Skip to main content
Group of walking by the lawns of the Quadrangle
Study area_

Year 10 and 11 student resources

A world of possibilities
Discover our areas of study and explore the key things you need to know in Year 10 and 11. Start your journey early, and get ready for university!

Where do you start?

It's time to start thinking about your future career and what the University of Sydney can offer.

To get into some of our courses, you will need to choose certain elective subjects in Year 11 and 12. That's why it is important to start planning now.

Year 10

  • Explore our areas of study and consider whether you can see yourself pursuing a career in that area.
  • Search, compare and short-list courses that interest you. Create a personalised course guide using My Course Guide.
  • Check the admission criteria and high school subjects required for courses in your short-list, so that you know what subjects to take in Years 11 and 12.
  • Take subjects you like and do well in at school. This is also a good way to determine your future career direction.
  • Keep up your extracurricular activities such as sports, performance or community involvement – this will help you if you are applying for scholarships or admission pathways.
  • Join one of our upcoming online events, or watch a webinar recording to find out what we have offer.

Year 11

Areas of study

Explore the breadth and depth of our course offerings, spanning 400+ study areas.

Key terms

Familiarise yourself with the language of university. View the comprehensive glossary for a full list of university terms.

Adjustment factors, previously known as bonus points, are used together with your ATAR to make up your selection rank.

You will gain entry to most courses with your ATAR or academic results. Some courses have additional selection criteria such as a personal statement, portfolio, audition or interview.

Admission pathways are alternative ways to gain entry into uni. Our admission pathways level the playing field by taking into consideration things that may have impacted your studies, for example, disruptions to your schooling or playing sport at an elite level.

Once you graduate with a degree from the University you become a member of our alumni community.

For some courses or units of study, we assume you have reached a certain level of knowledge or have passed a relevant subject – this is called assumed knowledge.

When you start university after high school, you will apply for an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree. These are at least three years long.

When you complete degrees from two different faculties or schools side by side. You can complete two degrees in less time than if you studied them separately. A common example is a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws. 

These are the number of hours you need to attend classes at uni. They depend on the area you're studying. For example, an arts degree may involve 12-15 contact hours per week, whereas a science degree can take up to 35 hours.

Each unit of study has a credit point value that contributes to completing your degree. Usually, an undergraduate student is enrolled in 4 units of study per semester and completes 48 credit points each year. A full-time study load is 18 to 24 credit points per semester.

When you receive an offer of admission to the University of Sydney, you may be able to postpone your offer for up to one year.

When you complete two separate qualifications in succession. In these programs, you will commence in one degree then transfer to the second degree to complete the remainder of your studies. For example, you can undertake an undergraduate degree followed by a postgraduate degree, such as the Bachelor of Science followed by a Master of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The University of Sydney is grouped into different faculties in which teaching and research are delivered. Faculties are further organised into smaller groups (ie, schools, departments or disciplines).

A lecture is a presentation given by an academic for 1-3 hours given in a lecture theatre with sometimes hundreds of your classmates. Students should carefully and take notes with little guidance from the lecturer.

Honours differ depending on your degree, but they usually involve completing additional independent learning and a large project over a year added to your degree.

If a course has an indicative ATAR, it means that it is a guide only and does not guarantee entry into the course

Many of our courses have a guaranteed ATAR, meaning if meet the ATAR of that course and have us as your first preference in UAC you will be guaranteed admission into that course at the University of Sydney.

Some degrees are flexible in letting you choose subjects; others are more structured. For most of our degrees, you will complete at least one major. A major means that you have studied a certain amount and combination of units of study in a particular area.

A minor is a sequence of units of study that develop your expertise in a field of study. In some of our degrees (such as a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Commerce, and Bachelor of Economics), you are required to complete a minor or second major.

You will be considered a part-time or full-time student depending on how many units of study you take for the semester. If you choose to study part-time, you will have fewer contact hours. Not all degrees are available part-time.

A postgraduate degree is a course leading to the award of a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, a master's degree or doctorate. A postgraduate degree usually requires the previous completion of an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree.

A course prerequisite is a subject you need to have completed to be eligible for admission into a degree. Some units of study also have prerequisites, meaning you need to have completed other units of study before you can enrol in subjects that require prior knowledge.

The University of Sydney year is divided into two semesters. Semester 1 runs from late February to late June. Semester 2 runs from early August to late November.

Your selection rank is your ATAR plus any adjustments made by the University. See adjustment factors.

A tutorial or ‘tute’ is a smaller and less formal learning setting. Students are guided by a tutor, and can ask questions and have group discussions.

The term used to describe a course leading to a bachelor's degree. It is also used to describe a student studying an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree.

A unit of study is an individual subject that you study as part of your degree and has assessments and exams. Units of study can be core (mandatory) or elective (optional). As a full-time student, you will take four units of study each semester.