Foundation Studies Subjects

Foundation Studies Subjects

Below are the subjects offered in the Foundation Studies program:


Accounting is suitable for all students who want to acquire an understanding of the financial
information processes used in society. It will help students to develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving and communications, and enable them to apply accounting information in financial decision-making for a range of accounting entities.

- Basic accounting concepts
- Business models
- Balance sheets
- Income statements
- Journals, ledger, trial balance
- Balance day adjustments
- Subsidiary ledgers, debtors & inventory
- Cash budgets and cash flow statements
- Financial statement analysis, report writing


Biology is a science that involves the study of the phenomenon of life at levels ranging from the interactions of molecules to the interactions of organisms within the biosphere.
The subject provides students with an opportunity to develop an understanding of basic biological concepts, the structure and function of living things, their interdependence, and their place in the environment. The skills and knowledge gained can provide a foundation for further study in the biological or health sciences.

- Cells & microscopes
- Biochemistry
- Vertebrate physiology
- Cell division
- Genetics
- Evolution
- Ecosystems
- Ecology


Chemistry is the study of matter and energy, involving a consideration of the composition of substances, their preparation and their effects on one another. The subject provides students with the theoretical framework and practical skills necessary for further study in chemistry, engineering or the biological and health sciences.

- Atomic structure & bonding
- The periodic table of elements
- Stoichiometry
- Redox reactions & electrochemistry
- Enthalpy
- Organic chemistry
- Rates of reaction
- Equilibrium
- Acids & bases

Computing and Information Systems

Computing and Information Systems develops an understanding of computers and information systems that will allow students to use and manage information technology in their academic study in a skilled and knowledgeable way.

- Introduction to information systems
- Presentation software
- Word processing
- Computer components
- Numeric processing using sreadsheets
- Networking principles
- Using HTML
- Data management & relational databases
- Programming using javascript.

Critical Thinking

This subject aims to encourage and develop a robust capacity for independent thinking. Such a capacity is a necessary prerequisite for success in the Australian academic context. It aims to develop a very broad range of capacities for independent judgement. Students study elements of Australian culture and history and rudiments of economic theory, with the aim of developing student literacy.

In addition, students will be introduced to a whole range of analytical and evaluative thinking
skills, to be applied in conjunction with several methods for producing academic work of a good standard. As they learn and practise these skills and methods, students will acquire a capacity for analysis and critical evaluation.

- Analytical thinking skills
- Background knowledge
- Australian culture and history
- Economic theory
- Critical evaluation

Design Studies

Design Studies is only available to students starting in the February intake.

Design Studies is about creative problem solving in relation to human needs. To design is to be presented with, or seek out a problem or brief and work through a process to develop a range of solutions that fulfil that brief. Design within the visual arts refers to three main areas:

Environmental design architecture, urban planning, landscape and interior design
Graphic design – visual communication in print, virtual and illustration
Product design – industrial design, jewellery design and human aids and extensions

This subject delivers the basic elements and principles that underpin design and focuses on environmental design and graphic design.

- Introduction to design
- Principles of design and the language of design
- Critical analysis in the design context
- Research project in design
- Design practice
- CAD (Computer-Aided Design)
- Presentation design


The study of Economics is about the forces that determine how production occurs, how resources are allocated and how proceeds are distributed. In semester 1, students will study microeconomics and in semester 2, students will cover macroeconomics and explore how both topics relate to each other.

- Demand and supply
- Price elasticity
- Different market structures
- The function of money
- The role of the Reserve Bank
- Economic objectives of the Australian Government
- Economic policy outcomes
- Aggregate demand/aggregate analysis
- Demand and supply management policies
- Impact of globalisation

English For Academic Purposes

English for Academic Purposes is a compulsory subject for students studying in Foundation Studies. This subject develops and applies English skills in a tertiary academic context. The subject includes a formal study of grammar and development of written, oral and aural skills.

- Academic vocabulary development
- Essay writing
- Grammar
- Listening skills, including note-taking
- Oral presentation skills
- Research skills
- Self-assessment skills, including peer-editing

Mathematical Methods

This subject is aimed at students who need or wish to gain a working knowledge of mathematics, but will not be pursuing any form of mathematical study at a tertiary level. This subject focuses on the application of fundamental mathematics. Students are introduced to a number of mathematical models taken from academic areas such as economics, medicine and management, in addition to examples of everyday life such as sport and recreation. Mathematical Methods will develop student confidence in reasoning and the use of electronic technologies.

- Introduction to graphic calculators
- Introductory skills
- Modelling from data
- Rates, derivatives & applications of calculus
- Linear programming & matrices
- Statistics

Mathematical Studies

Mathematical Studies is designed for students intending to study university programs in physical or mathematical science, computing, engineering, surveying, economics, finance or commerce, humanities and social sciences.

- Introduction to graphic calculators
- Introductory skills and algebraic preliminaries, complex numbers, geometric   preliminaries
- Calculus: differentiation from first principles, differentiation rules
- Application of differential calculus
- Integration
- Application of integration
- Area under a curve
- Linear algebra
- Problem solving using linear algebra
- Matrices
- Statistics preliminaries
- Applications of statistics and working with data


This subject aims to develop an understanding of some of the key ideas of physics, the characteristics of physics and the ways in which physicists ask questions about nature. Students develop an understanding of how the concepts of physics are used in selected applications and learn to evaluate physics related information and data.

The subject enables students to solve problems using the ideas of physics while focussing on their experimental skills, including an understanding of experimental design and the analysis and interpretation of experimental data. This provides students with the theoretical framework and practical skills necessary for further study in engineering or the physical sciences.

- Mechanics
- Electricity and magnetism
- Light and matter
- Nuclear physics

Specialist Mathematics

Students undertaking a study of Specialist Mathematics will study Mathematical Studies concurrently. Specialist Mathematics is recommended for students intending to study science, computing or engineering based university subjects. This subject develops the skills and ideas of mathematical studies as well as exploring some additional concepts.

- Introductory skills: functions and relations
- Periodic phenomena and trigonometric functions
- Polynomials and complex numbers
- Vectors and geometry
- Coordinate and plane geometry
- Calculus – advanced differentiation and integration and their applications
- Differential equations