If you are thinking about applying for entry to an undergraduate course it is important to understand how selection works.
Your chances of selection
Your chances of being selected for a place in an undergraduate course depends on how many places the course has available (the quota), how many other applicants are also applying for the course (so whether entry is competitive), and whether your qualifications make you both eligible to apply for a place and competitive in relation to the other eligible applicants who are also applying.
How are places allocated?
Each course will have a total number of places it can allocate. This is called the quota. Most undergraduate courses divide the quota into smaller groups of places, known as subquotas. Each subquota relates to a specific academic qualification, allowing different types of qualifications to be fairly compared and ranked. This is especially important in competitive courses where more eligible applicants have applied than there are places in the course. Each subquota and its eligibility and ranking rules are explained in the fact sheets on this page.
Eligibility and rank
Whether you are eligible to apply for a place in a course depends on meeting the institutions’ rules for selection. Most undergraduate courses determine eligibility by a minimum academic qualification.
Each course may consider different types of qualifications in its selection, depending on which subquotas it uses. You might be able to compete in more than one subquota, depending on the course rules and your qualifications.
Some courses also use other selection criteria such as an audition, interview or portfolio either instead of, or in addition to, the minimum academic qualifications, so you should check the course entry carefully when applying.
Some courses are competitive and have more applicants than places available, so eligible applicants must be ranked for selection. Applicants are ranked in order of academic merit. Ranking methods vary for each type of qualification, and can also vary between the institutions and the different courses.
Year 12 subquota
Most undergraduate courses have a year 12 subquota. Whether you are eligible to compete in a year 12 subquota depends on the type of year 12 qualification you hold, and whether you have gone on to study at higher education level.
The following fact sheet explains who can compete in a year 12 subquota and how applicants are ranked for selection.
The 2017 cutoff is the minimum 2016 year 12 selection rank (equivalent to an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) after any bonus points have been applied) which secured an offer into a course/program in semester 1 2017 for applicants competing in the year 12 subquota. The cutoffs found in the fact sheets below are for the year 12 subquota.
The selection rank is the rank used to determine your competitiveness relative to other applicants. If you are competing in the year 12 subquota your selection rank for most courses will be based on your ATAR, adjusted to take account of any bonus points to which you are entitled.
Bonus points and selection ranks
Bonus points are not added directly to an ATAR when calculating a selection rank. Your ATAR is derived from your university aggregate. If you are eligible for bonus points they will be added to your university aggregate and a selection rank (equivalent to an ATAR adjusted for the bonus points) will be calculated. For the small number of courses where additional entry requirements are used, the selection rank will be calculated according to rules provided by the institution offering the course.
Ranks obtained from South Australian, International Baccalaureate and interstate year 12 qualifications may be augmented by bonus points where eligible.
Higher education subquota
The higher education subquota allows applicants who have already studied at higher education level to apply to enter another course. Most undergraduate courses have a higher education subquota. Whether you are eligible to compete in a higher education subquota largely depends on the length of time you have studied.
The following fact sheets explain who can compete in a higher education subquota and how applicants are ranked for selection.
If you hold a completed TAFE/VET award, whether you are eligible to compete in a TAFE/VET subquota depends on the level of the ward you have completed (and for University of South Australia programs, whether you have also studied at higher education level).
The following fact sheet explains the rules regarding competing in a TAFE/VET subquota, and how applicants are ranked for selection.
Special entry subquota
Special entry provides applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirements, or whose qualifications are not competitive enough, an opportunity to apply successfully for their chosen courses.
Special entry applicants are normally required to sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT), although for some courses other criteria may apply.
If you are thinking about becoming a special entry applicant it is important that you find out:
- if you are eligible to be a special entry applicant
- if the course(s) you are interested in considers special entry applicants
- what the course(s) you are interested in uses to select its special entry applicants
The following fact sheets provide information about who can compete in the special entry subquota, and the criteria used to select applicants.
Foundation studies subquota
Some courses have a separate subquota for applicants who have completed a ‘recognised’ foundation studies, preparation, bridging or enabling course of a minimum six months duration.
The following fact sheet provides information about the foundation studies subquota.