There are a number of admission pathways to undergraduate courses, so that prospective students with different qualifications can be considered fairly.

The information in this section explains how selection works for undergraduate courses, and the different admission requirements for each institution.

How do the institutions select applicants?

Your chances of being offered a place in an undergraduate course depend upon:

  • the maximum number of places available in the course (the quota)
  • whether the course considers different types of academic qualifications or criteria
  • whether you have met the admission requirements for the course and are eligible for consideration
  • how many other eligible applicants there are with the same qualification(s) as you
  • how competitive your qualifications are and how you rank in relation to the other eligible applicants

Selection rules

For each of its courses an institution has a set of rules that cover who is eligible to apply, and how eligible applicants will be ranked for selection. Each institution can set its own rules, so they may vary from course to course.

If you have more than one type of qualification (e.g. you have completed year 12 and also some university study), you may be able to compete for a place in a course using your results from both types of study. These results are not combined but are considered on their own merit.

If you do not have the qualifications required to apply successfully for a course, you may be eligible to sit an admissions test like the STAT.

If you are unsure about whether you are eligible to apply for a course, contact SATAC or the admissions office at the relevant institution for advice.

Selection criteria

For most courses, eligibility is determined by a minimum academic qualification such as year 12 study, higher education level study, TAFE/VET study or the results of the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT).

Your chances of receiving an offer to a course will be affected by the number of places in the course, the number of other people applying for the same course, and how your academic achievements compare to theirs, i.e. how competitive you are, as entry to a course is normally merit based.

Some courses also have additional entry requirements such as a portfolio, interview or test.

Ranking

Eligible applicants are ranked in order of academic merit to enable selection to take place. Ranking rules determine how the order of merit is established. There are different methods of ranking for each type of qualification. These are explained in more detail in this section.

Admission pathways

Choose from the links below to find out more about the different admission pathways available to prospective undergraduate students.

Most undergraduate courses offered through SATAC consider year 12 qualifications as a pathway.

If you have completed year 12 as described below, and you have never studied at higher education (e.g. university) level, you will be eligible to use the results of your studies to apply.

There are a few exceptions, these are:

Flinders University

  • Creative Arts (Costume Design) (VET pathway)
  • Creative Arts (Fashion) (VET pathway)
  • Creative Arts (Visual Effects and Entertainment Design (VET pathway)

The University of Adelaide

  • Diplomas in Languages (all specialisations)

University of South Australia

  • UniSA Foundation Studies
  • UniSA Foundation Studies/Aviation (Management)
  • UniSA Foundation Studies/Aviation (Pilot)

If you have completed year 12, but have also studied at higher education level

If you hold any of the year 12 qualifications as described below, and you have also studied at higher education (e.g. university) level, whether you are eligible to use year 12 results will depend on how much higher education level study you have done.

Find out more about year 12 and higher education study

Note regarding SAIBT courses

For entry into courses offered by SAIBT you must have successfully completed SACE Stage 1 (year 11) or equivalent.

South Australia and Northern Territory year 12 2019

If you are completing the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) or the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET) in 2019, to be eligible to use your year 12 results you must:

  • qualify for the SACE/NTCET
  • obtain a university aggregate and an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)
  • meet any prerequisite subject requirements for the course

Information about prerequisites is provided in individual course entries, which you can find using course search.

Your selection rank will be based on your ATAR, but may also include equity or subject adjustments.

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a rank given to students on a range from 0 to 99.95 and is an indicator of how well you have performed relative to other students. It is used by the institutions to rank students for selection into their courses.

Detailed information about tertiary entrance requirements under SACE/NTCET is available in the Resources for students section of this website or in the Tertiary Entrance booklet for 2020, 2021, and 2022, which you can download from the Publications page.

South Australia and Northern Territory year 12 2011 to 2018

If you completed the SACE or NTCET in the years 2011 to 2018 the requirements are the same as for year 2019.

SA and NT year 12 1993 to 2010

If you completed the SACE or NTCE in the period 1993 to 2010, in order to be eligible to use your year 12 results, you must have:

  • qualified for the SACE/NTCE
  • obtained a university aggregate and an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) (formerly Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER))
  • fulfilled the Higher Education Selection Subject (HESS) requirements for the course
  • fulfilled any prerequisite subject requirements for the course.

Note that, for the years 1993 to 1996, the meeting of HESS requirements is determined by the possession of an appropriate ‘all courses’ or ‘some courses’ aggregate.

SA and NT year 12 in 1992 or earlier

If you sat year 12 in any year(s) from 1954 to 1992, in order to be eligible to use your year 12 results, you must have completed a minimum of five year 12 subjects in any two attempts (or any three if you were an adult at the time). In order to be eligible for HESS General courses, you must have a minimum of five Publicly Examined Subjects (PES). You must also fulfil any prerequisite subject requirements for the course. 

International Baccalaureate (IB)

You must have completed the IB Diploma Program and meet any prerequisite subject requirements.

Information about IB prerequisite subject equivalents can be found in the resources for students section of this website.

Your selection rank will be based on your total IB points (in the range 24-45) which SATAC will convert to an ATAR equivalent. Your selection rank may also include equity or subject adjustments.

More information about IB to ATAR conversion can be found in the resources for students section of this website.

Interstate year 12

You must have completed an Australian year 12 program and received an ATAR (or OP in Queensland) and meet any prerequisite subject requirements.

