What is a Diploma?

A Diploma is a 12-month course that gives you the foundational skills and knowledge in a specific stream. A Diploma of Computer Science will take you straight into Second Year at UNSW’s world-renowned School of Computer Science and Engineering.

It is a great option for you as an international student if you need a bit more support but don't want to add extra time to your degree. If you have just missed out on direct entry into your preferred bachelor's degree, or hold qualifications that are not recognised by UNSW Sydney, this could also be the program for you.

Intakes

January, May, August

Duration

12 months (3 terms)

Weekly class time

Approximately 20-25 hours

Progression

Second Year, Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) at UNSW Sydney

Delivery mode

On-campus

CRICOS Code

113046B

*For full details on intakes, please view Key dates.

Your journey with a Diploma Program

High School Year 12 progresses to Diploma at UNSW College progresses to Second Year at UNSW Sydney High School Year 12 progresses to Diploma at UNSW College progresses to Second Year at UNSW Sydney

Who is this program for?

The Diploma Program has been designed specifically for international students. Our Diplomas make it easy to adjust to university, with:

  • smaller classes and at least 20% extra teaching time
  • additional English and academic support
  • course material equivalent to First Year courses within the UNSW Sydney degree, and
  • access to the same facilities and resources as undergraduate students.

With an innovative First Year equivalent curriculum, you will learn about the design, construction and uses of computer systems with an emphasis on the basic principles behind computing tools, operating systems, compilers and translators, and computer hardware.

Why study computer science at UNSW Sydney?

Australia’s No.1 Engineering faculty has a strong focus on research, providing an education where you will question, experiment and make new discoveries. You will graduate ready to launch your future in computer science.

UNSW provides world-class education and a career-focused student experience. You will belong to a connected student community with opportunities to expand your network socially and professionally, as well as full access to UNSW’s world-class libraries, labs, clubs and societies.

You will explore new ideas and diverse perspectives within a vibrant student community, through a wide choice of majors available in your Bachelor of Science (Computer Science).

Career opportunities

  • Big Data Analyst
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Cyber Security Consultant
  • Game Programmer
  • IT Consultant
  • Software Developer
  • Systems Engineer

Your future at UNSW

Once you successfully complete a Diploma (and meet the entry requirements), you will be guaranteed entry into Second Year at UNSW Sydney. UNSW is one of Australia's leading research and teaching universities, ranked in the top 20 worldwide. Boasting a career-focused education, vibrant community and flexibility in study options, UNSW will help you discover the best version of yourself.

Want to know more about specific progression requirements for your chosen UNSW Sydney bachelor’s degree?

The Diploma of Computer Science is designed to provide you with a pathway straight into Second Year of a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) where you will have the option to choose a degree major from the following:

Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) majors

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Science
  • Database Systems
  • eCommerce Systems
  • Embedded Systems
  • Programming Languages
  • Security Engineering 

Note: Diploma of Computer Science students must achieve a Satisfactory Grade (equivalent to IELTS 6.5) for the Communication and Academic Literacy course and a minimum pass for all other courses to progress to Second Year of the relevant degree program at UNSW. 

Top 20
Worldwide

QS World University Rankings, 2024.

Most
Employable Graduates

AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

Leading
Innovation

#1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

Program structure

Diploma students learn the fundamentals required for their future studies in courses that are equivalent to First Year undergraduate courses at UNSW Sydney.  

The added support that Diploma students receive will equip them with both the academic and English skills for their journey into the Second Year at UNSW Sydney. 

When you progress to Second Year of your bachelor of Computer Science at UNSW, you have the option to choose a degree major to prepare you for your future career.

For more information on each major you can choose to study when you get to UNSW, see below.  

  • What is artificial intelligence? 

    Many systems, from search engines to financial systems and health systems, use artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as machine learning. As autonomous devices become more common, they are used in applications like home and office automation, entertainment and to enhance production and improve safety in sectors such as mining, manufacturing and transport. 

    Artificial intelligence Diploma courses 

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Diploma of Computer Science below. 

    • Mathematics 1A 
    • Mathematics 1B 
    • Introduction to Programming 
    • Computer Systems Fundamentals 
    • Molecules, Cells and Genes 
    • Applied Biomolecular Sciences 
    • Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation 
    • Physics 1A OR Higher Physics 1A 
    • Physics 1B OR Higher Physics 1B 
  • What is computer networks? 

