How to apply with the work and life experience pathway
Follow this step-by-step guide to find out how you can use your previous work and life experience as part of your application.
1. Check your experience and skill level
When you apply at a state tertiary admissions centre such as VTAC, QTAC or UAC, you will have the opportunity to use your work, life or service experience.
If your experience is eligible, the TAC will allocate you a selection rank on the basis of your skill level and/or length of service.
You must have been in paid employment for a minimum of six months full-time (or equivalent) to be eligible for a selection rank based on employment experience.
This might be continuous employment with one employer, or periods of employment doing the same job with different employers.
You will need to provide a statement of service from your employer about the role performed and the length of time you have been employed.
If you were self-employed or had periods of self-employment, you must provide a statement from your accountant, solicitor or tax agent confirming the role performed and the duration you were self-employed in this role.
Know your skill level
You can determine your skill level by visiting the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) for reference.
Visit the ANZSCO website
2. Consider the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)
If you are 21 years or older and have no formal education qualification, you should consider sitting the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT).
The test is multiple choice and low results are ignored, so there’s no downside or risk for your application chances.
You register and sit your test through your local state Tertiary Admissions Centre.
Learn more about the Special Tertiary Admissions Test
3. Consider a pathway course
If you’re a domestic student, you can also consider applying for one of our pathway courses.
These courses are very accessible. If you haven't got an ATAR, or your ATAR isn't what you were hoping for, you can apply to study a Foundation Course. Our other pathway courses usually require a secondary school certificate, relevant work experience or a history of community engagement.
Apply directly to ACU for any of these pathway courses. Successful completion of most of these courses will put you in advance standing for one of our undergraduate degrees.
Learn more about these courses – including descriptions, entry requirements and applying directly to ACU – by choosing the specific course page from the list below:
4. Mention any defence force service
If you served in the defence force, the Tertiary Admissions Centre will assign your application a selection rank based on your defence force rank – such as private, corporal or sergeant – and your time in service.
You will need to mention your employment in the defence force as part of your application, as well as provide evidence.
Proficiency and prerequisites
Depending on your rank and time served, you may still need to provide evidence of your English proficiency.
Your experience also can’t be used for any other subject prerequisites.
If you have defence force experience but no other formal qualifications, we encourage you to sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) – especially if you were ranked private, corporal, lance corporal or equivalent.
Read about the Special Tertiary Admissions Test
Alternatively, you can complete a VET or bridging course of certificate IV level or above.
Find out more about our in-house VET provider, ACU College, and available courses
5. Start your application
When you know what experiences and/or tests you’ll be providing with your application, it’s time to start applying.
You can read our guide to applying for an undergraduate course — including what else you’ll need to provide and any other entry requirements — by visiting our how to apply section.
Start your application for your undergraduate course
Alternatively, if you’re sure you have everything you need to get your application underway immediately, visit the relevant Tertiary Admissions Centre:
Need help? Contact us
Come talk to us at AskACU or student support if you need any help with the work and life experience pathway. We’re happy to point you in the right direction.
Search our FAQ knowledge database
Call us on 1300 275 228.
Contact the friendly team at international student support