Frequently Asked Questions

Want to find out more about UNSW Sydney? Discover what programs we offer, learn more about entry requirements and read about what financial assistance options are available in the FAQs below.

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  • At UNSW, we don’t have prerequisite courses. Instead, we have assumed knowledge.  

    This means that your academics will teach you assuming that you have studied certain subjects (or equivalent). Receiving an offer to study at UNSW is not dependent on you having studied that subject, we will only look at your Selection Rank (your raw ATAR and any Adjustment Factors you may be eligible for).

    Bridging courses are a great way to bring you up to speed before you start your degree. At UNSW we offer bridging courses in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. The Undergraduate Guide lists assumed knowledge for each degree. 

  • There are three adjustment factor schemes at UNSW available for domestic high school leavers:

    • The HSC Plus scheme rewards up to five points for strong performance in relevant subjects to the degree/s you are applying. No separate application is required, and you can use our HSC Plus calculator online.
    • The Elite Athletes, Performers and Leaders Program recognises achievements outside of the classroom and you may be eligible for up to five points. Your will need submit an application to UNSW providing supporting documentation.
    • The Educational Access Scheme (EAS) is designed to level the playing field and help students who have experienced educational disadvantage receive an offer. EAS applications are submitted via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

    Adjustment factors can add points to your ATAR to increase your selection rank, and across all three of these schemes, a cumulative maximum of 12 points can be used toward your admission. Not every degree is eligible under each scheme, hence it’s important to note which ones you might be eligible for and which ones require additional applications.  

  • UNSW has the Gateway Early Conditional Offer Scheme, which is for domestic students who attend an identified Gateway school or who are eligible for UAC’s Educational Access Scheme based on SEIFA consideration. 

    The Gateway Admission Pathway is an early conditional offer to UNSW for Year 12 students that is administered through the UAC Schools Recommendation Scheme. Your application will be assessed on the basis of your personal statement and your school’s ratings of your aptitudes and performance in relevant areas of study.  If your application is successful, you will receive an early conditional offer with an ATAR entry requirement up to 15 points lower than the advertised Guaranteed Entry rank. Once you receive an ATAR result that is the same or higher than the requirement set for you in your early conditional offer, you’ll receive a firm offer to that UNSW degree, provided it is your highest eligible preference. Applications for 2022 early conditional offers close Sunday 19 September 2021.

  • Double degrees involve the combination of two compatible programs. This is advantageous as the combination often results in an overall reduction in the length of study. For example, the Bachelor of Commerce is 3 years, and the Bachelor of Science is 3 years. If studied in combination, the overall duration is 4 years, and you’ll graduate with both degrees. A double degree also allows students with varied interests to pursue two different passions in conjunction. Please note not all degrees are compatible. For a full list of compatible degrees, please explore the UNSW Degree Finder.

  • A major is an area that you choose to study in-depth during your degree to become your area of specialisation. For example, if you choose to study the Bachelor of Science, you may decide to complete a major in genetics and hence you would graduate with a Bachelor of Science (Genetics). You will complete a sequence of courses to meet the requirements for your major and be recognised as having that specialised knowledge.  

    A minor is a shorter sequence of courses and will give you some level of specialisation in a given area, however not at the level of a major. Many degrees, though not all, will require you to select at least one major, and many generalist degrees will also offer you the opportunity to complete a minor. For information regarding the approved majors for our courses, you can check the Undergraduate Guide.

  • The newly built Light Rail service has made UNSW more accessible than ever. If you are coming from Central Station or the CBD you can catch either the L2 Randwick service to the UNSW High St stop, opposite our Gate 9 entrance, or the L3 Kingsford service to the UNSW Anzac Parade stop, located at the Lower Campus entrance. 

    There are also several bus services that you can catch to campus. If you need to travel between the Kensington and Paddington campuses, you can catch UNSW’s Courtesy Bus during term.

    If public transport isn’t your thing, there are a number of parking options on and around campus.

  • Yes! UNSW’s Careers and Employment office will link you with potential employers and help you develop the skills you need for your career beyond the classroom. They offer job opportunities, application resources, career planning and networking events to expand your future career path. The UNSW Careers and Employment service is available for up to 18 months following your graduation.

    Visit UNSW Careers for more information.

  • UNSW offers a range of apartments and colleges. For a complete guide, please visit the Accommodation website where you can find out the locations, costs, amenities, support services and information on how to apply. Feel free to contact the UNSW Student Accommodation team at accommodation@unsw.edu.au or on +61 2 9385 4346 to have a chat about your options.

    If you want to get an idea of the day-to-day costs of living in Sydney, please see this handy Cost-of-Living guide.

