University of Sydney Foundation Program Subjects

USFP Standard and Intensive Programs

English | Accounting | Australian Studies | Biology | Chemistry | Economics | Foundations of Social Science | Foundations of Visual Arts and Design | Government and Law | Information Technology | International Studies | Mathematics | Media Studies and Communication | Music | Physics

USFP Extended program

Extended English | Extended Australian Identity

HAPP

Advanced Mathematics | English | Humanities | Science Practicum | University Preparation


Standard and Intensive programs

English

University Preparation English A & B

The subject provides training in the English language. The courses aim to enhance the student's speaking, reading, writing and listening comprehension skills in the language. These skills provide students the essential academic level required to study at university.

Topics include:

  • Language skills including oral presentations, academic writing, advanced reading and comprehension, and active listening
  • Advanced academic skills, including critical analysis, independent learning, time management, research, referencing and project management.

Assessment:

For both English A and English B

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination results

Prerequisite: English A is a prerequisite for English B.

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Accounting

Accounting A

The aim of this subject is to provide students with a basic understanding of the accounting process.

Topics include:

  • Basic accounting concepts
  • Double-entry accounting − Financial accounting reports.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination final results.

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Accounting B

The aim of this subject is to provide students with a basic understanding of management accounting.

Topics include

  • Budgeting
  • Break-even analysis
  • Ratio analysis
  • Accounting principles, auditing and ethics

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination final results.

Prerequisite

Accounting A.

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Australian Studies

Australian Studies A (Environmental Studies)

This subject explores the diversity of the Australian environment and the impact that people have on it. The course will help students to better understand the country they are
studying in, and to develop an informed perspective on current environmental issues.

Topics include

  • Contemporary issues in the Australian environment
  • Weather, climate and hazards of the Australian environment
  • Issues and case studies in the Australian environment.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination results.

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Australian Studies B

Australian Studies B gives students insight into Australian History including the early experiences of Aboriginal lifestyle, conflict with European and Asian settlers post 1788, and Federation of modern Australia. Students are given the opportunity to further explore relevant areas of interest and develop skills in research presentations.

Topics include

  • Early Aboriginal life
  • European exploration
  • Colonial development − Federation − Australia in the 20th century.

Students will also gain an understanding of very important contemporary issues facing Australia such as:

  • Changing immigration
  • Changing rights and freedom
  • Asylum seekers.

Assessment

  • 60% coursework
  • 40% examination results

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Biology

Biology A

An introduction to the fundamental concepts and processes of living organisms, and a study of modern biology in the context of the world around us. Develops practical, research, analysis and presentation skills.

Topics include

  • Cells
  • Classification − Evolution − Mendelian Genetics
  • Genetic Engineering.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination results.

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Biology B

An introduction to the structures, processes and systems of plants and animals. Study of the origin of life will demonstrate the evolution of the unique Australian ecology. Develops practical, research, analysis and presentation skills.

Topics include

  • Plant and animal systems
  • Ecology
  • Origin of life
  • Biochemistry.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination results.

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Chemistry

Chemistry A

Develops students knowledge and understanding of fundamental concepts in physical and inorganic chemistry. Students learn laboratory and analytical skills required for undergraduate study.

Topics include

  • Properties of Matter
  • Basic chemical reactions
  • Introduction to stoichiometry
  • Structure and bonding
  • Practical work is embedded within each topic.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination results.

Prerequisite

Year 11 Chemistry or equivalent.

Co-requisite

At least Mathematics for Humanities A, however Mathematics for Science A is recommended.

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Chemistry B

Builds on what students have learnt in Chemistry A and further develops their knowledge and understanding of key concepts in physical, inorganic and organic chemistry. Students expand their laboratory and analytical skills acquired in Chemistry A needed for undergraduate study.

Topics include

  • Additional chemical reactions
  • Reaction stoichiometry
  • Energy and electrochemistry
  • Equilibrium
  • Acids and Bases
  • Organic chemistry

Practical work is embedded within each topic.

Assessment

50% coursework
50% examination results.

Prerequisite

Chemistry A and at least Mathematics for Humanities A.

