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Science - 3970

Program Summary

   
   
 
Campus: Kensington Campus
 
 
Career: Undergraduate
 
 
Typical Duration: 3 Years
 
 
Typical UOC Per Semester: 24
 
 
Min UOC Per Semester: 3
 
 
Max UOC Per Semester: 27
 
 
Min UOC For Award: 144
 
 
Award(s):
 
 
Bachelor of Science
 
 
Bachelor of Science (Honours)
 
 
Bachelor of Science (Major)
 
  

Program Description

The three-year Science degree has been designed for students who seek a 'generalist' degree in which there is a large element of choice. A student can combine courses from two or more Science disciplines, or take courses from outside the Science disciplines. There is also the option to apply for an additional Honours year at the end of the three years, subject to a student's academic performance and places available within a School's Honours program. The basic rules for the degree are set out below.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

This program has been designed to:
  1. Develop and sustain an interest in and knowledge of Science.
  2. Develop a working knowledge of scientific methods of investigation.
  3. Encourage curiosity and creative imagination and an appreciation of the role of speculation in the selection and solution of problems, the construction of hypotheses, and the design of experiments.
  4. Develop an appreciation of scientific criteria and a concern for objectivity and precision.
  5. Develop confidence and skill in formulating problems and in treating both qualitative and quantitative data.
  6. Develop the ability and disposition to think logically, to communicate clearly by written and oral means, and to read critically and with understanding.
  7. Develop the habit of seeking and recognising relationships between phenomena, principles, theories, conceptual frameworks and problems.
  8. Promote understanding of the significance of science, technology, economics and social factors in modern society, and of the contributions they can make in improving material conditions.
  9. Provide opportunities for the development of students' motivations and social maturity, and an awareness of their capabilities in relation to a choice of career which will be fruitful to themselves and to society.
  10. Provide opportunity to study science in combination with other disciplines.

Program Structure

Where completing the Bachelor of Science as a single degree, students must complete a minimum of 144 units of credit. This 144 units of credit is comprised of an approved Bachelor of Science major, science elective courses, free electives and general education as shown below:
TOTAL OF 144 UOC
96 UOC
* An approved Bachelor of Science major; and
* Science elective courses ('Science' courses are defined in Table 1 below.)
36 UOC
* Free electives: these courses can be taken from any Faculty of the university.  
12 UOC
 * General Education courses: these courses cannot be Science courses.

Where a student studies the Bachelor of Science as part of a dual degree with another UNSW undergraduate degree program, they are required to complete a minimum of 96 units of credit comprised of an approved Bachelor of Science major, and science elective courses, ie. the blue coloured area in the table above.

Single Degree Program Rules

Academic rules relating to the Bachelor of Science are as follows:

   1.  Students enrolled in the single degree must complete a minimum of 144 units of credit;

   2.  Students must complete at least one approved Bachelor of Science major, and this must be declared before enrolling in level II courses.

Students do not need to declare a major in their first year as they are encouraged to try a variety of level 1 Science courses to enable them to select an appropriate major before commencing level II courses. Information on how to declare a major can be found on the Science Student Centre website.

   3.  Approved majors in the Bachelor of Science program are:
Anatomy Geography Pathology
Biochemistry Marine Science Pharmacology
Biology Materials Science Physical Oceanography
Biotechnology             Mathematics Physical Science
Chemistry Mathematics for Education* Physiology
Earth Science Medical Microbiology and Immunology Psychology
Ecology Microbiology Statistics
Food Science Molecular Biology Vision Science
Genetics Neuroscience  

* The Mathematics for Education major is restricted only to students who are taking a Bachelor of Science program combined with a Bachelor of Education. Students wishing to become a Mathematics Teacher must enrol in the Mathematics for Education major and not the standard Mathematics major.

   4.  In addition to the courses required for a student's chosen major, students must take 'science' courses so that the major plus 'science' courses total 96 units of credit.

Majors in the Bachelor of Science range from 54 units of credit to 90 units of credit, and therefore students will typically need to take 6 to 42 units of credit of additional 'science' courses depending on the major chosen. Some of these additional science courses may need to be at level I depending on whether a major meets rule 5 below. Where a student chooses to complete a double major, provided that the sum of the courses required for the two majors is greater than 96 units of credit, this requirement is met.

