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Bridging courses

For some courses or units of study, we assume you have reached a certain level of knowledge or have passed a relevant subject at Australian Year 12 level, such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) or equivalent.

You can find more information about HSC subjects and the expected level of study in other qualifications in the syllabus of HSC subjects.

If you do not have the assumed knowledge for your course, we strongly recommend that you undertake bridging studies. Otherwise, you might find it difficult to manage the work, as your lecturer will assume you are familiar with this area of study. Bridging courses are also useful if you struggled with the subject in high school, or need a refresher.

Each bridging course is held as a workshop that runs over several days, introducing the fundamentals of a complex subject. You will be brought up to speed, to a point where you can comfortably follow lectures and participate in tutorials and lab classes. As the courses are designed to prepare you for first-year university study, they aren't assessed and aren't an academic qualification.

If you're unsure about whether a bridging course will help you for a particular unit of study, contact the coordinator of the unit to find out.

Bridging courses will run on weekdays in February, before the start of Semester 1. Preliminary chemistry (external) is the only course that runs throughout the year. 

Bridging courses available

Cost: $360

Suitable for: science students enrolling in first-year biology. The Biology bridging course is strongly recommended if you are starting university and have not completed HSC Biology (or equivalent), or found biology difficult at school.


The course places emphasis on building conceptual understanding and developing skill sets to prepare you for first-year biology units. You will work in teams to learn modern laboratory techniques, new ways of communicating scientific data, and design your own experiments to explore the environment on campus. Through these activities, we will cover topics such as evolution, diversity of organisms, cell biology, molecular biology and genetics.

Course delivery

Each day, you will participate in a mixture of lectures, investigative laboratories, and interactive workshops. At the end of the course, we will have a relaxed game show-style event where you and your group can test your understanding and win great prizes.

For laboratory sessions, you will need to wear a lab coat, safety glasses and appropriate footwear that covers the toe, heel, and top of the foot.

Date and time

Date: Wednesday 29 January - Tuesday 4 February (excluding weekends)

Time: 9am-4.30pm

Contact us

Dr Hong Dao Nguyen

Cost: $340

Suitable for: science and engineering students enrolling in first-year chemistry, as well as Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise and Sport Science)/Master of Nutrition and Dietetics students. The course is recommended if you have not completed HSC Chemistry or have a weak background in the subject and you're enrolling in a course where knowledge of Chemistry is needed.

If you have completed HSC Chemistry, you are also welcome to come along and refresh your memory.

Course delivery

You will attend two sessions per day, 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, which will consist of a one hour lecture followed by a two-hour small-group tutorial with about ten students per tutor. The course covers 13 topics in total.

In preparation you may want to view the Chemistry Bridging Course Resources or download the information sheet (pdf, 1.9MB).

Contact us

For further information, contact us at or phone Dr Don Radford on +61 2 9918 6761 (preferable) or +61 418 111 729.

Date and time

Date: Weekdays, 5 February - 13 February

Time:  9am-4pm

Cost: $200

This course is the same as the Preliminary Chemistry (internal) course, but is delivered as an external course which can be undertaken at any time during the year. Enrolling in the external course is done through the School of Chemistry.

In preparation you may wish to view the Chemistry Bridging Course Resources or download the information sheet (pdf, 1.9MB).

Contact us

For further information, contact us at or phone Dr Don Radford on +61 2 9918 6761 (preferable) or +61 418 111 729.

Cost: $435

Suitable for: students intending to study an engineering course, or major in mathematics, computer science or physics. This Extension 1 bridging course is for you if you have done Mathematics (2-Unit) in the HSC and want to enrol in a course which has an assumed knowledge of Extension 1 Mathematics (3-Unit).


The content will cover selected topics from Mathematics Extension 1 that we believe will be of most benefit.

Course delivery

We run two streams of courses, with one in the daytime and one in the evening. The course consists of 12 two-hour classes, with small class sizes so that you receive the maximum amount of individual attention. You are expected to spend at least two hours per day on private study and homework during the bridging course, however there are no examinations.

Additionally, our Drop-in centre will be open for two hours each day for extra face-to-face support during the bridging course.

