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Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

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Choosing what to study

Tips for choosing what to study


Choosing what to study isn’t easy. We completely understand. Here are some practical tips to help you make the right call.

Study what you want

It seems obvious, but when choosing your course preferences you should list the courses you are most excited about. Chances are you’ll encounter a lot of opinions about what you should study, but this is about what you want to study. If you’ve got your heart set on a course, go for it.

Look past the course to the career

There are lots of reasons people go to university. However one of the main motivations is to get the skills you need for a meaningful career – whether you’re launching a brand new one or advancing along an existing career path. Talk to a careers advisor or friends in the industry, trawl career profiles and even consider some online career quizzes. Make sure you look around carefully and choose a course that aligns with your planned career outcomes.

It’s all in the detail

When you’re trying to prioritise a long list of similar-sounding courses, take time to look at the finer details. See if there are opportunities for internships or practical experience, if you’ll be accredited when you graduate, if you can specialise during your course, and what kind of facilities you’ll have access to. You can even check out the specific subjects you will study, and view example timetables.

Get across deadlines and entry requirements

There are a lot of different deadlines for applications and change of preference rounds, so refer to your local tertiary admissions centre (UAC, VTAC or QTAC) for the relevant information, and put it in your diary.

Tips for choosing what to study

Entry requirements also differ between courses, and many have prerequisite subjects that need to be completed before you’re accepted. Others may require an interview or audition. So check the entry requirements for individual courses so that you’re only applying for programs you’re eligible for.

List the courses in order of preference

No matter what ATAR/OP you think you’ll get, you should list your courses in order of preference. So the course you’d most like to study first, followed by the second, etc.

Have a back-up plan

You may have your heart set on one specific course, but you should still list as many courses as you can on your preference list. This should include similar courses with more flexible entry criteria (eg lower ATAR/OP), or courses on different campuses, or with different entry requirements. This gives you options if you don’t get into your first preference, and you can always decline an offer if you get accepted and decide it really isn’t the course for you.  Also, some courses can act as pathways into other programs, so you can use a course with more flexible entry requirements as a stepping-stone into your preferred degree.

Remember, you can change your mind

Don’t stress if you’re not entirely sure about your initial choices. You can change your course preferences until the change of preference closing date.

Ready to explore courses? See what ACU has to offer.

Related stories

Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

Copyright @ Australian Catholic University 1998-2018 | ABN 15 050 192 660 CRICOS Reg: 00004G