Co-requisite

At least Mathematics for Humanities B, however Mathematics for Science B is recommended.

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Economics

Economics A (Microeconomics)

Gain insight into the operation and regulation of the modern market based economy, including the main market models, government regulation polices, and the need for government intervention into the free market.

Topics include

  • The Economic Problem
  • Demand & Supply
  • Elasticity − Government Intervention − Theory of the Firm
  • Returns to Scale
  • Markets.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination results.

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Economics B (Macroeconomics)

Discover the operation of the economy and the sectors and institutions within it. Understand why economic activity contracts and expands, and how policies support the achievement of goals and targets.

Topics include

  • Circular flow of Income
  • Income & Expenditure Analysis
  • Economic Issues − Economic Policy
  • International Trade.

Assessment

  • 60% coursework
  • 40% examination results.

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Foundations of Social Science

Foundation of Social Science A

An introduction to personal development, social change and research skills; which are key to the undergraduate study of Psychology and Sociology.

Topics include

  • Introduction to development theories used in the future study of Psychology and Sociology
  • The “nature-nurture debate”
  • Socialisation agents in the development of a personal identity
  • Social theory to explain change in society.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination results.

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Foundation of Social Science B

Conducts the Personal Interest Project whereby students research a contemporary social issue using research methods and sampling techniques. The focus is on compiling data and strong report writing skills.

Topics include

  • Revision of essential research methodologies
  • Social Inclusion and Exclusion: the effects of discrimination
  • Religion and belief: explores different belief systems and the importance of tolerance.

Assessment

  • 60% coursework
  • 40% examination results.

Prerequisite

Foundations of Social Science A.

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Foundations of Visual Arts and Design

Foundations of Visual Arts and Design – Core A

The course is an introduction to a wide variety of media and art techniques for students who wish to study Visual Arts and Design at University. It develops practical, creative, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Approximately 70% of class time is devoted to practical art making.

Topics include

  • Drawing
  • Printmaking − Painting − Digital art and design
  • History and Critical Theory of Art and Design.

Assessment

  • 60% art making
  • 40% theory and art history.

Co-requisite

Foundations of Visual Arts and Design Elective A.

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Foundations of Visual Arts and Design – Elective A

This elective course allows students to develop their practical art making skills, plus their independent research and problem solving abilities.

Topics include

  • Drawing
  • Printmaking − Painting − Digital art and design
  • History and Critical Theory of Art and Design.

Assessment

  • 60% art making
  • 40% examination.

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Foundations of Visual Arts and Design – Core B

This course extends the skills students have learned in Core A. Students develop a body of work in their preferred form (Visual Arts or Design) based on the research of artists, designers, concepts, techniques and media.

Topics include

  • History and Critical Theory of Art and Design
  • Digital art and design
  • Developing a body of work
  • Developing a portfolio of art work.

Assessment

  • 100% art making.

Prerequisite

Foundations of Visual Arts and Design – Elective A and Foundations of Visual Arts & Design – Core A.

Co-requisite

Foundations of Visual Arts and Design – Elective B.

Note: The final body of work and the portfolio is assessed by Taylors College and the Sydney College of Arts (University of Sydney).

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Foundations of Visual Arts and Design – Elective B

Extends the skills developed in Elective A, plus the techniques, critical language and understanding of art works gained throughout the course. Students produce a body of work in their preferred form.

Topics included

  • Design − Computer Generated Imagery
  • History and Critical Theory of Art and Design
  • Developing a body of work
  • Developing a portfolio of art work.

Assessment

  • 60% art making
  • 40% examination.

Prerequisite

Foundations of Visual Arts and Design – Elective A.

Note: The final body of work and the portfolio is assessed by Taylors College and the Sydney College of Arts (Sydney University).

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Government and Law

Government and Law A

(Development of Australian Law)

This subject gives students an understanding of the influences of the British parliamentary system on the development of Australian law and the system of government as it now exists. It also gives an introduction to the criminal justice system operating in Australia.

Topics include

  • Basic Legal Concepts: Customs, rules, laws
  • Sources of Contemporary Australian Law
  • An exploration of the parties and processes in the Australian criminal justice system.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination results.

