University of Sydney

Admission criteria and entry schemes

To be offered a place at the University of Sydney, you need to meet the academic criteria in one of the categories listed below, and be selected in competition with other eligible applicants. You will also need to meet English language proficiency requirements and any specified additional criteria, such as an audition, interview, test or presentation of a portfolio.

Undergraduate applicants

Admission is normally on the basis of the ATAR or equivalent. If you have completed more than one recognised secondary qualification, we will generally consider your most recent results. If your only qualification is an Australian Year 12 qualification, you can apply on the basis of that qualification.

Selection rank adjustments

Equity adjustments
Broadway Scheme

The University of Sydney Educational Access Scheme (Broadway Scheme) is for students who have experienced long-term educational disadvantage. The scheme is only open for entry to undergraduate courses offered through UAC.

You can apply for this scheme if you are a domestic applicant and:

  • you completed Year 12 in 2019 or are completing in 2020, and
  • you have not attempted any tertiary studies since finishing Year 12.

Approval under the scheme does not guarantee admission, but it does allow you to compete for a place in most courses with an ATAR up to ten points below the guaranteed ATAR for the course.

The University of Sydney EAS applications are processed centrally through UAC. You can also call the Future Student Contact Centre on 1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864) or visit the University of Sydney website.

Early Offer Year 12 (E12) Scheme

If you are a NSW Year 12 student who has experienced financial disruption during your time at school and have demonstrated the potential to succeed at university, you may apply to be considered for a conditional early offer. The conditional early offer lets you know in advance the ATAR you will need to get into your selected course. Under the E12 scheme, the ATAR you need will be less than the guaranteed ATAR for the course.

Applications for the E12 scheme open on Wednesday 1 April 2020 and applications must be received by Sunday 20 September 2020. In addition to submitting an application to your chosen course, you must submit a separate Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS) application directly to UAC.

To be eligible for E12, you will need to be assessed by UAC via the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) as:

You also need to be:

  • undertaking the HSC or International Baccalaureate (IB) at a NSW high school
  • supported by your school principal (ratings are to be submitted in the SRS system as part of your application)
  • a domestic undergraduate student (international students are not eligible to apply)
  • meet any other additional admission criteria.

If you are not residing in an area identified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as being in the lowest 30 percent of socio-economic disadvantage in Australia, then your offer will depend upon your acceptance into the UAC Educational Access Scheme for financial disadvantage. You need to apply for this separately.

Under the E12 scheme you will also be provided with a first-year scholarship and support through your transition from school to university. It is important to note that the E12 scheme cannot be combined with any other pathway scheme.

For more information, visit the University of Sydney website.

Elite athlete and performer adjustments

If you are an elite athlete or performer (eg you have competed at state level or higher) and your training or competitive commitments have affected your studies, you can apply for special consideration under the Elite Athletes and Performers Scheme. Approval under this scheme does not guarantee an offer but allows you to compete for a place with an ATAR up to five points below the guaranteed ATAR for the course.

Assessment criteria and application forms are available on the University of Sydney website. Applications close Saturday 31 October 2020.

Criteria that may apply in addition to the ATAR

You will also need to meet any specified additional criteria, such as an audition, interview, test or presentation of a portfolio. Details of any additional selection criteria are outlined in the course descriptions. You will also need to meet English language proficiency requirements.

Course prerequisites

A course prerequisite of Mathematics Advanced (Band 4) is indicated for a number of courses in advanced computing, agriculture, commerce, economics, engineering, health, medicine, pharmacy, psychology, science and veterinary science. It also applies to combined courses in those areas. This can be met by a Band 4 in Mathematics Advanced or a Band E3 in Mathematics Extension 1 or Mathematics Extension 2.

This means that you must have reached this minimum standard in your NSW HSC or equivalent before you will be offered a place in the course. If you do not have the required course prerequisite you cannot be selected for the course, even though you may have met the admission criteria.

