Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to these procedures and are critical to its effectiveness:
Quota means the number of places available for students to commence study in a particular study period.
Year 12 means the final year of Secondary Schooling in the Queensland School System or equivalent.
2. Purpose of procedures
These procedures provide a set of principles and minimal requirements for determining admission to coursework programs of the University.
They apply to all staff and students enrolled in, or proposing to enrol in, coursework programs of the University, and agents and partners of the University.
In the case of applicants for End-on Honours or Embedded Honours (Differentiated Pathway), please refer to the Bachelor Honours Degree – Procedures for specific admission criteria and offer processes.
These procedures do not apply to applicants for higher degrees by research. Please refer to the Higher Degrees by Research Candidature - Procedures.
3. Application for admission
Applicants seeking admission to a program at the University must submit an application as published on the USC website.
The Director, Student Services and Engagement or nominee has authority to determine prescribed application methods and requirements for domestic students to coursework programs offered by the University.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Quality) or nominee has authority to determine application methods and requirements for international students to coursework programs offered by the University.
Appropriate guidelines for confirming the veracity and authenticity of academic qualifications and supporting documents must be implemented.
Applications received after designated closing dates will not be accepted unless there are exceptional circumstances.
4. Entry requirements – award programs
The entry requirements for all award programs are approved by Academic Board as part of the program’s accreditation process.
To be eligible for admission to an award program an applicant must:
(a) satisfy any prerequisite requirements
(b) satisfy the minimum English language proficiency requirements
(c) satisfy any special selection criteria
(d) achieve the admission level as determined by the University for the specified program in the specified teaching period, teaching location, attendance mode and liability category.
(e) be at least 17 years of age or have completed Year 12 or equivalent for domestic applicants or be at least 18 years of age for International applicants.
5. Special criteria for admission
For specified programs, selection for admission may be based on special criteria in addition to standard admission requirements.
Special criteria may include:
(a) performance in an audition
(b) presentation of a folio of creative work
(c) attainment in specialised tests
(d) responses in an interview
(e) demonstrated achievement of specified vocational or professional standards.
The details of the special criteria, whether the criteria will be used in combination with standard admission criteria or in place of standard admission criteria, and the way in which the criteria are used to select applicants to receive an offer, are approved by the Academic Board as part of the program accreditation process.
6. Competitive admission for postgraduate programs
Where the number of applicants for admission to a postgraduate program has exceeded, or is expected to exceed, any quota approved for that program, applicants will normally be selected on academic merit, based on a Grade Point Average (GPA) calculated on the applicant’s performance in the qualification identified in the program’s entry requirements. If the program leads to a recognised professional qualification then prior work experience may also be taken into account.
7. Supervision and resources
In selecting applicants for admission to any program with research or project components, consideration will be given to the availability of an appropriate supervisor and/or the necessary resources to undertake research or project work when this is integral to the coursework program. An application for admission may be rejected on the grounds of the inability of the University to provide suitable supervision or resources.
8. Exceptional Cases and Special Offers
Provision is made to admit individual persons who may not meet the standard admission criteria but, on the basis of other considerations, are persons who have a high probability of success in university study and whose admission is considered to bring benefits to both the University and the applicant. Consideration of exceptional cases must take into account equity considerations in relation to all other applicants.
Applications for admission under this category require the support of the relevant Executive Dean and the Director, Student Services and Engagement or, in the case of international students, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Quality). All such offers require the approval of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
9. Entry Requirements – Special Entry Pathway students
The entry requirements for each Special Entry Pathway must be specified in individual documented Admissions Guidelines as approved by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor or by Academic Board as appropriate. These must stipulate the following:
(a) the criteria and conditions under which special entry is to apply and where these may vary from standard minimum entry requirements
(b) the selection process to be applied
(c) the responsible officer or selection panel with authority for determining the successful applicants for admission under the special entry pathway
(d) any restrictions or requirements for completion of the special entry pathway prior to admission to an award program
(e) the appeal process for unsuccessful applicants.
