While we encourage everyone to study the level of maths at which they feel sufficiently challenged, below are some guidelines for the minimum level of maths required for some of our degrees. Please also see assumed knowledge for more information.

Type of Degree Assumed Knowledge
Science with Mathematics Major Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1, 
but study as much maths as you can!
Science or Engineering Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1
Commerce with Actuaries, Finance or Accounting Major Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1
Health Sciences Mathematics

Studying at least HSC Mathematics Extension 1 will leave your options open when you choose your university degree. Knowledge of mathematics is a useful skill in any profession, even if it is not required for a particular course. No doubt, you will have to use mathematical tools such as graphs and statistics for the rest of your life.

Learning mathematics also teaches you to approach problems in a systematic and logical way. This is a transferable skill that is particularly important in project management and it is an important skill for life.

HSC Plus

HSC Plus is designed to reward strong performance in Australian Senior Secondary Certificate (Year 12) subjects relevant to UNSW undergraduate degrees.

Domestic students who complete an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate and perform well in subjects that are relevant to their preferred UNSW degree may be awarded a maximum of 5 points. For more information, please see UNSW's HSC Plus page.

Pathways into UNSW Mathematics & Statistics

Below are some examples of mathematics subjects undertaken at high school, and the pathways into first year UNSW courses that assume a certain competency in mathematics.

Following is a list of first year courses that assume a certain competency in mathematics.

Assumed knowledge - HSC Mathematics

Aviation; Advanced Science; Biotechnology; Business Information Technology; Commerce & Commerce/Law; Computer Science & Computer Science/Law; Economics & Economics/Law; Environmental Science; Food Science and Technology; Geography; Industrial Design; Information Systems; Medical Science; Medicine; Optometry; Prosthetics and Orthotics; Psychology; Science & Science/Law.

Assumed knowledge - Mathematics Extension

Engineering & Engineering/Law; Nanotechnology. 

Recommended knowledge - Mathematics Extension 1

Aviation; Advanced Science; Computer Science & Computer Science/Law; Science & Science/Law.

If you don't have the assumed knowledge, don't panic. The School of Mathematics and Statistics runs a bridging course to build HSC Mathematics knowledge to a level close to HSC Mathematics Extension 1 knowledge.Bear in mind that catching up on knowledge involves hard work and it is always best, if you can, to gain the right amount of knowledge at school.

Essential Mathematics for higher education

The Program will be delivered in partnership with TAFE NSW, Randwick College. The program will cover the contents from the HSC two unit mathematics course and will especially be suitable for students who wish to improve their knowledge in mathematics. The course will also be beneficial to students who are having difficulty in their first year of their chosen University Program and the 1st year mathematics courses. The program will be tailored to meet students' needs with a flexible timetable.

Duration: 6 weeks, 4 hours/week

Location: Randwick TAFE

Cost: $360

Ways to enrol

Please see assumed knowledge for first year mathematics courses for further details. 

More information

Mathematics & Statistics Student Services Office
Room 3072, 3rd Floor Red Centre East Wing
E: fy.mathsstats@unsw.edu.au
P: 02 9385 7011

Teacher resources: advising students on HSC course selection

The choice of a student's HSC course should be geared towards satisfying their individual desires of outcomes from university. For students who want to be involved in science and engineering subjects, Mathematics Extension 1 should be taken. Extension 2 is useful for students that have an extra interest in mathematics, or who want to pursue mathematics more for its own sake (a more pure approach) and who enjoy and can handle a greater challenge.

For high school students who do not wish to study mathematics at a university level at all, the standard mathematics course should be adequate, or the general component.

There are no formal prerequisites for students' first year courses, but the following information may be useful to aid in assisting students to choose their HSC course selection.

First year courses come at a "pass-level" (MATH1131 and MATH1231) and a "higher" stream (MATH1141 and MATH1241). See the course homepages for more details.

MATH1131 has assumed knowledge of HSC Mathematics Extension 1. The expectation is to have a combined mark of at least 100 in Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1. Students without this expectation are not barred from enrolling, but they may struggle. Later, to study MATH1231, a pass is required. If a credit was achieved with this subject, students may continue to the higher stream MATH1241 below.

The higher stream, MATH1141, has assumed knowledge of HSC Mathematics Extension 1 and 2. Students wishing to enrol in this course are expected to have a combined HSC mark of at least 186 in Mathematics Extension 1 and Extension 2. To continue to MATH1241, a credit is a formal prerequisite for enrolment.

A general-level mathematics course, MATH1011, is also available. However, the course is not intended for students who want to study mathematics beyond the first year level (later courses can include MATH1231 or MATH1241 as a formal prerequisite). The assumed knowledge for this course is equivalent to achieving a mark of at least 60 in HSC Mathematics. However, students who have taken only the General Mathematics HSC subject will not have achieved the level of knowledge which is assumed in the course. This course can be taken in preparation for students who need to take MATH1131 but fail to meet the assumed knowledge requirement.

More details on assumed knowledge are available. For further information on the courses themselves, see the UNSW Handbook entries, plus the information on the above and other first-year courses.