UNSW - Science

Bachelor of Photovoltaic Engineering/Bachelor of Science

Major in Photovoltaics and Physics

I wanted to study both engineering and science, UNSW was the university with the best program and the most scholarships. I received a scholarship to study for Photovoltaic Engineering and Science. I am passionate about climate change, and the impact that human society has upon the world. For this reason I choose to enter an industry whose aim is to limit the use of fossil fuels.

We have a beautiful campus, upon which it is very easy to run into someone you know. We have incredibly intelligent lecturers and staff, who are always happy to have a research assistant. UNSW offers students a range of facilities on campus. I use the computer labs, the pottery studio, the oval, most of the restaurants and cafes, and of course the laboratories. And we are close to Coogee! There is nothing nicer than finishing class, buying an $8 penguin from the Bookshop, catching an m50 bus down the hill and lazing about on the beach.

When I came to UNSW from Armidale I lived in a UNSW college for three years. This experience changed me immeasurably. I entered college timid and shy, absolutely horrified during O-week. The next year I came back joyously and enjoyed a wild and happy, carefree year. I still keep in contact with my college friends, and live with four of them. College helped a lot with my interests. I am a keen sewer and was Head of Costumes for three productions at New. I was also the Head of Greensoc for one year. Uni also has a couple of green societies, the Environmental Collective, VegieSoc and RESoc. I have also joined the Uni choir.

My one piece of advice for prospective students is to talk to people! Lots of people. And be very aware of your aims and goals, and whether or not they differ from those of the person you are talking to. After all this though, at the end of the day if you choose the wrong course, it won’t really matter - UNSW has a great internal program transfer system.

Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) 
Bachelor of Commerce (Actuarial Studies)

Only two universities offer my dual degree and UNSW stood out as the obvious choice with the numerous awards in academic and research excellence. My degree has allowed me to follow my passion for maths, while also offering strong career prospects (which keeps my parents happy).

When I finished high school, I had an expectation that university would just be another 4 years of study. There was no way I could have anticipated the sheer enjoyment that would come alongside the university experience. I have to say that being involved in clubs and societies has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my university career.

Getting involved provides you with an excellent opportunity to learn from senior students, improve teamwork, communication and various other interpersonal skills, adds to your resume and builds your university network.

Bachelor of Psychology  (Honours)

After six wonderful, yet sheltered years of high school, I finally found myself at UNSW - a bundle of nerves, excitement and amazement (that I had even made it this far!). This was the final step before I would be thrown into the real world.

I always knew I would be heading to university but choosing my course was a little harder. My preferences would fluctuate periodically and after many sleepless nights (which included me pretty much memorising every single course in the UAC guide); I decided to pursue a career in psychology. This decision was one of the best I made and has led to my great passion and adoration for psychology. I love that psychology offers such an infinite scope of fields to explore and that through the scientific method I can come to have a unique comprehension of the human psyche.

Studying at UNSW has been and continues to be an amazing experience. The flexibility UNSW offers has definitely been a plus and to top it off the extensive size of the campus has aided in increasing my fitness! Getting involved in the social and academic activities at UNSW has also made my experience invaluable. From attending meetings to evaluate my course, to organising a charity masquerade event for Psychsoc; I've had nothing but positive experiences.

Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Science (Honours)

Pharmacology, plus Business Strategy and Economic Management

I took a GAP year after finishing high school to work, travel, experience the world and think about what I wanted to study. It was the perfect way to unwind before knuckling down for a few years of study.

UNSW is a research-intensive university, so you know that your teachers are operating at the forefront of current knowledge. It's also a wonderfully modern campus, with great looking and environmentally-friendly buildings. UNSW's Faculty of Science is regarded as one of the top in the country, so it was a natural choice for me to study there. Moreover, UNSW's flexibility with dual degrees made it my first choice.

I chose the Commerce/Science program as I have always been interested in Science, and while I didn't see myself becoming 'a Scientist', I knew it was important to study something I loved. Pharmaceuticals are all around us and are a fundamental part of our health. Being able to understand how drugs work, with the chance of developing new drugs for the future, was like a dream to me. Because of this, I decided to study Science and major in Pharmacology. Commerce was a natural complement to my studies in Science, and will provide additional opportunities for me in the future. The best part of Pharmacology has been the breadth of knowledge I've learnt, not only about drugs and how they work, but the underlying basis of so many diseases.

Having just begun my Honours in Pharmacology, a typical uni day for me will start between 8:30/9.00am and end any time after 5.00pm, depending on the experiments I am running that day. Most of my time will be spent in the Oncology Research Unit's lab, where I'm running experiments on various types of cancer cells.

Beginning university I had no idea what I wanted to do after uni. I now see myself having a career in the pharmaceutical industry, starting as a researcher before moving into the commercial side.

I have undertaken multiple internships while studying at university. I interned in a marketing company as well as the Centre for Vascular Research, UNSW, early on in my studies. More recently I undertook research in the Centre for Marine Bioinnovation, UNSW, and the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. Such work placements have been fundamental to my studies. They put my coursework into perspective, and allowed me to hone down on those areas that I would like to pursue a career in.

Following on from my Summer Research Scholarship at the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia, I was offered a part-time role to continue working on my research project part-time. I was working in the Experimental Therapeutics division, searching for new drugs for the children’s cancer, Neuroblastoma.

