How to get into uni, no matter what your score
If you’re worried that you won’t be eligible for your preferred university course, don’t panic. That’s why there are admission pathways. They provide alternative options if you didn’t get the score you need, haven’t done the prerequisites, or don’t meet some other requirement. Here are some of the most common admission pathways to get into your dream course.
Think along the same lines
If you don’t think you will be eligible for the course you’ve got your eye on, don’t stress. One option is to enrol in a similar degree and then transfer to your preferred choice later. For example, if you don’t think you’ll meet the entry requirements for the Bachelor of Education (Primary) or the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary), the Bachelor of Educational Studies is an excellent alternative pathway. And as you’ll receive credits for most if not all completed units, it won’t take you any longer to complete your degree. Of course, this is still subject to meeting progression and non-academic requirements. Alternatively, if you want to broaden your options, complete a Bachelor of Arts first before enrolling in a Master of Teaching (Primary) or Master of Teaching (Secondary).
It is important to note that transfers are based on academic merit, and can be very competitive (especially for courses such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech pathology) so it’s a good idea to talk to the university before you take this approach.
Look at different locations
ACU has campuses in Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, North Sydney, Strathfield and Melbourne, and selection ranks can vary between locations. This means if you’re set on a particular degree but don’t get the marks to study at your preferred campus, you may be able to enroll at a campus where it has a lower entry score, and then transfer to your preferred location later on. For potential nursing students, for example, the selection rank is lower at our Ballarat Campus than in Melbourne. Start your degree there and then if you get good results in a certain number of units, you could potentially switch to the Melbourne Campus the following year.
Consider admission pathways
Admission pathways are an excellent first step towards a bachelor degree – think associate degrees, advanced diplomas, diplomas or certificates – and doing well in these courses will boost your chances of being admitted into a degree later on. Obtaining Recognition of Prior Learning could also get you credit once you’ve been accepted into a corresponding degree. Admission pathways are available to students individually and through our formal partnership agreements with education institutions such as TAFE. Some of our agreements include guaranteed entry and/or credit for Vocational Education and Training (VET) studies.
Explore entry programs
Some universities offer different entry programs which will consider a range of factors when you apply for your course – such as volunteer work or passion for the field. As an added bonus, a lot of these programs will also reward you with an early offer to study at the university, so you’ll know well ahead of the crowd if you’ve been accepted into a course.
At ACU, we offer a range of these schemes, including the Community Achiever Program, Passion for Law Program and Passion for Business Program.
Put it down to experience
If you are 21 years or older, your work experience can potentially be converted into a selection rank that opens the door to a bachelor degree. For this option, you’ll need to confirm you’ve been employed for at least six months full-time (or equivalent). Your rank will be based on criteria such as your skill level associated with your employment and how long you’ve been in the role for. Also, keep in mind that your work doesn’t have to relate directly to the field of study you’re interested in. Once you’ve begun your degree, your work experience could even provide you with credits for your course.
Consider sitting a STAT
Another one for those who finished Year 12 a while ago is the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). If you are over 21 years old, it’s is a great option if you have no formal educational qualifications and you’re applying to university on the basis of alternative entry or mature age qualifications.
The STAT is a two-hour, multiple choice, aptitude test that helps you demonstrate your potential for tertiary study. It’s widely accepted and used by many Australian institutions – so there’s a good chance a STAT result will improve your chances of selection for your course. Also, low STAT results are ignored, so sitting it can only be an advantage to your application.
All states and territories regularly hold STAT tests. In NSW and Queensland, you can register to sit the next test in your state or territory through your relevant Tertiary Admissions Centre (UAC or QTAC), and in Victoria you can register through ACER.
Learn more about STAT
Learn more about our range of alternative entry options.
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