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NSW HSC new options in science

NSW will offer Year 12 high school students a high level science course that allows them to carry out a scientific research project and study with research institutes and universities.

The new HSC Science Extension course can be studied in addition to Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, Physics and the new Investigating Science course in updated NESA rules that permit students to complete seven units of science in Year 12.

Students undertaking HSC Science Extension will be able to work alongside researchers and scientists and partner with universities and potentially publish their own research.

Partnerships currently are being developed between groups of schools and scientific research hubs to facilitate students' access to our best researchers and data.

Previously, the HSC rules stopped students taking more than three science courses. The final Science Extension syllabus will be released later this year.

NESA also announced five new Science Life Skills Stage 6 courses that will be available from 2018.

The new Science Life Skills Stage 6 Syllabus includes the following course options:

  • Chemical World Science Life Skills 
  • Earth and Space Science Life Skills
  • Investigating Science Life Skills
  • Living World Science Life Skills
  • Physical World Science Life Skills.

Each Science Life Skills course contributes 2 units of study in Year 11 and Year 12. In keeping with updated pattern and pathways requirements for Stage 6 Science, students can complete one of, or any combination of, Science Life Skills courses to contribute up to six units of study towards their Preliminary or HSC pattern of study. Science Life Skills courses will not provide entry into the new Science Extension course.

The outcomes for Science Life Skills courses have been developed from the Investigating Science Stage 6 course to support integrated course delivery and flexibility for schools. Schools can decide the most appropriate setting to deliver the Science Life Skills courses.

Schools use the Science Life Skills syllabus outcomes to report the achievement of students for each Science Life Skills course they are enrolled in.

Sample support materials including scope and sequences and teaching units have been developed to support the implementation of the new Science Life Skills courses. Further support materials will be made available to schools over the coming months.

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