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Education

Major in Environmental Earth Sciences

While at high school, I did a course in media through COFA. The course was offered to gifted students, and involved staying at UNSW Main Campus for the week. While I was there, I got to see the facilities at COFA as well as the main campus in Kensington. Seeing the campus made me keen to come and do further study at UNSW. I really liked what I’d seen of the campus - the structure and facilities, as well as the vibe I felt  from the students when I’d been on campus. I was going to uni to study science, so it made even more sense to choose UNSW as it has such a strong scientific reputation. I wanted to study at a university that was recognised as the best in its field, and was known around the world.

Coming to UNSW meant moving out of home and coming to the city, though that wasn’t as big an adjustment as it might seem. I’ve found that uni gives you more control over what you want to study and how you study it. You really do get to choose your own path, and how much you want to achieve.

The campus environment is great, it is modern and friendly - I think it’s a really nice place to be. The people at UNSW are very friendly and down to earth. The facilities, education and courses in the Science faculty are cutting edge and of a very high level.

Getting involved with societies was a great way to meet people and make friends. As I had come from out of town, it’s been really important to find good friends on campus. There’s no better way to make friends and meet people on campus than getting involved in a few societies and clubs that interest you.


Bachelor of Psychology

I chose UNSW for a variety of reasons. UNSW has a great city location that allowed an easy transition to an independent lifestyle. Also, upon research I realised how highly regarded UNSW is both locally and internationally. This international reputation coupled with the fact that our university is a leader in scientific research in my chosen field made it my top choice.

I chose to study Psychology because I have always been intrinsically interested in human behaviour. Particularly I am interested in the biological underpinnings of behaviour and how these biological mechanisms interact in psychopathology. Additionally I have always been interested in pursuing a career in science, and Psychology gives the opportunity for a career in scientific research that does not involve the traditional science lab, that is experiments are conducted on real life communicating human beings rather than just microbes on petri dishes.

The most interesting part about the Bachelor of Psychology is the sheer breadth of topics that are involved, it is definitely not just the study of mental disorders, it covers everything from prenatal influences on development, how hormones such as oxytocin regulate maternal behaviour, to why we are intrinsically social.

When I started Psychology I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do with it, other than be a clinician. I still want to get my clinical training and become a registered psychologist however I am primarily interested in pursuing a career in research. This is because I want to do something that is challenging and involves solving new and different problems all the time; the idea of creating new knowledge is exciting and meaningful especially within a field like Psychology which is so important for our society.

One of my highlights at UNSW was to be chosen to be a volunteer research assistant in the Developmental Psychology lab, in this role I assist a PhD student with their project. This experience is great, it is fantastic to see how the research process works while still being in second year, and seeing the real world application of what we learn in class has made course-work seem a lot more interesting.

Bachelor of Advanced Science

Major in Chemistry

I chose to study at UNSW because I had heard a lot of good things about it from my teachers at school, and from students that were currently studying there. When I went to visit the university I was really impressed by the facilities. After deciding I was going to be studying science, I realised that being on a campus with modern facilities and up to date labs would really help my degree.

In high school I really enjoyed science and maths, so I had always considered either doing a science or engineering degree. In the end I chose Advanced Science because I thought I would really enjoy the hands on approach to learning, and the chance to take part in a research program in my honours year.

The best part about my program is all the opportunities to actively take part in research. When I was in my second and third year I was given the opportunity to participate in short projects with research groups from the School of Chemistry. These were so different from the usual classes, and allowed me to put everything I was learning into practice. I found that taking part in these projects helped prepare me for my honours year, and I found the transition from third year to my honours year really smooth. I would highly recommend that anyone interested in research take part in these special projects that the Advanced Science program has to offer. All the lecturers are  involved in research and tell us about what they do, which I find really interesting.

Attending O’Week and making new friends that were doing the same program as me really helped me settle into uni life. Having friends on campus not only made going to classes more enjoyable, but it also allowed me to get more involved with the extensive social life that the uni has to offer.

I lived in Baxter College for one year, it was a great experience as it gave me the opportunity to get much more involved with uni life as I was always on campus. I also met a lot of new friends who were doing a range of different degrees, living on campus was a lot of fun and I’d highly recommend it to new students.

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Laws

Major in Psychology

I chose UNSW because it is a well-recognised university and a university consistently rated with high quality teaching.  I appreciated UNSW’s forward thinking, demonstrated by the numerous construction projects for new buildings. With a significant proportion of international students, UNSW also provides an opportunity to build friendships with people from a variety of backgrounds. To this day, I still remember the phenomenal atmosphere I experienced when I first visited UNSW on Info Day.

I chose the Bachelor of Science /Bachelor of Laws dual program because I have always wanted to complete some sort of scientific training. The analytical and research skills developed in a science degree are invaluable no matter what you might end up doing. Having done chemistry, physics and biology in High School, Psychology was like the last frontier. As a relatively young science, major discoveries in many areas are yet to be made.

Pursuing a dual degree is probably the best choice I have ever taken. It has enabled me to develop skills and knowledge in different areas, keeping every uni day interesting. I will start a typical day by attending psychology lectures and tutorials on the upper campus.  After lunch with my psychology classmates, I will head down to the lower campus for my law classes.

Making a choice on your degree becomes so much easier when you have the opportunity to talk to somebody who is already doing that degree. They can show you their textbooks, assignments and even lecture slides. Look out and be proactive! You might have connections with people who are pursuing that program of study. Also, visit on Open Day or Info day. Words can only tell you so much about the university.  Stepping foot on the campus will also enable you to experience the unique UNSW atmosphere and culture that no words can describe.