'Science' courses are courses offered by the following Schools. The course prefixes that are associated with each School are in bold:

Table 1: Definition of 'Science' courses
 Aviation  AVIA
 Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences  BIOS, BEES, CLIM, GEOS, IEST, MSCI,  ENVS
 Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences  BABS, BIOC, BIOT, MICR
 Chemistry  CHEM
 Computer Science  COMP
 Food Science  FOOD
 Materials Science and Engineering  MATS
 Mathematics and Statistics  MATH
 Medical Sciences  ANAT, NEUR, PATH, PHAR, PHSL
 Psychology  PSYC
 Physics  PHYS
 Optometry and Vision Science  OPTM, VISN
 Science Faculty  SCIF, BSSM

   5.  Students must complete at least 24 units of credit of science level I courses.

Most majors in the Bachelor of Science already satisfy this requirement, for example, the Molecular Biology major requires BIOS1101, BABS1201, CHEM1011, CHEM1021 and 6 units of credit of Mathematics. This is a total of 30 units of credit of science level I courses, therefore, no more level I science courses are required. Where a major does not include at least 24 units of credit of science level I courses, students will need to choose additional level I science courses to bring the total to 24 units of credit. For example, Psychology requires PSYC1001 and PSYC1011, therefore, students will need to choose an additional 12 units of credit of science level I courses. These science level I courses count towards the 96 units of credit requirement at rule number 4.

   6.  12 units of credit of general education must be taken and these may be taken at any stage in a student's program.

Students must follow the UNSW rules for general education. Any course defined as a 'science' course in Table 1, cannot be taken as general education. Any exceptions to these rules must be approved by the Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programs) or nominee.

   7.   A maximum of 72 units of credit of level I courses can be taken throught this entire program, which includes any GEN#### course or mainstream level I course taken to fulfil the 12 UOC general education requirement (see rule number 6 regarding general education).

   8.   No student may commence level II courses until 30 units of credit of level I courses have been successfully completed.

   9.   Students may commence level III courses upon successful completion of 72 units of credit.

Dual Degree Program Rules

Where a student undertakes a Bachelor of Science degree program as part of a dual degree with another undergraduate degree at UNSW, the program rules for the Bachelor of Science are as follows (for further information regarding each rule, please refer to the relevant rule for the single degree program as listed above):

   1.   Students must complete a minimum of 96 units of credit;

   2.   Students must complete at least one approved Bachelor of Science major, and this must be declared before enrolling in level II courses (see the relevant rules as listed above for the single degree program for information on approved majors and declaring a major);

   3.   In addition to the courses required for a student's chosen major, students must take 'science' courses so that the major plus 'science' courses total 96 units of credit (see the relevant rules as listed above for the single degree program for information on 'science' courses);

   4.   Students must complete at least 24 units of credit of science level I courses (see the relevant rule as listed above for the single degree program for further information);

   5.   No student may commence level II courses until 30 units of credit of level I courses have been successfully completed;

   6.   Students may commence level III courses upon successful completion of 72 units of credit;

Students wishing to complete a double major in the Bachelor of Science when taken as part of a dual degree at UNSW, should be aware that it will be very difficult to complete two majors within 96 units of credit. Therefore where a dual degree student would like to undertake a double major, they should be aware that it may involve extra time and cost to complete, and may have visa implications for international students.

Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Education dual degree
Students wishing to become a Science teacher cannot take a major in Materials Science, Food Science, Neuroscience, Psychology, or Vision Science as part of the Bachelor of Science as these majors are not suitable for registration as a Teacher with the NSW Institute of Teachers. Students interested in becoming a Mathematics teacher will need to take the major "Mathematics for Education" and not a major in Mathematics or Statistics. Furthermore, there are additional requirements students must complete to satisfy registration as a Teacher with the New South Wales Institute of Teachers, details of which can be found on the 4076 Bachelor of Science/ Bachelor of Education page. For further information regarding these requirements, students should speak to staff in the School of Education as early as possible in their enrolment.

