Headstart Program | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Headstart Program

Headstart challenges motivated Year 10 - 12 students with university-level learning, giving you the opportunity to advance your study skills and gain credit towards a UniSC degree. You can pursue a subject of interest, experience life as a uni student and enhance your academic skills as you blend high school learning with university study.

The benefits

Expand your knowledge, develop your academic skills
and interact with university staff and students.
Gain credit towards a UniSC degree

Ease your study load by up to four courses (maximum of one course per semester) when you enrol in a related UniSC program after high school. This means, you'll have fewer subjects to complete to get your degree.

Prepare for university

When you enrol in your university degree you'll be well prepared having already completed study at this level.

Plus, you'll have made connections with UniSC's support services, staff and students - which means you've already hit the ground running toward success at university.

Save money

UniSC subsidises the cost of Headstart, decreasing the overall cost of your degree. Your first subject is free, and further subjects at a reduced rate.

If you choose to study more than one Headstart subject, the fee is $400 per additional subject. Scholarships are available to eligible applicants to cover this tuition fee.

Broaden your education

You can select a Headstart subject in an area not offered by your school, that extends on your favourite subject at school, or use it as an opportunity to try out future career choices.

Enhance your school performance

Many of our Headstart students, including Dana Larkin, found that studying at a more advanced level can improve your performance at school as you'll be learning new academic skills and will have access to extra study resources.

Gain QCE points

Completed university courses can contribute toward your QCE. One semester counts for 2 credits.*^

* The required standard of achievement is a grade of 4 on a 7-point scale, or a Pass grade.

^ Headstart does not contribute points towards other state senior certificates.

Adjustment factors

Students who successfully complete a UniSC Headstart course will receive a subject bonus adjustment (1 rank per course) to be applied to their ATAR score or selection rank under the Access USC scheme.

Choosing a course

Choose from a wide range of subjects.

How to apply

Follow our simple 3-step application guide to apply for a Headstart program.

Headstart key dates

Key dates for Headstart students

What to expect

University is different from school. When you are in Headstart, you become a university student, studying alongside UniSC undergraduate students.

Meet Headstart students

Kiah Vescovi

"I learned how to manage my time wisely by creating weekly goals, and how to find resources if I needed help."

Petra Nunn

"Headstart teaches you how to balance school, study, part-time work and other interests and manage your time. Being 16, I didn’t really have those skills until going to USC.”

USC Journalism student Liam Bland from interning at the ABC studios in Maroochydore
Liam Bland

"During the first few weeks of my Journalism degree, I felt much more confident. Knowing how to write and reference tertiary-level assessments was a great advantage."

Kelsey Hyra
Kelsey Hyra

"Headstart is a great opportunity to see if university is something you want to consider doing even if you are not sure."