Not Sure About Your Major?
First of all, it’s perfectly normal not to know what major you want to do in first year and you won’t be disadvantaged if you don’t choose one straight away! Our flexible Advanced Science program allows you to declare a major in your second year, so you have a chance to sample lots of different courses before making a decision.
Our majors are listed in the Venn diagram below, divided into broad topic areas. These broad topic areas do not reflect the way that we organise our majors - this just helps you to see the relationships between them.
If you are in the “not sure” category, we suggest you choose a combination of courses (our word for “subjects”), to keep your options open and look for the courses that cross over into multiple majors. For example, BABS1201 is a course that you will take in 14 different majors. Other courses will only be relevant to one major, for example, VISN1111 is only a part of the vision science major.
Here are three different “unsure” combinations to choose from:
A combination of these 3 courses will leave the door open to 8 different majors:
BABS1201 + CHEM1011/1031 + MATH1031 or MATH1041
- Molecular & Cell Biology
SCIF1131 (Introductory Skills for Science)
This is course is compulsory for advanced science students. If you still want to keep your options open for all of the above majors and unlock an option below, leave out SCIF1131 in semester 1. You can do the course in semester 2 instead.
Your fourth course choice can unlock other majors:
- Vision Science
- Biological Science
A combination of these 4 courses will leave the door open to 5 different majors:
BIOS1301 + BABS1201 + GEOS1211 + SCIF1131
- Earth Science
- Marine and Coastal Science
A combination of these 4 courses will leave the door open to 7 different majors:
MATH1141 + PHYS1131 + CHEM1011/1031 + SCIF1121
- Advanced Physical Oceanography
- Advanced Physics
- Climate Systems Science
- Materials Science
Remember that the course combination you enrol into today is not set in stone – you can discuss your enrolment with the Science Student Centre and fine tune your enrolment before semester starts.
If you want to learn more about the Faculty of Science and our Schools, please visit: https://www.science.unsw.edu.au/our-faculty/overview.
Some fine print:
- The course combinations we have suggested are not the only options you have – there are so many different ways to combine courses in order to access certain majors. If you have your heart set on a particular combination of 2 majors, there may be a more efficient way of combining your courses. There may also be multiple ways of doing the same combination, because some courses are offered more than once per year. Please ask us if you have any questions.
- Some courses offer “higher” versions for students who want an extra challenge. These courses are not more highly weighted, nor do they give you any extra bonus points – they are simply offered to provide an extra challenge for students who excel in that subject area. In Stage 1, Maths, Physics and Chemistry have various levels depending on your choice of major. For example, Human Biology majors usually require standard maths courses, while Mathematical Science majors require higher level maths courses to be completed. If you are not sure about what level is best for you, please click here.