Bridging courses

Strengthen your knowledge in the key areas required for your first year of study.

Students learning in the Science facilities at the UNSW Kensington campus

This course covers the fundamental principles of chemistry: 

  • atomic structure 
  • names and formulae 
  • moles 
  • safety and prep of soap and electrolytes 
  • equations and stoichiometry 
  • preparation of alum 
  • concentrations 
  • oxidation and reduction 
  • titration 
  • gases

Using online lectures, optional tutorials and laboratory work, you’ll become familiar with the way chemistry is taught at university-level. 

This bridging course includes 40 hours of tuition. The fee is $380.

Is this course right for me?

This course is tailored to help you prepare for further studies that include chemistry in the first year of your degree. It’s perfect for you if you have no prior knowledge of HSC Chemistry and intend on studying Chemistry 1A. To check if you need to study the chemistry bridging course, you can email us below. 

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This course covers topics from HSC Mathematics Extension 1, including:

  • revision of algebra
  • functions
  • trigonometric identities and inverse trigonometric functions
  • calculus
  • induction
  • combinatorics and binomial theorem
  • further calculus - including integration leading to inverse trigonometric functions
  • Newton’s method
  • application of calculus to the physical world

Offered three times a year, this bridging course runs before Term One (February), Term Two (May) and Term Three (September) each year. It includes 40 hours of tuition, which is comprised of online lectures and optional live tutorials. The fee is $380.

Is this course right for me?

This course is for you if you have no prior knowledge of HSC Mathematics Extension 1 and intend to pursue maths-related courses in the first year of your degree. It prepares you for entry directly into  MATH1131 Mathematics 1A, which is a compulsory course in many science-based degrees as well as all engineering and mathematics degrees at UNSW. To enter MATH1131 Mathematics 1A, it is assumed that you have knowledge and understanding equivalent to one of the following:

  • a result of 86 or greater in HSC Mathematics Advanced (‘2 unit’ – not the pre-2019 HSC General Mathematics or HSC Standard Mathematics) (NB: some students would benefit from revision of the UNSW mathematics bridging course)
  • a combined mark of over 100 in HSC Mathematics Advanced (‘2 unit’) and HSC Mathematics Extension 1 (‘3 unit’)
  • a satisfactory grade in the UNSW mathematics bridging course.

If you do not have the above assumed knowledge for entry to MATH1131 Mathematics 1A, you’re advised to enrol in TAFE Essential Mathematics course (see below) and in MATH1011 Fundamentals of Mathematics B in your first term. If you’re unsure and would like to check whether you need to study the mathematics bridging course, please email us below. 

TAFE Essential Mathematics for Higher Education Course

This course is offered by UNSW and TAFE Randwick for students who have no background in HSC '2 unit' Mathematics. This course should be completed prior to the start of the UNSW mathematics bridging course, which you will need to complete prior to enrolling in MATH1131 Mathematics 1A in your first term. For more information, please refer to the School's noticeboard.

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This course covers topics from HSC Physics, including: 

  • SI units 
  • waves 
  • vectors 
  • forces 
  • dynamics 
  • Newton’s laws 
  • energy and power 
  • electricity 
  • magnetism 
  • electromagnetism

This course provides approximately 40 hours of tuition. The fee for this course is $380. This course is not intended as a substitute for two years of senior high school study in the subject.

Is this course right for me? 

The physics bridging course offers you the opportunity to revise or strengthen your knowledge of HSC Physics so you can successfully manage your studies in your first year of university. Your lecturer or tutor will expect this assumed knowledge at the beginning of your studies. Undertaking the bridging course will ensure you’re not at a disadvantage if you do not have a strong background or any prior knowledge in HSC Physics and intend on studying physics in the first year of your degree. However, it is highly recommended that you have HSC Mathematics level knowledge. If you’re unsure if this is the right choice for you, please email us below.

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Additional information

  • Assumed knowledge is what your lecturer or tutor will reasonably expect you to know from the beginning of your course. If you don't have the assumed knowledge for your course, you can still apply to UNSW. However, we strongly encourage you to undertake bridging or other preparation courses to ensure you get the most out of your first year of undergraduate study. 

    If you’re not sure whether you meet the assumed knowledge requirements for your degree of choice, please email us to chat through your options. 

  • UNSW Science bridging courses are open to domestic or international:  

    • school leavers 
    • mature-age students 
    • deferred students 
    • currently enrolled UNSW students

    You may undertake the bridging courses at UNSW even if you’re intending to enrol at another university. However, we advise you to first ensure that the UNSW bridging course(s) you select is approved by that institution.

  • There are no formal assessments in the physics bridging course. There are a number of opportunities for students to self-assess - these include submitting three experimental reports (experiments are conducted at home) and sets of tutorial problems to solve each week.

    The chemistry bridging course requires all students to:

    • submit an attempt for each of the eight OpenLearning assignments by 23:55 (AEDT) on Thursday, 3 February 2022 and obtain an average of 80% or above for these assignments (each will be weighted equally); OR
    • attend the final exam on campus at 10am on Friday, 4 February 2022 and obtain a mark of >50%
  • You can email us to request a withdrawal or transfer from one bridging course to another. The last day to withdraw is three days after course registration closes. Withdrawals and transfers will incur a $50 administration fee. Refunds are made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). 

    Please note that refunds for the mathematics bridging course are only provided if a student has not completed 20% of the course content and/or participated in four or more hours of the online activities.

  • Physics: This course if offered once a year typically Jan/Feb, registrations open in Nov/Dec. There is no timetable as all lectures are entirely online. More information will be provided when registered.

    Chemistry: This course if offered once a year typically Jan/Feb, registrations open in Nov/Dec. Students will receive a timetable for the optional on campus tutorials and laboratories when registered.

    Mathematics: Registration will close on 19th August 2022. The online course material will be available from Monday 27th June 2022 for self study. Optional tutorial classes (hybrid) from Monday 22nd August to Wednesday 7th September 2022. Students can choose if they attend class in-person or online. More information will be posted on the Open Learning website closer the commencement of the tutorial class.

    It is recommended that students aim to complete as much of the online material as they can before the tutorial classes (hybrid) start on Monday 22nd August.