University Pathway

If you don’t meet the entry requirements to get into the course you want in Australia, there are a number of common programs that Australian Universities recognise as Pathways (or guaranteed entry) into Undergraduate study. This might include studying in an Australian School, taking English Language Preparation or studying a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course. Another Pathway is Foundation Studies - one-year intensive preparatory courses available through the majority of institutions. These will give you the skills you need to enter an undergraduate (Bachelor Degree) course.

The most common University Pathways for international students are:

Aus university pathway1
Aus university pathway table1

Secondary School

After graduation from secondary school in Australia, students receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) if located in VIC, NSW, ACT, SA & WA or an Overall Position (OP) if located in Qld.  The student can then apply to university if they have obtained the required ATAR or OP rank (among other entry requirements).  The student may begin their university course the following year or defer.

If the student does not receive the desired rank or university entry requirements; or, would prefer to study a university preparation course, other options are available, including completion of a foundation course or TAFE diploma/advanced diploma prior to admission into university.

Foundation Studies (pre-university preparation)

Foundation studies (or pathway studies) provide students with an opportunity to prepare for university in Australia.  Classes are taught in English and students are offered a variety of subjects and disciplines, specifically tailored towards university study.

Completion of foundation studies with successful results helps towards guaranteeing a place in the first year of undergraduate studies at university level.

The university foundation program, is an intensive, focused program which guarantees entry to the university upon successful completion.

“A guaranteed place at the University of your choice”

If the student meets the necessary grades and any additional requirements, they will receive an offer of a place in the undergraduate course of their choice at a partner university.

The foundation course is suitable for:

  • Students looking for the best preparation program to the top universities in Australia
  • International students who do not meet the entry requirements for undergraduate degree study

Entry into the Foundation programs is based on proficiency in English and academic performance.

TAFE / College

TAFE and College institutes deliver a wide range of courses that can assist the student to gain entry into university with very competitive advanced standing or credit transfers.

TAFE and College is a great option if the student is aiming to enter university because:

  • TAFE and College courses provide an industry focused pathway to further study if the student does not meet university entry requirements
  • TAFE offers smaller class sizes with extra English and academic support
  • The student may have the opportunity to work part-time while completing the degree
  • Completion of a TAFE and College course means the student will have a reduced study load, course duration and fees when they enrol into a university degree
  • On completion of TAFE and College and university the student will have two qualifications that are attractive to employers in the job market

The table below describes several pathways for commerce students to reach university.

Aus university pathway 

Aus university pathway table3

Options may include:

  • Complete Year 11 and 12 in an Australian secondary school or college, move into first year Bachelor of Commerce at university level (if meet entry requirements)
  • Complete a Foundation program (popular for international students), move into first year Bachelor of Commerce at university level (if meet entry requirements)
  • If the student does not meet the desired entry requirements for university after having completed Year 11 and 12 or a Foundation program (of if they are not confident they will meet the university entry requirements), then the student might like to consider applying for a Diploma of Commerce at TAFE or College. There are many TAFEs and Colleges affiliated with specific Universities, and usually, if the student studies a diploma they can move directly into second year university . The table above illustrate that if a student completes a Diploma of Commerce at TAFE or College level, they can move into the second year Bachelor of Commerce at university level. This is a very popular pathway which is less expensive and less time-consuming if the student doesn't meet university entry requirements at the beginning.

Other popular university pathway colleges in Australia

Aus university pathway2

Aus university pathway table2

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