UWA Foundation Program

UWA Foundation Program summary

A strong academic foundation for UWA

The UWA Foundation Program (UWAFP) provides a comprehensive skill set to ensure you achieve the strong academic foundation you need to progress towards The University of Western Australia (UWA).

A supportive stepping-stone to undergraduate year one

The UWA Foundation Program provides international students with a supportive steppingstone to the first year of a Bachelor degree at The University of Western Australia. The program brings together the collective expertise, experience and passion for education held by UWA and Taylors College Perth.

Expert teaching and effective preparation

Supportive and experienced teaching staff help you develop your skills and abilities. You will study independently, work in groups, learn to lead, carry out research and deliver presentations. These are all essential ingredients for success at UWA.

Keeping you on track for success

Throughout the program, your academic achievement will be carefully monitored, and you’ll be given regular feedback on your progress. Every UWAFP unit is made up of coursework (50%) and a final examination (50%).

Flexible study options

Depending on your life plans, academic level and preferred degree subject, the UWA Foundation Program offers intensive, standard and extended options to suit your individual needs.

Three course options




Start dates  18 Jan or 11 Jul 2016 18 Apr or 10 Oct 2016 18 Jan or 11 Jul  2016
Course length 40 weeks 30 weeks 60 weeks
Units per term 4 5 4
English units (total) 4 4 6
Elective units (total) 12 11 18




Start dates  18 Jan or 11 Jul 2016 18 Apr or 10 Oct 2016 18 Jan or 11 Jul  2016
Course length 40 weeks 30 weeks 60 weeks
Units per term 4 5 4
English units (total) 4 4 6
Elective units (total) 12 11 18


Financial Accounting - Classification and Presentation

This accounting unit presents financial accounting as a set of information that, when understood, adds value to the contribution every individual makes to the world. The topics are presented using a spreadsheet and transaction approach. Financial Reports (Income Statement and Balance Sheet) will be prepared and integrated into the topics during the term. The course contains no debits and credits; it is not a bookkeeping course.

Financial Accounting – The Accounting Records

In this unit financial accounting is presented as a set of information that when understood adds value to the contribution every individual makes to the world. Students are introduced to the bookkeeping elements of accounting. The topics are presented using general journals and T-form of general ledger. Financial Reports (Income Statement and Balance Sheet) will be prepared and integrated into the topics during the term. There is no prerequisite knowledge for this unit.

Management Accounting – Planning and Control

This unit presents management accounting as a set of information that when understood adds value to the contribution every individual makes to the world. Students are introduced to the usefulness of accounting information to managers.


Cell structure and Processes

All living organisms are made up of cells. Cells vary greatly in size, structure and function. Yet, all are microscopic factories, bustling with the activities of life. This unit explores the fascinating and intricate world of the cell. The structure and function of cells are covered first, followed by a look at how cells harness matter and energy, transforming one chemical substance into another.

Reproduction and Genetics

Genetics is the study of heredity – the transmission of characteristics from parents to offspring. In their work geneticists are interested in learning about the similarities and differences, or variations, between parents and offspring. The scientific study of genetics began over a hundred years ago.

Interactions and change

The study of how organisms interact with other organisms and their physical surroundings is called ecology, and is the subject studied in this unit. An understanding of the principles of ecology is essential if one is to have a proper understanding of, and find effective solutions to, the vast array of environmental issues confronting humans in the 21st century – issues such as air and water pollution, global warming, ozone depletion, etc, which are some of the topics also covered in this unit.

This unit also explores the theory of evolution and investigates the mechanisms proposed to account for evolutionary change and the evidence that has been put forward in support of evolution.


Atomic Structure and Bonding

This unit is designed to introduce and reinforce the fundamentals of chemistry. As well as encountering Atomic structure,The Periodic Table, Solutions, The Mole Concept and Stoichiometry, Chemical Reactions and Chemical Bonding, this unit provides practical experience in experimentation.

