Entry Pathways

Pathways to University

There are many preparation and pathway programs that will develop the necessary skills to get you into university.  It doesn't matter whether you have recently completed year 12 and gained an ATAR, have completed alternative studies or have limited previous study experience.  No matter what your background, there is a pathway to UOW for you.


Recent High School Leaver with sufficient results/ATAR

You can apply to University using a previous Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) provided it meets the current minimum ATAR for your chosen course.  To find out more about ATAR requirements for UOW degrees, please see the Course Finder.  Please note, if you are current high school student proceeding to University straight after year 12, you must apply through UAC.  See the High School Students page for more information. 

Alternatively, if you did not gain an ATAR, you can apply using your Year 12 results or an overseas equivalent regardless of when you completed your schooling. Your results will be converted to an ATAR, which must reach the current minimum ATAR for consideration.

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Recent High School Leaver with insufficient results

If you did not achieve sufficient results during year 12 to gain entry into UOW, there are numerous pathways you can undertake to get to University.

UOW College

UOW College offers university preparation programs including the University Entrance Certificate (UEC), a course held over two sessions (14 weeks each) specifically designed to provide the necessary skills for entry to most UOW Undergraduate Bachelor Degrees.

STEP (Special Tertiary Entrance Program) to UOW is a university preparation course for recent school leavers who experienced disadvantage while studying for their HSC.

For more information on UOW College pathway programs please see the UOW College website

Alternate Study

Successful completion of a qualification accredited by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) can be used as basis for entry into most UOW degrees.

UOW College provides AQF qualifications in numerous areas, please see the UOW College website for more information.  Alternatively, students can complete an AQF qualification at TAFE or a registered provider.  Please see TAFE/AQF Qualifications information below.  

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Previous University studies 

If you have previous completed or incomplete university studies from an approved university or other tertiary institution you may be eligible for entry to UOW.  You will need to provide a record of your achievement, and the study must have been at least one-sixth completed. 

In some circumstances you may be eligible for advanced standing (credit transfer) and should therefore provide a syllabus or subject descriptions for previous study. 

All documents must be accompanied by an official English translation if they were produced in another language. For more information contact UOW on 1300 367 869.

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TAFE/AQF qualifications

Qualifications that are accredited by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), such as those provided at TAFE, can be used as a basis for entry to University.  The following qualifications may result in entry to some degrees:

  • Diploma 
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Associate Diploma
  • Level IV Certificate (excluding trade certificates)

Admission is dependent on the completion of the course and the level of academic performance achieved.

In some circumstances, advanced standing (credit transfer) may be granted for AQF qualifications (excluding Certificate IV).  This means that you gain credit towards your university degree resulting in less units of study undertaken to complete your degree. Contact UOW on 1300 367 869 for more information.


Looking for more options? UOW Supported Pathways are designed for students who have completed or who are looking to complete a Certificate IV or Diploma at a UOW partner institution, for info visit UOW Pathways.


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Pathway Programs

For Mature age students with limited previous study

There are many options for Mature age students who do not have a sufficient previous ATAR, years 12 results or who have not completed previous alternative study.  UOW recognises many pathway programs.  So no matter what your age, or previous experience, there is an option for you.    

UOW College

You can guarantee admission to UOW by successfully completing a preparation course through UOW College.

UOW College offers university preparation programs including the University Access Program (UAP), a 14-week course specifically designed for mature-age students. It will:

  • Help you develop effective study habits, including time-management and independent learning skills
  • Familiarise you with the standards expected at university
  • Guarantee your entry into the first year of your nominated UOW degree when successfully completed

 UOW College has flexible study options available, meaning you can take fewer subjects, or a full time study load, take a break between sessions or study right through the calendar year.

The UAP starts in February, June and October.

Note. The UAP does not provide pathways into all UOW degrees, for details on pathways for high demand or high entry requirement degrees please check the UOW College Progression to UOW site.

If you need information on College pathways and progression please contact us on 1300 367 869. 

Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)

You can gain entry to UOW via the two-hour, multiple-choice Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). The STAT assesses a range of skills and knowledge you will need for tertiary study. It is coordinated by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) and held several times a year.

WEA Illawarra has developed a series of workshops to help students prepare for the STAT. For more information please phone WEA Illawarra on (02) 4226 1622.

The STAT is not available to prospective students applying for double degrees in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and The Arts or degrees offered by the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences. Contact UAC on (02) 9752 0200. 

TAFE Tertiary Preparation Certificate

The TAFE Tertiary Preparation Certificate (TPC) is an alternative to undertaking a HSC course. Entry to university is dependent on the level of academic performance achieved in the TPC. For more information, contact your local TAFE

Limited Australian Tertiary Admission Rank 

You can attempt, in one sitting, between five and nine units of board subjects of the NSW HSC through a TAFE college, senior college or secondary school. The score is calculated from the best five units of Category A subjects including at least one unit of English. You must be at least 20 years of age on March 1 prior to the year of entry. For more information contact UOW on 1300 367 869.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Alternative Admissions Program

The Alternative Admissions Program (AAP), administered by Woolyungah Indigenous Centre offers an alternative pathway for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seeking entry into the University of Wollongong’s undergraduate programs.

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 17 are encouraged to apply.

The Alternative Admissions Program also welcomes applicants who:

1.  Haven’t completed secondary school

2.  Are not receiving an ATAR, and

3.  Have not obtained the required ATAR score for their preferred course.

The Alternative Admissions Program involves a two day assessment. Applicants will be asked to complete literacy and numeracy tasks approximately 1 hour each in length. Applicants will also participate in an interview with a representative from the faculty of their nominated course and an Indigenous member of staff. During the interview applicants will be asked to talk about their interest in the course they have nominated to study and any relevant work, life or previous education experience. This information helps assessors consider the applicants capacity to engage with the rigour of academic study.

For further information visit www.uow.edu.au/wic/ or phone us on 4221 3776. Mature age students can also benefit from the mid-year intake enrolment program and begin study mid-way through the year.

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Last reviewed: 28 July, 2016