  • There are a number of different scholarships available to high school leavers including merit, sporting, rural and equity scholarships. Check your eligibility for different programs at UNSW Scholarships.

    A notable scholarship offered by UNSW is The Co-op Program - a specific career development scholarship program available in select degrees, that enables students to form life changing connections. Co-op students undertake up to 18 months of relevant experience with industry sponsors in a series of diverse placements during their studies. Students who secure a place in the Co-op Program are awarded a tax-free scholarship of $19,600 per year, guaranteed for four years.   

    The application process is competitive, please refer to the Co-op Program website for further information. Please note that only domestic applicants are eligible to apply.

    Equity Scholarships are awarded to students from low socio-economic backgrounds and require a separate application via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Application deadlines are dependent on offer rounds. Visit UAC's key dates calendar for up-to-date information.

    Most scholarship applications, including the Co-op Program, close on Thursday 30 September 2021. To check your eligibility for all scholarship programs offered, visit UNSW Scholarships.

  • UNSW offers an extensive range of extra-curricular activities for students of all walks of life. These include joining clubs and societies, sporting teams or volunteering programs run by UNSW’s student organisation, Arc.  

    Clubs and societies are an excellent way to get social, get active and make the most of your time at uni.  

    There are 300 clubs and societies built around areas such as culture, sport, hobbies and degrees. So, you’re spoilt for choice! For a full list of clubs and to check out more about Arc, visit the Arc website. If you think there’s something missing, you can even start your own club! 

    UNSW also has a fantastic sporting community spanning all levels, from social competitions all the way up to Olympic level. We offer an abundance of charity and philanthropic opportunities you can be a part of throughout your degree. To find out more about the social side of university, visit Arc.

  • Whilst the majority of postgraduate places at UNSW are Domestic Fee Paying, there are certain programs which have an allocation of Commonwealth Supported Funding and Common Wealth Supported Places (CSPs). CSPs are limited in each program, and applicants are not guaranteed a CSP if they are granted an offer of admission. The list of programs with available CSPs can be found here.

    Programs not listed here have no Commonwealth supported funding and are Domestic Fee Paying only. If you are a Domestic Fee-Paying student, you may be eligible for FEE-HELP, but you’re not eligible for the subsidised tuition under Commonwealth support. Find more information here.

  • Applications directly to UNSW

    Applications via the Apply Online portal may take up to 5 business days to process, provided all documentation is received. If additional documentation is required, there will be delays in receiving an outcome. 

    If your application is still within this timeframe, we won't be able to provide an update. But rest assured – we're working to process all applications as quickly as possible. 

    Applications via UAC

    Postgraduate UAC offers for Term 2 are released on a rolling basis. The assessment of preferences for fee-paying places can take up to three weeks to process. The assessment of preferences for CSP can take longer as this is assigned on academic merit basis and the places are limited in each program. Term 2 offers are released from mid-February, and applications for Term 3 intake will be assessed from May onwards.

  • Yes, as a domestic student you can study part time if your program allows. You are required to enrol in one course per term to be considered a part time student.

  • Yes, you can defer your fees when you enrol at UNSW if you are eligible to receive HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, a loan that uses the combined HELP loan limit to pay all or part of your tuition fees.

    Find out more about how to finance your postgraduate degree

  • UNSW’s postgraduate offering includes face to face, online and hybrid degrees. Find out more about the delivery mode of your program via Degree Finder

    All classes will be delivered online until at least Friday 22 October. An assessment will be made prior to this date, considering NSW Health advice, as to whether any classes can safely resume on campus beyond this date. Any resumption of on-campus learning will prioritise labs, practical and studio classes. Please refer to the UNSW COVID-19 website for the latest information about our safe return to campus plan. 

    For those students not in Australia, we’ve transitioned our courses to online teaching and have migrated as many aspects of our campus community as possible into the virtual space.

    All lectures will remain online. Many other classes such as tutorials and practicals are being offered face-to-face with online provisions provided wherever possible. As a potential applicant or offer holder, this means you can commence your studies with us no matter where you are in the world and then join us on campus again when you are able to do so.

    Take advantage of this time to get a head start on your studies – apply or accept your offer today.

    You can find the latest information about our safe return to campus plan here.

  • UNSW's postgraduate degrees are designed by academic and industry leaders to meet evolving industry requirements and create future-ready graduates. The 2020 QS World University Rankings: Graduate Employability reviewed 500 universities, placed UNSW third in Australia and 27th in the world for graduate employability. A postgraduate degree may also boost your earning potential. The 2020 QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey found that UNSW postgraduates are the highest earning graduates in Australia. 

