Getting into uni in 2021 and beyond | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Getting into uni in 2021 and beyond

The Queensland secondary education system is changing. This means that some parts of tertiary entrance will also change, but some things will stay the same.

In 2020, the Overall Position (OP) was replaced by the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and changes to the curriculum mean that some senior subjects will also change.

The Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) will calculate ATARs. Check the QTAC website for details about the ATAR and to learn how it will be calculated.

Each university will have their own policies for how VET and other qualifications will be considered for entry, which subjects will meet subject prerequisites, and how adjustment factors will be applied. Make sure you check with each institution you are thinking of studying with.

VET qualifications

Do I have to have an ATAR to get into USC from 2021?

No, there are many pathways to study at USC.

What VET qualifications will be accepted?

USC will accept the following AQF qualifications: 

  • Certificate III (completed)
  • Certificate IV (completed)
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma 

We will not accept: 

  • Certificate I or II
  • Incomplete Certificate III or IV 

We’ll assign a selection rank if you have completed a Certificate III or Certificate IV or if you have completed at least one semester of a Diploma or Advanced Diploma.

The selection rank that we assign is different to the calculation of your ATAR, which can include one VET qualification at AQF Certificate III or higher.

What are the selection ranks for completed VET qualifications?

Currently USC allocates the following selection ranks for completed Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) qualifications (either competency based or with a GPA of 4.0 for graded qualifications): 

  • Certificate III – 68
  • Certificate IV – 74
  • Diploma – 82
  • Advanced Diploma – 91 

Selection ranks can be higher or lower for graded qualifications depending on your GPA, or how many courses you have done if you have an incomplete Diploma or Advanced Diploma.

Will selection ranks change in 2021?

The selection rank will be decimalised in 2021 just like an ATAR. For example, the current selection rank of 82 will become selection rank 82.00 in 2021.

How minimum selection thresholds for programs are determined will not change. Thresholds are determined by the number of places in a program, the number of applicants for the program and the academic standard of those applicants. Thresholds can change from year to year. USC will no longer publish an OP threshold from January 2021.

I have an ATAR and a VET qualification, how will I be assessed for entry?

QTAC will calculate your ATAR and you will be assigned a separate selection rank for your VET qualification. Your application to study at USC will be assessed for entry on whichever is higher.

Other qualifications

Will Performing Arts qualifications be accepted?

Yes, we will assign a selection rank if you have completed certain Performing Arts qualifications at a minimum of seventh grade, including AMEB and Trinity College qualifications.

Will my IB qualification be accepted?

Students with a complete IB Diploma will receive a selection rank from QTAC that can be used to gain entry.

Incomplete IB qualifications and Career-related Program will not receive a selection rank. Students with an incomplete IB or a Career-related Program will need to gain entry through another pathway such as VET or the Tertiary Preparation Pathway.

Early Offer Guarantee

Will the Early Offer Guarantee Scheme still be available?

Yes, Year 12 students will still be able to apply for an early and guaranteed offer prior to completing school through the Early Offer Guarantee Scheme.

School subjects

Which new Queensland senior subjects will satisfy USC prerequisites?

Current Authority (OP) subject

2021 General (Qld ATAR) subject

English (4, SA)

English or Literature or English and Literature or English as an Additional Language (Units 3 & 4, C)

Maths A, B or C (4, SA)

General Mathematics or Mathematical Methods or Specialist Mathematics (Units 3 & 4, C)

Maths B (4, SA)

Mathematical Methods (Units 3 & 4, C)

Biology (4, SA)

Biology (Units 3 & 4, C)

Chemistry (4, SA)

Chemistry (Units 3 & 4, C)

Physics (4, SA)

Physics (Units, 3 & 4, C)

An Authority Science (4, SA)

One of Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Marine Science, Physics or Psychology (Units 3 & 4, C)

Health Education or Physical Education (4, SA)

Health or Physical Education (Units 3 & 4, C)

What does (Units 3 and 4, C) mean?

In order to meet a subject prerequisite, you must complete both Unit 3 and Unit 4 of the subject and exit with a grade of C or better in that subject.

Adjustment Schemes

Will the Access USC adjustment schemes still be available?

The Access USC adjustment schemes will continue in 2021 and beyond and provide the same selection rank adjustments to eligible students.