Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions
What are the entry requirements for undergraduate study programs within BABS?
Australian and overseas students are accepted into undergraduate study programs in BABS based on academic performance in secondary studies, or by undertaking the UNSW Foundation Year Program (or one conducted by another Australian Group of Eight university). Admission of Australian Year 12 students is made on the basis of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). Other applicants who complete a senior secondary qualification (e.g. Queensland Year 12, International Baccalaureate, GCE A Levels or other overseas qualifications) are assessed based on a comparable ranking system. The ATAR cut-off scores vary between programs and may change from year to year.
If you are a mature age student and do not have an accepted qualification or your qualifications are below our minimum entry requirements, there are a number of alternative qualifications that can help you gain entry to UNSW. Review the UNSW mature age pathway for further information.
What subjects should be taken by Australian high school students to prepare for undergraduate studies in BABS?
To adequately prepare for programs in our School, Year 11 and 12 students should take Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics; or Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. Completing additional Science subjects at the higher levels in high school can make it easier to achieve high marks in your undergraduate coursework. Note: Completion of General Mathematics or Senior Science is NOT considered adequate preparation for BABS majors.
What is 'assumed knowledge'?
Assumed knowledge for BABS majors is considered to be NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) Chemistry and Mathematics (or equivalent). It is also recommended that students should have completed HSC Biology and Physics, although these subjects are not classed as assumed knowledge. Note: Acceptance is based on overall academic performance as reflected in the ATAR; students without the appropriate background in Mathematics or Science are still eligible to apply.
What if my assumed knowledge is lacking?
Although students without the appropriate background in Mathematics or Science may be accepted into BABS undergraduate programs, they may have difficulty understanding the material presented in first year courses. Such students are strongly encouraged to complete the appropriate UNSW bridging courses to reach an appropriate level competency to undertake their chosen program of study with confidence.
What if English is not my first language?
A thorough comprehension of English is essential for success in undergraduate Science degree programs. All applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their spoken and written English is adequate before they will be admitted into a Science program. Please see the UNSW English language requirements webpage for full details.
Can I transfer units of credit from another institution?
Credit transfer (advanced standing) at undergraduate level is recognition of prior study at a university or TAFE. Advanced standing will be considered after formal acceptance into a BABS undergraduate program. View the UNSW Credit Transfer Tool here, to see what credit you may be eligible for. The Go8 universities (Adelaide, Melbourne, Monash, ANU, Queensland, Sydney, NSW and WA) have developed a Credit Transfer Agreement to facilitate the transfer of credit from one Go8 university to another. Further information can be found at the UNSW Credit Transfer Website.
Is it possible to commence a Bachelor of Science degree mid-year?
Yes, most of our subjects are completed within one semester, so you can commence your program in Semester 1 or Semester 2. However, it should be noted that mid-year enrolment poses some difficulties in fulfilling course prerequisites at the correct times. (A limited number of courses may also be offered during the summer semester.) Students enrolling mid-year will need to carefully plan their degree, and it is recommended that such students seek assistance from a student advisor at the BSB Student Office.
Can I apply to transfer from one Science program to another?
Yes. In all our Science degrees, students undertake foundation courses in first year, enabling them to specialise in second and third years. If students want to transfer to a different Science degree after first year, they are therefore able to continue into Year 2 of a different program. However, it should be noted that all applications to transfer between degrees, and for advanced standing, are assessed on academic merit.
I still have more questions!
If your question relates to entry requirements and how to apply, please contact the UNSW Student Recruitment Office on (02) 9385 1844 or ask them a question via their website.