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Undergraduate courses

How to choose the right bachelor degree for your undergraduate studies

The world is changing, and university education needs to change too. We’ve added a new level of flexibility to our undergraduate degree; giving you access to a breadth and depth of excellence in disciplines and professional fields that is unparalleled in Australia. 

What is an undergraduate degree?

An undergraduate degree, or bachelor degree, is the first degree you obtain at university. If you have just completed high school, or have never graduated from university before, then an undergraduate course is for you.

A degree designed for you

Whether you’ve had your career path mapped out since childhood or you’re convinced that your dream job doesn’t exist yet, one of our three degree pathways – professional, specialist and liberal studies – will prepare you for the future.

If you’re already sure of the career path you’d like to take, a professional degree may be for you.

  • Follow a specific study pattern that leads to professional accreditation and registration.
  • Gain practical experience during work placements and internships, compulsory in most professional degrees.
  • Complement your expertise with interdisciplinary experiences.
  • Cultivate a diverse skillset and breadth of knowledge, alongside expertise in a professionally accredited field, by combining your professional degree with a liberal studies degree.
  • Take your professional degree in combination with another professional or specialist degree to develop expert knowledge and effectiveness in a given field or profession.
  • Professional degrees are available in the following areas – medicine and health; architecture, design and planning; education and social work; engineering and IT; law.

Know where you want to start your career? A specialist degree might be for you.

  • Study a set of defined fields that develop your expertise in a specific area.
  • Take electives from other faculties to broaden your learning.
  • Supercharge your studies by combining your specialist degree* with the Bachelor of Advanced Studies.
  • Specialist degrees are available in the following areas – architecture, design and planning; economics; music; veterinary science; visual arts.

*Available with the Bachelor of Design Computing, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts only.

A liberal studies degree is ideal if you want to follow your interests and continue studying what you enjoy most.

  • Build your depth of knowledge in one or more areas.
  • Design your own degree by combining studies from a broad range of disciplines.
  • Combine your liberal studies degree with the Bachelor of Advanced Studies to extend your knowledge and deepen your critical thinking skills through advanced coursework and a major project.
  • Some liberal studies degrees can be taken with professional degrees, enabling you to develop knowledge across disciplines and expertise in a professionally accredited field.
  • Liberal studies degrees are available in the following areas – arts and social sciences; business; science, agriculture, environment and veterinary science.

Your Sydney Undergraduate Experience

We’ve reimagined the Undergraduate Experience – the way we teach and the way you’ll learn – to prepare you for a future full of possibilities. We recognise that the future of work will be very different. The next generation of workers is expected to change careers at least seven times in their lives, and about 35 percent of the skills needed today will be different in five years, according to the World Economic Forum.

Every University of Sydney student will complete their bachelor degree with the confidence and ability to think critically, collaborate productively and influence the world. By studying one of our undergraduate courses you’ll have the opportunity to:

We have created a new level of flexibility with a shared pool of majors and minors.  This means you can acquire multidisciplinary knowledge by accessing a wide range of study areas that sit outside your primary degree. 

Available in liberal degrees, several specialist degrees and those combined with the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, the shared pool of majors and minors offers you unparalleled range of choice with a range of over 100 across any discipline.

For instance, you will be able to enjoy studying science without having to give up your interest in history; combine your major in marketing with the study of digital cultures; or learn both engineering and a language. 

Build novel skill combinations and boost your personal and professional development with our Open Learning Environment (OLE) units. These short, standalone units will offer foundational knowledge in areas such as design thinking, data analysis, ethics, leadership, programming and cultural competency.

All students will have free access to online components of the OLE and those enrolled in a liberal studies degree will also undertake for-credit components as part of their courses. Examples include:

  • Business entrepreneurship
  • Stock market crashes, rocket explosions and other catastrophes
  • Symmetry
  • Global ethics and futures

Involvement in curriculum embedded projects will provide access to industry experts. Working in teams from across the University, you will complete a substantial project related to every major you complete and solve real world problems under academic guidance.

Bachelor of Arts students have previously undertaken research and collaboration projects with the NSW Parliamentary Library and Thrive, for example. 

Visit the interdisciplinary projects page to find out about some of the projects that our students are working on with industry, community organisations and government bodies in Australia and around the globe.

You can supercharge your degree by taking the combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies and if you’re a high achiever with an ATAR (or equivalent) of 98+, you will be invited to take part in the Dalyell Scholars program where you can reward yourself though more opportunities.

Shared pool of majors and minors

Majors listed below are also available as minors, unless specifically indicated as a major or minor only.

Your undergraduate course questions answered

Choosing what to study now can be a big influence on what you can do later, but the future shouldn’t be the driving factor. It’s also important to be happy while you’re here.

University study isn’t simply about gaining credentials. It’s about investing your time in the investigation and discovery of what it is you really love doing.

Invest some time in research before choosing your course. Start by reading our latest Undergraduate Guide – and our International Guide if you’re coming here from overseas.

Visit Find a course to begin exploring the courses we offer.

Think about how you like to learn – through exams or more practical work? Are you creative, business minded, or a combination of both? Are you keen to get qualified and begin your career, or do you see yourself taking a longer path through part-time study? Would you enjoy studying abroad for a while?

Ask for advice, from parents, teachers, your careers adviser and any friends or family who have been to uni.

Talk to our representatives – staff and students. You can contact us for advice, take a campus tour, or attend one of our events for prospective students, like Sydney Uni Open Day which takes place in August each year.

Find out more about Sydney, the city’s calendar of events and all the things you can see and do while studying here by visiting our why choose Sydney page.

We also run info evenings and expos in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and New Zealand, and open days overseas, in China, Jakarta, and Southeast Asia. Learn about our overseas events.

We have introduced guaranteed ATARs for most of our courses, to simplify the application process and make it more transparent. It removes the uncertainty about what’s needed for admission, so you can have the confidence to list your dream course as your first preference. 

See if your high school results (ATAR or equivalent) are likely to be sufficient to gain admission to your preferred course. Find out about our ATARs for each course.

If English is not your first language, you may also need to provide evidence of your English proficiency.

Some courses have additional selection criteria, such as an interview, portfolio or audition. There may also be assumed knowledge, which usually refers to study at a secondary level in a particular subject.

Remember, there’s more than one way to get into university – and not all of them rely on just your school results. You might be eligible to apply through an admission pathways (previously referred to as alternative entry).

Visit our course admission criteria page for more information.

Many undergraduate degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science can be combined with the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, allowing you to complete a second major or a minor from over 100 study areas in our shared pool of majors or minors. You can explore a wide range of study areas within your degree as you acquire multidisciplinary knowledge and critical analytical skills that complement your primary area of study.

So, even if you’re sure of what you’d like to do, you can add other interests to your study plan and keep your options open.

Know which course you want to study and what the admission criteria are? Take the next step towards your future at the University of Sydney and find out how to apply.

Contact us

  • Student Centre, Level 3
    Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus

    Opening hours:
    9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

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