Nanoscience (Honours) - 3618

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Science


Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Typical Duration: 4 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 192

UAC Code: 429450

Domestic Entry Requirements: See Domestic Entry Requirements

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements


Bachelor of Nanoscience (Honours)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

Important: prior to 2016 this program was known as 3617 Bachelor of Science (Nanotechnology). Students must follow the Handbook of the year they commenced their program, so continuing students should refer to the relevant Handbook here.

Nanoscience involves the science, application and engineering of systems in the nanometre region. It is a broad discipline at the forefront of scientific, medical and materials research. Nanoscience enables the creation of devices, machines and functional materials with unique properties. The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is a recognised pioneer of nanoscience and nanotechnology, contributing greatly to the development of this new and exciting field. This outstanding platform led UNSW to develop one of the World's first nanotechnology degree programs in 2002.

The Bachelor of Nanoscience (Honours) at UNSW is a multidisciplinary degree taught by the three Schools of Chemistry, Physics and Materials Science and Engineering. The degree is administered by the School of Chemistry, but all schools have a strong input and courses are also hosted by the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences.

No other degree program at UNSW provides the breadth of study in science disciplines that students studying Nanoscience (Honours) receive. The award of Bachelor of Nanoscience (Honours) is made on successful completion of a specialist Nanoscience research project in the final year of the program. Class sizes are typically 10-35, permitting considerable interaction between academics, researchers and students.

Students entering Nanoscience (Honours) at UNSW should have a good high school education in physics, chemistry and mathematics. Organisations employ nanoscience and nanotechnology graduates because of their broad training, capacity to think critically and laterally, and their problem solving abilities.

Close links have been developed between the degree course and the following research centres:
  • Australian Centre for Nanomedicine
  • Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology
  • Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF)
  • ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence
  • Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Upon completion of this program graduates will:
  • have acquired coherent knowledge of the underlying disciplines and concepts in nanoscience and be able to demonstrate this knowledge;
  • have developed an understanding of research-based learning and demonstrate analytical skills. Specifically graduates will be able to plan and execute a piece of research with some independence;
  • have developed critical thinking and problem solving skills with an ability to reflect critically on existing theoretical knowledge, ideas and practice within nanoscience to address a research topic;
  • be able to communicate their research ideas in a variety of formats to diverse audiences;
  • be able to demonstrate personal autonomy and accountability in the acquisition of application of knowledge or skills;
  • demonstrate the ability to apply the principles of teamwork and collaboration.
  • will have an awareness of international issues within nanoscience.

Program Structure

Stage 1 (common for all students in the program)

Semester 1
Semester 2
Students then choose either a Nanodevices or Nanomaterials major, and follow the sequence of study outlined for the chosen major below:

Nanodevices Major

Stage 2 (Nanodevices)

Semester 1
Semester 2
  • 6 UOC of general education

Stage 3 (Nanodevices)

Semester 1
  • 6 UOC of electives below
Semester 2
  • 6 UOC of electives below
  • 6 UOC of general education
Electives (Nanodevices)

Semester 1
Semester 2
Stage 4 (Nanodevices)
  • NANO4004 Nanotechnology Project (18 UOC) taken in semester 1 and 2 for a total of 36 UOC.
  • 12 UOC of electives from the list of stage 3 electives for the Nanodevices major.

Nanomaterials Major

Stage 2 (Nanomaterials)

Semester 1
Semester 2
  • 6 UOC of general education

Stage 3 (Nanomaterials)

Semester 1
  • 6 UOC of electives below
Semester 2
  • 6 UOC of electives below
  • 6 UOC of general education
Electives (Nanomaterials)

Semester 1
Semester 2

Stage 4 (Nanomaterials)
  • NANO4004 Nanotechnology Project (18 UOC) taken in Semester 1 and 2 for a total of 36 UOC.
  • 12 UOC of electives from the list of stage 3 electives for the Nanomaterials major.

General Education Requirements

Students in this program must satisfy the University's General Education requirements. For further information, please refer to General Education in the Table of Contents (see left-hand side of this page). Any course defined as a 'Science' course in Table 1 of the 3970 Bachelor of Science program rules cannot be taken as general education, including any GENS courses. Any exceptions to these rules must be approved by the Associate Dean (Academic Programs) or nominee.


Students are required to have a weighted average mark (WAM) of 65 to progress to stage 4 of the program and undertake a 36 unit of credit research project. As part of this research project students complete a research proposal and introductory seminar, a written thesis and a final seminar presentation. Each student's thesis is assessed by four academic staff members, and where there is a discrepancy of greater than 10 marks in the assessment of a thesis, an additional assessor may be engaged.

Honours Grades are awarded as follows:-
  • Honours Class 1: mark or weighted average of 75 or greater;
  • Honours Class 2 Division 1: mark or weighted average from 65 to 74;
  • Honours Class 2 Division 2: mark or weighted average from 60 to 64;
  • Honours Class 3: mark or weighted average below 60;
A student's mark for the purpose of awarding Honours will be calculated based on a weighting of their WAM throughout their program, with the final years weighted more heavily than the first years.

Academic Rules

  1. A student must complete 192 Units of Credit (UoC), including 12 Units of General Education requirements, and following the program of study outlined in this Handbook.
  2. Students in program 3618 enrol in a common first year, then choose one of two major areas of study from Stage 2. Students must declare their major by the end of their third semester of study.
  3. Students must complete no more than 72 UoC of Level 1 courses, including General Education.
  4. Students cannot undertake a double major in this program.
  5. A WAM of 65 or greater is required for progression to Stage 4. Students who do not meet this requirement will be eligible to leave the program after the successful completion of Stage 3, and these students will be awarded a Bachelor of Science (program 3970) with a major in Nanoscience. Only students exiting program 3618 to graduate from a Bachelor of Science at the end of Stage 3 will be eligible to obtain a major in Nanoscience
  6. No student may commence Stage 4 until Stages 1 to 3 have been completed successfully.
  7. Students who enter program 3618 by transfer after Stage 1 will not be required to complete NANO1001.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Faculty of Science Rules

The Faculty of Science has some rules that relate to all students enrolled in programs offered by the Faculty in relation to recognition for prior learning, general education, course exclusions, study load, and cross-institutional study. All students should read the information contained on the Faculty General Rules and Requirements page in this Handbook.

Area(s) of Specialisation