UNSW Foundation Studies

Academic Programs

Academic Programs

Streams of Study

UNSW Foundation Studies offers 4 Areas of Study that lead to a university undergraduate degree. UNSW Foundation Studies offers 8 streams of study within the four broad subject options. We use the term ‘stream’ to refer to the package of subjects that you need to study, which will provide a pathway into a specific undergraduate degree course at the University of New South Wales.

In most cases, students study a total of 48 or 50 units in their chosen stream. The tables outline the Foundation subjects studied in each stream and some of the possible degree pathways for each course.

Please note:

  • All 8 streams of study are offered in the Standard and Standard Plus programs.
  • Only Physical Science, Life Science, Commerce and Commerce Actuarial streams are offered in the Transition program.

Choose a Program

There are two Arts Streams designed for students planning on studying an Arts degree within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, or a Law degree within the Faculty of Law.

1. Arts/Social Sciences - for students intending to study a general degree across a broad range of Arts related fields.
2. International Studies - suitable for students intending to study a degree with an International Studies component requiring NO mathematics.

Subjects Units Arts/Social Sciences International Studies
Academic English 10 Mandatory
Computing Studies 6 Mandatory Mandatory
International Issues & Perspectives 12 Mandatory Mandatory
Australian Studies 12 Mandatory Mandatory
Essentials of Mathematics 8  
Management 4   Mandatory
Business Law 4   Mandatory
Total Units 48 48

The Arts streams of study lead into the following undergraduate degree programs: International Studies, Languages, Media & Communications, Education, Arts, Social Work, Criminology, Social Science, Australian Studies, Music, Humanities. A full list of programs can be found here.

There are two Commerce Streams designed for students intending to study a Commerce Degree with The UNSW Business School. Students wishing to undertake a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies should undertake the Commerce Actuarial Stream.

1. Commerce - for students intending to study Business, Accounting, Economics and Arts. See list below.
2. Commerce Actuarial - for students with higher mathematical ability and intending to study Actuarial Studies.

Subjects Units Commerce Commerce Actuarial
Academic English 10 Mandatory
Economics 10 Mandatory Mandatory
Accounting 4 Mandatory Mandatory
Computing Studies 6 Mandatory Mandatory
Business Law 4 Mandatory Mandatory
Management 4 Mandatory Mandatory
Mathematics (for Commerce) 10 Mandatory  
Mathematics (for Science) 12   Mandatory
Total Units 48 50

The Commerce and Business streams of study lead into the following undergraduate degree programs: Accounting, Finance, Economics, Law, International Business, Banking & Finance, Actuarial Studies, Information Systems, Arts, Social Science. A full list of programs can be found here.

UNSW Foundation Studies offers two Design Streams. Students wishing to undertake a degree with the Faculty of Built Environment (e.g. Architecture) should undertake the Design and Built Environment Stream. Students wishing to undertake a Design degree at UNSW Art & Design or a degree not requiring a mathematics prerequisite should undertake the Fine Arts Stream.

1. Design and Built Environment - for students intending to study a degree in Architecture, Industrial Design, Planning
2. Fine Arts - for students intending to study a Design degree requiring NO mathematics

Subjects Units Design and Built Environment Fine Arts
Academic English 10 Mandatory
Computing Studies 6 Mandatory Mandatory
Design 12 Mandatory Mandatory
Essentials of Mathematics 8 Mandatory  
Australian Studies 12 Mandatory  
Australian Studies 1 4   Mandatory
International Issues and Perspectives 12   Mandatory
Management 4   Mandatory
Total Units 48 48

These streams of study lead into the following undergraduate degree programs: Architectural Studies, Architectural Computing, Interior or Landscape Architecture, Industrial Design, Planning, Media & Communications, Design, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Art Theory & History, Fine Arts, Social Science, Construction Management & Property. A full list of programs can be found here.

UNSW Foundation Studies offers two Science Streams. Students considering undertaking a Science Stream should have higher mathematical ability. The Physical Science Stream is designed for students wishing to undertake an Engineering or Science degree. The Life Science Stream is designed for students wishing to undertake a Biological or Health Science degree.

1. Physical Science - for students with higher mathematical ability and intending to study an Engineering or Science degree.
2. Life Science - for students with higher mathematical ability and intending to study a Biological/Health Science degree.

Subjects Units Physical Science Life Science
Academic English 10 Mandatory
Mathematics (for Science) 12 Mandatory Mandatory
Chemistry 10 Mandatory Mandatory
Computing Studies 6 Mandatory
Physics 10 Mandatory  
Biology 10   Mandatory
Total Units 48 48

The Science streams of study lead into the following undergraduate degree programs: Engineering, Medicine, Renewable Energy & Photovoltaics, Aviation, Computer Science, Optometry, Vision Science, Nanotechnology, Science, Medical Science, Health & Exercise Science, Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Environmental Sciences & Management, Biotechnology, Psychology, Food Science & Technology. A full list of programs can be found here.