BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW

Data Science UNSW - Fact Sheet

You must be wondering what a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions is like at UNSW! 

Not sure if this degree is suited towards you? 

Keep reading to find out about the types of units you take, the course culture, the classes, internships, clubs and societies!

What is a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW?
Core Units and Majors
How to Get into a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW?

A Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions is a relatively new degree at UNSW. It’s a combination of maths, computer science, business and economics, so you really dip your toes into a variety of areas that involve data science. 

Data Science as a degree is directed towards statistics and graphs, whereas the Decisions side of the degree is more focused on the economic aspect.

Data Science UNSW - Student Quote


There are three Honours pathways that you can follow for a fourth year of study after completing a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW.

Honours PathwayDescription
Science (Honours)Within Science (Honours) there are a number of specialisations you can select, ranging from Marine Science to Genetics and everything in between!
Economics (Honours)In Economics (Honours) you can choose to specialise in either Economics or Econometrics.
Computer Science and Engineering (Honours)For this Honours program you can specialise in Computational Biology or Computer Science, focusing on computing in the industry and in commerce.

Career Paths

Being a degree that involves new technological skills, particularly in coding and programming, there are various career paths you could follow with a degree in Data Science and Decisions at UNSW. Some of these include:

    • Data Scientist (of course!)
    • Forecast Modeller
    • Data Analyst
    • Research Scientist
    • Reporting Analyst
    • Database Administrator
    • Data Engineer and Developer
    • Machine Learning Engineer

Core Units and Majors

What are the Core Units?

Some of the core units you will take throughout the first couple years in a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW are maths subjects which vary depending on whether you completed 3 or 4 unit Mathematics in high school. 

You will also complete Computer Science subjects which involve programming fundamentals (COMP1511) and data structures and algorithms (COMP2521). DATA1001 is focused on providing a holistic introduction to Data Science at UNSW. 

Microeconomics in ECON1101 is also part of this Data Science degree at UNSW as it covers various aspects of data, across a number of faculties. Alongside these core units, you have the opportunity to complete electives of your own choice from any other faculty, or other general education subjects!

What are the Majors?

There are three majors/specialisations that you can choose from within Data Science and Decisions at UNSW:

Quantitative Data Science

In this major you would focus on methods to understand and analyse data from a mathematical standpoint. Compared to the other majors, Quantitative Data Science is considered more broad in terms of where in the industry it can be applied.

Business Data Science

This major is more focused on the mathematics and statistical side of businesses, honing in on econometrics and economics. The data that you work with in this major is more about customers, online research and audience analysis. 

Computational Data Science

This major focuses on organisational methods for working with data for various types of firms. It focuses on helping companies and organisations improve through data analysis and interpretation.

So, you would take electives that cover the specialisation of your choice, however you won’t need to decide straight away! This choice is generally made after the second year. 

Internships and Exchange Opportunities

Internships and work placements are part of your third year in Data Science and Decisions at UNSW, and is an accredited internship within the Science Faculty. 

Exchange opportunities are also available within Data Science and Decisions at UNSW with certain universities overseas. For instance, UNSW has exchange opportunities with NYU (New York University), however this is only for business units.

There are also exchange opportunities available in Berlin for digital programming. You can search different exchange programs here!


How to Get into a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW 

A Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW requires an ATAR of 95 for guaranteed entry.

This is definitely not the easiest ATAR to achieve, so there are other ways you can work towards entry for this degree, such as Adjustment Factors and the ACCESS Scheme!

Assumed Knowledge

Although there are no prerequisites for this degree, it is assumed knowledge that you have completed at least 3 units of Mathematics (Mathematics Extension 1) in high school. While it isn’t compulsory to have studied this subject, it’s important to keep in mind that the content will be delivered in a way that assumes students have this level of understanding. 


Specific to Data Science at UNSW, the Co-Op Scholarship program is a great opportunity if you are interested in gaining more industry training and having more work experience. You can find out more about the Co-Op Scholarship here!

There is also a School of Mathematics and Statistics, Data Science and Decisions Scholarship of $5000 to support female high school leavers in UNSW, completing a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions. You can explore this scholarship in more detail here!

What’s the Teaching Format?

At UNSW, teaching takes place across 3 terms, or trimesters. A full-time student normally completes 8 subjects across all 3 terms. This is usually in the format of 3 subjects in Term 1, 3 subjects in Term 2 and 2 subjects in Term 3 — however this order is up to you depending on what works best for your timetable! 

Class Structure

Data Science UNSW - Class Structure

For maths you have a tutorial, with about 30 students and one tutor, alongside a lecture with up to 400 students in it, because many degrees take these math units. 

Economics holds tutorials and lectures similar to maths, however tutorials generally have two tutors. Workshops are also provided as an optional class for students to book in with teachers. 

Computer Science has slightly smaller tutorials followed by a lab, of about 15 students, directly after, where you pair up with a peer to complete questions together. 

How much time do you spend at uni?

You can expect to have at least 15 to 20 contact hours a week depending on whether you’re doing 2 or 3 subjects in that term/trimester. 


Assessments in a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW consists of mostly exams and weekly quizzes. You have very few group projects and assignments.

For Maths, Computer Science and Data you get a final end of term exam. Weekly quizzes and smaller sets of questions are common for Computer science to test newly learnt skills.

Although you don’t get many assignments, you can expect one in Maths and Data, where you’re tested on formatting, how you write questions, and how you explain them. 

Skills That You Develop

Data Science UNSW - Skills

Data Science and Decisions at UNSW is a degree that covers various areas of data science, as mentioned earliereconomics, business, science and maths. As a result, you gain an incredibly wide pool of skills! 

More specifically, you learn a number of coding languages and how to operate maths calculators. 

    • MySQL (system software)
    • C (programming language)
    • R (programming language)
    • Maple (math software tool)

Interested in the pros and cons of this degree? Check out our article here!

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

For first year students, a peer mentoring program is available at UNSW in the Data Science Society, which helps build a supportive environment!

“The social life at UNSW is really great.” — Himashri 

The Computer Science Faculty is considered very friendly, fun and engaging. The Maths tutors are mostly older students in their final years of studies, whilst Economic tutors are usually older teachers. 

Clubs and Societies 

“Although Data Science and Decisions is in the Science Faculty, it incorporates economics, maths and business, so I can join those societies too.” — Himashri 

There’s a long list of clubs and societies that you can join if you’re studying a Bachelor of Data Science and Decisions at UNSW. Some societies, related to Data Science at UNSW, which you might find interesting are:

“We went in the Accenture office at Barangaroo and talked to the people that worked there. It was a really cool experience for a lot of us to network with the people there.” — Himashri 

Mentoring and Support Programs

As for support programs, there are peer sessions and zoom calls organised for first year maths subjects, where older students in the degree can help you understand content and give you the opportunity to ask questions in smaller groups. 

There was also a mentoring program in semester one which was run by the Data Science Society, giving you the opportunity to meet with other first year students in your course! 

“The societies help with learning, the maths societies have a lot of resources and detailed answers that helped me a lot when studying for exams because they do it very clearly.” — Himashri 

Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.  


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