The University of Sydney Foundation Program

What is the University of Sydney Foundation Program?

Take the most effective pathway to the University of Sydney. The University of Sydney Foundation Program (USFP) is a rigorous, focused program. It provides you with the training you need to succeed at Australia's most prestigious university. The combined educational expertise of both the University of Sydney and Taylors College has been employed to create this foundation program.

Who is the University of Sydney Foundation Program for?

The USFP is designed to assist students who want to study an undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney, but don't meet the necessary entry requirements. We will support you whatever your academic needs, through one of our three specially-designed program structures. Additionally, we offer a range of start dates throughout the year to suit your timing and your planned university degree.

Number of semester: 2
Number of subjects per semester: 5
Total hours in class per week: 20
Intake start dates:

  • 2024 - January, July

University of Sydney Foundation Program - Standard Course.

CRICOS Course Code: 022310D.

Number of study periods: 2
Study period 1:

  • 10 weeks
  • 4 subjects

Study period 2:

  • 20 weeks
  • 6 subjects

Total hours in class per week: 30
Intake start dates

  • 2024 - April, October

Note: you need a higher level of English for this program. View our entry requirements.

Please note subject offering is limited for the Intensive program. It is directed towards Science/Commerce degree students. All Intensive students must complete Mathematics A in their first study period regardless of degree choice.

University of Sydney Foundation Program - Standard Intensive.

CRICOS Course Code: 036126M.

Number of semester: 3
Duration: 75 weeks
Intake start dates:

  • 2024 - January, July

University of Sydney Extended Foundation Program.

CRICOS Course Code: 048302A.

Did you know...?

In 2022, 91% of USFP students received offers to the University of Sydney


Course Structure

Our foundation program’s Standard and intensive formats are offered for students who need a relative amount of preparation ahead of taking on a degree at Sydney. They are taught full time over the course of 52 and 40 weeks, respectively.

Course structure overview*

  • A total of 10 different subjects is required to graduate – Academic English Skills (2), plus 8 academic subjects.
  • Typically, you study A subjects in your first semester and B subjects in your final semester. This does not mean that  the A subjects are a prerequisite for B subjects. For most subjects, you could study the B subject before the A subject.
  • The academic subjects are studied as majors and minors. A major is when you study both the A and B in a subject.  A minor is when you study only the A or only the B of a subject.
  • You must study at least 3 majors and can then choose either 2 minors or a 4th major to make up your 8 academic subjects.
  • Academic English Skills and at least 2 of the majors you study will be your core subjects. This means they are either  compulsory, prerequisite subjects or subjects you are assumed to have knowledge and skills in for your chosen degree.
Compulsory subjectsAcademic English Skills (AES)All students
Compulsory subjects dependant on your degreeMathematics for Business A & BDepends on University degree requirements
 Mathematics for Science A & BDepends on University degree requirements
 Music Core Theory A & B and Music Core Performance A & B
(only available for January Standard and Extended August students)
Bachelor of Music students (entry dependant on audition)
 Foundations of Visual Arts and Design Core A & B
(only available for January Standard and Extended August students) Foundations of Visual Arts and Design Elective A & B
Bachelor of Visual Arts students (entry dependant on a portfolio)
Elective subjects
  • Accounting A* & B
  • Advanced Mathematics A* & B*
  • Australian Studies A* & B*
  • Biology A* & B*
  • Chemistry A* & B
  • Economics A* & B*
  • Foundations of Social Science A* & B
  • Foundations of Visual Arts and Design Elective A* & B
  • Government and Law A* & B
  • Information Technology A* & B*
  • International Studies A* (Politics)
  • International Studies B* (Economics)
  • Mathematics (Business) A* & B
  • Mathematics (Science) A* & B
  • Media Studies and Communication A* & B
  • Music Elective A* & B
  • Physics A* & B*
Choose 2-4 subjects (A and B) depending on compulsory subjects and using the recommendations as a guide
Subject MajorsSubject A and Subject B eg: Accounting A and Accounting B
Subject MinorsSubjects marked with a * can be taken as one semester long minor. Only 2 minors can be taken for each program. Note: Subjects offered are conditional on student numbers/preferences.

Aimed at students who need slightly longer to prepare, this extended format of our foundation program is taught full time over the course of 75 weeks.

The program is tailored to meet your needs and prepare you as much as possible for your degree at the University of Sydney. It is aimed at students requiring a little more support.

Course structure overview

  • You will study 12 subjects in total over the 3 semesters, 4 subjects in each semester.
  • In your first semester, you study Extended English, Essential Study Skills, Mathematics and one academic subject.
  • All students must pass Extended English to progress to the next semester of study.
  • In your second and third semester, you study Academic English Skills (AES) and 3 academic subjects in each semester.
 Compulsory subjectsElective subjects
Semester 1
  • Extended English
  • Accounting A
  • Australian Studies A
  • Chemistry A
  • Economics A
  • Mathematics for Business A
  • Mathematics for Science A
Semester 2 and 3
  • Academic English Skills (AES)
Three subjects each semester chosen from the Standard Program table

We recognise that you are most likely to do well in the subjects that interest you, so after completing your compulsory subjects, you can choose different elective subjects to study towards your chosen stream, which can help build the foundation for your future undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney.  

Learn more about our subjects.


Whether you wish to understand how your English and academic progress are graded, or what GPA is required for you to get into the degree program of your choice at the University of Sydney, learn more about assessments today.

USFP Subjects

Find out more about the subjects you can study on the University of Sydney Foundation Program, designed to provide you with the skills you need to succeed at Australia's most prestigious university.


From your English studies to the GPA you need to progress, find out more about how you are assessed during your time at Taylors College.

How to Apply

Find out more about entry requirements and how to apply to study at Taylors College Sydney.

“USFP is a really good program designed not only to allow you to study at a prestigious uni, but also to be able to do well in it.”

Andrew from Taiwan
Graduated from USFP
Now studying a combined degree – Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney

New Curriculum July 2024

From July 2024 the Taylors College Sydney will be implementing a new Curriculum for Standard, Intensive and Extended Foundation programs. 

The Curriculum will consist of modules which will enhance student skills across multiple disciplines and align with the University of Sydney graduate attributes. As part of the new curriculum, all students will study the core units of Academic English and Social Research and Inquiry. They will then study 3 further modules from the 11 study modules listed below. 

These include. Mathematics – Business Mathematics – Science Accounting and Financial Management Economics and Development Applied Computing Art and Design Biology Chemistry Physics Cultural Studies International and Global Studies 

* Music will no longer be offered from July 2024  

**Students commencing in January Standard and January Extended and April Intensive will not be impacted by the new Curriculum. 

***Current student choice of undergraduate degrees will not be impacted.

**** The USFP is delivered in a full-time face-to-face model. The hours under the new curriculum may differ from those currently published.  Full-time means at least 20 hours of scheduled course contact hours per teaching week.

The future is yours to define