Getting started

Undergraduate

Before you submit a SATAC application there are a few things it will help to be familiar with as you work through the process.

What is undergraduate study?

Undergraduate study usually refers to university study at bachelor degree level (although it can also refer to associate degrees and higher education diplomas).

An undergraduate is normally someone who has not yet received their first degree, though it is possible to complete more than one undergraduate degree, even after you have graduated.

What is higher education?

Throughout the SATAC website you will see reference to ‘higher education level study’. Higher education level means study at diploma level or above at a university or equivalent (e.g. a college of advanced education, institute of technology, or institute of higher education). It also includes recognised bachelor degree courses undertaken at TAFE or other registered training organisations.

Equal consideration

Equal consideration is an important principle of the SATAC application process. It means that all applicants who have the same selection rank for a course, and are applying on the basis of like qualifications, will be treated equally in the selection process.

Equal consideration is important because it allows you to apply for more than one course in a single application, and be confident that your application will be treated fairly.

Your entitlement to equal consideration can be affected by a number of factors. If you apply by the relevant dates, pay the appropriate SATAC fees, and comply with all the application requirements, SATAC will guarantee you equal consideration in the selection process.

If you do not apply in a timely manner, have outstanding fees, or otherwise do not comply with the requirements of the application, you will not be guaranteed equal consideration.

We explain your responsibilities as an applicant in more detail here.

When to apply

Applications for courses starting in 2019 open on 6 August 2018. In your application you can apply for courses that start in semester 1 (usually in February), semester 2 or midyear (usually in July), summer semester (usually in November) or other teaching periods throughout the year. Your application remains valid for the whole admissions period.

If you are applying for a course that starts in semester 1 the cost of your application will increase if you submit your application after 28 September 2018, so it’s a good idea to submit your application before then.

Details of closing dates and how they affect your application are below. For a full list of important dates see the key dates page.

Courses with final closing dates

Some courses have final closing dates meaning that they will not accept applications after a specified date. These courses are:

  • Dental Surgery (314122), Medicine/Surgery (314552), Medicine/Surgery Bonded Medical place (314553), and Veterinary Bioscience (324491) at the University of Adelaide – final closing date 28 September 2018
  • Clinical Sciences/Doctor of Medicine (214941) at Flinders University – final closing date 3 December 2018

Equal consideration closing dates for semester 1 courses

For almost all courses (except those with a final closing date listed above), the equal consideration closing date is 3 December 2018. If you apply and pay for your application between 6 August 2018 and 3 December 2018 you will be given equal consideration in the selection process.

You can still apply for most courses after 3 December but the consequences of doing so are:

  • your application will not be assessed in time for an offer in the main January offer round
  • some courses may not make offers to applicants who apply or pay after this date
  • you may not be given equal consideration in the selection process, i.e. you may not receive an offer even if your selection rank is equal to or higher than that of an applicant who received an offer to the same course in the main January round

If you are thinking about applying after 3 December, we recommend that you contact either SATAC or the institution you are applying to for advice before doing so.

Admission pathways

There are a number of admission pathways to undergraduate courses.

Normally admission to a course depends on your qualifications or experience, and whether your grades or achievements rank highly enough when compared to other applicants for the same course.

Familiarise yourself with the pathways available for each course you're interested in and check whether you meet the admission requirements or whether you will need to sit an admissions test to apply.

Choosing your courses

One of the benefits of the SATAC system is that you have the opportunity to apply for more than one course at the same time. This means that you only complete a single application and supply supporting information once.

You can list up to six courses as preferences in your SATAC application, and include courses that start in semester 1, midyear, or other teaching periods.

It is a good idea to begin your application with a clear idea of the courses you intend to apply for, including the course name and the SATAC course code.

When processing your preferences

SATAC will treat each preference as a discrete application. Your eligibility and the selection rank on which you will compete will be determined separately for each course. Because the institutions have varying selection rules, your eligibility and rank may vary for each course. This variation will depend upon how your qualifications or other information relevant to your application (e.g. audition score, evidence of relevant work experience) relate to the selection rules for that course.

It's important to remember that a lower preference is not a lesser preference. The order of your preferences is an indicator of the order in which you'd like to be considered for those courses. It is not used to make judgements about your level of interest in a course and does not affect your selection rank.

When making offers on behalf of the institutions

SATAC will always offer you the highest preference for which you are both eligible and competitive.

If you are not successful in gaining entry to your first preference, you will compete for a place in each of your other preferences in turn on the basis of your eligibility and rank for these courses, regardless of where in your order of preference you or the other applicants have placed them.

Changing your preferences

If you submit an application, add preferences or change the order of preferences after specified dates, some or all of your preferences may not be given equal consideration with the preferences of other (on-time) applicants. 

If you initially apply for midyear or summer semester courses then add a semester 1 course after 28 September 2018 you will be charged a higher fee and your fees payable adjusted.

SATAC fees

SATAC charges a fee to cover the cost of processing and assessing your application.

If you wish to sit the STAT as part of your application you will also need to pay a STAT fee to cover the cost of sitting the test.

It is important to check the fees and charges that may be payable before you submit your application, as SATAC does not waive or refund fees.

Paying fees to SATAC does not guarantee you an offer of a place in a course, however you may not be eligible to receive an offer if you have fees owing.

Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) applications

All the above information about closing dates also applies to STAT applications. If you arrange to sit the STAT as part of your SATAC application then you will need to apply and pay for your test sitting by 31 October 2018. The cost of sitting the STAT will increase if you apply or pay for a test sitting after this date.

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