Admissions explained

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Admissions explained

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General admission information

To be eligible for admission to a USC program, you are required to satisfy all entry requirements. These requirements include an age requirement, English language proficiency and, for most programs, subject prerequisites and an entry score (OP/selection rank).

Some programs have additional program-specific entry requirements. You can find this information on your chosen course's webpage.

Admissions criteria

Select from the below options for information on how your application will be assessed.

Applicants with higher education study

If you have undertaken previous recognised higher education level study (eg AQF Bachelor degree level and higher) this will be assigned a selection rank based on the level, duration and Grade Point Average (GPA) of the study.

If you have several selection ranks calculated (eg ranks based on Year 12 results, VET study, higher education study, employment), you will generally be considered on the highest rank.

You are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the program you are applying for. This will be satisfied by successful completion of Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent). Any additional entry requirements must also be satisfied.

Applicants with a completed bridging or enabling course

USC accepts a number of other tertiary preparation, bridging and enabling and foundation programs offered by higher education providers across Australia. This will be assessed on the basis of the Grade Point Average (GPA) achieved and the duration of study.

If you have several selection ranks calculated (eg ranks based on year 12 results, VET study, higher education study, employment), you will generally be considered on the highest rank.

You are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the program you are applying for. This will be satisfied by successful completion of Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent). Any additional entry requirements must also be satisfied.

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study

Competency-based and graded AQF Certificates III and IV (completed), AQF diplomas and sub-degree level study (based on level, duration, Grade Point Average (GPA)) will be assigned a selection rank.

If you have several selection ranks calculated (eg ranks based on Year 12 results, VET study, higher education study, employment), you will generally be considered on the highest rank.

You are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the program you are applying for. This may be satisfied by successful completion of Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent).

Subject prerequisites are not generally able to be met through Certificate-level study.

Any additional entry requirements must also be satisfied.

Current Year 12 applicants

Current Queensland Year 12 OP-eligible students will be considered for an offer based on their OP (or other recognised qualifications undertaken while at school).

Current Queensland Year 12 students who are ineligible to receive an OP will be assigned a QTAC selection rank based on this study and will be considered for an offer based on this selection rank (or other recognised qualifications undertaken while at school).

Current interstate Year 12 students will be assigned a selection rank based on their ATAR and will be considered for an offer based on this selection rank (or other recognised qualifications undertaken while at school).

Current International Baccalaureate (IB) students will be assigned a selection rank based on the score from the completed IB Diploma. As agreed by admissions centres around Australia, the IB score is converted to a 'combined rank'. The combined rank is on the same scale as the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank). This is then converted to QTAC selection rank. IB Diploma students will be considered for an offer based on this selection rank (or other recognised qualifications undertaken while at school). Students who have successfully completed an International Baccalaureate Diploma may receive credit towards a USC qualification. The amount of credit is determined on a case by case basis.

Other recognised qualifications completed when at school such as completed competency-based and graded AQF Certificates III and IV (completed), diplomas, higher education study, and some creative arts qualifications (in the areas of music, dance, and speech) will also be assigned a selection rank.

You are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the program you are applying for. This will be satisfied by successful completion of Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent). Any additional entry requirements must also be satisfied.

Applicants who completed Year 12 (within the past two years)

Year 12 results (OP/selection rank) do not expire once you have left school. Whether this result is considered for an offer to a course will depend on whether you have additional qualifications (including other recognised qualifications completed while at school or post school).

This includes formal qualifications such as Senior External Examination results, higher education study (e.g. Bachelor degree level and higher), VET study such as competency-based and graded AQF Certificates III and IV (completed), diplomas and sub-degree level study and bridging and preparation courses. Other post-secondary professional and paraprofessional qualifications (including some creative arts, language and civil aviation qualifications, and professional registrations) and defence force service will be also considered.

You may also use such as employment experience and the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) (age restrictions apply).

If you have several selection ranks calculated (eg ranks based on year 12 results, VET study, higher education study, employment), you will generally be considered on the highest rank.

