Talented Student Program
If you have a strong interest in scientific investigation and have distinguished yourself in your studies in science at high school, you may be eligible for entry to the Faculty of Science Talented Student Program. The TSP is restricted to the very top science students and exists to meet the individual needs of these high-achievers.
What is the TSP?
The Talented Student Program is a special program of study intended for Science students of exceptional merit. It enables select students to undertake activity and research in science units or combinations of science units not available in normal enrolments.
The program is offered to students enrolled in degrees administered by the Faculty of Science including:
- Bachelor of Science (Advanced, Advanced Mathematics and specialist streams)
- Bachelor of Medical Science
- Bachelor of Psychology
- Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (science component)
- Combined degrees (science component)
The TSP is also available for science components of degrees administered by other Faculties with the permission of the relevant administering Faculty.
Watch the TSP video to find out more about the program.
Aims of the Program
The program provides challenging material to exceptional science students to enable them to maximise their intellectual potential and growth. In general the TSP caters to students whose talent is broadly based across more than one science discipline.
The major benefit of participation in the Talented Student Program is the opportunity for students to receive individual supervision from academic staff and to study within small cohorts of students with a shared interest and ability in a subject. The program allows a wider and more flexible choice of options for study than those normally permitted to students. It provides each participant with an academic staff member as a mentor to assist in choosing from this large range of academic options.
Projects undertaken in the Talented Student Program appear separately on university academic transcripts so that potential employers are aware students have undertaken the additional challenges of this program.
Entry to the Talented Student Program is by invitation from the Dean. Invitations are made each year and are for entry to the program for that particular academic year. Generally the following guidelines apply, though departments may have additional (and more stringent) requirements for entry to specific activities within the program:
To be considered for the program in their first year, students should normally have an ATAR (or equivalent) of 99.00 or higher and a result in band 6 in at least one HSC science subject area and/or a mark of 95 or better in HSC Mathematics Extension 2. The Dean may consider minor variations to these requirements where students have demonstrated exceptional performance in scientific study (e.g. participation in an International Olympiad).
To be considered for the program in their second and third years, students will have a weighted annual average mark (AAM) in the previous year of at least 85 and a high distinction grade in an appropriate Science subject area. Intermediate-level entry to TSP is available only to students who have been enrolled full-time at least 48 credit points in the previous year.
Students who feel that they satisfy these criteria but have not received invitations to participate in the TSP in that year should .
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.
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.
Students might elect to study a broader range of fields than usual and study more than the normal load of 24 credit points per semester. Studying more than the usual load might enable them to complete their Honours degree in less than 4 years full-time. Another pattern of acceleration permits students who have already learnt most of the topics covered in particular first-year units in a discipline (for example, through Olympiad participation) to proceed directly to second year study in that field and possibly related fields.
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