For Prospective Students

Program Guide: First Year Mathematics

ICM 1 If you are enrolling in the Faculty of Arts, Economics, Education or Science, and if you have done HSC Mathematics, HSC Mathematics Extension 1 or HSC Mathematics Extension 2 (or equivalent) then there are three alternative kinds of First Year (or Junior) Mathematics units of study that you may enrol in: Advanced Level Mathematics, Mainstream Level Mathematics, or Fundamental Level Mathematics. Mainstream Level is – not surprisingly &38211; the most common choice. As a rough guide, you should do the Advanced Level units if you have done Extension 2, Mainstream Level if you have done Extension 1, and Fundamental Level otherwise. You should bear in mind that most Intermediate (Second Year) units assume a knowledge of Mainstream Level Junior Mathematics; so a decision to take Fundamental Level Junior Mathematics is effectively a decision to only study mathematics in your first year. Similarly, it is difficult to progress to Advanced Intermediate Mathematics if you have not done Advanced Junior Mathematics.

Each of these Junior Mathematics units of study is worth 3 credit points towards your degree, and involves three hours of classes per week. A common choice is to enrol in two of these units of study in each semester, giving a total of 12 credit points of mathematics in first year.

If you have taken HSC General Mathematics (or perhaps have not studied mathematics since year 10) then you may enrol in the 6 credit point unit MATH1111, which will qualify you to enrol in Mainstream or Fundamental mathematics in second semester.

If you are a student in the Faculty of Science you must, at some stage, do at least 12 credit points of mathematics. So almost all Science students do four 3 credit point units of Junior Mathematics in first year.

If you have enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering you will have to do at least some Intermediate (Second Year) Mathematics as well as Junior Mathematics. So in most instances Engineering students should enrol either in Mainstream Level Mathematics or Advanced Level Mathematics in first year. Again, almost all Engineering students enrol in four 3 credit point units of mathematics in first year.

Advanced Units

These units are designed for students who have both a strong background and keen interest in mathematics. If you take these units you will probably want to study mathematics or statistics at a higher level in order to satisfy your own aspirations or degree requirements. You can take these units whether or not you are enrolled in the Advanced Bachelor of Science degree.

The best preparation for Advanced Level units is the NSW Mathematics Extension 2 HSC course (or equivalent), in that the depth of study required for that course is similar to that needed for Advanced Level units here. Students who achieved Band 4 in the NSW Extension 1 HSC course (or equivalent) and who are enthusiastic about mathematics may also consider Advanced units. A NSW ATAR score of at least 90 is desirable. Students who wish to enrol in advanced units should consult one of the School of Mathematics and Statistics advisers during the enrolment period.

There are two Advanced Level units offered in each semester.

If you are interested in enrolling in the Advanced units, it is a good idea to try the online self-assessment test.

Mainstream Units

These units are designed for students who have the necessary assumed knowledge and an interest in mathematics and who may wish to study mathematics or statistics beyond the Junior year. Assumed knowledge is the equivalent of HSC Mathematics extension 1 in NSW (see Bridging Courses).

There are two Mainstream units available in first semester; three in second semester. A student who wishes to acquire 12 credit points only of Junior Mathematics should therefore choose two of the three second semester units.

Fundamental Units

In each semester, there are two Junior Mathematics units of study designed principally for students who will not be studying mathematics in their Intermediate or Senior years. These units together provide a broad survey which aims to expand your vision of mathematics and statistics so that you are better prepared for the demands of many higher level courses outside of mathematics.

The assumed knowledge for the Fundamental Mathematics units is NSW Higher School Certificate Mathematics or its equivalent.

Introduction to Calculus

If you have taken HSC General Mathematics rather than HSC Mathematics, or if you have not studied mathematics since year 10, then you may enrol in MATH1111 Introduction to Calculus in first semester. In particular, if you are enrolled in the BST degree then MATH1111 will provide half of your compulsory 12 credit points of mathematics, and prepare you for Fundamental or Mainstream level mathematics in second semester.

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