calulator and textbook

Mathematics prerequisites: what are my options?

Ways to get into your dream degree if you haven't studied advanced maths
The University has mathematics course prerequisites for a small selection of degrees which require mathematics skills and knowledge to succeed. So, what if you don’t meet the maths prerequisites for your preferred course? Let’s explore your options.

Do I even need maths for my degree?

From 2025, the mathematics prerequisite is being removed as an entry requirement from several degrees. Check whether you need to meet the mathematics prerequisite.

I did standard maths in my HSC

Did you do well in standard maths and feel confident in attempting a higher level? You may consider enrolling into a course without maths prerequisites and completing an accepted level maths unit in your first year. You can then apply to transfer halfway through your first year or in your second year, depending on whether your course offers mid-year entry or not.

You may also consider undertaking our online Introduction to Calculus course. If you complete the course and pass the post-course exam this will meet the mathematics prerequisite. We don’t recommend this option if you haven’t studied mathematics before.

I didn’t study maths after year 10

If you are wanting to enrol in a course with the mathematics prerequisite but did not study maths after year 10, you still have choices. If maths isn’t your strong suit, you may still meet your career goals by completing another degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts. With our shared pool of majors and minors, you could complete a major that relates to your interests and original course preference.

I am in year 10 and need to make my subject selections

It's important to understand that a prerequisite is different to assumed knowledge and is a requirement to enter the course. To be eligible to receive an offer at the University of Sydney for degrees in advanced computing, engineering and pharmacy a band 4 in HSC Mathematics Advanced (or equivalent) is a prerequisite.

If you are considering any of these options at uni, we'd recommend taking HSC Mathematics Advanced (or equivalent), not standard.

Last updated 18 March 2024

4 December 2018

Eddie Woo

Eddie Woo
Professor of Practice, Sydney School of Education
“Mathematics has enabled us to design machines at subatomic scales. It’s the backbone of artificial intelligence that can play chess, drive cars and identify cancers far better than humans ever could. But the thing I feel most strongly about, amidst all the futuristic technology, is how mathematics can make us more human.”

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