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Government and Law B (Issues in the Law)

This subject introduces students to current issues related to the protection and enforcement of human rights and the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in promoting peace and resolving conflict between states.

Topics include

  • The nature and development of human rights
  • Promoting and enforcing human rights
  • Examples of contemporary human rights issues
  • The nature of world order
  • Themes and challenges for world order and responses to world order.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination results.

Prerequisite

Government and Law A.

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Information Technology

Information Technology A (Software for Business)

This 'hands on' course complements the theory learned in the Accounting / Business course by providing the technical skills needed to customise programs, and use software to set up an internet based company.

Topics include

  • Marketing through multimedia techniques
  • Business modelling by creating customised database applications
  • Financial analysis using spreadsheet templates
  • Ecommerce using web development tools.

Assessment

  • 60% coursework
  • 40% exam.

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Information Technology B

This subject will appeal to creative students wishing to develop their own software and video games. Students will learn screen design and how to write an actual program 'code' using common programming languages. Students will learn game design and development and how to build 3D characters and virtual worlds.

Topics included

  • Development approaches − Analysis and design
  • Code and testing
  • Develop a complete software package, e.g. a game.

Assessment

  • 60% coursework
  • 40% examination results.

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International Studies

International Studies A (Politics)

An introduction to modern international and global politics. Explore the factors that shape politics, learn research and analysis skills, and present orally in student seminars.

Topics include

  • Origins of the sovereign state
  • Evolution of the system of states to 1900: war, trade and imperialism
  • World Wars I and II
  • Cold War to Decolonisation
  • Post-Cold War and contemporary era.

Assessment

  • 60% coursework
  • 40% examination results.

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International Studies B (Economics)

Preparation for the undergraduate study of a wide range of international economics, business and politics studies. The focus is on practical problem solving through real case studies from the modern world of business.

Topics included

  • Globalisation − Economic Development
  • International Trade − Foreign Exchange − Global Financial Markets.

Assessment

  • 60% coursework
  • 40% examination results.

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Mathematics

Mathematics for Humanities A

This course is intended to give students an understanding of, and competence in, aspects of Mathematics that are applicable to the real world. It provides students with the background and skills necessary for University study requiring some mathematics. Mathematics for humanities A may be studied as a minor.

Topics included

  • Basic Arithmetic and Algebra
  • Functions and Quadratic Functions
  • Calculus − Trigonometry.

Assessment

  • 40% coursework
  • 60% examination results.

Prerequisite

Year 11 Mathematics or equivalent.

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Mathematics for Humanities B

This subject extends the mathematical studies of Mathematics for Humanities A with particular emphasis on applications to problems in Economics and Finance.

Topics include

  • Further Trigonometry − Logarithmic and Exponential Functions
  • Sequences and Series
  • Financial Mathematics − Applications of Calculus to Economics
  • Statistics − Probability.

Assessment

  • 40% coursework
  • 60% examination results.

Prerequisite

Mathematics for Humanities A or Mathematics for Science A.

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Mathematics for Science A

This course is intended to give students an understanding of and competence in, aspects of Mathematics that are applicable to the real world. It provides students with the background and skills necessary for university study requiring a significant level of mathematics. Mathematics for Science A may be studied as a minor.

Topics include

  • Basic Arithmetic and Algebra
  • Functions and Quadratic Functions
  • Polynomials − Calculus − Trigonometry.

Assessment

  • 40% coursework
  • 60% examination.

Prerequisite

Year 11 Mathematics or equivalent.

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Mathematics for Science B

This course extends the mathematical studies of Mathematics for Science A with particular emphasis on applications to physical problems.

Topics include

  • Further Trigonometry − Logarithmic and Exponential Functions
  • Sequences and Series
  • Further Calculus
  • Applications of Calculus to the Physical World
  • Counting Techniques and Probability.

Assessment

  • 40% coursework
  • 60% examination.

Prerequisite

Mathematics for Science A.

