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Mathematics prerequisites: what are my options?

4 December 2018
Didn’t study HSC maths? Missed out on a band 4? You could still get into your dream degree
To prepare you for a changing world, the University has introduced mathematics course prerequisites for some degrees from 2019. So, what if you don’t meet the maths prerequisites for your preferred course? Let’s explore your options.

I did HSC maths but didn’t achieve a band 4

If you missed out on a Band 4 (or equivalent) and want another chance at meeting prerequisites, consider enrolling into our Introduction to Calculus MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). Complete the modules for free, get your completion certificate online for $64, and after you’ve finished the course you can choose to complete a post-MOOC exam at the University of Sydney’s Camperdown campus. Satisfactory completion of the exam will result in an offer into your preferred undergraduate course, as long as a vacancy is available and all other course requirements are met.

The University understands some high schools do not offer HSC Mathematics. The MOOC is also a great option if you did not have access to HSC Mathematics but have been working independently to meet the prerequisites, giving you the opportunity to make your hard work official.

The MOOC is open to everyone and enrolments are now open for the course beginning 10 December 2018.

If the MOOC isn't for you, you may consider enrolling in another course for which you meet the requirements, completing an accepted maths unit in your first year, and applying to transfer in your second year. Further information on transfers are available below.

I completed general maths in my HSC

Did you do well in general maths and feel confident in attempting a higher level? You may consider enrolling into a course without maths prerequisites and completing an accepted 1000 level maths unit in your first year. You can then apply to transfer in your second year, giving you a second shot at your preferred course. You may even get credits for the subjects you’ve completed in first year.

Visit the changing your course page for further information on internal transfers.

Alternatively, if studying online seems like a better option, consider enrolling into the Introduction to Calculus MOOC – it may get you into your preferred course even sooner

I didn’t study maths after year 10

If you are wanting to enrol in a course with the mathematics prerequisite but did not study maths after year 10, you still have choices. If maths isn’t your strong suit, you may still meet your career goals by completing another degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts. With our shared pool of majors and minors, you could complete a major that relates to your interests and original course preference.

There are a wide range of courses without maths prerequisites including (but not limited to):

Visit Sydney Courses to search the admission requirements for over 200 Undergraduate courses.

If you are set on a course with maths prerequisites and are confident in your mathematical abilities, you may consider enrolling into our MOOC or completing an accepted 1000 level maths unit in your first year and applying to transfer in your second.

I am in year 10 and need to make my subject selections

Selecting your subjects for the HSC is an exciting time, but one that you’ll be giving lots of thought to, especially if you are still unsure about your future career path.

It's important to understand that a prerequisite is different to assumed knowledge and is a requirement to enter the course. To be eligible to receive an offer at the University of Sydney for degrees such as agriculture, economics, commerce, engineering and IT, health, medicine, psychology, pharmacy, veterinary science and science, and some combined law degrees, a band 4 in HSC mathematics (or equivalent) is a prerequisite.

If you are considering any of these options at uni, we'd recommend taking HSC Mathematics (or equivalent), not HSC Mathematics General. Learn more about our mathematics course prerequisites and related courses.

When do the mathematics prerequisites not apply to me?

There are a number of students for which the maths prerequisites will not apply. Visit our mathematics prerequisites page for more information.

Have a question for us? Visit the plan your degree zone on Info Day, call us on 1800 793 864 or ask us a question online.

"Mathematics has enabled us to design machines at subatomic scales. It’s the backbone of artificial intelligence that can play chess, drive cars and identify cancers far better than humans ever could. But the thing I feel most strongly about, amidst all the futuristic technology, is how mathematics can make us more human."
(Excerpt from 2018 Australia Day address) Eddie Woo, founder of Wootube; Australia’s Local Hero 2018 (Australian of the Year Awards); Bachelor of Education (Secondary: Mathematics) (Honours) 2008.

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