10. Entry Requirements – Cross-institutionally enrolled students
Students enrolled in an award program at another institution may apply for admission as a cross-institutional student to undertake one or more courses at the University for the purpose of obtaining credit towards the award requirements of their program at their home institution.
To be eligible for admission as a cross-institutional student, an applicant must:
(a) nominate the particular course(s) they wish to undertake
(b) supply evidence of approval of their home institution
(c) satisfy any prerequisite requirements for the course(s) concerned
(d) satisfy the University’s standard or program specific English Language requirements as applicable
11. Entry requirements – visiting students
Students seeking to undertake an individual course or courses from an award program for professional or personal development may apply as a visiting student.
To be eligible for admission as a visiting student, an applicant must:
(a) provide evidence of prior study, qualification and experience to support their application to the University
(b) satisfy any prerequisite requirements for the course(s) concerned
(c) satisfy the University’s standard or program specific English Language requirements as applicable.
12. Entry requirements – study abroad students
International students may apply for admission as a Study Abroad student to undertake one or two study periods at the University. Applications are considered by USC International.
To be eligible for admission as a Study Abroad student, an applicant must:
(a) satisfy any prerequisite requirements
(b) satisfy the University’s standard or program specific English Language requirements as applicable
(c) satisfy any special selection criteria
(d) achieve the required Admission level as determined by the University for the specified program in the specified teaching period, teaching location, attendance mode and liability category
(e) enrol on a full-time basis
13. Auditing courses
In certain circumstances a person may be permitted to audit a course and attend the lectures associated with the course, and may under certain conditions participate in other course activities if the Course Coordinator gives specific permission.
An auditing student does not complete assessment items or examinations, is not awarded a grade and is not entitled to an academic transcript.
A person is not permitted to audit a course unless the relevant Executive Dean has given their approval and provided that a place is available. The attendance of the person must not interfere with the learning activities of the course and pose no appreciable risk.
An auditing student must be formally enrolled and pay the fee as determined. A student enrolled on this basis who then wishes to undertake assessment and/or participate in the full range of learning activities must apply to transfer to a visiting student status and pay the fee determined for a visiting student. Applications to change status must be made prior to the census date for the course.
14. Admission Bonus Scheme
The University is committed to encouraging access and participation to higher education and supports applicants who may have experienced a range of educational disadvantage through the application of an Admissions Bonus Scheme.
Applicants eligible for an admissions bonus may have this added to their Tertiary Entrance Rank or Overall Position (OP) score and/or may be eligible for a forced offer of a place in addition to other specified support arrangements.
Each Admission Bonus Scheme is approved by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and is published in the QTAC Guide and on the University website.
15. Pre-requisite Requirements
Prerequisites are additional requirements an applicant must satisfy to be considered for admission to a particular program. Pre-requisites may include Year 12 subjects completed to a specified level of achievement, or other requirements such as relevant qualifications, experiences, or performance in specified tests.
Fulfilling professional or program requirements such as medical certification or criminal history checks, may also form a pre-requisite for admission to some programs.
For Year 12 subjects used for admission purposes there are three categories:
(a) Specified Pre-requisite: applicants must have completed the specified pre-requisite at the required level of achievement or satisfied the pre-requisite by an alternate means as set out in the relevant admission schedule.
(b) Recommended Study: it is strongly recommended that applicants have knowledge of the subject, but it is not compulsory. An applicant who has not undertaken the recommended study subject is not prevented from receiving an admission offer.
(c) Assumed knowledge: this level of knowledge is assumed in the first year curriculum and is considered necessary for successful first year study. An applicant lacking the assumed level of knowledge is not prevented from being made an offer; however the applicant may be disadvantaged unless they undertake recommended bridging, preparatory or introductory courses prior to or during their first year of study.