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Advanced Mathematics A

The Advanced Mathematics course is designed for students with a special interest in mathematics who have shown that they possess special aptitude for the subject. It provides students with the background and skills necessary for university study requiring a high level of mathematics. Advanced Mathematics A may be studied as a minor, subject to the prerequisite below.

Topics include

  • Complex Numbers
  • Matrices − Vectors − Mathematical Induction − Advanced Trigonometry.

Assessment

  • 40% coursework
  • 60% examination.

Prerequisite

Students must achieve a high standard in the Mathematics test held during Orientation at the College and be concurrently studying Mathematics for Science A or have achieved a high level in Mathematics for Science A. Science A or Mathematics for Humanities A.

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Advanced Mathematics B

This subject extends topics from the core Mathematics for Science course. The material is treated in considerable depth. Advanced Mathematics B may be studied as a minor, subject to prerequisites below.

Topics included

  • Advanced Graphing Techniques
  • Further Integration
  • Advanced Applications of Calculus
  • Volumes − Further Induction
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Further Graphing Techniques.

Assessment

  • 40% coursework
  • 60% examination.

Prerequisite

Advanced Mathematics A or high achievement in Mathematics for Science A or Mathematics for Humanities A. Students must be concurrently studying the Mathematics for Science B course.

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Media Studies and Communication

Media Studies and Communication A

This subject is for students who wish to enter the world of public relations and the mass media, journalism, TV, radio, film and digital media. It examines the meaning of language, media and communication, and takes a historical view of the media in Australia, compares newspapers and magazines and the power of media ownership. Digital media is another important part of this course.

Topics include

  • Language and communication, text and context, different types of texts for different purposes (genre), history and comparison of newspapers and magazines, media ownership and digital media.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% final examination.

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Media Studies and Communication B

Here we focus on the ethical issues facing journalists, then we learn to identify and analyse the most common types of stories in newspapers like hard news and soft news, as well as learn how to analyse and read images in the media.

Topics include

  • A case study on ethics and privacy issues. Hard news and soft news stories, visual images in the news media.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% final examination.

Prerequisite

Media Studies and Communication A.

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Music

Music – Core Performance A

This subject aims to prepare students who want to take music for a tertiary subject or degree at a university.

Topics include

  • Develop music performance skills
  • Attending concerts
  • Performing in concert (solo, duo, ensemble)
  • Widening musical repertoire
  • Meeting professional musicians.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% final examination.

Prerequisite

An equivalent to ABRSM or AMEB Grade 6 practical for instruments.

Audition:

In person or USB stick or via a web link or DVD.

Note:

Students have the options to choose either the Con pathway or the Taylors Pathway in this subject. The students who select Con pathway will need to follow the university calendar and start their individual tuitions on a later date (about 2 weeks) than the Taylors pathway. An additional fee for individual tuition is payable for this subject.

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Music – Core Theory A

This subject aims to prepare students who want to take Music for a tertiary subject or degree at a university. It enables students to increase their aural awareness and musicianship skills.

Topics include

  • Music history
  • Music harmony
  • Music appreciation
  • Score reading.

Assessment

50% coursework
50% final examination.

Prerequisite

An equivalent to ABRSM or AMEB Grade 5 theory or a further placement theory test

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Music – Elective A

This subject aims to develop a fundamental understanding of Music. Students will gain the opportunity to perform in concert (solo, duo and ensemble), attend concerts, meet professional musicians and widen their music repertoire.

Topics include

  • Solo and Ensemble Performance
  • Music Theory (including Music History & Music Aural)
  • Individual Class (one-on-one lessons are provided to each student for an additional fee).

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination.

Prerequisite

This subject assumes students have some knowledge of musical notation. An audition and interview are required. An additional fee for individual tuition is payable for this subject.

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Music – Core Performance B − Develop music performance skill

Topics include

  • Attending concerts
  • Performing in concert (solo, duo, ensemble)
  • Widening musical repertoire
  • Meeting professional musicians.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% final examination.

Prerequisite

Music Core Performance A. An additional fee for individual tuition is payable for this subject.

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Music – Core Theory B − Music history

Topics include

  • Music harmony
  • Music appreciation
  • Score reading.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% examination.

Prerequisite

Music Core Theory A.

