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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. Bridging courses do not provide you with enrolment qualifications or satisfy prerequisites for degrees within the University of Sydney.

Each bridging course is almost entirely self-directed learning via online resources, with scheduled online face-to-face sessions that are highly recommended but not compulsory to attend live. 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.

The bridging courses will be open for registrations until 1 March 2021, the first day of Semester 1 for the University of Sydney. Once you register your place, you will be sent all online resources you will need to do the course within 1-3 days. The optional online face-to-face components will run during February and will be recorded for participants unable to join live.

Bridging courses available

Cost: $300

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 explore core biology concepts around evolution, diversity, cell biology, molecular biology and genetics. 

Course delivery

The course will be delivered online through a mixture of self-directed content and live lectorials via Zoom. Lectorials will occur once a week on Thursday to guide you through problem-based worksheets that will help consolidate your understanding of biological concepts. Between lectorials, you will work in groups to explore biological data and new ways of communicating science. Support will be provided on our online discussion boards for both individual and group work throughout the course. In the final week, we will have a relaxed game show-style event where you and your group can test your understanding and win great prizes.

Date and time:

25 January - 19 February 2021 (Monday to Friday, excluding weekends)

Zoom sessions will be held 11am-1pm on Thursdays.

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 attend this course and refresh your memory.

Course delivery

The course consists of 13 topics, each of which consists of a one-hour lecture which follows the notes in the Handbook. Each topic has associated with it a set of tutorial questions and detailed answers which should take about two hours to complete. Finally, when you are confident that you have understood the material in that topic, a wrap up quiz which takes about 15 minutes can be undertaken using the online Canvas platform. There is no assessment in this course, just feedback based on the wrap up attempts, supplied expeditiously by the course Tutors and ideally before you move on the next topic. Submitting all 13 wrap ups will entitle you to a Certificate of Completion. More details will be supplied on enrolment.

Students’ questions to tutors will be handled by posting them on Piazza Board, an interactive programme which allows students to post questions and teachers to answer them and available for all to view. Instructions on how to use it will be supplied on Canvas. Optional live zoom tutorials will be offered at times to be notified on Canvas.

You may review the full course notes and tutorial questions on the Handbook.

Contact us

For further information, contact us at or call Dr Don Radford on +61 2 9918 6761 (preferred number) or +61 418 111 729 (mobile).


25 January – 26 February 2021

Note: The course is mainly self-directed learning using online resources. The online Preliminary Chemistry Bridging Course is available all year around, with minor adjustments to formatting, cost and resources after 26 February. If you need more information, please contact Don Radford. 

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

The course will run online with a combination of digital resources, lectures, check-your-understanding questions and optional but highly recommended online Zoom session with our education staff to support your learning. We run two streams of courses with identical content, with one stream in the daytime and one in the evening. 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.

The Day Stream Zoom sessions will be held between 10am-12pm from 8 to 23 February 2021. An extra hour for orientation will be held from 9am-10am on 8 February 2021.

The Evening Stream Zoom sessions will be held between 6pm-8pm from 8 to 25 February 2021. An extra hour for orientation will be held from 5pm-6pm on 8 February 2021.

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.


8 - 25 February 2021

The day stream Zoom sessions will be held from 10am-12pm, and the evening stream Zoom sessions will be held from 6pm-8pm.

Note: The course is mainly self-directed learning using online resources, with scheduled live online components. The dates above indicate the period in which staff will be available to offer learning support.

Contact us

The Mathematics Learning Centre
Phone: +61 2 9351 4061

Cost: $275

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 is delivered entirely online and with digital materials provided. It is recommended that participants spend at least one-hour per day doing self-directed study for three to four weeks. The method of content delivery will be presented in recorded and online lectures, tutorials, check-your-understanding questions, online demonstrations, simulations and quizzes.

The optional but highly recommended online face-to-face sessions run from 10-11am and 2-3pm on 8 – 12 February 2021. Staff support will be offered to all participants until the 26 February 2021.


25 January – 26 February 2021

Note: The course is mainly self-directed learning using online resources, with some optional live online components. The dates above indicate the period in which staff will be available to offer learning support. Registrations will be accepted until the 26 February 2021.

Contact us

Tom Gordon
Phone: +61 2 9351 3201

How to register

Bridging courses are open to everyone. You don't need to be commencing study at the University to register for a bridging course.

Register online for Biology, Mathematics Extension 1 and Physics bridging courses. For Chemistry, please contact Don Radford directly by email or call +61 2 9918 6761.

If you have any questions about registering, contact

If your plans change, refunds are only available up to three working days before the bridging course commences. $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 2021. 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 2021. 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 exiting the process without entering payment details
  2. email attaching the letter of enrolment for your undergraduate degree, and any official documentation stating that your Commonwealth financial benefis or other proof of financial hardship. If unsure, please contact us for more information.

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

Last updated: 21 January 2021

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