High School Computing (HS1917)

UNSW Computing course for Year 10, 11, and 12 students

Jumpstart your university computing degree the fun way!

No programming or coding experience required. Join us in 2019 to be part of Australia’s most popular introduction to computing course, HS1917. Complete the course alongside your school work and get a feel for university. We guarantee you’ll make great friends along the way.

HS1511 is aimed at students who are in Year 11 in 2019. However, we will also be considering a number of Year 10 and Year 12 students.

Apply now. Applications close Friday the 21st of December 2018. Waitlist applicants will be accepted until January 31st 2019 subject to availability.

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

Why you should join!

  • If successfully completed, you can skip the first year UNSW Computing Course (COMP1511) and replace it with an elective of your choice
  • The course is full of group activities, puzzles, and prizes. We think students learn best when they’re inspired and having fun
  • Your online lectures will be given by Richard Buckland, one of Australia’s most renowned computing lecturers.
  • 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.

Application Criteria

During the selection process we will be looking for students who:

  • Have a passion to learn about computing and can articulate why that passion exists
  • Understand that team work is a vital component in successfully completing tasks
  • Have an interest in critical thinking, problem solving, and puzzles.

How it works

  • Lectures are watched weekly at home via YouTube or iTunes.  
  • Tutorials are attended weekly at Allocated Schools and UNSW. They alternate between these locations.
    • The Allocated Schools Tutorials are held Wednesdays 4:00-7:00pm. 
    • The UNSW Mega-Tutorials are held Wednesdays 4:30-7:30pm. 
  • The Course runs from February to June. Applicants must be able to attend all tutorials.  The detailed schedule will be
  • Computer labs will be used, but a laptop will be beneficial.

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


Step 1: Ask your legal guardians permission to attend the course, including the allocated tutorials and mega tutorials at UNSW.  Discuss how you will get to these locations.  You will need their email address.

Step 2: Ask your mathematics teacher's permission to provide information about your mathematics ability.  Ask for their email address.

Step 3: Prepare copies of:

  • your mathematics studies results from school (result and rank in your year)
  • any computing studies results from school (result and rank in your year)
  • any mathematics or computing competitions entered.

Step 4: Fill in the form here (Applications close on Friday 21st  December 2018)

Step 5: After you submit your application an email will be sent to your mathematics teacher asking them to fill in a short, online feedback form and another email to your legal guardian for permission for you to attend this course. Please follow them up to ensure it’s submitted in time. No other references are required

Step 6: Once accepted students will be required to pay a one-off fee of $350 for the course. This fee contributes towards covering teaching and administrative costs.

Step 7: We’ll enrol you in our course and send you the details of where your class is. Get excited!

Changes to the course for the 2019 offering

In 2018 and prior, HS1917 (previously HS1511) was offered as a formal UNSW course. In 2019, it will be offered as a short-course. These changes do not negatively impact the educational quality or nature of content in the course. They provide us to administer the course in a way that is more flexible and more accessible for our students. This comes at the cost of not being able to provide a course credit for successful students if enrol in a UNSW Computing degree.

In 2018 and prior, as a formal course, successful completion of HS1917 gave students one full course credit. This allowed them to come to UNSW and do one less course (skipping COMP1511) during their degree.

However, this more formal course meant we had to put high school students to the same administrative rigour as our university students. This included: spending time getting a student card; sitting exams at particular dates that add stress to your school term; the inability for international students to join the course; and fixed start and finish dates for teaching. While these restrictions made sense for current UNSW students, in our judgement it created a number of challenges for high school students.

By changing HS1917 to a “short-course” we are able to provide the flexibility to HS1917 students and make the course work better for everyone. Further, students are still allowed to get a waiver (i.e. skip) COMP1511 if they enrol at UNSW, however their degree will be the same length. They will simply complete one of our computing electives instead of COMP1511.

We’re confident this change is in the best interests of the students we’re offering the course to. Students still get a headstart into university in terms of replacing an introductory course with a more advanced course, but their degree will be the same length as other students when they enrol at UNSW.

Other disclaimers

  • HS1917 does not provide any form of academic credit is not an HSC subject. It is a short-course run by UNSW Sydney and offered to high school students.
  • Passing the Course does not guarantee entry to UNSW. Students will still need to apply and gain entry through the usual channels (UAC, etc).
  • Passing this course is regarded as strong evidence of aptitude for those intending to apply for UNSW entry via the FEAS process.

Further information

  • We intend to record the tutorial class and material and post it on the internet in the same manner as the lectures.
  • Guardian's permission must be obtained for students under 18. UNSW will not be responsible for the students outside of class time and have limited liability during class time.
  • All UNSW policies apply (rules about cheating, copying assignments, etc).
  • Email the Development Office with any questions.