Physical Chemistry 1

This unit is designed to introduce and reinforce the fundamentals of chemistry. As well as encountering Kinetic Theory, Thermochemistry, Chemical Kinetics and Equilibrium, this unit provides practical experience in experimentation.

Prerequisite: CH1: Atomic Structure and Bonding

Physical Chemistry 2 and Inorganic Chemistry

This unit is designed to introduce and reinforce the fundamentals of Chemistry. As well as encountering Electrochemistry, Oxidation and Reduction Theory and Acids and Bases Theory, this unit provides practical experience in experimentation.

Prerequisite: CH1: Atomic Structure and Bonding.

Computer Science

Business Applications

The main objective of this unit is to expose students to the commonly used business applications programs, including word processors and presentation managers, and the effectiveness of these applications. The software used is Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint. This unit identifies key ergonomics, and occupational health and safety issues in a computing environment.

The Internet and Spreadsheets

The purpose of this unit is to expose students to a commonly used business applications program, namely spreadsheets. The software used is Microsoft Excel. The unit also identifies key features of the Internet which are of importance in a business computing environment.

Networks and Databases

The purpose of this unit is to expose students to commonly used databases. Students will be familiarised with the fundamental terminology, components and uses for computers and computer systems. This will include computer hardware, software and operating systems. After completing this unit, the student will be familiar with the basics of using a computer and how a database operates.


How Markets Work

This unit examines the study of economics including an examination of the problem of relative scarcity, choice and opportunity cost; the production-possibilities curve; and productive efficiency. An examination of alternative economic systems follows.

The interactions of j s and households are discussed in this unit with a view to introducing the concepts of demand and supply. Both of these concepts are examined in some depth with emphasis on the laws of demand and supply, with movements along each of the curves distinguished from shifts of the curves.

The price mechanism is discussed in terms of how market equilibrium is achieved and resources are consequently allocated. Shortages and surpluses are identified as well as the impacts on markets of maximum and minimum prices; sales taxes and subsidies.

Organisation of Markets

This unit introduces students to the theory of the j rm and decision-making by the j rm. It distinguishes between the economist's concept of proj t and the accountant's concept of proj t. It examines the product curves and cost curves and their derivation from the product curves.

This unit focuses on structure, conduct and performance under:

  • Perfect competition
  • Monopoly
  • Monopolistic competition
  • Oligopoly.

This unit also examines a few types of anti-competitive behaviour and the impact on efficiency in the market. It examines the reasons for government intervention on the grounds of efficiency where public goods and externalities exist.

Macroeconomics in a Global Economy

The goal of the study of macroeconomics is to explain and influence the pace of economic growth, fluctuations in economic activity, unemployment and inflation. We examine how government can take advantage of the multiplier process to design countercyclical policies to stabilise economic activity. Finally, international trade theories based on absolute and comparative advantage will be examined.


Oz: The Land and Its People

Students will study the history and current issues faced by indigenous Australians and explore elements of the broader Australian culture. They will engage with a variety of texts in order to enhance their English language proficiency and academic literacy skills. Through this study, students will gain an understanding of their people who have historically inhabited Australia and its present inhabitants.

Theme: Conflict and Power

Participants will complete a thematic study over a 10-week period where they address abstract concepts and gain experience in reading, writing, discussing and critical thinking regarding ideas, texts, symbols and illustrations. This study ensures a departure from a purely functional approach to language and brings a very strong conceptual and contextual focus to their study and use of English language.

Teachers choose one theme for the unit to study from the four currently offered. The themes are: courage and endurance; multiculturalism and diversity; change and development; conflict and power.

Prerequisite: EL1: Oz: The Land and Its People.

Information and Cultural Literacy

Students will study various communication models and critically analyse their application in today's ever changing technological world. Through extensive research students will develop an understanding of cross cultural and intercultural theories.

Standard UWAFP Prerequisite: EL2 Theme: Conflict and Power

Intensive UWAFP Corequisite: EL2 Theme: Conflict and Power

Information Literacy

Students will complete a research project over a ten week period. The specific subject for the project will be developed by the participant, based on the topic set by the teacher.

