Pathways to university

Most institutions offer pathway options and entry schemes for applicants who don't meet the standard entry criteria for their courses. Read the institution profile pages for details.

University non-degree courses

If you successfully complete a non-degree course, such as foundation studies, a preparatory course, or a certificate, diploma or associate degree course, a university may guarantee you entry into a particular degree course. Otherwise, you can use your non-degree studies to apply and compete for admission to other degree courses. You may also be awarded credit for some studies undertaken in your non-degree course.

Some institutions may offer you a place in a lower-level course if you’re not eligible or competitive enough to receive an offer to the course to which you’ve applied. These are known as ‘slipback offers’ and are released up to two days after scheduled offer rounds. You can access them in the same way as standard offers. 

UNIVERSITY PREPARATION COURSES

Tertiary preparation courses are designed for applicants who haven't completed Year 12 or who aren't attempting Year 12 this year. These courses help you to become proficient in the skills that you will require to succeed in your bachelor degree, such as essay writing and research.  

Minimum age requirements usually apply and the length of these courses differs between institutions. Most universities will consider the tertiary preparation courses offered by other institutions. You are strongly advised, however, to check this with each university.

TAFE and private college courses

Institutions may take into account completed TAFE or private college qualifications: Certificate IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Associate Diploma and Associate Degree. Check with the university as to which level of qualification will make you competitive for admission into a bachelor degree.

You can also study a tertiary preparation course at TAFE; for example, TAFE NSW offers a Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation, which covers study skills as well as subject-specific content.

Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)

If you have no formal qualifications on which to base your application to a tertiary institution, you may be eligible to be considered for entry to a course by sitting STAT. Institutions will consider your results in addition to any other information available when assessing your application.

STAT is a series of tests designed to assess a range of competencies considered important for success in tertiary study. It assesses your ability to think critically and analyse the material given, rather than testing your knowledge of specific academic subjects. There are two versions of STAT: Multiple Choice and Written English.

In NSW and the ACT, STAT is managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Dates, fees, locations and booking information for STAT test sittings in NSW/ACT can be found on the ACER STAT website. Also check whether an institution will accept STAT for the course you are considering, and which STAT versions you need to sit, by contacting the admissions office at the relevant institution.