Where knowledge on the part of students entering the program is assumed, the University must give clear and constructive advice to prospective students on the nature and extent of disciplinary knowledge that is assumed and how students can achieve the level of knowledge required.
Any pre-requisites for admission to a program must be specified in the program accreditation documentation and approved by the Academic Board and clearly stipulated in all marketing and program advice.
A change in admission pre-requisites for an existing program must be approved by Academic Board on the recommendation of the relevant Faculty, through the accreditation process.
Any change in admission pre-requisites for an existing program that introduces new or higher requirements requires at least two years notice before coming into effect. A change which does not introduce new or higher requirements may be introduced without notice.
16. English Language Proficiency requirements
Proficiency in the English language is required for entry to all programs and courses and any international or domestic applicant from a non-English speaking background must satisfy the University’s standard and program specific English language requirements.
The University’s standard and program specific English language requirements are approved by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor on the recommendation of the Executive Deans, and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Quality). These must be readily available for all students and displayed on the University web site.
Any changes to the University’s standard or program specific English language requirements must allow a sufficient lead time for the entry of students and must be approved through the appropriate channels.
17. Admission quotas
The University may set a quota for the number of commencing students in each study period. Quotas may be set for each program, for groups of programs, and for types of students.
Quotas are approved by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor in consultation with Executive Deans and Heads of School. Quotas may be changed during an admission period to meet University requirements. Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the quota places available, applicants are selected by order of merit on the basis of the approved admissions level and criteria.
Offers of admission to commencing students will specify the particular program and, where applicable, attendance mode, attendance type, campus and major for which the offer is made. Students are required to enrol in accordance with the offer of admission and complete at least the first study period accordingly.
Conditional offers may be made subject to specified conditions being satisfied prior to the census date in the first enrolled teaching period.
The Director, Student Services and Engagement (or nominee) has authority to make offers of admission to coursework programs offered by the University.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor, (International and Quality) (or nominee) has authority to make offers of admission to international students applying for coursework programs.
19. Response to offer
A person receiving an offer of admission must respond to the offer by the due date and by the process specified in the notice of offer. If an applicant fails to respond to the admission offer by the date specified in the notice of offer, the offer will lapse.
An applicant may apply to reinstate a lapsed offer. Approval to reinstate a lapsed offer can only be granted if places are still available in the relevant program and student category.
A successful applicant may accept the offer of a place in an award program but defer enrolment in the program for a specified period. The maximum period of deferment is two years.
Deferment is not available:
(a) to domestic students offered a place in a postgraduate program;
(b) to non-award students, Study Abroad and International Exchange students;
(c) in specific programs where it has been decided that it is not appropriate to offer commencing students the opportunity of deferring their studies. The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor approves the designation of such programs.
At the end of the deferment period, the applicant is guaranteed a place in the program at the location for which the original admission offer was made, providing that the program is available to commencing students in that year. If the program is no longer offered or has been substantially changed, the University is not bound to make an offer into the original program but will endeavour to offer the student a place in an appropriate alternate program.
At various points during the deferment period, the University will contact deferred applicants and advise them of the action required should they wish to take up their deferred place. If the required action is not taken by the due date, the offer of a deferred place will lapse.
An applicant’s deferred place may be withdrawn if they are subsequently excluded from another tertiary institution or if they apply for admission to other programs.
21. Incomplete, inaccurate or fraudulent information
The University reserves the right to withdraw an offer and cancel the enrolment of any person where an offer was made on the basis of incomplete, inaccurate or fraudulent information supplied by the applicant or a certifying authority.
An applicant for admission who is under suspension, exclusion or expulsion on the basis of academic performance, misconduct or disciplinary reasons, from any tertiary institution or program or course, whether in Australia or elsewhere, is required to include all details of the suspension, exclusion or expulsion in their application for admission.