    Networks are critical infrastructure in modern society, and will become even more important in the future. Business, finance, health services, education, defence and leisure all rely on the existence of a stable, secure, fast, high-capacity network. Computing professionals with a deep understanding of networks are in high demand, both to maintain and enhance existing network infrastructure (especially mobile networks), and to develop new forms of networking. 

    Computer networks Diploma courses 

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Diploma of Computer Science below. 

    • Mathematics 1A 
    • Mathematics 1B 
    • Introduction to Programming 
    • Computer Systems Fundamentals 
    • Molecules, Cells and Genes 
    • Applied Biomolecular Sciences 
    • Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation 
    • Physics 1A OR Higher Physics 1A 
    • Physics 1B OR Higher Physics 1B 
  • What is computer science? 

    This field involves the study of the design, construction and uses of computer systems. It deals with the representation of data and data structures in computer systems and the design of algorithms for automatic manipulation of this information by programming languages and machine systems. 

    Computer science Diploma courses 

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Diploma of Computer Science below. 

    Core courses: 

    • Mathematics 1A 
    • Mathematics 1B 
    • Introduction to Programming 
    • Computer Systems Fundamentals 
    • Communication and Academic Literacy 

    Electives (choose 3):  

    • Molecules, Cells and Genes 
    • Applied Biomolecular Sciences 
    • Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation 
    • Physics 1A OR Higher Physics 1A 
    • Physics 1B OR Higher Physics 1B 
  • What is database systems? 

    Database management systems provide essential infrastructure for handling the large volumes of data required by corporate, government, scientific and educational organisations. The success of these organisations can rely on how their database systems are applied. Examples of large organisations with significant data management needs are financial institutions, telecommunications companies and manufacturing enterprises. Data management is also critical in scientific research labs and small businesses. 

    Database systems Diploma courses 

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Diploma of Computer Science below.

    • Mathematics 1A 
    • Mathematics 1B 
    • Introduction to Programming 
    • Computer Systems Fundamentals 
    • Molecules, Cells and Genes 
    • Applied Biomolecular Sciences 
    • Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation 
    • Physics 1A OR Higher Physics 1A 
    • Physics 1B OR Higher Physics 1B 
  • What is ecommerce systems? 

    Providing the IT infrastructure for developing and managing enterprise applications, typical ecommerce systems deal with both B2C (business-to-customer) and B2B (business-to-business). They include e-government, e-banking and e-health. ecommerce systems engineering requires understanding the requirements of business processes – security, public policy, project management – and the effective use of the IT infrastructure.  

    Ecommerce systems Diploma courses 

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Diploma of Computer Science below. 

    • Mathematics 1A 
    • Mathematics 1B 
    • Introduction to Programming 
    • Computer Systems Fundamentals 
    • Molecules, Cells and Genes 
    • Applied Biomolecular Sciences 
    • Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation 
    • Physics 1A OR Higher Physics 1A 
    • Physics 1B OR Higher Physics 1B 
  • What is embedded systems? 

    Embedded systems make up more than 99 per cent of all computer systems in operation. They are designed for specific purposes ranging from household appliances, such as microwave ovens and set-top boxes, to sophisticated real-time controllers used in fly-by-wire aircraft and the Large Hadron Collider. 

    Embedded systems Diploma courses 

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Diploma of Computer Science below. 

    • Mathematics 1A 
    • Mathematics 1B 
    • Introduction to Programming 
    • Computer Systems Fundamentals 
    • Molecules, Cells and Genes 
    • Applied Biomolecular Sciences 
    • Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation 
    • Physics 1A OR Higher Physics 1A 
    • Physics 1B OR Higher Physics 1B 
  • What is programming languages? 

    This area forms the basis of all software development. Over the years, computer scientists have developed a number of major programming frameworks. They have created a wide variety of programming languages based on these frameworks, ranging from general purpose languages to application-specific languages. 

    Programming languages Diploma courses 

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Diploma of Computer Science below.

    • Mathematics 1A 
    • Mathematics 1B 
    • Introduction to Programming 
    • Computer Systems Fundamentals 
    • Molecules, Cells and Genes 
    • Applied Biomolecular Sciences 
    • Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation 
    • Physics 1A OR Higher Physics 1A 
    • Physics 1B OR Higher Physics 1B 
  • What is security engineering? 

