Foundation Studies Program

Program Structure

A Curriculum for Success

The curriculum develops the broad attributes you will need to enter university in Australia. There is a choice of three distinct streams of study:

  • Arts and Law
  • Business
  • Science, Health & Engineering
    Within each stream, you must undertake 2 compulsory units and 3 electives each semester. The two compulsory units are the same across all streams. Electives are specific to each distinct stream.

2 Compulsory Units                                 Electives

English for Tertiary Studies                       Maths, Business, Chemistry, Biology, Physics

Ideas & Critical Thinking                            Psychology, Computer Studies, Legal Studies, Society and Culture

Important Note: Check your Degree Offer to see if you have prerequisite subjects that you must complete to meet admission requirements. If so, you must study the subject, or subjects, as an elective in the Foundation program. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet all degree conditions, including prerequisite subjects.

Compulsory Units

English for Tertiary Studies 1 & 2 (EUS025/EUS026)

This two semester course equips you with knowledge and skills to improve your academic performance at University. Attention is given to reading academic texts; research and referencing; note-taking; summarizing and paraphrasing; academic writing and participation in presentations and formal discussions. You will be taught effective study techniques and time management methods to help you maximise your academic success. For most chosen degrees, a pass at Credit level for this subject is the minimum requirement to progress. It’s important to check your offer to see if your degree requires a higher grade for English.

Ideas and Critical Thinking 1 & 2 (EUS027/EUS028)

The Ideas & Critical Thinking 1 & 2 units develop essential critical thinking and academic skills required in all UTAS faculties and disciplines. They are compulsory units within the Foundation Studies Program. You will consider different views on a range of complex issues and process evaluate and synthesise information to form your own conclusions. You will learn to construct strong arguments and develop your skills in communicating your ideas. These skills are practiced through regular debates and class discussions. You will be required to participate in and lead tutorial discussions on current issues.


Biology (EUS005/EUS006)

There are two main themes studied in Biology.  In Semester 1, Evolution of Life prepares you for a wide range of courses including Zoology, Marine Studies, Plant Science, Geography, Environmental Studies, Agricultural Studies, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. In Semester 2, our Ecological Biology unit gives you the opportunity to focus on ecosystem ecology, biodiversity and conservation in the unique Tasmanian environment.

Business (EUS015/EUS016)

This two semester course covers Business Management and Business Marketing. In Business Management you will investigate the nature of management, roles managers play and the skills they need plus 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 (EUS007/EUS008)

Taught over two semesters, the Chemistry units will provide you with a thorough understanding of the subject matter covered in Year 12 in Australian schools.  Chemistry Dynamics is taught in Semester 1 followed by the Chemistry of Materials in Semester 2.  You will participate in lecture/tutorial style classes where theoretical foundations are established; and also in laboratory classes where practical skills are developed. These electives provide the required prerequisite knowledge and skills for degrees in Engineering, Pharmacy and Medical Research. Be sure to check your degree details to see if Chemistry is a required pre-requisite.

Computer Studies (EUS029/EUS030)

In Semester one, Computer Essentials introduces you to the fundamental applications required for undertaking study at University.  You will learn to apply your developing use of these software programmes to generate reports and databases. The following semester explores Creative Computing where your applied use of web-design and movie-making software provides creative output through technology.

Legal Studies (EUS034)

This elective is offered as a one-semester unit. In this unit you will learn about the Australian legal system and you will visit a courtroom to witness court processes and personnel. Exploring social justice and human rights is also an important part of the unit. You will learn relevant legal jargon, engage in common law discussions and learn how to use language effectively in making legal arguments.

Mathematics Electives

There are two different Mathematics options available. If you need Mathematics, you will choose either Foundation Mathematics or Mathematics of Science & Engineering. Your choice will depend on your chosen undergraduate degree and the pre-requisites required or recommended. The two options are explained in more detail below.

Foundation Mathematics (EUS013/EUS014)

Foundation Mathematics is a two-semester course. Foundation Mathematics 1 covers essential concepts and skills in mathematics and algebra.  Foundation Mathematics 2 builds on the concepts developed earlier in the course and applies them to the fields of trigonometry, vector and matrix algebra, differential calculus, probability and statistics.  As a general rule, Foundation Mathematics is a prerequisite for most degrees within the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.

Mathematics of Science & Engineering (EUS011/EUS012)

Mathematics of Science and Engineering is a two-semester course. Mathematics of Science and Engineering 1 covers concepts and skills in calculus, as a preparation for University degree subjects with a strong mathematical component. It begins with a revision of basic knowledge, including index laws, logarithms, sequences and series before moving onto trigonometry, functions, graphing of functions and limits as preparation for Differential Calculus. Mathematics of Science and Engineering 2 builds on this learning and applies it to the fields of Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus, Probability and Statistics and Linear Algebra. Mathematics for Science and Engineering is required for entry into most Science and Engineering degrees.

Physics (EUS009/EUS010)

The two-semester course in Physics provides the pre-requisites if you are preparing to study Medicine, Engineering and Science degrees.  Physics is taught at a level equivalent to Year 12 in Australian schools and is not suitable for those who have not studied Physics successfully at Year 11. The Physics 1 and Physics 2 units aim to provide those eligible with the skills and knowledge needed to proceed with confidence to undergraduate degrees requiring Physics as a prerequisite.

Psychology (EUS036)

This elective is offered as a one-semester unit and introduces you to key theories and concepts. Along with developing a greater understanding of human behaviour, you will build skills in writing in a scientific discipline and raise your awareness of the scientific method of enquiry. Topics covered include; research methods, memory, intelligence, stress and coping behaviours, and social psychology.

Society & Culture (EUS031)

In this one-semester unit you will investigate the concept of national identity and global citizenship through social, cultural, legal, political and historical viewpoints. You will have the opportunity to broaden build your perspective on issues ranging from local to international. Such investigation will help you to develop your social and cultural literacy. Topics covered include exploration of personal and social identity, change, belief systems, social inclusion and exclusion, equality and social conformity and non-conformity.

Choose the stream that best suits your needs

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.