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Bridging courses

Brush up on the basics before classes start
A bridging course gives you the opportunity to refresh or familiarise yourself with subjects that are important to your future studies at University.

Many courses in science have assumed knowledge. These are subjects we expect you to have studied before you begin your degree with us. If you don't have the assumed knowledge you won't be excluded from the course but you might find it difficult to manage the work, as your lecturer will assume you are familiar with this area of study.

We recommend you take a bridging course if you’re about to start studying a course and you do not have the assumed knowledge you need for it. It is also an excellent refresher if you are returning to study.

Most courses are a week in length and run in February right before semester one starts to ensure you’re fresh and ready to commence your degree with us. We also offer a night-time maths course to allow you to attend other subjects during the day.


The Biology Bridging Course is strongly recommended if you are starting university and have not completed HSC Biology (or equivalent), or found biology difficult at school.The course places emphasis on building conceptual understanding and developing skill sets to prepare students for first-year biology units. You will work in teams to learn modern laboratory techniques, new ways of communicating scientific data, and design your own experiments to explore the environment on campus. Through these activities, we will cover topics such as evolution, diversity of organisms, cell biology, molecular biology and genetics.

Course delivery

Each day, you will participate in a mixture of lectures, investigative laboratories, and interactive workshops. At the end of the course, we will have a relaxed game show-style event where you and your group can test your understanding and win great prizes.

Note that for laboratory sessions, you will need to wear appropriate footwear that covers the toe, heel, and top of the foot.

Times: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Dates: 11 February - 15 February 2019
Fee: $360.00
*Register by: 4 February 2019

Biology Bridging Course contact:

Dr Hong Dao Nguyen
Dr Charlotte Taylor

Preliminary Chemistry (Standard)

The course is designed for students who have not completed HSC Chemistry or who have a weak background in the subject and who are enrolling in a course for which knowledge of Chemistry is needed. It is strongly recommended for all such students entering any of the first-year chemistry courses at the main campus at the University of Sydney. It is also appropriate for any students who are attending the Faculty of Health Sciences at Cumberland Campus who are undertaking the Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise and Sport Science)/Master of Nutrition and Dietetics as this degree requires them to study Chemistry at the main campus.

Those who have completed HSC Chemistry are also welcome to come along and refresh their memory.

Course delivery

You will attend two sessions per day, 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, which will consist of a one hour lecture followed by a two-hour small-group tutorial with about ten students per tutor. In all, the course covers 13 topics. 

Times: 9am-4pm
Dates: early in February 2020 (TBC)
Fee (inc. gst):  TBC
*Register by: early January 2020

In preparation you may wish to view the Chemistry Bridging Course Resources or download the information sheet (PDF, 1.9MB).

For further information please contact Dr Don Radford or Dr Adrian George at or phone Don Radford on 0418 111 729.

Preliminary Chemistry (External)

The same course is also available as an external course which can be undertaken at any time during the year. Enrolling in the external course is done through the School of Chemistry. 

Fee (inc. gst): $200.00

In preparation you may wish to view the Chemistry Bridging Course Resources or download the information sheet (PDF, 1.9MB).

For further information please contact Dr Don Radford or Dr Adrian George at or phone Don Radford on 0418 111 729.

Many tertiary courses require a certain level of mathematics. If you intend to major in mathematics, computer science or physics; or to study an engineering course, you require a good understanding of HSC Mathematics Extension 1. The Extension 1 course is for you if you have done Mathematics (2-Unit) in the HSC and wish to enrol in a course which has an assumed knowledge of Extension 1 Mathematics (3-Unit).

The content will cover selected topics from Mathematics Extension 1 that we believe will be of most benefit to students.




(inc GST)

Daytime Ext. 1

4 Feb - 19 Feb 2019

10am - 12pm


Evening Ext. 1

4 Feb - 21 Feb 2019

6pm - 8pm


*Register by 7 February 2019

Course Delivery

Courses are offered during the day and in the evening. The classes are small so that you receive the maximum amount of individual attention, and consist of 12 two-hour classes. You are expected to spend at least two hours per day on private study and homework during the bridging course, however there are no examinations.