Mathematics prerequisite

The University has introduced mathematics prerequisites for some courses. Bridging courses cover assumed knowledge, rather than required knowledge, so will not help you to meet the prerequisites. Find out about mathematics prerequisites and how you can meet the requirements.

Date and time (Day)

Date: Monday to Friday, 3-18 February

Time:  10am-12pm

Date and time (Evening)

Date: Monday to Thursday, 3-20 February

Time:  6pm-8pm

Contact us

The Mathematics Learning Centre
+61 2 9351 4061

Cost: $390.50

Suitable for: science and engineering students enrolling in first-year physics. This bridging course is strongly recommended if you are starting university and are about to take physics for the first time, need to refresh your knowledge after a break from study, or have tried physics and found it difficult.

The purpose of the course is to provide a good general introduction to the skills and content of the subject so that you can better appreciate the lecture and laboratory material from the beginning of the year.


You'll cover a range of topics including measurement and units, motion along a straight line, vectors and motion in two and three dimensions, force and motion, work and energy, conservation of energy, systems of particles, collisions, and oscillations.

Course delivery

The course comprises lectures, tutorials and experimentation to consolidate the information presented. A typical day consists of a 1.5 hour lecture followed by a 2.5 hour tutorial in both the morning and the afternoon. There is a one hour lunch break during the middle of the day.

Lectures are interactive with participation in large classroom activities. The tutorials are group based where you examine what you have learnt by practising problems and exploring demonstrations more closely.

Date and time

Date: Monday to Friday, 17-21 February

Time:  9.30am-4.30pm

Contact us

Tom Gordon
+61 2 9351 3201

Cost: $320. This includes the cost of booklets and course materials. This fee can't be deferred to HECS-HELP and needs to be paid in full when enrolling.

Suitable for: students planning to undertake programmes which require the study of statistics (such as statistics and research methods for psychology), and degrees/diplomas in public health or other postgraduate degrees.

This six-day course is recommended if you lack confidence when faced with mathematical tasks or as a refresher if you want to brush up on basic mathematical skills. It may also be useful if you have not studied Mathematics (2 Unit) at school. It is not appropriate if you have at any time completed the higher levels of mathematics for the HSC.

The course aims to review the basic mathematics needed in a statistics course and to develop an intuitive understanding of some fundamental statistical concepts.


The program includes:

  • use of a scientific calculator, including the use of statistical functions
  • algebra, including the use of formulae and the solution of simple linear equations
  • introduction to concepts in probability by means of practical activities
  • ways of representing and summarising data including graphs, mean, standard deviation, correlation
  • introduction to the normal distribution.

You will need a scientific calculator with statistical functions. Recommended models are the Casio fx 82 AU PLUS II or Casio fx 82 AU PLUS. Some other models in the fx82 and fx100 series may also be suitable. 

If you already have a scientific calculator, check with the teachers in the course first before buying a new one.

Contact us

The Mathematics Learning Centre
+61 2 9351 4061


For enquiries or to enrol, contact the Mathematics Learning Centre. Include details of levels of mathematics previously studied, when you last studied mathematics and your statistics unit of study. Class sizes will be limited to 24 students to ensure individual help is available, so we recommend you enrol early.

How to register

Bridging courses are open to everyone, you don't need to be commencing study at the University to register.

Register online for a bridging course. If you have any questions about registering, contact

If your plans change, refunds are only available up to three days before the bridging course commences. A $25 administration fee will apply.

Bridging course bursaries

A limited number of equity-based bridging course bursaries are available.

To be considered for bursaries, you need to be commencing as an undergraduate student at the University of Sydney in 2020. Bursaries will be awarded based on financial disadvantage: receiving Youth Allowance or some other means-tested Commonwealth benefit, or you expect to be by March 2020. Priority will be given if you have a medical disability and/or if you are from a rural/remote area.

How to apply

If you meet the criteria and would like to be considered for a bursary:

  1. register for your required bridging course online and
  2. email attaching the letter of enrolment for your undergraduate degree, an official document stating the Commonwealth financial benefit, and advise of the name of school you went to.

You will be notified of the outcome the following week.

As bursary places are limited, it is recommended you apply for the bursaries as soon as possible.

Last updated: 22 January 2020

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