You are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the course you are applying for. This will be satisfied by successful completion of Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent). Any additional entry requirements must also be satisfied.

Applicants who completed Year 12 (more than two years ago)

Year 12 results (OP/selection rank) do not expire once you have left school. Whether this result is considered for an offer to a program will depend on whether you have additional qualifications (including other recognised qualifications completed while at school or post school).

This includes formal qualifications such as Senior External Examination results, higher education study (eg Bachelor degree level and higher), VET study such as competency-based and graded AQF Certificates III and IV (completed), diplomas and sub-degree level study and bridging and preparation courses. Other post-secondary professional and paraprofessional qualifications (including some creative arts, language and civil aviation qualifications, and professional registrations) and defence force service will be also considered.

You may also use admission pathways such as employment experience and the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) (age restrictions apply).

If you have several selection ranks calculated (eg ranks based on Year 12 results, VET study, higher education study, employment), you will generally be considered on the highest rank.

You are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the program you are applying for. This may be satisfied by successful completion of Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent).

Applicants with work and life experience

Post-secondary professional and paraprofessional qualifications and service will be considered including:

  • some creative arts, language and civil aviation qualifications
  • memberships of professional associations for which qualifying exams are undertaken
  • police, defence and emergency services experience

You may also use admission pathways such as employment experience and the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) (age restrictions apply). STAT results are not accepted for current Year 12 students or for applicants under the age of 18. STAT is not accepted for graduate entry programs.

If you have several selection ranks calculated (eg ranks based on Year 12 results, VET study, higher education study, employment), you will generally be considered on the highest rank.

You are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the program you are applying for. This will be satisfied by successful completion of Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent). Any additional entry requirements must also be satisfied.

Bridging and enabling course entry
Tertiary Preparation Pathway

USC’s Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in undergraduate degree studies. TPP provides a pathway to a degree program. Upon successful completion of TPP you will be assessed on the basis of your Grade Point Average and the number of TPP units you have completed.

Tertiary Support Option

USC’s Tertiary Support Option (TSO) assists undergraduate students to successfully progress in their studies. It uses Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP) units to assist students to gain the academic skills and knowledge to become more effective learners. Students can be enrolled in a TPP unit(s) alongside units required for their undergraduate program, with the Tertiary Support Option appearing on their academic transcript as a separate course heading. Grades for TSO units will not count towards a student’s undergraduate program Grade Point Average (GPA).

OP/selection rank related adjustments

USC encourages participation from eligible applicants who have experienced educational disadvantage and/or who have excelled in academic and sporting endeavours. Eligible domestic students applying for undergraduate programs are eligible for adjustments to be applied to their OP score or selection rank for tertiary entrance to most USC programs. All adjustments are applied at QTAC. Applicants may be awarded a maximum adjustment of three (3) OP scores or six (6) ranks across all USC adjustment schemes.

Current Year 12 applicants
QTAC Educational Access Scheme

The QTAC Educational Access Scheme (EAS) is for current and former students who experience difficult circumstances that adversely impact on their studies. Applicants can apply for EAS as part of their QTAC application. Applicants assessed under the Educational Access Scheme will be eligible for adjustments of up to six (6) ranks or three (3) OP scores.

Note: The QTAC Education Access Scheme adjustment is not applied to the Bachelor of Medical Science.

Regional Preference Adjustment

The Regional Preference Adjustment is awarded to applicants who reside in one of the following local council areas or in regions classified as “outer regional”, “remote” or “very remote” under the Australian Standard Geographical Remoteness Classification (ASGC):

  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council
  • Fraser Coast Regional Council
  • Gympie Regional Council
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Noosa Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • South Burnett Regional Council

Applicants assessed under the Regional Preference Scheme will be eligible for adjustments up to two (2) ranks or one (1) OP score. Applicants do not need to apply for the Regional Preference Adjustment.

Note: The Regional Preference adjustment is not applied to the Bachelor of Medical Science.