Participants will have the opportunity to receive guidance in the early part of the project by submitting a research proposal, an annotated bibliography and a draft report for teacher and peer evaluation. Participants will also have the opportunity to present the scope and content of their research to the entire class in the form of an oral presentation. Finally, participants will participate in a presentation and discussion series during the course, related to the course research topic.

Prerequisite: EL3: Information and Cultural literacy

University Project

In this unit, participants will conduct a 5-week research assignment on their proposed course of study at university, to build subject specific knowledge and language, and to ensure correct university course choice. This will focus on the university course content, reading lists, texts and journals, subject specific language and a comparative study of the same course at a different university. Participants will also develop higher-level academic skills, including strategic decision making skills, question analysis, critical analysis and creative thinking skills, and understanding and describing information in data, statistics, graphs and charts. Finally, there will be a focus on argumentative or expository essay writing.



This unit studies the form and structure of Perth and the processes shaping the city, and investigates planning strategies/issues for Perth and one other capital city. This unit also studies the distribution of the world's population; how populations vary in different parts of the world; how and why the world's population is changing in number; how and why governments are trying to influence these changes and to investigate aspects of population migration.

  • This unit also includes:
  • Map interpretation skills
  • Urban planning
  • Population characteristics
  • One day field trip.

Economic Systems

This unit will analyse how either agriculture or industry choose locations, and how this is changing; how and why how economic activity is becoming ever more global in scale; how agricultural or industrial activity affects the environment and the importance of sustainability. Students will also study how economic development varies in different parts of the world, and within countries; how the process of development changes over time; how globalisation impacts upon development in different parts of the world and upon the environment. This unit also includes:

  • Map interpretation skills
  • Location of mining/farming industry
  • Economic development and globalisation
  • One day field trip.


This unit studies how the earth's atmosphere is heated, and how the unequal heating leads to pressure differences, movement of the air and different weather systems; how people influence weather and climate, and how weather hazards influence people the dynamics of ecosystems at different scales; how different ecosystems can offer opportunities and challenges for people and the biosphere; managing impacts. This unit also includes:

  • Map interpretation skills
  • Atmospheric systems and the water cycle
  • Ecosystems as dynamic systems in the biosphere
  • One day field trip.

Global Literature

Creative Images of the World

This course is for participants with a special interest in literature and literary criticism. It is designed to engage participants in the careful reading and analysis of imaginative literature. Participants can deepen their understanding of the ways in which language is used to provide both meaning and pleasure, through the close reading of literary texts from a global perspective. Participants will analyse a range of forms and stylistic elements of these texts and respond personally, critically and creatively to them. The course aims to equip participants with some of the fundamental tools of literary analysis as well as provide background knowledge for the further study of literature, or other areas in the disciplines of Humanities, Communication and Business at university level.

Analysing the World through Words

This course is for participants with a special interest in literature and literary criticism.Whilst the course will generally cover themes, genres, time period, and social contexts from a global perspective, it will focus deeply on analysing human thought (perception, motivation, relation), and social issues (racism, feminism, economics). Participants will analyse a range of forms and stylistic elements of literary texts and respond personally, critically, and creatively to them. The course aims to equip participants with not only tools for literary analysis, but also the ability to extract meaning from sophisticated syntax, and to learn to infer information about audience and purpose. In this way, participants will be prepared to interpret complex messages that are encountered in areas of Law, Business, Humanities and the Media disciplines at University level.


History – The Cold War

This unit is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills which would be considered appropriate for articulation into undergraduate courses in History at The University of Western Australia. This unit will focus on issues of world conflict and conflict resolution within the context of the Cold War.

Immigration History of Australia

This unit is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills which would be considered appropriate for articulation into undergraduate courses in History at The University of Western Australia. This unit will focus on the social, economic and political shaping of the Australian nation through its history of immigration.

Human Biology

Control and Coordination

This unit explores the operation of these two systems and how both systems cooperate to provide the body's internal communication. Also covered in this unit is the structure and function of the specialised receptors for vision, hearing and balance, smell and taste.