The Director, Student Services and Engagement (or nominee) has authority to withdraw an offer of admission or cancel enrolment where the applicant provides untrue or incomplete information which results in
(a) an advantage to the applicant and/or inequitable treatment of other applicants or
(b) an incorrect assessment of the applicant’s claims against the admissions criteria.
Where an offer has been made on the basis of untrue or incomplete information and the student has partially completed or graduated with an award then the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor shall take such action as necessary to ensure compliance with this and other university policies.
22. Right to cancel programs and to withdraw offers
The University reserves the right to cancel the offering of a program in exceptional circumstances. This decision is made by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, on the advice of the relevant Executive Dean. Where possible this decision should be taken prior to any offers being made into the program and as a minimum at least four weeks before the commencement of the program for that teaching period. Any student impacted by this decision should be contacted by the University and advised regarding their options.
The University reserves the right to withdraw an offer where an offer of place was incorrectly made. Any such decision should take into account equity principles and the amount of time that has elapsed between the admission of the student and the identification of this error.
23. Readmission after exclusion, suspension or expulsion from USC
If an applicant has previously been excluded from the University due to their academic performance, they must seek readmission after exclusion as provided for in the Monitoring Academic Progress and Exclusion – Procedures. This applies whether the applicant is seeking admission to a program they have been previously enrolled in or a different program. Students seeking readmission may be required to demonstrate that any conditions under which they were excluded are no longer applicable.
If an applicant has previously been suspended for academic misconduct, readmission to any program may be subject to the approval of the relevant Executive Dean.
If an applicant has previously been expelled from the University, readmission to any program is subject to the approval of the USC Council.
The Director, Student Services and Engagement (or nominee) has authority to determine all other cases of readmission.
24. Application for admission whilst excluded from another institution
An applicant who has been suspended or excluded from another institution will not normally be considered for admission until their period of exclusion or suspension has elapsed. Such applicants may be required to demonstrate that any conditions under which they were suspended or excluded are no longer applicable. Each application will be considered on its merits. Such a submission will be considered by the Director, Student Services and Engagement (or nominee) and may be referred to the relevant Executive Dean if required.
Applicants who are unsuccessful in gaining admission to the University and who seek to appeal against their admission decision should address their complaint to the Manager, Student Business Services, Student Services and Engagement or, for international students, to the Director USC International. The relevant staff member will review the case and notify the appellant of the outcome of their appeal and the reason for the decision, as soon as possible.
26. Changing programs
A student who is currently enrolled in an Award program and who has not completed the requirements for graduation from that program may under certain conditions apply to change to another program.
Applications to change programs must be lodged by the date prescribed in the University’s Academic Calendar.
To be eligible the applicant must satisfy any prerequisite entry requirements for the program and have an admission level calculated via the relevant Admission Schedule that is at least equivalent to the cut-off score for the program to which transfer is sought in the current admission period.
Applications to change programs require the approval of the Director, Student Services and Engagement, or staff delegated for this purpose following confirmation that there are places available.
Postgraduate students wishing to change postgraduate programs must apply for admission to the new program, and if successful in gaining admission, terminate their enrolment in their current program.
Applications to change programs from students wishing to continue their study through a suite of nested programs is subject to the admission conditions set down in the program requirements approved as part of the accreditation process.
Applications from international students wishing to apply for a change of program need to obtain confirmation from USC International that there are no requirements associated with their student visa.
27. Application for credit transfer
A person having received an admission offer may apply for credit transfer on the basis of prior study or on the basis of relevant skills and experience according to the University policies in relation to Credit Transfer.
28. International students who gain permanent resident status
An international student who gains permanent resident status is able to transfer to a Commonwealth-supported place or domestic fee-paying place, depending on the type of places normally available to domestic students in the particular program. On transfer, the student is liable for the student contribution or tuition fee, as applicable.
If the permanent resident status is granted after the census date of the teaching period, the student remains liable for the international student fee for that teaching period and the change of status will come into effect from the next teaching period in which the student enrols.