These programs focus on enabling students from targeted groups to enter university. They provide non-traditional pathways to study at ACU. Traditionally, universities use the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or Overall Position (OP) to rank and select school leavers for admission to tertiary courses. In contrast, the programs listed below offer students the opportunity to gain entry to the ACU in ways that do not depend solely on the ATAR/OP attained.

Access programs aim to:

  • Provide academic support to assist students to develop higher order numeracy and literacy skills necessary for successful university entrance
  • Offer a range of pathways into university other than by the traditional ATAR entry mode
  • Provide opportunities for all those despite their educational background, aspire to higher education

We collaborate with high schools to deliver the below Access programs:

Writers' Workshop

A series of two, one-day academic skills workshops, focussing specifically on the development of writing skills for Year 12 students. Workshops will cover such topics as improving clarity of expression, improving and developing revision techniques and analysing and answering past paper questions.

Offered to: Year 12

Making Maths Work

A series of two, one-day academic skills workshops conducted in the school holidays at the end of Term 2 and Term 3. Workshops aim to support and encourage participation in the study of mathematics and to assist students to optimise their maths grades to enhance university entrance. Workshops include consolidation of knowledge in areas such as Statistics, Calculus, Trigonometry and Probability.

Offered to: Year 12

Uni Step-Up

Secondary students are offered the chance to undertake a selected range of first year university units of study. Units of study available and how they are delivered vary according to state.

Currently, courses are available in the areas of Education, Health Science, Exercise Science, Arts and Business.

Students who successfully complete their chosen unit of study, and who choose to enrol in a related ACU undergraduate degree course will receive credit points towards that degree. If students enrol in another university it will be at the discretion of that university to award credit.

Offered to: Year 11 & 12 (Qld). Year 12 (Vic, NSW)

More information on Uni Step-Up

More information on Step-Up Into Teaching (SUIT)

Education Reconnect

The two categories of Education Reconnect are as follows:


This program is targeted at students who have achieved an ATAR but for a particular set of circumstances have not been able to start a university degree. This program enables students to stay connected to university without a full time load or financial commitment. They are offered a university unit which can be credited to their degree when they commence full time study.

It is also possible for a student to enter ACU through ACUcom. Courses offered by ACUcom will provide a pathway into a degree course where if certain standards are met, units studied will be credited to a particular degree.


This program targets people who have not achieved an ATAR. They may have worked for some time, may have done a non university course and now wish to pursue a degree. These people are required to submit a CV, are interviewed by the Equity Pathways Officer on the campus, are required to submit academic transcripts of other courses completed (TAFE Cert 111 and Cert 1V courses) and are required to nominate three referees. The Equity Pathways officer considers the material and the process of notifying the faculty begins. If agreed by the faculty a direct offer is made.

It is also possible for a student to enter ACU through ACUcom. Courses offered by ACUcom will provide a pathway into a degree course where if certain standards are met, units studied will be credited to a particular degree.

Offered to: All

Come to Dinner (C2D)

An event hosted by ACU whereby Indigenous secondary school students and ACU Indigenous staff and students are invited to sit down to share a formal dinner together.

Secondary school students will be provided with the opportunity to listen to presentations from ACU Indigenous staff and students, and will have the chance to engage in conversation with these university representatives about university life.

ACU Indigenous students will be trained as mentors to assist their effective interactions with secondary school students.

The goals of this program also intersect with those of ACUgate's Awareness and Aspirations programs.

Offered to: Indigenous secondary school students

Principal's Recommendation Program (PRP)

This program is offered to partner schools and identifies students who have experienced educational disadvantage.

In consultation with the principal, Equity Pathways and the relevant Faculty a student is recommended for entry to an ACUaccess or degree program.

The student is required to participate in ACU Smart and is supported by an academic skills advisor throughout their first year.

Offered to: Year 12

Principal's Recommendation Program (PRP) application


Students wishing to enrol at ACU who do not have sufficient prerequisites to start a degree course have pathways options that include Diploma courses and VET courses offered by ACUcom.

Offered to: Early school leavers and students with ATARS below entrance requirements