Regulation and Defence

In this unit you'll learn how humans adjust to changing environmental conditions thus maintaining relatively constant chemical and physical conditions around the cells (homeostasis). For the cells to operate properly the body also has to resist many organisms and chemicals that could damage tissues. This ability is called immunity, and is also covered in this unit.


Marketing Management

This unit is an introductory unit in the study of Marketing. Students are introduced to marketing and the significance of marketing to sales. Included in the unit are components of consumer behaviour. Students use marketing tools such as SWOT analysis and marketing plans.

Marketing Research

This unit is an introductory unit in the study of Marketing. Students examine the importance of informed marketing research. This includes the process of segmenting markets prior to sampling and collecting market data.

Developing Products and Promotions Strategy

Developing products and promotion strategy is a unit in which students will learn about the important role of promotion in business. Students will be introduced to new product and service development in business, and they will learn to identify and use different promotional strategies and tools.


Mathematical Techniques

This unit introduces areas of study in geometry, sequences and series, probability and trigonometry. It is suitable for students who only wish to study a variety of mathematical techniques at a less complex level. However it may also form the basis for more advanced work through the additional selection of other Units. Capable students of mathematics may elect to bypass this unit in pursuit of more advanced studies in mathematics.

Predictive Mathematics

This unit introduces statistics, matrix algebra and linear programming models. Students will study: the calculation and analysis of statistics in one and two variables; the properties and applications of matrix algebra; linear inequations and their application to solving optimisation problems; the calculation and analysis of statistics within the context of time series data. Students requiring basic to medium level Foundation mathematics would be expected to undertake this unit.

Mathematical Modelling

This unit introduces work on: functions and their graphs; index and logarithmic laws; solving equations involving indices and logarithms; modelling probability distributions using random variables. Students will study: various polynomial functions, exponential, logarithmic and reciprocal functions with an emphasis on the transformation of functions and the resulting graphs; the basic index and logarithmic laws and how to apply these laws when solving indicial equations; discrete and continuous random variables and their application to various probability models.

Prerequisite: MA2: Predictive Mathematics


This unit introduces trigonometrical ratios in the unit circle; trigonometrical equations and graphs with associated transformations; first principles differentiation and integration and the basic rules of differentiation and integration; the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus; simple applications of differentiation and integration. It provides a vital basic introduction to advanced trigonometry and calculus and is essential for all students wishing to pursue further studies with a mathematical or scientific background.

Prerequisite: MA3: Mathematical Modelling

Applied Mathematics

This Unit introduces advanced techniques of integration and further calculus applications including rectilinear motion; the algebraic representation and manipulation of complex numbers; the geometrical representation of complex numbers; vector geometry and its applications. Students seriously considering career paths with major mathematical and scientific backgrounds should select this Unit.

Prerequisite: MA3: Mathematical Modelling

Media Studies and Communication

Print Media and Advertising

This unit focuses on publishing books and magazines – technology, industry and genres; newspapers – technology, industry and content; technology, industry and genres; media literacy – magazines, newspapers and advertising and media ethics, particularly in journalism; media literacy, and skills using Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium.

TV, Film and Radio

This unit focuses on feature films – technology, industry and genre; movie economics, distribution and ownership – vertical and horizontal integration; television – technology, industry and genre; genre, codes and conventions; censorship and film ratings; children and TV; media impact theories; the media and pro-social and anti-social behaviour; media literacy; and image capture and movie editing skills using AdobeDesign Premium.

Online and Global Media

This unit focuses on the Internet – technology, industry and content; communications infrastructure – technology and industry; global media – news, advertising, music, film, television and the Internet, international regulation; media literacy; and basic website design and construction using Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium.

Prior Knowledge: There are no specific prerequisite subjects for this unit. In order to succeed, students are expected to have a broad knowledge of and interest in contemporary media genres across print, visual, audio and online media. Higher than average competence in English at Year 11 is beneficial as range and accuracy in English is essential in media professions.