    A postgraduate degree at UNSW enables you to meet like-minded peers and grow your professional network; and enables you to take on the future with a greater sense of confidence. 

  • Most offers for our postgraduate degrees are based on academic merit. Some programs also look at relevant professional experience. For all entry requirements you can refer to our degree finder.

  • Postgraduate domestic applications for programs within the School of Population Health, the Juris Doctor and the Master of Teaching (Primary and Secondary) are made through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) Postgraduate portal. The main closing date for the Term 2 intake is 30 April for programs under the School of Population Health. The main closing date for the Term 3 intake is 11 June for programs under the School of Population Health and the Juris Doctor. See the UAC website for key dates and the UAC PG course description for the final closing date.

    For all our other programs, you’ll need to submit an application through our Apply Online portal. The on-time closing date for programs for 2021 are:

    • Term 2 - 31 March

    • Term 3 - 31 July 

    Applications submitted after this date are still accepted, subject to available places.

  • You can apply to have previous study from another institution or another UNSW degree program recognised, and the credit transferred to your current degree program at UNSW. Credit transfer is also known as 'advanced standing' or Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL). 

    As part of the UNSW Recognition of Prior Learning policy, students may be offered credits for courses amounting to a maximum of 50% of their degree requirements. However, this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Credit can only be awarded for courses completed no more than 10 years prior.

  • We have various scholarships available for postgraduate students at UNSW. Find out more on our Scholarships website.

  • You might have read that a proposal to return offshore international students to NSW has been submitted to the Australian Federal Government for approval.

    UNSW has been working closely with the NSW Government, Study NSW and other NSW universities for a safe return of offshore international students since the early stage of the outbreak. 

    Under the proposal, 250 students from NSW universities will arrive in Sydney per fortnight on chartered or commercial flights. On arrival, students will be required to quarantine for 14 days in government supervised purpose-built student accommodation.

    Students who have an ‘in-person’ or professional experience requirement to complete or continue their studies will be prioritised under this proposal.

    On approval of this plan, we will make direct contact with students who are eligible to participate. For further information and updates visit the Study NSW website. 

  • Yes. Commencing international students can start their UNSW studies online. In most cases you’ll find your core compulsory courses are offered online and you’ll have a choice of elective options. However, there are some programs with components that cannot currently be completed remotely. This may be due to the need for specialist equipment or in some cases because of the requirements of external accrediting organisations. If you’re studying one of the programs, your graduation may be delayed. Find details on the programs and courses where this applies with the 2021 timetable. If you’d like further information about how your studies may be impacted, contact the Nucleus: Student Hub

  • If you’re planning to apply for a 485 Temporary Graduate visa, you’re required to maintain a student visa for the duration of your studies (including if you’re starting online from your home country). If you don’t apply for the visa at the start of your studies, you’ll need to do so for entrance into Australia once border restrictions ease.

    We encourage you to apply for your visa for the commencement of your studies, even if you are starting from your home country. A valid student visa during that time will count toward your post study working rights.

  • Students are not required to submit a separate application for studying outside of Australia unless they are planning to reduce their study load. If you’re not able to enrol in 48 units of credit (UOC) for the year, you’ll need to apply for a reduced study load. For example, if you’re only going to complete 6UOC in Term 1 you would apply for a reduced study load.

  • Once you have submitted your application you will be able to easily track its progress via your Apply Online account. You’ll also be able to upload any additional documents we need. Once you have provided all the necessary documentation, it should take two to three weeks for UNSW to assess your application.

  • We recognise the challenges with the timetabling of classes and assessments to match different global time zones. This is particularly true in courses where the students are spread across many different regions in the world. If this issue is likely to affect you, after enrolment, please contact your course convenor in the first instance.

  • If you have completed one or more semesters/terms, and you need to take a break from your studies, you can apply for program leave. Program leave is available for up to one year, more in very exceptional circumstances.

    You may choose to defer the start of your study until the next available intake. If you choose to do so, your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be cancelled, and you’ll need to accept your new offer for the next intake. Once you accept your new offer a new CoE will be issued.   

    Please check the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system for your visa end date, updated details and conditions.

  • You can apply to have previous study from another institution or another UNSW degree program recognised, and the credit transferred to your current degree program at UNSW. This is known as recognition for prior learning (RPL). Please find instructions on how to apply with RPL here.

  • Student life at UNSW is vibrant and varied both on campus and online. All orientation events are offered online for students currently studying abroad. We encourage you to follow the UNSW community on socials, chat live online with a student mentor, take part in online challenges, activities and so much more. Find out what’s on and how to connect here. We also encourage you to join the student organisation, Arc, where there are over 300+ clubs and societies both on campus and online.