Closing Dates

The Mathematics Bridging Courses will close registration at 12pm on Thursday 7 February. Should you wish to enrol after this date, please go to the Mathematics Learning Centre (Level 2 South Fisher Library, University of Sydney) on Monday 11 February at 9am (daytime classes) or 5pm (evening classes) and we can register you if there is a place available. You will need a credit card for payment.

Mathematics bridging course contact

The Mathematics Learning Centre
Phone: 02 9351 4061

Mathematics Prerequisites from 2019

Note on prerequisites: for more information about the 2019 onwards mathematics prerequisites:

For mathematics support for 2-Unit mathematics, please contact the Mathematics Learning Centre:


The Physics Bridging Course is strongly recommended if you are starting university and are about to take physics for the first time, need to refresh your knowledge after a break from study, or have tried physics and found it difficult. 

The purpose of the course is to provide a good general introduction to the subject so that students can better appreciate the lecture and laboratory material from the beginning of the year as well as an introduction of skills and content. 

Topics include

  • measurement and units
  • motion along a straight line
  • vectors and motion in two and three dimensions
  • force and motion
  • work and energy
  • conservation of energy
  • systems of particles
  • collisions
  • oscillations

Course quiz

You can have a look at the quizzes below to get an overview of the content provided in this course.

If you have attended our Physics Bridging Course this year and would like to give feedback, please follow this link.

Course delivery

The course comprises lectures, tutorials and experimentation to consolidate the information presented. A typical day consists of a 1.5 hour lecture followed by a 2.5 hour tutorial in both the morning and the afternoon. There is a one hour lunch break during the middle of the day.

Lectures are interactive with participation in large classroom activities. The tutorials are group based where you examine what you have learnt by practising problems and exploring demonstrations more closely.

Times: 9:30am - 4:30pm
Dates: 18 February – 22 February 2019
Fee (inc. gst): $360.00
*Register by: 15 February 2019

Physics bridging course contact

Tom Gordon
Phone: 02 9351 3201 

Registrations will open on 11 January 2019.

If you have any questions regarding registration, please email

Course delivery will be held on weekdays only.

*Changes may occur to these closing dates given and workshop content. Final details will be given closer to November 2018.

Frequently asked questions

Is the course open to students enrolling at other universities?
Yes. Anyone can enrol in the bridging courses. 

How frequently do bridging courses run, and what if I want to take two or three courses?
Bridging courses run over a 1-month period before the start of semester one.
If you wish to take a maths course in conjunction with any of the other bridging courses, we offer an evening maths course to avoid clashes. 

The chemistry (external) bridging course is the only course that runs throughout the year. 

Are the courses assessed?
No. These courses will help prepare you with some of the assumed knowledge to help you complete first-year university study, but they are not summatively assessed. There will be homework to make sure that you get the most out of the course, but no final exams. These courses do not constitute an academic qualification.

I registered for a course and then my plans changed. Can I get a refund?
Please choose your courses carefully, as we can refund all but a $25 administration fee. Refunds are only available up until 3 days before your course commences.

Will the bridging course prepare me for my degree in _____?
If the unit of study you are enrolling in has assumed knowledge of HSC chemistry, biology, physics, 2-unit maths or extension 1 maths, then a bridging course will help you gain or refresh some of that assumed knowledge. If you are uncertain whether a bridging course would benefit you for a particular unit of study, please contact the coordinator of that unit of study to find out.

Bridging course bursaries

A number of equity-based bridging course bursaries are available. Undergraduate students who will enrol at Sydney University in 2019 and have applied for equity scholarships through UAC are automatically considered. 

Awards are based on:

  • Financial disadvantage; you are receiving Youth Allowance or some other means-tested Commonwealth benefit, or you expect to be by March 2019.

Priority will be given to students who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Medical disability
  • Rural/remote area

If you meet the above criteria and would like to be considered for a bursary, please register for your required course by February 1. You will be notified of the outcome the following week.

Please contact if you would like more information. Scholarship recipients will be notified close to the start of the course.