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FAQs: Diplomas

Who is UNSW Global?

UNSW Global is the part of UNSW Sydney responsible for providing pathway programs which improve access to high quality education and careers.

What is a Diploma?

Diplomas provide a pathway for students into the second year of either the Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science. These programs are designed and approved by UNSW Academic Staff and Quality Assurance Committees. Diploma students enjoy a high level of support, while studying in first class facilities at our UNSW Sydney campus.

What UNSW Degree can I study?

Successful graduates from UNSW Diplomas can enter the second year of either the UNSW Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering degrees. To find out more about UNSW Undergraduate programs and future opportunities, please visit UNSW website:

What Degree Specialisations are available?

UNSW Diplomas are available in either Science or Engineering. Within each Diploma, students nominate a particular degree specialisation that they would like to follow, depending upon which degree they would like to study in future. For more information about Science Diploma streams, please see: For information about Engineering Diploma streams, please see:

How long is the Diploma?

The Diploma is an 11-month program which is taught across three terms of 12 weeks each. International students who successfully complete their Diploma studies can enter the second year of the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering.

What courses will I study?

The courses that you’ll study depend on whether you’re in the Diploma in Science or Diploma in Engineering.
Diploma in Science students study a total of 8 courses while Diploma in Engineering students study a total of 9 courses.
The courses included in your diploma are based on the degree specialisation that you’ve chosen. For information about courses in the Diploma in Science please see For information about courses in the Diploma in Engineering, please see:

How will my WAM be calculated?

Other than the Communication and Academic Literacy course, students are allocated a mark out of 100 for each course, which is then expressed as a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) out of 100.
A student with a course mark of less than 50% has failed the course and must repeat the course before being eligible for the Diploma award. For the Communication and Academic Literacy course, grades are expressed using letters from A-F. In order to pass the course and be eligible for the Diploma award, students must achieve a grade of Satisfactory in this course.

How will I be assessed?

Students are assessed throughout each course using the following methods:
▪ Assignments
▪ Tutorials and laboratory sessions
▪ Mid-Term examinations
▪ Final examinations
Performance in each course is expressed in terms of a letter grade (e.g. PS, CR, DN, HD, FL). Overall program performance is expressed as a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) from 0-100.

What is the progression rate for UNSW Diplomas?

It is anticipated that students of the Diploma program will experience a high level of success compared with first year degree students. Diploma students benefit from smaller class sizes, additional face-to-face contact (between 23%-40%, depending on the course), and scheduled consultations for students who require support, English and Academic Literacy studies. Students in the Diploma program study first year curricula, which supports their progression into their UNSW degree.
In order to progress from the Diploma into the second year of a UNSW degree, students must pass all of their Diploma courses, achieving a minimum score of 50%; in addition, they must also pass the Communication and Academic Literacy course, achieving a grade of at least Satisfactory.

What if I don't meet the English requirements for a UNSW bachelor degree?

After completion of your Diploma, if you pass all academic courses other than the Communication and Academic Literacy (English) course, you may choose to study the University English Entry Course (UEEC) or to repeat the Communication and Academic Literacy course before receiving your Diploma. Students who successfully complete the UEEC may progress directly into their degree and do not need to retake an IELTS or similar test. Longer English language programs are also available. For more information, please click:

Why should I study a UNSW Diploma?

Students who successfully complete a UNSW Diploma are guaranteed entry into the second year of a UNSW Science or Engineering degree. As a UNSW Diploma student, you’ll be studying in a UNSW-designed program while benefiting from smaller class sizes and full access to UNSW facilities and clubs. Students can earn both a UNSW Diploma and a UNSW bachelor degree in the same time as it would take to complete a normal degree.

What are the entry requirements for a UNSW Diploma?

For detailed entry requirements for the Diploma in Science click here
For detailed entry requirements for the Diploma in Engineering, click here

What are the English requirements for UNSW Diplomas?

For detailed entry requirements for the Diploma in Science click here:
For detailed entry requirements for the Diploma in Engineering, click here:

What if I don’t meet the entry requirements for a UNSW Diploma?

Students who do not currently meet the entry requirements for a UNSW Diploma may consider applying for a UNSW Foundation program. For further information, please see:

What if I don’t meet the English requirements for a UNSW Diploma?

The University English Entry Course (UEEC) is the ideal preparation for a UNSW Diploma program. It is offered as a 10, 15 or 20 week course and will help you to develop your English language proficiency and vital academic skills such as research and note-taking techniques and academic writing. Once you’ve successfully completed UEEC you may be admitted directly into your chosen Diploma.