Disadvantaged School Adjustment

Applicants who are current school leavers from a school that has been designated as disadvantaged will be awarded an adjustment of one (1) OP score or two (2) ranks. Applicants do not need to apply for the Disadvantaged School Adjustment.

Note: The Disadvantaged School adjustment is not applied to the Bachelor of Medical Science.

Smith Family Adjustment

Applicants who are participants in the Smith Family Learning for Life program will be awarded an adjustment of one (1) OP score or two (2) ranks. Applicants indicate that they are participants in the Smith Family Learning for Life program through the Educational Access Scheme section of their QTAC application.

Note: The Smith Family adjustment is not applied to the Bachelor of Medical Science.

Elite Athlete Adjustment

USC welcomes elite athletes and aims to accommodate the demands of their sport in relation to study. USC has a Centre of Excellence in the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, accredited by the National Sport Science Quality Assurance Program (NSSQA).

In order to be eligible for this adjustment the applicant must be:

  • recognised by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) or professional players’ association
  • a member of a national senior squad from an Athlete Career and Education (ACE) support sport
  • in a state or national level squad in open or age level competition
  • in a state or national level development squad
  • a coach or referee within national or international level competitions.

Applicants who are elite athletes may be awarded an adjustment of up to three (3) OP scores or six (6) ranks. QTAC applicants apply for the scheme with their QTAC application; other applicants should apply directly to USC for this scheme. Note: Application for any related elite athlete scholarship schemes are made directly to USC For more information visit Access USC.

Note: The Elite Athlete adjustment is not applied to the Bachelor of Medical Science.

Year 12 Subject Adjustment

Current Year 12 school applicants who have completed either Queensland Mathematics C or a Language other than English (LOTE), or the International Baccalaureate or interstate equivalents, will be awarded an adjustment of one (1) OP score or two (2) ranks. Applicants do not need to apply for the Year 12 Subject adjustment.

Note: The Year 12 Subject Adjustment is not applied to the following programs: Bachelor of Medical Science, Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Science (Honours) Deans Scholars and Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Accelerated).

Non-Year 12 applicants
QTAC Educational Access Scheme

The QTAC Educational Access Scheme (EAS) is for current and former students who experience difficult circumstances that adversely impact on their studies. Applicants can apply for EAS as part of their QTAC application. Applicants assessed under the Educational Access Scheme will be eligible for an adjustment of up to six (6) ranks.

Regional Preference Adjustment

The Regional Preference Adjustment is awarded to applicants who reside in one of the following local council areas or in regions classified as “outer regional”, “remote” or “very remote” under the Australian Standard Geographical Remoteness Classification (ASGC):

  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council
  • Fraser Coast Regional Council
  • Gympie Regional Council
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Noosa Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • South Burnett Regional Council

Applicants assessed under the Regional Preference Scheme will be eligible for an adjustment of up to two (2) ranks. Applicants do not need to apply separately for the Regional Preference adjustment.

Elite Athlete Adjustment

USC welcomes elite athletes and aims to accommodate the demands of their sport in relation to study. USC has a Centre of Excellence in the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, accredited by the National Sport Science Quality Assurance Program (NSSQA).

In order to be eligible for this adjustment the applicant must be:

  • recognised by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) or professional players’ association
  • a member of a national senior squad from an Athlete Career and Education (ACE) support sport
  • in a state or national level squad in open or age level competition
  • in a state or national level development squad
  • a coach or referee within national or international level competitions.

Applicants who are elite athletes may be awarded an adjustment of up to six (6) ranks. QTAC applicants apply for the scheme with their QTAC application; other applicants should apply directly to USC for this scheme. Note: application for any related elite athlete scholarship schemes are made directly to USC. For more information visit Access USC.

Other admission pathway options
Headstart program

Headstart is a transition program that allows Year 11 and 12 students to study USC undergraduate courses on the university campus while still completing high school. Students who successfully complete two (2) Headstart courses will be awarded a selection rank based on their Grade Point Average.

