How to get into uni: know your options

If you’re worried that you won’t be eligible for your preferred university course, don’t panic. That’s why there are pathways.


They provide alternative options if you didn’t get the score you need, haven’t done the prerequisites, or don’t meet some other requirement. Here are some of the most common pathways to get into your dream course.

Think along the same lines

If you don’t think you will be eligible for the course you’ve got your eye on, don’t stress. One option is to enrol in a similar degree and then transfer to your preferred choice later. For example, if you don’t get into the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary), you could apply for the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth to Five), which doesn’t require as many prerequisite subjects for entry, and then apply to transfer after a year. And as you’ll receive credits for most if not all completed units, it won’t take you any longer to complete your degree. Alternatively, if you want to broaden your options, complete a Bachelor of Arts first before enrolling in a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood and Primary).

Location, location

ACU has campuses in Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, and offer many courses at multiple sites. This means if you’re set on a particular degree but don’t receive an offer at your preferred campus, you may be able to apply and enrol at another campus, and then transfer to your preferred location later on. For potential law students, for example, the selection rank is lower at our Melbourne Campus than in North Sydney. Start your degree in Melbourne and then if you achieve a score equivalent to the lowest ATAR offered in North Sydney, in a certain number of units, you could potentially transfer to the Sydney campus the following year.

Move in the right direction

Pathway programs are an excellent first step towards a bachelor degree – think associate degrees, advanced diplomas, diplomas or certificates – and doing well in these courses will boost your chances of being admitted into a degree later on. Obtaining Recognition of Prior Learning could also get you credit once you’ve been accepted into a corresponding degree. Pathways are available to students individually and through our formal partnership agreements with education institutions such as TAFE. Some of our agreements include guaranteed entry and/or credit for Vocational Education and Training (VET) studies.

Put it down to experience

If you are 21 years or older, your work experience can potentially be converted into a selection rank that opens the door to a bachelor degree. For this option, you’ll need to confirm you’ve been employed for at least six months full-time (or equivalent). Your rank will be based on criteria such as your skill level associated with your employment and how long you’ve been in the role for. Also, keep in mind that your work doesn’t have to relate directly to the field of study you’re interested in. Once you’ve begun your degree, your work experience could even provide you with credits for your course.

Head here to learn more about our range of alternative entry options

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