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FAQs: Foundation Studies


Before Enrolment

What is Foundation Studies?

Foundation Studies is a pathway program into the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Our programs are designed and approved by UNSW Academic Staff and Quality Assurance Committees. We are located on the UNSW campus in the beautiful Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

What are the benefits of studying at UNSW Global?

Foundation Studies is the longest-running and leading pre-university foundation program in Australia. Our successful international students have a guaranteed place via a provisional offer to an undergraduate degree at UNSW Sydney.

Graduates can also apply to all other Australian and New Zealand universities, as well as other universities around the world.

Is there an age requirement?

To enroll in a Foundation Studies program, students must be 16 years of age at commencement and must satisfy certain academic and English language requirements.

Is there an application fee?

There is no fee to apply. Students are encouraged to apply online or email applications to:

Can I do any UNSW degree?

Successful graduates from UNSW Global Pathways can enrol in most UNSW degrees. Students must meet both UNSW’s GPA and English grade requirements to gain the admission to UNSW.

To help you choose the best stream and subjects for your foundation program as well as GPA scores for a degree, view this table: Choose an UNSW degree: Foundation Studies.

What stream should I enrol in? What subject should I study?


Foundation Studies offers four streams and eight substreams of study. A substream is the package of subjects that you will study to gain entry into a specific undergraduate degree at UNSW.


The Foundation Studies curriculum is composed of core and specialist subjects designed to suit the demands of an undergraduate degree in the student’s chosen stream of study. Each subject within the curriculum aims to further develop the student’s discipline-specific knowledge; general academic skills, independent and reflective learning and familiarity with the teaching and learning styles of Australian universities.

Please see our Streams page for more information on both topics.

I don’t have an IELTS/TOEFL result. What do I do?

The Foundation English Entry Course (FEEC) is the ideal preparation for a Foundation Studies 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 FEEC you'll be admitted directly into your Foundation Studies program.

Alternatively, contact your Education Agent or us and discuss the possibility of sitting our free VEPT online test.

I want to do Architecture, not a Science/Commerce degree. Can I do the Transition program?

Transition program offers Physical Science, Life Science, Commerce and Commerce Actuarial streams. For other streams, you may consider Standard or Standard Plus program. For further information please use our Enquiry Form.

What type of assessments can I expect? What grading system is used?

Students are assessed throughout each course using the following methods:

▪ Assignments
▪ Tutorials and laboratory sessions
▪ Semester-end examinations
▪ Final examinations

Performance in each course is expressed in terms of a letter grade with a numerical grade. Overall program performance is expressed as a Grade Point Average (GPA) from 0-10.

How many days and hours per week will I study?

Class contact hours vary depending on program and stream; however as a general rule your timetable will normally contain about 24 hours of formal classes each week. Students should allocate a further 24 hours each week for private study. That is, for every one hour in class students need to do one hour of private study.

Do I need health insurance to apply for a student visa?

If you are an international student, you will need to organise your overseas student health cover (OSHC) for the whole of your program. The cost of your OSHC will be included in your letter of offer. View Health Insurance for more information.

Is Foundation Studies only for international students?

No, Australian Citizens and permanent residents, including students who have completed Australian Year 12, are also eligible to apply for all Foundation Studies programs. Fees are the same.

Are there scholarships I can apply for?

From time to time, we offer scholarships for various regions through the year. Please click here to see current offers and our contact details for further assistance.

When and where is my Orientation?

Orientation Day is the beginning of your Foundation Studies journey. It is a compulsory event that happens on the first day of your Foundation Studies program. Read Orientation Day for more information.

What if I cannot attend Orientation?

If you can’t make it due to the delay of Visa grant or other relevant reasons, please contact our Admissions team at as soon as possible for further instructions.

After Enrolment

Can I change streams university preference after the course starts?

Yes, you can. Just make an appointment to see one of our Student Advisers normally by the end of week 2 from the course start date to discuss your future study plan. Please note that we may re-assess your qualifications to confirm your eligibility before we approve your request.

What is the progression rate from UNSW Global Pathways to University?

Studies have shown that UNSW Global Pathways graduates generally perform better than other international and local students at UNSW. We have a proud record of success with a high number of students gaining entry to university. Approximately 85% of Foundation Studies students are eligible to enter a university program on completion. For some programs, over 90% of students receive an offer to UNSW.

Are there any benefits for high achieving Foundation Studies graduates?

Yes, Standard and Standard Plus program students at the Kensington campus are eligible for scholarships and subject prizes. These are awarded automatically to high achieving students. No application form is required. You can find more details in your Student Handbook provided during the Orientation week.

What if I don’t meet the UNSW entry requirements after completing my Foundation Studies?

You may have the opportunity to repeat the Foundation program. Please note that permission to repeat is conditional on places being available. Just make an appointment to see a Student Adviser via email: or come to the Student Services Office, to find out available options.

If I repeat, how is my final GPA calculated?

If you repeat a full program, your final GPA will be based upon the results in the repeated program. If you repeat Semester 2 only, then you final GPA will be based on the assessments in the repeated Semester 2 of the program, unless your stream has subjects only offered in Semester 1; in this case, the previous result for those subjects will also be included in calculating your new Final GPA.

Whom should I consult to get more information about an UNSW degree?

There are a few channels available for you to learn more about UNSW. As a Foundation Studies student, you can make an appointment with a Student Adviser who specialises in providing University information and study advice.

In addition, before you complete Foundation Studies, all students have the opportunity to attend an “Applying to UNSW Day” and meeting with UNSW faculty staff. The UNSW website is also an excellent resource for further information.

I still have other questions. Who do I contact?

Current students: Please email with your Student ID
Future students: Please email:
Or view our Contact page for more information.