When you read Mathematics Advanced in University of Sydney course prerequisites and assumed knowledge, it refers to the HSC course titled Mathematics Advanced , not Mathematics Standard.

The mathematics course prerequisites apply to:

  • all domestic students (onshore and offshore) applying on the basis of undertaking a Year 12 (school leaving) qualification, such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC), IB diploma
  • all onshore international students undertaking a Year 12 qualification (or equivalent) in Australia, such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC), or IB diploma in 2020

as well as:

  • all domestic students applying on the basis of higher education study
  • all domestic students applying on the basis of approved preparation programs or other qualifications accepted by the University
  • all students applying through admission pathways will have to demonstrate achievement in mathematics.

For more information, visit the University of Sydney website.

Bridging courses

In addition to the Mathematics Advanced (Band 4) course prerequisite, most University of Sydney courses include assumed knowledge. This means that before starting your course, you are expected to have completed certain subjects in your NSW HSC or equivalent, or to have reached a certain level of knowledge. Without this knowledge you may experience difficulties in your university studies. Some courses also require the study of certain units (eg mathematics, chemistry or physics) during your first year. Bridging courses introduce the fundamentals of the subject, enabling you to reach a point where you can follow lectures and participate in tutorials and lab classes.

Bridging courses are offered at the Camperdown and Cumberland campuses:

  • Mathematics Extension 1 (Camperdown campus only)
  • Chemistry
  • Physics (Camperdown campus only)
  • Biology
  • Grammatical Analysis – recommended for Speech Pathology (Cumberland campus only).

For subject equivalencies and information about enrolling in bridging courses, visit the University of Sydney website.

The Sydney Summer School

Recent high school graduates can enrol in first-year subjects run by the Sydney Summer School, a full-fee-paying award program of intense study running over three sessions from December to February each year. Merit scholarships and undergraduate fee scholarships are available for financially disadvantaged students.

Other admission options

Academic Excellence Scheme

The Academic Excellence Scheme recognises high performance in higher levels of English and mathematics by applying adjustment factors to boost your selection rank for eligible courses. Depending on the course you have applied for (excluding Faculty of Engineering courses) and whether you have achieved a Band 5 or 6 (or equivalent) in high-level English or mathematics, you can have an adjustment of up to 5 points added to your ATAR or equivalent IB score, to raise your selection rank for an eligible course.

You will automatically be considered for the Academic Excellence Scheme if:

  • you are a domestic current school leaver applying via UAC for an undergraduate course at the University of Sydney to commence study in 2021, and
  • you are completing the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) or any other Australian state or territory Year 12 qualification, or the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, in or outside Australia in the year prior to admission, and have achieved one of the required results in English or mathematics.

For more information, visit the University of Sydney website.

University of Sydney Future Leaders Scheme

If you are a Year 12 high school student and your school nominates you as dux of your year or the school captain, under the Future Leaders Scheme, you will know in advance the ATAR you will need to get into your selected course, and the ATAR you need will be less than the guaranteed ATAR for the course. You should note that not all courses are available under this scheme and some courses have a limited number of places reserved below the guaranteed ATAR.

For more information, visit the University of Sydney website.

If you have completed at least one full-time year of study at bachelor degree level or higher at a recognised educational institution, the University will generally consider your results from those studies. Full-time study is considered to be the achievement of 48 credit points or more at the University of Sydney or the equivalent at another tertiary institution.

Current University of Sydney students

If you are currently enrolled in a University of Sydney bachelor degree program and you intend to apply for another University of Sydney degree program, you will need to apply directly to the University for an internal transfer.

Failure and exclusion

A record of failure at tertiary study means you will be less competitive for a place than those with a successful academic history. If you have been excluded from study at any university, you will not be considered for admission at the University of Sydney unless:

  • you have successfully completed at least one semester of study at degree level after the exclusion, or
  • your application for special consideration has been approved (see below).

If you have been excluded from a University of Sydney course, there is a two-year waiting period before you can apply for special consideration for entry to that course.

