Media releases

Uni study trends for 2024

19 Oct 2023

HEALTH continues to dominate the number one spot as the favoured field of study among early bird applicants according to new data released by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Society and Culture also holds its spot in second place.* A breakdown of first preferences by field of study, with a comparison to last year’s data, is below.

Statistics based on the preferences of more than 62,800 early bird applicants show that 25.7 per cent listed a Health course as their first preference, while 20.6 per cent listed a Society and Culture course as their first preference.

A jump down to preferences for the next category, Management and Commerce, reflect ongoing trends for UAC applicants, also noted in Andrew Norton’s recent report, ‘Mapping Australian Higher Education 2023’, with health-related courses having gained significant enrolments over business-related courses since 2001.#

A number of key statistical charts for this year, including gender, age and field of study analyses, can be found on UAC’s website. The table below shows fields of study selected by applicants as their first preference.

Field of study by first preference at early bird closing^

Field of study Percentage of first preferences 2023 Percentage of first preferences 2022
Health 25.7 26.2
Society & Culture 20.6 21.3
Management & Commerce 12.3 11.3
Natural & Physical Sciences 9.7 9.7
Engineering & Related Technologies 9.4 8.9
Creative Arts 7.0 7.1
Education 4.8 5.5
Information Technology 4.7 4.5
Architecture & Building 4.3 4.1
Agriculture, Environmental & Related Studies 1.1 1.0
Mixed Field Programs <0.5 <0.5
Food, Hospitality & Personal Services <0.5 <0.5

* Society and Culture includes areas of study commonly taught in arts faculties (philosophy, politics, history, sociology and languages), law, psychology, social work and counselling, and economics.

#Mapping Australian Australian Higher Education 2023’, Andrew Norton, ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, 2023.

^ 30 September.

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For further information (media only) email or contact:
Diane Jardine, Communications Coordinator, UAC on 0436 459 603, or
Kim Paino, Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer, UAC on 0409 155 112.