Science (International) - 3987

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: 429420

Domestic Entry Requirements: See Domestic Entry Requirements

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements


Bachelor of Science (International)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science (International) recognises that science involves a global network, which is faced with and addresses global issues and often operates within companies and agencies that have an international focus. The BSc (International) is thus aimed at providing for the needs of students by preparing them for an increasingly globalised work environment.

The program is designed for students wishing to obtain a strong and highly regarded Science program coupled with specific emphasis on cross-cultural skills, knowledge and understanding. The program also provides the knowledge and skills essential for understanding and working in the rapidly changing global environment. It will provide a wide range of career opportunities in global scientific organisations and companies, international government and non-government agencies and in scientific research. The program requires students to undertake a coherent scientific program, achieved by completing a science-based major and adds a series of directed electives to provide a suite of attributes associated with ‘global education’. The program also places emphasis on cross cultural understanding, competencies in languages and incorporates a period of overseas study. The Faculty provides a contribution to the expenses of this exchange.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

The objectives of the program are:
  1. To graduate scientists with both a breadth and depth of scientific knowledge and professional skills;
  2. To develop the capacity for critical thinking and independent learning;
  3. To expose students to the social context of science, to the globalization of science, the global issues in science and provide a greater appreciation and sensitivity to the cultural context of knowledge and learning in science;
  4. To foster greater cross cultural understanding and the development of international professional networks.

Program Structure

When completing the Bachelor of Science (International), students must complete a minimum of 192 units of credit (UoC) comprised of the following:
168 UOC
60-96 UOC
An approved Bachelor of Science(International) major
36 UOC
An approved Language minor
24 UOC
Approved Directed Electives
12-48 UOC
Science elective courses :'Science' courses are defined in Table 1 below.
24 UOC
24 UOC
Free electives: these courses can be taken from any Faculty at UNSW.  

In addition, students in the Bachelor of Science (International) must take one or two semesters (24 – 48 UoC) of their program overseas at a partner university of UNSW.

Program Rules

Academic rules relating to the Bachelor of Science (International) are as follows:

1. Students must complete a minimum of 192 units of credit.

2. Students must complete at least one approved Bachelor of Science (International) major, and this must be declared before enrolling in level II courses. Information on how to declare a major can be found on the Science website.

3. Approved majors in the Bachelor of Science (International) are:


4. Students must complete one of the following 36 UoC language minors. These minors are offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and details of the courses required for each can be found at the following links:
In order to complete the minor, one course for the minor should be taken each semester for the first 5 semesters. The remaining course can be taken overseas or in a student's final semester of study. This will ensure that students have a good language background before travelling overseas on exchange, ideally to a country related to their language study.

5. A student must complete at least 24 UoC of Directed Electives from the following list of approved courses:
Note: Some of these courses require completion of prerequisite courses. If students wish to take these courses they are expected to use their free electives to complete necessary prerequisites.

Students may apply for additional courses to be considered for this list through the Science Student Centre. Courses will be considered by the Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programs) or nominee if they fulfil the objectives of the Bachelor of Science (International) program.

6. In addition to the courses required for a student's chosen major, the language minor and 24 UoC of Directed Electives, students must take ‘Science’ courses so that the major plus language minor plus Directed Electives plus ‘Science’ courses total at least 168 UoC. ‘Science’ courses are listed in Table 1 below.

7. Students must complete at least 24 UoC of Level I ‘Science’ courses. ‘Science’ courses are listed in Table 1 below.

8. Students must complete an international exchange of 24-48 units of credit (one or two semesters) at an approved UNSW overseas partner university. Click for a list of partner universities.

The exchange is governed by the following rules:
  • To proceed on exchange students must have achieved satisfactory academic progress in their first and second years of study, typically with no more than one fail on their transcript, and must fulfil the requirements of the University's exchange program.
  • Students must complete 120 units of credit before they can go on exchange, i.e. the exchange program is completed in Year 3 semester 2, and Year 4 semester 1.
  • A Faculty of Science Travel Bursary will be available for students who undertake the international exchange as part of this program. This bursary will represent a small contribution from the Faculty towards the cost of undertaking the exchange. Students can only apply for the Scholarship once and scholarship applications must be submitted prior to the commencement of the UNSW Exchange program. Applications submitted upon completion of the exchange program will not be accepted.
  • Students must apply to go on exchange through the Study Abroad and Exchange Office, 9 months in advanced of their intended exchange. Click for details on how to apply for Student Exchange.
There are no restrictions on a student's selection of courses while on exchange, however, students should be enrolled full-time and all courses taken must count towards meeting the degree requirements such that the degree can be completed in the minimum time. Students should note that it can sometimes be difficult finding exact matches to core courses for a major at foreign universities, and it may be easier to take elective courses (‘Science’ electives Free Electives or Directed Electives) while on exchange. Therefore students should plan their enrolment over the four years of the Bachelor of Science (International) degree accordingly.

