Entry pathways

Pathways to university

There are many preparation and pathway programs to help you develop the skills need for uni study.  Whether you completed year 12 recently, or 10 years ago; whether you gained an ATAR or not; if you've been to TAFE, had a gap year (or three) or partially completed uni studies some time ago - there's a pathway to UOW for you. 

High school leavers with a sufficient ATAR - or equivalent 

You can apply to UOW using a previous Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) provided it meets the current minimum ATAR for your chosen course. The Course Finder shows the ATAR requirements for UOW degrees.

If your high school results are 'old', and you did not receive an ATAR - but an alternative award, you can apply using your Year 12 results. If you completed your senior school offshore, than you can use an overseas equivalent.

All results are converted to an ATAR, and each applicant must reach the current minimum ATAR for the course they are applying for, to be considered for entry. 

Please note, if you are current high school student proceeding to UOW straight after year 12, you must apply through UAC. See the High School Students page for more information.

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High school leavers 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 uni. 

UOW College

UOW College offers a number of university preparation programs that guarantee entry to UOW on successful completion. These include the 14 week (one uni session) University Acces Program and the two session University Entrance Certificate (UEC). Both courses are specifically designed to provide the necessary skills for entry to most UOW undergraduate (Bachelor) degrees. UOW College also offers Diploma programs, which - on successful completion - provide entry to the second year of a number of UOW degrees.

UOW College also offers STEP (Special Tertiary Entrance Program) to UOW. STEP is a university preparation course for recent school leavers who experienced disadvantage while studying for their HSC, and this disadvantange had a negative impact on their final results.

UOW College also offers AQF qualifications in a number of areas, please see the UOW College website for more information.

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

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Students with previous university studies 

If you have previous graduated, or have 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 course you were studying 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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Students with 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 UOW.  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. 

UOW Supported Pathways

These programs are designed for students who have completed, or are looking to complete a Certificate IV or Diploma at a UOW partner institution, for info visit UOW Pathways.


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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students:  Alternative Admissions Program (AAP)

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 UOW’s undergraduate programs.

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

The Alternative Admissions Program  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.

For further information visit www.uow.edu.au/wic/ or phone 4221 3776. 

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Pathway programs for students with limited previous study

There are many options for mature age students (non-recent school leavers) who do not have a sufficient previous ATAR, years 12 results or who have not completed previous alternative study, or maybe did not finish to a Year 12 level at high school.  UOW recognises many pathway programs.  So no matter what your age, or previous experience, there is an option for you.   

In addition to UOW College pathway programs (as above) 

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 approved 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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Last reviewed: 25 May, 2018