For Prospective Students

Information For Prospective Students

Welcome to Mathematics and Statistics!

Jacqui Ramagge Mathematics has been part of the fabric of the University since its foundation more than 150 years ago. Professor Pell gave the first lecture in mathematics on 13 October 1852, two days after the University's inauguration, to all 24 students of the University. By the 1960's there were professorships in Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, and in 1991 the School of Mathematics and Statistics was formed by the amalgamation of the three former departments.

Mathematics is an international enterprise and the members of the School are prominent in international research. This research covers a broad range of subjects from pure mathematical topics such as algebra, algorithms and number theory, through subjects such as partial differential equations, to topics in applied mathematics and statistics including applications to biological science, bioinformatics and finance.

High quality research leads to enthusiasm and excitement in teaching. Our Special Studies Programs and our Dalyell Scholars Program allow students to see aspects of recent research. At the same time our entry level courses provide for students arriving from high school with a wide variety of backgrounds. Whichever course you choose you will receive the best possible grounding for a diversity of careers where strong problem solving skills, clear thinking and logical analysis are required. And this surely includes all of science and technology, information and computer science, large parts of economics and much more.

Welcome to the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney!

Jacqui Ramagge
Head of School

Studying Mathematics or Statistics at Sydney in 2018

In 2018, we will be offering four majors:

Search here to see the details of the courses for each major: Major Information.

Depending on which course you undertake, you may be able to complete two majors, or combine one major from the three above with a major from another discipline.

Our first-year mathematics units of study cater for a wide variety of backgrounds, needs and aspirations:

  • Mainstream: Most science students enrol in normal level mathematics units, which are designed to provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills as preparation for mathematics or statistics in second year and beyond. The assumed knowledge for normal level units is HSC Mathematics Extension 1.
  • Advanced: If you have a strong interest and abilities in mathematics, you can enrol in advanced level units. These cover topics with greater depth and more rigour than the mainstream units, and are both challenging and rewarding. The assumed knowledge for advanced level units is HSC Mathematics Extension 2.
  • Fundamental: Units at this level are designed for students who have studied HSC Mathematics and plan to specialise in science areas such as biology, biochemistry, microbiology and the medical sciences. These subjects do not require formal study of mathematics after first year.

If you do not have the assumed mathematics knowledge for your university course, you will need to consider completing a bridging course before you start.

We offer two programs for talented students to provide experience in aspects of recent research: the Mathematics Special Studies Program and the Dalyell Scholars Program. If you love mathematics and you have achieved outstanding results in Mathematics Extension 2, as well as in the HSC overall, you may be invited to join one or both of these programs.

  • In the Mathematics Special Studies Program you will join a small group of about 25 outstanding students, taking advanced level first-year mathematics units. In seminars and tutorials we will also cover advanced topics not available in the general syllabus. This program is a great way to meet other students with similar interests and abilities. It also extends into second year.
  • The Dalyell Scholars program offers an opportunity for high-achieving students to challenge themselves alongside their most promising and talented peers. As a Dalyell Scholar you will be able to tailor your course to suit your own interests to gain greater breadth and depth. This program is offered by invitation, and if you are a keen mathematician you could take some advanced units in your first year. Dalyell Scholars have the opportunity to participate in the Science Dalyell Showcase in first year, where you will work with a small team on a cutting-edge problem. In second and third year, exceptional students may be able to take a specialist reading course or complete an individual project under academic supervision. You will also have access to university-wide Dalyell opportunities, including mentoring and professional skills development, or an international experience, such as a global mobility scholarship. For more information, visit Dalyell Scholars.
  • To choose the Dalyell Scholars program, in your UAC application, select the course "B Science/B Advanced Studies (Dalyell Scholars including Mathematical Sciences)". The course code is 513911.
  • In 2018, we will no longer offer the course "BSc (Advanced Mathematics)" as it is replaced by the Dalyell Scholars program. See also our separate Advanced Mathematics web page.