Students who do not satisfy the criteria for exchange will normally be required to transfer to another program for which they are eligible, for example the Bachelor of Science (program 3970).

9. A maximum of 72 units of credit of Level I courses can be taken throughout the entire degree.

10. Students may not enrol into Level II courses until at least 30 UoC of Level I courses have been successfully completed.

11. Students may not enrol into Level III courses until at least 72 UoC of courses have been successfully completed.

12. Progression to stages 2,3 and 4 is subject to satisfactory progress. Students who do not meet a minimum weighted average mark (WAM) of 65 at the end of stage 2 will be required to transfer to program 3970 Bachelor of Science. Students who are otherwise deemed ineligible to proceed on exchange will also be required to transfer to program 3970 Bachelor of Science.

Table 1: Definition of 'Science' courses

'Science' courses are courses offered by the following Schools. The course prefixes that are associated with each School are in bold:
 Aviation  AVIA
 Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences  BIOS, BEES, CLIM, GEOS, MSCI,  ENVS
 Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences  BABS, BIOC, BIOT, MICR
 Chemistry  CHEM
 Computer Science  COMP
 Data Science  DATA
 Food Science  FOOD
 Materials Science and Engineering  MATS
 Mathematics and Statistics  MATH
 Medical Sciences  ANAT, NEUR, PATH, PHAR, PHSL, SOMS
 Psychology  PSYC
 Physics  PHYS
 Optometry and Vision Science  OPTM, VISN
 Science Faculty  SCIF

General Education Requirements

The UNSW General Education Requirements are deemed to have been met in this program by the inclusion of a language component and directed electives which cover cultural studies, development studies, environmental studies, globalisation and international business. Therefore students are not required to take any general education courses for this program.


Honours for Bachelor of Science students is offered through program 4500 Bachelor of Science (Honours). Students seeking to enrol into Honours should refer to program 4500 Science (Honours) and the relevant streams listed in this Handbook.

Students who wish to undertake Honours in Food Science are required to apply for admission into program 3065 Food 3065 Food Science (Honours) through the School of Chemical Engineering.

Students who wish to undertake Honours in Bioinformatics may either apply for the Bioinformatics stream in program 4500, or the Computational Biology stream in program 4515 Computer Science (Honours).

Academic Rules

Please refer to Single Degree and Dual Degree Program Rules above.


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

Participation and Enrolment Requirements

Students are required to study overseas. This means they are subject to visa requirements, both here and overseas. Students are not compelled to go to any particular destination. In addition, students who find themselves unable to go overseas may transfer to the B. Science degree (program 3970).

Choosing Electives

In addition to choosing ‘Science’ courses as per the Program Rules above, students may take up to 24 UoC of free electives in this program. These free electives can be taken from any Faculty at UNSW subject to the rule that no more than 72 units of credit of Level I courses can be taken throughout the program.

Students may choose to undertake further ‘Science’ courses, or may explore subject areas from outside of Science.

Double Major

When students choose to undertake a double major, elective courses are utilised to undertake courses for the second major. While some majors are in cognate areas and have some overlap which will enable the two majors to be completed in less than 192 UoC, other major combinations may require a student to do more than the minimum 192 UoC for the degree. This may result in additional cost and time to complete the degree requirements for the student and may have visa implications for international students.

Award with Distinction

The Faculty of Science will award a Pass degree with Distinction to students who obtain a minimum WAM of 75 across their program and complete at least 72 units of credit at UNSW.

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

The Areas of Specialisation listed below provide links to general subject area descriptions and is not a list of available majors in this degree. For a list of approved majors, refer to the Program Rules above.

Area(s) of Specialisation