the degree or activities that replace prescribed work.

Many disciplines have an organised activity for a group of TSP students in that field, such as a weekly seminar or group project. Some students have particular interests that can best be served by specially planned activities combining different disciplines. In some disciplines, TSP activity involves participation in a research group of staff and postgraduates students.


How much TSP?

Students will arrange a suitable pattern of study for the year in consultation with their mentors who will also consider the structure of the entire degree program. Please note there is normally a limit of 42 credit points of TSP study over the duration of a degree.

For more information contact the Faculty of Science on (02) 9351 3021 or email TSP Coordinator, Associate Professor Tony Masters at