Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) will be the only public exam in Hong Kong for senior secondary education. By 2012, HKDSE will replace HKALE.

The University of Western Australia welcomes applications from students who have completed the HKDSE program. To be admitted to the University, you must:

  • satisfy the University's English language competence requirement by satisfactory performance in one of the English subjects detailed in the table below
  • achieve a sufficient number of points to be offered a place
  • satisfy any prerequisite subject requirements for your chosen course and major

Minimum entry scores

HKDSE students must meet equivalent entry standards to other applicants. The following table provides an overview of the points considered equivalent to various Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks.

HKDSE Points ATAR equivalent
15 80
20 96
22 98
23 99


  1. The Diploma must include 4 core and at least 2 elective subjects.
  2. Elective subjects must be either Category A or Category C subjects.
  3. Ranks on the HKDSE are calculated on the basis that:
    • 5**=6, 5*=5.5, 5=5, 4=4, 3=3, 2=0, 1=0 for Category A subjects, or
    • A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1 for Category C subjects.
  4. Aggregate is calculated using the best 4 Category A or Category C subjects
  5. At least three scores must be achieved at Level 4 or higher (L4 = A-Level ‘D’).
  6. The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority is the awarding body for the Diploma.

Equivalent subjects

The following table shows HKDSE subject equivalents to WA Certificate of Education courses, which will satisfy course and major prerequisites.

2016 onwards
HKDSE Equivalent
English/Literature English ATAR/Literature ATAR Core English Language - minimum Level 4; or Literature in English elective - minimum Level 3.
Mathematics 2C/2D Mathematics Applications ATAR Core Mathematics - minimum Level 3
Mathematics 3A/3B Not Applicable Core Mathematics - minimum Level 3
Mathematics 3C/3D Mathematics Methods ATAR Extended Mathematics Module 1 (Calculus and Statistics) - minimum Level 3
Mathematics: Specialist 3C/3D Mathematics Specialist ATAR Extended Mathematics Module 2 (Algebra and Calculus) - minimum Level 3
Chemistry 3A/3B Chemistry ATAR Chemistry elective [1] - minimum Level 3
Physics 3A/3B Physics ATAR Physics elective - minimum Level 3 or Physics component within the 'Combined Science" elective - minimum Level 4


[1] The Chemistry component within HKDSE Combined Science is NOT sufficient to satisfy UWA's prerequisite for Level 1 Chemistry units.