Everyday Philosophy

This unit is designed to provide students with an understanding of various movements in philosophy throughout history. The course is arranged thematically and is designed to engage students interest and to encourage success by studying what various philosophers have had to say about "everyday" aspects of life.

Moral, Social and Political Philosophy

This unit is designed to provide students with an understanding of the different conceptions of moral, social and political philosophy. In particular, students will examine; theories of moral philosophy, utilitarianism, and the notions of right and wrong; identity, finitude and alienation; positive and negative notions of freedom.



This Unit introduces the mechanics of Waves and their application to Sound and Light. Reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference are all covered. The aim is to ensure a significant understanding of the concepts involved and to provide basic quantitative exploration of fundamental formulae.


This unit introduces the mathematics of linear motion, the cause and effect of motion, work and energy, circular motion and gravitation.

This includes:

  • Kinematics
  • Dynamics
  • The concepts of momentum, energy, work and power
  • The study of the fundamental force of gravity.

Electricity and Magnetism

This unit introduces the concepts underlying the electrical technology which has had an immense effect on everyday life since its introduction in the nineteenth century. It covers the fundamental concepts of electricity, magnetism and electromagnetism and introduces the quantitative formulae which transform the concepts into everyday applications. The treatment of material in this unit is such that significant understanding of the underlying concepts is expected. Where applicable quantitative analysis will complement the understandings gained. Assessments will reflect an equal balance of conceptual understanding and mathematical application.

Here are the recommended units of study for the UWAFP Standard, Intensive and Extended programs:

UWA Degree

Compulsory units

Recommended subject areas

Other subject areas to consider

Arts (including humanities & comms)

All English units

1 Broadening unit


Global Literature


Media & Comms





All English units


1 Broadening unit




Computer Science

All English units

1 Broadening unit


Computer Science


Media & Comms

All English units


1 Broadening unit




Human Biology

Science (Engineering Science)

All English units




1 Broadening unit

Computer Science Biology
Haven't decided yet?

All English units

Please highlight any UWA degree major that may be of interest to you and we will confirm if any prerequisite may exist.

Select units from subject areas that you may find of particular interest or suit your career pathway.

*Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics and Physics majors have additional prerequisites

What is a Broadening unit?

To effectively prepare students for UWA and to encourage a broader style of learning in UWAFP, all students are required to study at least one Broadening unit from the following subject areas: Geography, Global Literature, History, Media and Communication or Philosophy.

Sample unit enrolment: Standard UWAFP student

This example is for a student interested in studying Commerce at UWA:

Term 1

10 weeks - 4 units

Term 2

10 weeks - 4 units

Term 3

10 weeks - 4 units

Term 4

10 weeks - 4 units

Oz: The land and its people Theme: Conflict and power Information and cultural literacy Information literacy
Mathematical techniques Predictive mathematics Mathematical modelling Marketing research
Classification and presentation The accounting records Management accounting, planning and control Macroeconomics in a global economy
How markets work Organisation of markets Print media and advertising Networks and databases

Key = Compulsory units / Elective units

ASK will expose you to a range of learning skills that can be transferred and applied to other units of study across a range of courses. Using relevant theory and applied activities, you will examine your personal learning styles and will be introduced to essential academic writing and oral communication practices, critical thinking, note taking, referencing conventions, effective teamwork skills, information technology systems and time management.

ESK will focus on Generic skills required of all graduate employees such as; ability to work in a team, business/commercial awareness, communication skills, interpersonal skills, the ability to plan, organise and prioritise work, problem solving skills, “digital” skills. It will also look at specific skills required for your chosen career (e.g. Law – ability to reflect critically, Media Studies – creative, innovative and imaginative skills.)

ESK will make you aware of your own strengths and weaknesses in context of career ambition and help to improve your personal presentation in the workforce (CV, digital footprint, personal statements, and interviews).

Please note that you must pass both units in order to progress to your undergraduate degree UWA.