Mathematics Prerequisite: From 2019 onwards the University of Sydney will require HSC Mathematics (that is, 2 Unit Mathematics, not General Mathematics) as the Mathematics Prerequisite for a suite of degrees, including Science, Engineering and Business degrees. Although there are no formal prerequisites for students entering in 2018, there is still an assumed knowledge of HSC Mathematics (2 unit) for Science degrees and HSC Mathematics Extension 1 for Engineering degrees.

Mathematics Core for Science (compulsory subjects): In 2018 there are two main versions of the Mathematics Core:

  1. twelve credit points of mathematics including the three credit point unit "Statistical Thinking with Data",
  2. twelve credit points of mathematics including the six credit point unit "Foundations of Data Science".

Why choose Mathematics and Statistics at Sydney in 2018?

Brand new courses: We are very excited to launch our new curriculum in 2018. You will be part of the first cohort to experience all our new courses, with a strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking, which are vital graduate attributes.

New Data Science major: Increasingly every graduate need to be a Data Scientist, and so our Data Science major allows you to combine data science with whatever combination suits you (for example, more mathematics and statistics, economics, psychology, medicine, biology).

How to Apply in 2018

For information on application procedures, please refer to the University's admissions web page.

To choose Advanced Mathematics, choose the Dalyell Scholars program in your UAC application, and select the course "B Science/B Advanced Studies (Dalyell Scholars including Mathematical Sciences)". The course code is 513911.

Postgraduate Scholarships for International Students

International students who wish to enter our PhD or MSc programs may be able to obtain an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS). These scholarships, which are funded by the Australian Government, are awarded to top quality international postgraduate students, ranked according to academic merit and research potential. They pay the recipient's tuition fees for three years for a PhD degree, or two years for an MSc.

In addition to the IPRS, the University of Sydney awards an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) to IPRS holders. The APA provides a stipend/living allowance to all IPRS recipients.

Further information, including information about other scholarships, can be found on the University's scholarships for international postgraduate students web page.

Top up awards and extra funding for postgraduates

The School of Mathematics and Statistics may offer "top up" awards to holders of Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) or University Postgraduate Awards (UPA). These awards are valued at $5,000 per annum, for up to three years. The number of awards is subject to available funding. The basis of the award will be academic merit.

Successful scholarship holders will be automatically considered for these awards – there is no need to apply.

Note that postgraduate students within the School of Mathematics and Statistics are also able to obtain additional funding by undertaking tutoring and marking in the School.

Studying Mathematics or Statistics at the University of Sydney in 2017

Undergraduate students may be interested in the following links:

Honours students can find information about the programs on offer on the Honours in the School of Mathematics and Statistics page. The information below for postgraduate students will also be of interest.

Postgraduate students may be interested in the scholarship information below and on our postgraduate scholarships page. See also the School's Postgraduate Study page for general information about our postgraduate program.

If you need further information, do not hesitate to contact us.

See the University's scholarships page for information about scholarships in all areas (not just mathematics and statistics).

First Year Units in 2017

Mathematics units are available for students in the Faculties of Arts, Economics, Education, Engineering and Science. Most Science students, and all Engineering students, enrol in four mathematics units in first year.

The table below is a guide only: more detailed information is available in the Junior Mathematics Handbook.

Your background Semester 1 Semester 2
HSC Mathematics MATH1011 and MATH1015 MATH1013 and MATH1014
HSC Mathematics Extn 1 MATH1001 and MATH1002 MATH1003 and either MATH1005 or MATH1004
HSC Mathematics Extn 2, ATAR of 90+, and a genuine interest in Mathematics MATH1901 and MATH1902 MATH1903 and MATH1905
No mathematics at HSC Discuss options with an adviser at enrolment

Students considering the Advanced units (MATH1901, 1902, 1903, 1905) should try the online self-assessment test.

Students who have done only General Mathematics, or have only done mathematics to Year 10, should discuss their options with an adviser at enrolment.

Students who wish to enrol in a unit for which they do not have the necessary background (as indicated in the above table), are advised to do a Bridging Course.