Special Consideration for Admission Scheme for applicants with tertiary study

You may apply for the Special Consideration for Admission Scheme if you:

  • have a record of failure at tertiary study
  • have been excluded from tertiary study, or
  • believe that your tertiary studies have been affected by circumstances beyond your control.

You will only be considered for the January UAC offer rounds. Special Consideration applications close on 20 December 2021.

If you have completed a diploma or associate diploma, the results of these studies may be considered if the University considers them relevant to the course for which you are applying. Assessment for some courses may include additional components such as an interview, test results or portfolio presentation.

Mature age entry

If you are older than 21 and did not start university straight from school you may be eligible for the University’s Mature Age Entry Scheme. To apply under this scheme, you need to be at least 21 years old on 1 March of the year of entry to university, and have completed one of the following approved courses within the past two years:

  • Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation offered at a NSW TAFE Institute
  • Limited ATAR (NSW HSC). The University of Sydney does not use the Limited ATAR for automatic selection.
  • Open Foundation Course offered by the University of Newcastle
  • University Preparation Program (UPP) offered by UNSW Australia.

You will not be eligible for the Mature-Age Entry Scheme if you:

  • have an ATAR or equivalent that will enable you to compete for entry into any course at the University
  • completed a TAFE (or accredited private college) diploma or advanced diploma
  • have completed at least one year of full-time (or part-time equivalent) study at bachelor level or higher.

Instead, you will be assessed on these results, even if you are 21 or older.

Not all University of Sydney undergraduate degrees are available under the Mature-Age Entry Scheme. The University of Sydney recommends that before enrolling in any preparation course, you contact the Future Student Contact Centre to confirm your eligibility for entry and for information on the appropriate preparation courses.

There are commonly accepted overseas secondary qualifications that University of Sydney may take into consideration. Check your qualification.

Contact the University to discuss eligibility for admission before applying to UAC.

English language proficiency

If you have overseas secondary or tertiary qualifications from countries where English is not the standard language of instruction, you must provide evidence of English language proficiency.

The University is committed to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to succeed in higher education. The Gadigal Program is an access and support program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who want to study at the University of Sydney. The program assists with access to the University and considers your interests, motivation and goals, in addition to academic results, and offers transition, academic, social and cultural support.

Any course offered by the University (excluding block-mode and away-from-base courses) can be studied through the Gadigal Program. You may be required to complete an additional assessment as part of your application. If you are younger than 21, you need to have completed the HSC or equivalent but are not required to have an ATAR.

To be considered for entry through the Gadigal Program:

  1. submit your UAC application
    1. select option to identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicant
    2. select at least one University of Sydney course preference
  2. after 5 June, log back in to your UAC application and complete the Gadigal Program section of the application.

For further information about the program, visit the University of Sydney website.

The University of Sydney accepts military ranks for entry into bachelor degrees.

Postgraduate applicants

Masters degrees

The Juris Doctor is the only University of Sydney postgraduate course offered for admission through UAC. Admission to the Juris Doctor requires a bachelor’s degree from any discipline other than Law. Entry is competitive, and applicants are assessed on previous academic performance in their completed tertiary study and secondary school leaving qualification such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (or equivalent). The criteria are 75 per cent grade point average of a previous tertiary degree and 25 per cent ATAR or equivalent. If you have more than one degree, your highest grade point average will be used.

Your chances may be improved if you have completed a research degree, a masters degree by coursework or an honours degree. If you do not have an ATAR or equivalent, you will be assessed on your tertiary record alone.

Overseas qualifications and English language proficiency

Where your prior education was undertaken outside of Australia, or your studies were not in English, you may need to provide evidence of English language proficiency. Applications without the required proof will not be considered.

Location

Student Centre, level 3, Jane Foss Russell Building
(enter from City Road), The University of Sydney,
NSW 2006

View all campus locations

Phone

1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864 - freecall)

View all contact details

Important dates

Academic calendar