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Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for mathematics

Introduction to Calculus MOOC
The Introduction to Calculus MOOC gives students a second chance to meet the mathematics prerequisites required for entry into a range of courses from 2019.

Making the MOOC count

Here are the steps to make the Introduction to Calculus MOOC count in your application to the University of Sydney.

You must have a University of Sydney course in your UAC preferences.


Undertake and complete the Introduction to Calculus MOOC


After completing the MOOC, register for the post-MOOC exam using the online form. Check the latest exam dates below. 


Sit your post-MOOC exam on campus at the University of Sydney on your registered date and time. Your post-MOOC exam results will be issued to you within 48 hours.


Update your UAC preferences if required, so that your chosen University of Sydney course is your first preference.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

A massive open online course (MOOC) is a series of modules run entirely online (except for some exams) and is open to anyone to enrol in.


In the Introduction to Calculus MOOC, you will focus on the most important foundations for the application of mathematics in science, engineering and commerce. You will learn about the key ideas and historical motivation for calculus, with a balance between theory and application, leading you to understand key concepts in foundational mathematics.

Through this MOOC, you will:

  • gain familiarity with key ideas of precalculus, including the manipulation of equations and elementary functions (first two sections of MOOC)
  • develop fluency with the preliminary methodology of tangents and limits, and the definition of a derivative (third section of MOOC)
  • develop and practise methods of differential calculus with applications (fourth section of MOOC)
  • develop and practise methods of the integral calculus (fifth section of the MOOC).

There will be no conditional offers, only a firm offer if you have met the ATAR and prerequisite requirements, either through your studies at school or by completing the MOOC and the post-MOOC exam administered by us on the University of Sydney campus, before the offer round preceding the start of our semester. The MOOC and exams are available in such a way that you can complete both before the offer round preceding the start of our semester.

The MOOC consists of five modules, with a certificate of completion issued if you undertake all the in-MOOC assessments. The time taken to complete each module will depend on your level of understanding, but we estimate six hours per module. In order to meet the maths prerequisite, you will also have to sit the post-MOOC exam administered by the University of Sydney on campus.

These exams will be conducted in-person on our main campus, and dates for exams will be set per intake.

For entry into courses in Semester 2, 2019, you can apply to do the post-MOOC exam in person at the University of Sydney on any of the following dates:

  • Thursday 27 June 2019
  • Thursday 4 July 2019
  • Thursday 11 July 2019

Your exam outcome will be shared with you via email within 48 hours of completing the exam.

The post-MOOC exam dates are set to allow you time to make changes to your application and UAC preferences and be eligible for consideration for in the relevant UAC offer rounds in July 2019, in time for Semester 2 commencement.

Some University of Sydney courses may be closed before these offer rounds, for example, the combined Bachelor of Laws degrees (see below: ‘Does the maths prerequisite apply to me if I want to study in one of the combined Bachelor of Laws degrees?’).

This page will be updated with exam dates for future intakes.

No, the whole course is delivered online.

The MOOC has in-MOOC online assessments and generates a certificate of completion once you have finished the MOOC. However, if you want to use the MOOC to meet the prerequisite requirements for University of Sydney courses, you will have to pass an in-person exam held under standard university examination conditions at the University of Sydney’s Camperdown campus. You will need to bring your certificate of completion for the MOOC and an acceptable form of photo ID (Drivers Licence, Passport or Proof of Age Card) to the post-MOOC exam in order to gain admission to this exam.

For admission in Semester 2, 2019, exams will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday 27 June 2019
  • Thursday 4 July 2019
  • Thursday 11 July 2019

Exam dates for future intakes will be announced on this page.

Yes, you are permitted to have multiple attempts at the post-MOOC exam.

Standard UAC rules and procedures apply. You can hold multiple offers from different offer rounds. However, you will not receive an offer for a University of Sydney course that has any prerequisites until you have met those prerequisites. There will be no offers that are conditional on meeting prerequisites.

Successful completion of the MOOC and post-MOOC exam will not impact or change your ATAR in any way. It will only satisfy the mathematics prerequisite for your chosen University of Sydney course. You will still be required to meet the ATAR selection rank in order to be eligible for an offer. Many of our selection ranks are guaranteed – find your course to see information on the selection rank requirements, which are published on individual course information pages.

Offers will only be made for courses with vacancies. Some courses are very popular and, as such, are filled in the first round. The University cannot guarantee admissions to all courses.

You can undertake all the modules of the MOOC for free, but will not be able to receive certification without payment to Coursera. It costs $64 to have your MOOC completion certified by Coursera. The post-MOOC exam is free.

Yes, in order to be eligible for this refund, you must demonstrate financial hardship in your UAC Educational Access Scheme (EAS) application.

Not all schools were able to offer HSC 2 Unit Mathematics to their students. To ensure equity, the MOOC was developed so that students who may have been working independently on the material to meet the prerequisites have an opportunity to do so officially.

The maths prerequisite applies to all undergraduate law courses, except the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws. For this reason, the undergraduate combined law courses have been assigned their own UAC course codes. If you wish to study combined law without the required HSC mathematics, you will need to submit a UAC preference for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws. 

Choosing the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws will not prevent law graduates from practising in certain areas of law. For example, just because you can’t do the Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws does not mean you cannot be a commercial lawyer. During your degree, you can also select subjects from the shared pool of majors and minors from across the University.

No, at this stage there is no mathematics available at TAFE or the Centre for Continuing Education that will satisfy our maths prerequisites.