This Program identifies six academically able students each year early in their Foundation Program and provides them with the opportunity to study an appropriate Level 1 UWA unit concurrently with the balance of their UWAFP studies.

This Program applies to all students entering the UWAFP. Students are eligible to enter if, during their first one or two terms of study, they:

  • achieve an overall average of 80% or more;
  • achieve an average of 55% or more in all English units;
  • are formally recommended by a College Faculty;
  • are subsequently selected by the Director of Academic Programs.

One student from each of the three College Departments (English/Humanities, Maths/Science, Business/IT) will be selected.

The two UWA intakes per year will enable six students to access this opportunity annually.

Throughout the program, your achievement is carefully monitored.  You will be given regular feedback on your progress and written reports will be provided after each 10-week term.

Assessment is based on:

  • 50% coursework (which may consist of tests, assignments, and  practicals)
  • 50% final examination  (subject to moderation by UWA)

Assessment for University entry

Entry to The University of Western Australia will be based on two separate results:

  • A letter grade for English
  • A course average score, calculated across your best 10 remaining units - this will include prerequisites required for your intended degree major

Assessment of English Language

You are required to complete four English units in both the Intensive and Standard UWAFP. English language proficiency is assessed within the program and you will be awarded a grade between 'A' and 'E'.

The 'C+' grade is the minimum required for entry to The University of Western Australia.

Assessment of the UWAFP Course Average Score

You are required to complete an additional 12 units in Standard UWAFP or 11 units in Intensive UWAFP. The final Course Average Score will be a cumulative average percentage based on the best 10 units completed.  All prerequisites must be included in this score.

A Course Average Score of 66% is the minimum grade required to enter the following UWA degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Design
  • Bachelor of Science

A Course Average Score of 80% is the minimum grade required to enter the following UWA degrees:

  • Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)

In 2014:

  • 90% of students received an offer to UWA
  • 96% of UWAFP students were offered a tertiary place (Including Diplomas and Certificates)
  • Students in the intensive programs (October and April) produced outstanding results with 98% achieving grades required to enter UWA
  • Students also received offers from Curtin, Murdoch, ECU, Monash, UNSW and Melbourne universities
  • The most popular undergraduate degree was Bachelor of Science, with 55% of students wishing to study the Engineering Science Major

Our top ten students from 2014 achieved the following grades:



Overall final score

Final English score

Degree Aim

Graduating Cohort

CHIU Kim Fung (Paul) Hong Kong 93 66 Bachelor of Science (Pharmacology) June 2014
CHEN Yiping China 93 79 Bachelor of Science (Engineering) June 2014
SISWANTO Kevin Theodore Indonesia 91 81 Bachelor of Science (Engineering) June 2014
LO Wai Mun Elina Singapore 94 83 Bachelor of Arts December 2014
SIVAM RAJAKUMARI ELANGOVAN Amudhini Singapore 94 84 Bachelor of Science December 2014
CHANG Xun Er Joel Singapore 93 86 Bachelor of Science December 2014
JOO Wei jun Malaysia 91 86 Bachelor of Commerce December 2014
SIOW Jia Ying Venice Singapore 91 86 Bachelor of Science December 2014
ROESLIM Fiona Gisela Indonesia 91 83 Bachelor of Philosophy (Commerce) December 2014
DUAN Yiyi China 90 76 Bachelor of Science December 2014

Broadening units

Helping you prepare for the broad style of university education at UWA, you’ll study at least one unit from an area outside of your main subject area on the UWA Foundation Program.

I heard the companies get the students from UWA straight when they graduate, so it’s a really good point to graduate from UWA, especially if you are a good student.

Mohammad from Iran UWAFP

CRICOS codes

UWAFP (Advanced) - 081997A

UWAFP (Extended) - 081998M

UWAFP (Standard) - 081999K


The University of Western Australia Foundation Program (UWAFP) meets the requirements for Foundation Programs and has been registered on CRICOS for delivery in Australia to overseas students. The program provides an academic preparation for students seeking entry to first year undergraduate study or its equivalent.