Bachelor of Engineering / Bachelor of Science dual degree
All combinations of Engineering program and Science majors are possible in five years of full-time study. However, in order to complete these combinations, special exceptions are made when undertaking particular Science majors, as indicated below:
  • Students majoring in Mathematics in the Bachelor of Science will need to replace the second year Mathematics courses in their Engineering program with second year Mathematics courses required for the Mathematics major. For further information regarding this, students should see staff in the School of Mathematics and Statistics or the Science Student Centre, or view this document: Mathematics in BE BSc Programs.
  • Students undertaking a major in Biology, Ecology, Geography, Earth Science, or Marine Science as part of the Bachelor of Science, will be exempted from completing MATH1041 Statistics for Life and Social Sciences and BEES2041 Data Analysis for Life and Earth Sciences where MATH1131 Mathematics 1A, MATH1231 Mathematics 1B, and a relevant second year statistics courses has been completed as part of the Bachelor of Engineering. For further information regarding this, please see the Science Student Centre.
  • Students undertaking a major in Physical Science as part of the Bachelor of Science, may need to replace the second year Mathematics courses in the Bachelor of Engineering with second year Mathematics courses required for the Physical Science major. For further information regarding this, students should see the School of Physics.
  • Students completing a major in Biotechnology or Neuroscience may need to use their first year Engineering elective to take a course for this major, otherwise, it will require 246 units of credit to complete the requirements for the Engineering degree and Biotechnology or Neuroscience major. This could involve an extra semester of study, extra cost and would have visa implications for international students. Students wishing to major in Biotechnology or Neuroscience should seek advice from the Science Student Centre as soon as they start planning their enrolment.

Honours

Progression to stage 4 Honours is subject to academic performance, the academic requirements for a particular Honours program, and the number of places available in a School's Honours program. Typically students require a minimum overall WAM (weighted average mark) of a credit for entry into honours, although due to the competitive nature of honours in some Schools, the level of academic performance required may be higher. Where students have an overall WAM that is less than, but close to a credit, Schools may take into consideration a student's academic performance in their major area of study when assessing an application for honours. Students seeking to enrol in honours are required to have completed a total of 144 units of credit and all the requirements for the Bachelor of Science (including all level I, major, and general education requirements), and satisfied prerequisite requirements for honours as specified by the relevant School. Students should check prerequisite requirements for honours with the relevant School as early as possible in their second year of study. Students who have not qualified for the Bachelor of Science at pass level, will not be permitted to enrol in honours. Students must apply to the relevant School for admission to honours, and admission requirements as well as the number of places available, are determined by the Head of School or nominee.

Students who are granted admission into Honours after completion of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science, will not graduate from the Bachelor of Science at the end of the three years, rather, they will graduate at the completion of the additional Honours year. However, students who wish to undertake Honours in Food Science will be required to graduate from the Bachelor of Science, and apply for admission into program 3065 Food Science (Honours) through the School of Chemical Engineering.

Academic Rules

See the Academic Rules outlined above.

Fees

For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  https://my.unsw.edu.au/student/fees/FeesMainPage.html

Choosing Electives

In addition to choosing science courses, and general education courses as per the academic rules above, students have 36 units of credit of free electives in the single degree program, where not undertaking a double major. These free electives can be taken from any Faculty at UNSW subject to the rule that no more than 72 units of credit of level I courses (or GEN##### courses) can be taken throughout the degree program. Therefore students may choose to undertake further science courses, or may explore subject areas from outside of science. History and Philosophy of Science courses offered by the School of History and Philosophy of Science are recommended free electives for Science students.

Double Major

Where students choose to undertake a double major, elective courses are utilised to undertake courses for the second major. Whilst some majors are in cognate areas and have some overlap which will enable the two majors to be completed in less than 144 units of credit, other major combinations may require a student to do more than the minimum 144 units of credit for the degree. This will result in additional cost and time to complete the degree requirements for the student and may have visa implications for international students.

Award with Distinction

The Faculty of Science will award a Pass degree with Distinction to students who obtain a minimum WAM of 75 across their program and complete at least 72 units of credit at UNSW. Distinction awards will not be issued to students who continue to enrol in an honours program.

Sample Programs

The Faculty of Science has created Undergraduate Program Guides to help students choose courses based on the requirements of their chosen major/s. The documents should be used as a guide only and in conjunction with the program rules outlined above.

To access the Program Guide for your major, visit www.science.unsw.edu.au/current-students/undergraduate-program-guides.

Area(s) of Specialisation

URL for this page:

© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.