A NSW Government website
Assessment Certification Examination (ACE)
NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)

Pattern of study for Higher School Certificate Science

ACE 8006

Last Updated: 2 April 2019

Science courses Pattern of study requirement
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Environmental Science
  • Investigating Science
  • Physics

A student may count up to six units of Science in Year 11 and seven units of Science in Year 12.


  • Science Extension
Any one of, or combination of, Year 11 Science courses are a prerequisite for entry into Science Extension in Year 12. Students must continue studying at least one Science course in Year 12 while studying Science Extension.
  • 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 two units of study in Year 11 and Year 12. Students can complete one of, or any combination of, Science Life Skills courses to contribute up to six units of study towards their Year 11 or Year 12 pattern of study. Science Life Skills courses will not provide entry into the new Science Extension (Year 12) course.