University of Sydney launches new undergraduate curriculum

27 February 2017

The University of Sydney has formally launched the Sydney Undergraduate Experience, a new undergraduate curriculum which will enable students to tailor their degrees to their interests and prepare graduates for global possibilities.

The curriculum, to commence from 2018, was launched on Friday at an on-campus event before an audience of 300 high school career advisers and teachers, who were briefed on the reimagined undergraduate offering.  

"As society changes and confronts new challenges, university graduates need to have the capacity to contribute to and provide leadership in a changing world. And to ensure students are prepared for these changes and challenges, undergraduate education also needs to change," said Dr Michael Spence AC, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.

"We have transformed our undergraduate curriculum so that Sydney graduates will have the skills, knowledge and values they need to lead confident and productive lives. It will not only provide them with a broad range of academic expertise, but also exceptional opportunities to enrich their personal qualities and values."

The new Sydney Undergraduate Experience will offer students a new course architecture with broad, structured choices that ensure that students not only develop deep expertise in their primary field of study but also build an understanding of broader intellectual landscapes and the skills for collaboration, invention and influence. Every student will also have the opportunity to: 

  • learn from leaders in their field
  • take on real-world industry, community and entrepreneurship projects
  • study and work across disciplines
  • gain the skills and understanding to work effectively across cultural boundaries.

"The reimagined undergraduate curriculum retains the best of a Sydney education and provides new opportunities that will enable our graduates to thrive," said Professor Pip Pattison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education).

"It balances depth of disciplinary expertise with broader capabilities, and integrates authentic, real-world educational challenges and global perspectives for students."

As part of the curriculum, Sydney has introduced the new combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree and an Open Learning Environment, comprising short on-demand workshop-supported courses in broad skills and concepts from other disciplines.

It has also introduced the Dalyell Scholars program for high-achieving students – offering program-specific coursework, a global mobility scholarship, access to tailored enrichment opportunities and acceleration to Masters degrees.

"Students will have the opportunity to follow their interests while also broadening their horizons and taking on authentic and open-ended challenges as part of the Sydney Undergraduate Experience," Professor Pattison added. "This will provide them with the capabilities and skills they need to adapt, thrive and lead in a changing world."