High School Computing (HS1917)

High School Computing (HS1917)

Applications for 2019 have closed

Jumpstart your university computing degree the fun way!

Will you be in year 10, 11 or 12 in 2019 and want to get a head-start into the world of coding and programming? UNSW Sydney’s High School Computing (HS1917) course at the School of Computer Science and Engineering is Australia’s most popular introduction to computing. You can complete the course alongside your school work and get a feel for university – while starting to build your degree!

You don’t need any prior experience – this short course is developed for high school students who have an interest in computer science, engineering and robotics.

We're excited to welcome you into our Computer Science and Engineering community here at UNSW Sydney - we know you'll make a great fit!

Coming in with no programming experience and a vague interest in science/math, I learned how to program and eventually found my place at UNSW. I can honestly say that HS1917 has led to every single opportunity I've had since then and the connections and friendships formed have been invaluable, carrying on to university and other extracurricular activities.

Olga, previous student

Get inspired to pursue a future in computer science and engineering

Throughout the four-month program, you will participate in complex problem solving, debugging and software development – and you’ll make new friends along the way.

You will learn in a fun and engaging environment, completing group activities, challenges and puzzles. One of Australia’s most renowned computing academics, Professor Richard Buckland, will deliver online lectures. This will give you a taste of what it is like to study at UNSW, and introduce you to the types of inspirational leaders you could learn from in the future. 

Start a university degree while at high school

If you complete the course and go on to enrol in a UNSW Bachelor of Engineering or Science degree, you will not have to undertake the equivalent first year course COMP1511*, which means you’ll be able to undertake an additional elective course of your choice. In principle, this means that you can start your computing degree before finishing high school.

Over 450 students have completed this course since its introduction. Those students now work in the real world at companies including Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.


Selection Criteria

We are looking for students who are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and understand that team work is important to successfully completing tasks. You should also have an eagerness to learn and a genuine passion for science, technology, computing and math.


What's required?

High School Computing (HS1917) will run from February – June 2019 (High school terms 1 and 2). Each week you’ll watch online lectures in your own time as well as attend a tutorial after school, either at UNSW or at a host high school. You’ll also complete numerous assignments.

School tutorials are held on Wednesdays from 4-7pm and the UNSW Mega-tutorials are held on Wednesdays from 4.30-7.30pm. A full and detailed schedule will be posted closer to the start of the course.

Computer labs will be used in tutorials, but it is beneficial if you have your own computer and internet connection.

HS1917 has given me a head start at university, providing me with a great learning experience that has greatly informed my decision to study computer science in university.

Andrew, previous student

How to Apply

First round applications have closed. Final round applications close Sunday 10th February 2019. Be quick! Spots are filling fast.

  1. Complete the application form and attach any supporting documentation.
  2. A confirmation of permission to participate in HS1917 will be sent to your legal guardian.
  3. Reference checks will be completed with your mathematics teacher. They will be asked to complete a short online feedback form.
  4. Once accepted, you will be required to pay a one-off fee of $350 for the course. This fee contributes towards covering teaching and administrative costs.
  5. Upon payment you will be sent an email confirming your enrollment, with detailed information about the course and your tutorials.

If any teachers are interested in hosting a tutorial at your school, please email us at highschoolcomputing@unsw.edu.au or call us on 0415 173 146

Important Changes for 2019

Previously HS1917 (formally HS1511) was offered as an official UNSW course. In 2019, it will be offered as a short course. This change allows us to administer the course in a way that is more flexible and accessible for high school students. This decision has been made in the interests of HS1917 students after feedback from students previously undertaken the course.

While you no longer gain one full course credit like in previous years, you are still eligible for a waiver of COMP1511, the first computing course of the degree (if you go on to study a Bachelor of Engineering or Science degree at UNSW). Instead, you will have the flexibility of  completing an additional computing elective, allowing for further specialisation in the computing field you want to pursue.

We’re confident this change is in the best interest of the students, and still giving them a head start into university.

Online offering

Students who don't live in the Sydney Metropolitan area have the option of being part of an online offering of the course. This online offering will have the same content, lectures, and tutorial times. However, instead of attending a physical tutorial in Sydney metro, students will join a small online conference tool (e.g. Skype) with a dedicated tutor who will run the class and work through problems with the students by sharing their screen.

Final exams will require assistance from the student's high school to administer the final exam. Technical support will be provided if necessary.

Due to the emphasis on team work in our course, students are strongly encouraged to ensure they have another peer/student applying at their school or in the local area so that they can complete assignment work together in person.


  • HS1917 does not provide any form of academic credit is not an HSC subject.
  • HS1917 is a short-course run by UNSW Sydney and offered to high school students.
  • Successfully completing HS1917 does not guarantee entry to UNSW. Students are still required to apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).
  • Passing this course is regarded as strong evidence of aptitude for those intending to apply for entry to UNSW Engineering via the Faculty of Engineering Admissions Scheme (FEAS).
  • UNSW will not be responsible for students outside of class times and have limited liability during class time.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact us at highschoolcomputing@unsw.edu.au