Students are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the program they are applying for. This may be satisfied by successfully completing Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent). Any additional entry requirements must also be satisfied.

Students may receive credit for Headstart study towards a USC qualification. The amount of credit is determined on a case by case basis.

Early Offer Guarantee

The Early Offer Guarantee enables Year 12 students to be offered an early place at USC prior to the release of Year 12 results. Offers are made to students in November based on the recommendation of their School Principal. Offers into programs with subject prerequisites are conditional on the student successfully meeting the required prerequisites.

Indigenous Direct Entry and Access Scheme (IDEAS)

Applicants who identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person may be admitted to a program based on their potential to succeed through the Indigenous Direct Entry and Access Scheme. This scheme is for people who may not have received an OP, who received an OP that does not meet the entry requirement for their chosen program, or who might not have completed Year 12. Applicants are considered on past experience in relation to study and employment, as well as potential to successfully complete university studies. Community involvement, past achievements or awards and current employment information are also considerations. Applicants who are eligible to apply through IDEAS will be provided with either direct entry to a suitable program, or a place in the Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP).

Applicants are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the program they are applying for. This may be satisfied by successfully completing Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent).

Criteria that may apply in addition to OP/selection rank

Undergraduate Education courses require completion of a satisfactory personal statement.

Additional information
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Applicants who identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person may be admitted to a program based on their potential to succeed through the Indigenous Direct Entry and Access Scheme. This scheme is for people who may not have received an OP, who received an OP that does not meet the entry requirement for their chosen program, or who might not have completed Year 12. Applicants are considered on past experience in relation to study and employment, as well as potential to successfully complete university studies. Community involvement, past achievements or awards and current employment information are also considerations. Applicants who are eligible to apply through IDEAS will be provided with either direct entry to a suitable program, or a place in the Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP).

Applicants are also required to meet relevant subject prerequisites for the program they are applying for. This may be satisfied by successfully completing Senior secondary subjects (or equivalent).

Inherent Academic Requirements

Inherent Academic Requirements (IAR) are the fundamental skills, capabilities and knowledge that students must be able to demonstrate in order to achieve the essential learning outcomes of the program, while maintaining the academic integrity of that program. To successfully complete a program at USC, you need to be able to meet all the Inherent Academic Requirements. When applying for a program, you should read the IAR statement carefully to ensure you are able to meet them. If you have a disability or chronic health condition, contact USC AccessAbility Services to talk about the adjustments that may be put in place that may enable you to meet the requirements. Visit Inherent Academic Requirements for more information.

Domestic students with overseas qualifications

Domestic students with overseas qualifications should contact USC for information on how their qualifications will be assessed for entry.

English language proficiency

USC requires students to demonstrate that they can speak, write, read and comprehend English to a specified standard. Visit English language requirements for information, including ways to demonstrate English language proficiency.

How to apply

Domestic students applying for undergraduate study apply through QTAC.

International students studying Year 12 in Australia apply through QTAC.

All other international students visit How to apply for international students.

Applicants for the Master of Teaching (Primary) and Master of Teaching (Secondary) apply through QTAC. All other postgraduate applicants visit Postgraduate applications.

Enrolment
Timing of offers

USC makes year-round offers for most programs. Offers for Semester 3, 2018 will commence in August 2018. Offers for Semester 1, 2019 will commence in October 2018. Offers for Semester 2, 2019 will commence in March 2019.

Offers

QTAC applicants are notified of their USC offer by email and must respond to their offer online by the due date. Applicants accepting their offer can find enrolment information via a link in their QTAC application.

Deferment

You can defer most USC undergraduate programs or the Tertiary Preparation Pathway for up to two years.

Applicants offered a place in the Bachelor of Medical Science can apply for a one-year deferment.

You cannot defer postgraduate programs.

For more information visit How to defer.

Credit transfer

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit. For more information visit Credit for prior learning.

Fees and charges

For information on fees and charges visit What will I pay?

Where to get more information
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