    This area covers cybersecurity in industry, with an engineering focus. This means an emphasis on professional approaches to engineering security – examining failures, bugs and human system interactions and issues. There is an ongoing focus on security by design and professional ethical security practice. 

    Security engineering Diploma courses 

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Diploma of Computer Science below.

    • Mathematics 1A 
    • Mathematics 1B 
    • Introduction to Programming 
    • Computer Systems Fundamentals 
    • Molecules, Cells and Genes 
    • Applied Biomolecular Sciences 
    • Introduction to Engineering Design and Innovation 
    • Physics 1A OR Higher Physics 1A 
    • Physics 1B OR Higher Physics 1B 

Entry requirements

The Diploma Program is designed specifically for international students as a potential pathway to study at UNSW Sydney - before you start a Diploma,  you must meet the required English language proficiency and specific academic entry requirements.

For more information on entry requirements, view the Diploma and UEEC entry requirements - requirements provided should be considered as a guide only and are subject to change.

View entry requirements

In addition to academic and English requirements, some Diploma Programs require specific subject minimum grade requirements and assumed knowledge depending on your intended program.

Diploma of Computer Science

Minimum grade requirement – Mathematics

Assumed knowledge – Relevant Sciences

If you don’t meet the academic entry requirements for a Diploma Program, you can complete a Foundation Studies program first.

If you need help meeting the English language requirements, you could complete the University English Entry Course (UEEC) before starting your Diploma Program.

Academic calendars

The academic calendar consists of important dates throughout your study period such as Orientation, census dates, study weeks, exam weeks and breaks for your program or course of study.

Diploma fees

2024 tuition fees

A$43,440

2025 tuition fees

A$44,640

Course 2024 Indicative Fees Per Course ($AUD) 2025 Indicative Fees Per Course ($AUD) Courses to complete
Computer Science $5,430 $5,580 7
Communications and Academic Literacy (CAL) $5,430 $5,580 1

Communications and Academic Literacy (CAL) must be completed as part of each Diploma Program.

  • The program tuition fee that is quoted on your Letter of Offer is indicative and takes into account a range of factors such as: 

    • The calendar year in which you undertake your study in the course. For example, you may have commenced your Diploma in 2024, however you may undertake courses in 2025.
    • Studying elective courses outside of your main program area. For example you may be enrolled in the Diploma of Business however you may have undertaken an elective unit from the Diploma of Media and Communication.
    • Potential course variations to your Diploma studies.  

    Fees are reviewed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed, so it’s important to remember that indicative tuition fees shown above are not guaranteed. Any update to fees is effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are for tuition only – other fees and charges are not included.

    When you enrol into new courses in your subsequent study terms at UNSW College, a fee statement will be generated in myUNSW indicating the precise tuition fee amount that you will need to pay.

Scholarships

If you start a Diploma in 2024 or 2025, you may be eligible to receive a scholarship for the duration of your studies. 

Ready to apply?

If you’re ready to start your Diploma application, you can apply directly to UNSW.

At UNSW College, every application we receive is carefully considered. When you are ready to start your application, click the button below.

Need help?

If you need help or have questions about the application process, read our guide on How to Apply.

Or you can get advice from one of our certified agents who can help you through the process. Find an agent near you.

Why study with UNSW College?

Your path to a global top 20 university

Successfully complete a Diploma Program and progress directly to Second Year of a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) at UNSW Sydney, accredited by the Australian Computer Society.

Support as you learn

The Diploma Program is designed for international students like you, so you can develop English language and study skills to take the next step with confidence.

Directly connected to UNSW

The program is accredited by UNSW Sydney and provides full access to UNSW’s world class libraries, clubs and societies.

Yousif Midhat Khalid Diploma in Computer Science student from Iraq
"The diploma program was tailored to be like regular first year in a bachelor’s degree, which made it easier to transition into second year. The program helped prepare me for the rest of the journey."

Yousif Midhat Khalid

Diploma student

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Diploma & Foundation Studies
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From 26 August 2024, UNSW College™ will commence delivery of Diplomas under its own CRICOS Provider Code - 01020K and TEQSA Provider ID: PRV13020 (Institute of Higher Education).
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Pre-Masters Program & Academic English
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