Admission criteria

Pathways to university and entry schemes

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 consider 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 (otherwise known as the Tertiary Preparation Certificate), which covers study skills as well as subject-specific content.

Skills for 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.

Entry schemes

The Educational Access Scheme (EAS) helps UAC applicants who have encountered significant educational challenges. It gives them the opportunity to have their circumstances taken into account when institutions select applicants for courses.

To apply for EAS you must be able to demonstrate that, as a result of circumstances beyond your control or choosing, your studies were negatively affected during:

  • Year 11 and/or Year 12


  • the period in which you gained the qualifications you are using to seek admission to an undergraduate course.

You must also be:

  • a UAC undergraduate applicant
  • an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident of Australia (including a holder of an Australian permanent resident humanitarian visa).

International students cannot apply for EAS.

The Schools Recommendation Scheme is one way institutions make early offers of undergraduate admission to Year 12 students. They do this by using criteria other than (or in addition to) the ATAR.

To apply for SRS you must be a current Year 12 applicant who is attempting one of the following:

  • an Australian Year 12 qualification
  • an International Baccalaureate in Australia.

You must also be:

  • a current UAC applicant for undergraduate admission
  • an Australian or New Zealand citizen, a permanent resident of Australia or the holder of an Australian permanent resident humanitarian visa.

Most institutions have a range of entry schemes that you can apply for directly via their websites (eg for First Nations applicants, and elite athletes and performers). You can read about these schemes in the institution entries.