Assumed knowledge for Engineering

You might not have fully decided that engineering is for you, but if it is on  your list, then there are things you can do now that will really help you when you make your decision about what to study, and where.

Choose the right subjects at school

In Engineering, we pretty much jump straight into the nitty gritty. That’s why first year Engineering students are expected to have a certain level of knowledge in maths and physics.


Maths is compulsory in all Engineering degree programs at UNSW. You will be expected to gain the following marks (or equivalent knowledge) to:

  • a result of 90 in HSC Mathematics (2 unit), or
  • a combined mark of at least 100 in HSC Mathematics (2 unit) and HSC Mathematics Extension 1 (3 unit) – a combined mark of over 115 is ideal

If you don't get the marks you hoped for in maths, all is not lost. All you need to do is talk to a MathsStats Advisor in the Faculty and complete either a semester of Fundamentals of Mathematics B (MATH1011) or a Mathematics Bridging Course. Either of these will help you get up to scratch in maths, so you can hit the ground running.

If you have any further questions, contact the First Year Office of the School of Mathematics by email or phone them on 02 9385 7011.


Engineering also involves physics, so you will be expected to have completed two years of high school physics.

It’s always best to have studied physics at school, and to have done well. But if your physics is a bit shaky and you’d like a refresher, there are two ways to bring it up to university level.

Firstly, we offer a bridging course offered during the summer break which provides an introduction to about half the topics in first year physics courses. Secondly, you could consider taking Fundamentals of Physics (PHYS1111) in first semester.

UNSW Physics Bridging Course during the summer break aims to bring your physics up to university level, and isn't a substitute for high school physics. The core material provides an introduction to about half the topics in first year physics courses.

Fundamentals of Physics (PHYS1111) is a great subject for those who think that the compulsory physics course in first year might be a bit hard. Many students find this helps them out a lot.

For more information, contact UNSW Engineering here.

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