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Music – Elective B − Solo and ensemble performance

Topics include

  • Music theory (including music history and music aural)
  • Individual class (one-on-one lessons are provided to each student for an additional fee).

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% final examination.

Prerequisite

Pass Music Elective A or special audition and theory test. An additional fee for individual tuition is payable for this subject.

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Physics

Physics Physics A (Mechanics, Electricity)

This subject will offer learning experiences that help students develop an understanding of physicists' work. Students will be introduced to the knowledge and applications which results from the work of physicists.

Experiments form a major component of the course and are designed to develop practical skills and introduce students to new technology.

Topics include

  • Equations of motion
  • Forces and Newton’s Laws
  • Energy, momentum and work
  • Electrostatics and electrodynamics.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% final examination.

Prerequisite

Year 11 Physics or equivalent.

Co-requisite

At least Mathematics for Humanities, but Mathematics for Science is strongly recommended.

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Physics B (Astrophysics, Waves and Light)

Develop practical, research and critical thinking skills. Subjects include Astrophysics (the study of the Universe) and the real-life applications of waves. Experiments and computer data analysis form a major part of this course.

Topics include

  • Astrophysics
  • Waves and Light.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% final examination.

Prerequisite

Year 11 Physics or equivalent.

Co-requisite

At least Mathematics for Humanities, but Mathematics for Science is strongly recommended.

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USFP Extended program

Extended English

Extended English*

Extended English focuses on reading, writing, speaking and listening. Skills are linked to a thematic topic.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% final results.

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Extended Australian Identity

Extended Australian Identity*

This subject focuses on the human characteristics of contemporary Australian society, on the factors that have influenced the creation of an unique Australian identity and a diversity of Australian communities. The course aims to promote knowledge, skills, understanding and values regarding Australia’s physical and human environments and aspects of Australian society and its individuals, families and communities.

Assessment

  • 50% coursework
  • 50% final examination.

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* As well as Extended English and Australian Identity, in the first 19 weeks students choose two subjects from Accounting A, Australian Studies A, Chemistry A, Economics A, Mathematics for Humanities A from the Standard Program. Science and Economics stream students must study Mathematics for Humanities.

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HAPP

Advanced Mathematics

The Advanced Mathematics course is designed for students with a special interest in mathematics who have shown that they possess a significant aptitude for the subject. It provides students with the background and skills necessary for university study requiring a high level of mathematics. Application of mathematics to theoretical and real world problems and the ability to communicate mathematical ideas is emphasised throughout the course.

Assessment

Competency based.

Prerequisite

Year 12 Mathematics or equivalent.

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English

This subject provides training in the English Language and aims to enhance speaking, reading, writing and listening skills in English. Through a selection of topic areas-Group Structures in Society, The Family, Culture, Global Issues, Gender and The Media – students will achieve confidence in academic text analysis.

Assessment

Competency based.

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Humanities

This course investigates the major economic, social and political issues that dominate Australian History between the immediate post World War II period and today. During this time Australia has developed from a largely agricultural and manufacturing society to a multi-cultural and highly urbanised country with political and social links to Asia becoming increasingly significant. During this period Australian rights and freedoms have been critical issues that have shaped the national outlook and sense of what it means to be an Australian in the 21st Century.

Assessment

Competency based.

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Humanities 2: Sociology

This course investigates the contemporary social and cultural world. The course will explore the interactions between people, culture, society and the environment across time with the view of explaining why some issues stay the same and why some change in the modern world. This course draws upon cross-disciplinary concepts and social research methodologies from anthropology, communication, cultural studies, media studies, philosophy, psychology and sociology. By taking this course you will learn to conduct social research and to analyse your findings about the modern world.

Assessment

Competency based.

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Science Practicum

Science Practicum assists in the development of language skills necessary for tertiary study. It also aids the development of the research, analysis and laboratory skills necessary for undergraduate study in biology, chemistry and physics.

Assessment

Competency based.

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Uni Prep 1 and 2

This subject aims to investigate and consolidate academic skills in Research, Communication, Work Submission and Examination Techniques.

Assessment

Competency based.

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