I'm a domestic student, can I apply for a Diploma?

Australian and New Zealand Citizens and Australian permanent residents are not currently eligible for UNSW Diploma programs. For advice on your options, please email

What are the start dates and tuition fees?

There are two intakes per year for UNSW Diplomas: January and September. Tuition fees are dependent upon which Diploma program you choose.For detailed dates and tuition fee information for the Diploma in Science, click here.
For detailed dates and tuition fee information for the Diploma in Engineering, click here.

What is the cost of living in Sydney?

Sydney is a great place to live and study, and to help you understand your new city, we have put together some typical costs.

How do I apply?

For instructions on how to apply, and supporting documents required, please click here

What documents do I need to provide?

A complete application should include the below documents:
▪ Passport Copy
▪ Certified copies of your Academic transcripts
▪ English Proficiency Test Results if applicable (e.g. IELTS or TOEFL) if required
▪ Completed Parent consent form for Under 18 applicants if required
Our Admissions team will contact you if any further documents are required.

How do I submit my application?

Students are encouraged to apply online at
Alternatively, applications can be emailed to:

Do I need health insurance?

If you are an international student, you will need overseas student health cover (OSHC) for the whole of your program. We can organise this through our preferred provider, Medibank. The cost of your OSHC will be included in your letter of offer.

How do I accept my offer?

There are four things you need to do:
1. Sign the Acceptance Agreement & Declaration for International Student Visa Holders.
2. For students under 18 years old, please follow our under 18 guidelines and procedures and return the completed form.
3. Provide proof of payment.
4. Ensure that you have health insurance (OSHC) in place if you are an International student. Our Admissions team can assist you in arranging this.
Our Admissions team may contact you if any further information is required.

What do I do if I have a conditional offer?

If you meet the academic entry requirements, but do not meet our English language requirements, you may receive a conditional offer. In this case, you must provide us with evidence of your English language proficiency, such as an IELTS test result.
For more information about our English language requirements, for the Diploma in Science click: language requirements for the Diploma in Engineering, click:

What accommodation options are available?

UNSW Global has several accommodation options depending on students’ preferences. For further information, please see: . If you are an Under 18 year old international student when you start studying with us, and you want to be part of our Under 18 Care Program where we issue a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW), you must stay in approved accommodation.

What student support services are available?

The UNSW Global Student Life team provides a comprehensive range of support services to ensure your student experience is happy, rewarding and successful. Our staff are well experienced and here to help you throughout your studies. Please find more details on our website:

Can I change Diploma streams?

You may be able to change your Diploma within a stream. Changing from one Diploma stream to another may extend the length of your Diploma. It may be possible to change from a Diploma in Engineering to a Diploma in Science or vice versa, but you will need to make enquires to ensure eligibility. Current students should speak with our Student Services team for information about their individual situation.

What if I do not pass a course?

If you do not pass a Diploma course, we recommend that you make an appointment to see a Student Advisor via email: or visit the Student Services Office to find out about your options. You will normally be able to study that course again in the following intake and will only be required to make payment for the courses you have not passed.
How do I receive and accept my offer to UNSW second year?
All UNSW Sydney offers will be emailed to the personal email address that you have provided to UNSW Global. UNSW Sydney offers cannot be collected in person or posted to UNSW Global. If you have received your Diploma but have not received a UNSW Sydney offer one week after the release of your UNSW Diploma results, please contact UNSW Admissions directly via

What if I have more questions?

If you already have a Student ID, please email including your Student ID. If you have NOT submitted a UNSW Diploma application, please email:

Diploma Glossary


Stream – a term that covers a group of subjects and specialisations. This is the umbrella term for specialisations and subjects.


Major – a specified stream or sequence of study in a discipline or sub-discipline area within a program. Majors require students to take an approved set of courses at different levels and units of credit. The term is generally synonymous with “plan” or “specialisation”. More than one major may be completed in a program.


Specialisation  a focused area of academic study.


Course – a component of an academic program, normally of one semester in duration, with a specific credit value.


Programs – an approved set of requirements, courses and/or supervised research into which a student is admitted. In some cases, this will lead to an award of UNSW.


Diploma – a certificate awarded by an educational establishment to show that someone has successfully completed a course of study.


Degree – a formal award or qualification awarded on completion of a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral program of study.


Honours – is the highest level of learning in an undergraduate program. It typically includes a research component. Honours is available in two modes: separate year honours; and embedded honours.


Term – a portion of an academic year, the time during which an educational institute holds classes.


Recess – a portion in time in which classes are not held. Otherwise called the holiday period.