Foundation Studies Program

Program Structure

A Curriculum for Success

The curriculum develops the broad attributes required by students entering university in Australia. Students choose from either the Business & Arts stream or Science, Health & Engineering. Within the 2 streams, students must undertake 2 compulsory units and 3 electives.  

2 Compulsory Units             +                              

3 Electives                                                                        

English for Tertiary Studies  

Ideas & Critical Thinking

Maths, Business, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Psychology, Computer Studies,
Legal Studies

Compulsory Units 

English for Tertiary Studies

Equips you with the necessary knowledge and skills to improve your academic performance at university. These include skills in reading academic texts; researching and referencing; note taking, summarising and paraphrasing; academic writing and participation in presentations and formal discussions. You will also be taught useful study techniques and time management methods to help maximise your academic success.

Ideas and Critical Thinking

Develops critical thinking skills within the context of the evolution of ideas which have shaped and impacted humans throughout  history. Integrating multiple disciplines, this core unit focuses on specific academic skills required across all UTAS faculties, including layered consideration of complex issues, reasoned construction, testing of claims and argument, communication of ideas and critical analysis of scientific and historical texts.



There are two main themes studied in the Biology unit. Firstly, Evolution of Life prepares you for a wide range of courses including Zoology, Marine Studies, Plant Science, Geography, Environmental Studies, Agricultural Studies, Nursing and Pharmacy. Environmental Studies then gives you the opportunity to focus on ecosystem ecology, biodiversity and conservation in a uniquely Tasmanian environment. 


Business Management investigates the nature of management, including the roles and skills of managers, the responsibility of stakeholders and the importance of effective management to an organisation. In the Business Marketing unit, you will explore the roles of markets and marketing in a globalised environment.


Chemistry provides you with a thorough understanding of the subject matter covered in Year 12 schooling in Australia. The Chemistry units consist of two components. There are lecture/tutorial style classes, in which theoretical foundations are established; and laboratory classes, in which practical skills are developed.

Computer Studies

Computer Studies units introduce you to the essential use of computers and fundamental applications as tools for undertaking study at University. Applied use of software & developing creative output through technology is a key feature. 


Equipping participants with relevant skills for future studies, students may undertake Mathematics of Science & Engineering or Foundation Mathematics, depending on the chosen course of study. Foundation Mathematics is a prerequisite for most degrees within the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics; while Mathematics for Science and Engineering is required for entry into all science and engineering degrees. 


Our Physics program is particularly useful if you are contemplating taking a degree in Medical Research, Pharmacy, Engineering or Science at UTAS. It will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to proceed with confidence to undergraduate degrees requiring physics as a prerequisite. 


Our Psychology subject introduces you to key theories and concepts in psychology, develops skills in writing in a scientific discipline and raises awareness of the role of scientific method of enquiry. Lectures will cover topics such as research methods; the brain; memory; intelligence; stress and coping; and social psychology. 

Legal Studies 

Legal Studies investigates the doctrine of precedent, how a legal issue determines factual relevance and how to develop problem solving methods for legal problems. Students acquire relevant legal jargon, engage in common law discussions as well as statutory interpretation and creative use of language in making legal arguments. Finally, students learn to make legal arguments on behalf of a client. 

Choosing electives

During orientation, each student is interviewed to discuss their 3 elective choices for Semester One. As a general rule and depending on course prerequisites, Science, Health and Engineering students select from Evolutionary Biology, Chemistry Dynamics, Mathematics (S&E) 1 Behavioural Psychology and Physics 1. Business and Arts students generally select from Business Management, Mathematics (Foundation) 1, Legal Studies 1, Behavioural Psychology and Computer Essentials.

Not all students fit neatly into the two streams. Behavioural Psychology for example may have appeal for students going onto Business, Health or Arts studies. Computer Essentials provides fundamental computing skills and is replaced by Creative Computing in Semester Two, providing opportunity for rich creative output.  This may also be attractive to students across the two streams.

Please note that you will need to purchase textbooks and workbooks for use during the course. A booklist will be made available at the beginning of the program.

Also note that a subject may not be run if there are insufficient numbers to form a class.

Your work will be continually assessed through assignments, group activities, presentations and tests. Your marks are converted to a Grade Point Average (GPA), which is a score out of 7.

80% >High DistinctionHD
70% >DistinctionDN
60% >CreditCR
50% >PassPP
< 50%FailNN

To enter your degree you need the GPA required by your faculty and GPA 4.2 or above in English for Tertiary Studies.