Admissions explained - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Admissions explained

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 (ATAR/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.

Domestic students with overseas qualifications

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

Current Year 12 applicants

Australian Year 12

Current Queensland Year 12 ATAR eligible students will be considered for an offer based on their ATAR (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).

International Baccalaureate

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' before it is assigned a QTAC selection rank. Students who have successfully completed an IB Diploma may also receive credit towards a USC qualification.

NZ NCEA Level 3

Students who are completing the New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3 will be assigned a QTAC selection rank based on a measure of achievement determined by New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Specified NCEA Level 3 subjects may meet subject prerequisites if a minimum of 20 credit points in relevant NCEA Level 3 subjects have been completed with an minimum grade of 2 (‘Achieved’).

Other qualifications

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 (ATAR/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 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.

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 selection rank for tertiary entrance to most USC programs. All adjustments are applied at QTAC. Applicants may be awarded a maximum adjustment of ten (10) ranks across all USC adjustment schemes.

Refer to Access USC for more information.

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 a selection rank, who received a selection rank 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).

Additional criteria

In addition to the ATAR/selection rank, the following applies:

Undergraduate Education programs require completion of a satisfactory personal statement.

Undergraduate Nursing programs require completion of an Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) declaration.

Additional information
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.

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 Session 8 and Semester 1 generally commence in August/September. Offers for Semester 2 generally commence in April/May.

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?

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