UNSW Diplomas

Enter Second Year at university

Students with laptops in lecture theatre class

If you’re a high-achieving student with good English skills and big goals to study at university, a UNSW Diploma can get you there.  

This 12-month program in Architecture, Business, Computer Science, Engineering, Media and Communication or Science will launch you straight into Second Year of your chosen undergraduate degree. 

If you are a domestic student and qualify for the UNSW Gateway Admission Pathway, you may be eligible to study a UNSW College Diploma program. For more information, download the Diploma flyer.

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

Why choose UNSW College?

Equivalent to First Year 

As a Diploma student, you will study course content equivalent to your First Year of university, with all content recognised by UNSW – so you’re learning the same as students in a First Year degree program. You get more attention and support, so you feel confident when it’s time to progress. 

Direct path to Second Year 

If you just missed out on direct entry into UNSW and need some extra support, this program could be the best way to keep your university plans on track – without adding extra months or years on to your journey. 

Supported and ready to succeed 

You will have access to world-class UNSW facilities (like libraries, design studios, computer, engineering and science labs), clubs and societies from day one, with the added support of UNSW College behind you. This means small tutorial class sizes averaging 20 students, and personalised consultations with your teachers. 

Our Diplomas

Diploma in Architecture

Learn about architectural design, history and communications, plus the science behind building environments. On successful completion, you can enter the Second Year of a Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Bachelor of Interior Architecture (Honours) or Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Honours) at UNSW’s top-five faculty in Arts and Humanities.

Diploma in Business

Your first step towards a career in business and finance. This program is your pathway to the Bachelor of Commerce. On successful completion, you can progress straight into Second Year of an undergraduate degree at UNSW Business School, one of the top-ranked business schools in Australia.

Diploma in Computer Science

This diploma focuses on the design and construction of computer systems. When you successfully complete the program, you can progress straight into the Second Year of a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) degree, accredited by the Australian Computer Society.

Diploma in Engineering

Build a solid background in mathematics, natural sciences and computing, in preparation for a career in Engineering. This program lets you move into Second Year at UNSW Sydney, where you will be studying at the #1 ranked Engineering faculty in Australia.

Diploma in Media and Communication

In the fast-paced and constantly changing world of media and communication, this program will give you an introduction to a range of streams including cinema studies, communication and journalism, media studies, public relations and advertising and screen production. Then you can move straight into Second Year of a Bachelor of Media degree.

Diploma in Science

A powerful step towards further study and a career in the sciences. Learn the practical and theoretical skills to move into Second Year of a Bachelor of Science degree at UNSW Sydney, which has more than 400 staff and 700 researchers.
  • Diploma and Pre-Masters Courses

    Each Diploma and Pre-Masters course that a student undertakes at UNSW College is assessed using a variety of methods, resulting in a final mark for each course. This result generally takes the form of a mark between 0 and 100 and this mark determines a student’s final grade.

    The Table below explains the course grades applied to Diploma and Pre-Masters courses:


    Grade Descriptor

    Grade Definition

    Mark Range



    High Distinction

    An outstanding performance that indicates the student has demonstrated a high level of understanding across the entire content of the course.

    85% - 100%





    A superior performance that indicates the student has demonstrated the ability to consider the course and its assessment requirements from a number of perspectives and to explore their interrelation.


    75% - 84%





    A good performance indicating that the student can think analytically and contextually about the course and its assessment requirements, and to understand / present alternative points of view / perspectives and supporting evidence.


    65% - 74%






    An acceptable level of performance indicating that the student has addressed the assessment requirements of the course and has demonstrated an acceptable understanding of the issues entailed.



    50% - 64%






    Unsatisfactory performance, below the minimum expected level. This grade characterises work which shows a significant lack of understanding of the topic or its context and is therefore unsatisfactory.


    < 50%






    Successful completion of a course for which a graded pass is not awarded. No mark is given so courses with this grade are not included in the calculation of a student’s WAM. However, the units of credit are counted as successfully completed, when calculating a student’s Risk Level.






    Unsatisfactory Fail


    Unsatisfactory performance in an essential component of the course.






    Results not finalised


    Result not finalised. The student has submitted a request for Special Consideration, for which the outcome is pending.






    Results not finalised


    The student has not submitted or completed one or more components of the assessment required.






    Academic Withdrawal


    Academic Withdrawal. Student discontinued the course after the deadline to drop without academic penalty but before the last day of the teaching period. The AW grade is not included in the calculation of the student’s WAM. However, it is counted as a failed course when calculating Risk Level. The AW grade becomes part of a student’s official academic record, so it is included on their academic transcript.



    Weighted Average Mark

    WAM, or Weighted Average Mark, is a cumulative average of all term-based subject marks (final term marks) for each diploma subject and for each completed attempt. It is published to two decimal places and appears on your academic record.

    WAM is calculated according to the following formula:

    • M = mark received in a course
    • U = units of credit for a course
    • ∑ = the sum of

    For example, a student receives the following results for their subjects: 80, 81, 82, 83, 84. The first three of these subjects are 6 UOC (Units of Credit) each, and the last two are 3 UOC each. They would calculate their WAM as follows:

    [(80 x 6) + (81 x 6) + (82 x 6) + (83 x 3) + (84 x 3)] / (6 + 6 + 6 + 3 + 3) = 81.625

    If you have transfer credit for a course or subject(s) completed at another institution, the marks for these will not be included in the calculation of your WAM. This exclusion is due to the fact that different institutions have different grading systems.

  • A normal full-time Study Load across an Academic Year is 48 Units of Credit (UoC) and at least one Subject Enrolment in each Term. This equates to 1.0 Equivalent Full-time Student Load (EFTSL).

    (Students enrolled in the Diploma of Business undertake 54 UoC across an Academic Year which equates to 1.125 EFTSL.)

Student Guide

Download our Student Guide today for more information on our courses, life at UNSW College and how we help you reach your goals.

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Student & Alumni Stories

Hear from the students we have helped along their path to academic success and future careers, as they share their stories about studying with UNSW College.


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UNSW Global Pty Limited ABN 62 086 418 582 trading as UNSW College™.

Diploma & Foundation Studies
UNSW Global Pty Limited ABN 62 086 418 582 trading as UNSW College™ currently delivers Diplomas and Foundation Studies on behalf of UNSW Sydney - CRICOS Provider Code 00098G; UNSW Sydney TEQSA Provider ID: PRV12055 (Australian University).
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).
From 13 January 2025, UNSW College™ will commence delivery of Foundation Studies under its own CRICOS Provider Code - 01020K and TEQSA Provider ID: PRV13020 (Institute of Higher Education).

Pre-Masters Program & Academic English
UNSW College™ delivers the Pre-Masters Program and Academic English programs under CRICOS Provider Code 01020K and TEQSA Provider ID: PRV13020 (Institute of Higher Education).

See https://unswcollege.edu.au/esos for more information. © 2024 UNSW Global Pty Limited.