Your selection rank will be based on your ATAR (or OP in Queensland), and may also include equity or subject adjustments.

More information about tertiary entrance requirements for interstate students can be found in the resources for students section of this website.

Non-standard or overseas year 12 qualification

SATAC will use the guidelines agreed to by its member institutions to assess your qualification and determine your eligibility to apply for an undergraduate course and whether you have fulfilled any prerequisite subject requirements for the course.

The institution guidelines will also determine whether your results can be converted to an ATAR equivalent.

New Zealand NCEA students

You must meet all the requirements for entrance to a university in New Zealand as stipulated by the board of the NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority). You must also meet any prerequisite subject requirements for the course.

The NZQA will calculate an aggregated mark and convert this to an ATAR using a common index agreed to by the NZQA and all tertiary admission centres in Australia.

Year 12 selection ranks

Selection ranks are the ranks used to determine your competitiveness relative to other applicants. If you are competing with year 12 results your selection rank for most courses will be based on your ATAR, adjusted to take account of any equity or subject adjustments to which you are entitled.

Use course search to find information about ATAR profiles and selection ranks for individual courses

Applicants who have already studied at higher education level may be eligible to use the results of their study to apply to enter another course.

Most courses offered through SATAC have a higher education pathway. The exceptions are:

Charles Darwin University

  • Medicine (Clinical Sciences)

Flinders University

  • Creative Arts (Costume Design) (VET pathway)
  • Creative Arts (Fashion) (VET pathway)
  • Creative Arts (Visual Effects and Entertainment Design) (VET pathway)
  • Information Technology/Screen and Media (Specialising in Game Art) (TAFE SA/Flinders pathway)
  • Laws and Legal Practice (Honours) (including combined degrees)
  • Medicine (Clinical Sciences)
  • Nursing (TAFE SA/Flinders pathway)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

University of South Australia

  • UniSA Foundation Studies
  • UniSA Foundation Studies/Aviation (Management)
  • UniSA Foundation Studies/Aviation (Pilot)
  • All diploma programs
  • All combined diploma/degree programs

Higher education level study at an Australian institution

If you have already undertaken some study at higher education (e.g. university) level, whether you are eligible to use your results depends upon how much study you have done. 

Your selection rank will be based on the Grade Point Average (GPA) for your studies. SATAC will calculate a GPA for any higher education level course for which you were enrolled for the equivalent of one full-time semester or more.

Note that for entry in semester 1 2020, results from study up to and including semester 2 2019 will be included in the GPA calculation. Results from later study periods will not normally be included. This may impact on applicants undertaking study in summer school or at Open Universities Australia (OUA).

If you have attempted more than one higher education level course, SATAC will calculate a GPA for each course separately.

Calculating a Grade Point Average (GPA) (48KB PDF)

For all undergraduate courses except Arts and Science (Honours) Enhanced Program for High Achievers at Flinders University, Medicine/Surgery (including Bonded Medical place) at the University of Adelaide and courses offered by SAIBT, you must have studied at higher education level for exactly one semester or more to be eligible to use your results. 

If you have studied at higher education level for less than one semester, you are not eligible to use your results.

For Flinders University Arts and Science (Honours) Enhanced Program for High Achievers, you must have studied at higher education level for exactly one year or more to be eligible to use your results. If you have studied at higher education level for less than one year, you are not eligible to use your results.

For the University of Adelaide Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery (including Bonded Medical place), there are specific eligibility requirements. See the course entry for information about the Medicine 2020 Admissions Guide, which covers all eligibility requirements for the course and must be read in conjunction with the course entry.

For Tabor courses, if you have studied at higher education level for any amount of time you are eligible to use your results.

For SAIBT courses, if you have studied at higher education level for any amount of time you are eligible to use your results.

Overseas higher education level study

SATAC will use the guidelines agreed to by its participating institutions to assess your study in terms of its equivalence to higher education level study offered by Australian institutions and hence determine your eligibility for this pathway.

Applicants who have completed a TAFE or VET award may be eligible to use their qualification to apply for entry to an undergraduate course.

Most undergraduate courses through SATAC have a VET pathway. The exceptions are:

Charles Darwin University

  • Computer Science/Master of Information Technology
  • Engineering Science (Civil and Structural)/Master of Engineering
  • Engineering Science (Electrical and Electronics)/Master of Engineering
  • Engineering Science (Mechanical)/Master of Engineering
  • Medicine (Clinical Sciences)

Flinders University

  • Arts Enhanced Program for High Achievers
  • Information Technology/Screen and Media (Specialising in Game Art) (TAFE SA/Flinders pathway)
  • Laws and Legal Practice (including combined degrees)
  • Laws and Legal Practice (Honours) (including combined degrees)
  • Medicine (Clinical Sciences)
  • Nursing (TAFE SA/Flinders pathway)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Optometry
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology (Honours)

The University of Adelaide

  • Arts (Advanced)
  • Biomedical Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science (Advanced)
  • Dental Surgery
  • Economics (Advanced)
  • Health and Medical Sciences (Advanced)
  • High Performance Computational Physics (Honours)
  • Laws (including double degrees)
  • Mathematical Sciences (Advanced)
  • Medicine/Surgery (including Bonded Medical place)
  • Middle and Secondary Teaching double degrees
  • Science (Advanced)
  • Space Science and Astrophysics
  • Veterinary Bioscience
  • Diplomas in Languages (all specialisations)
  • Diplomas in Music (all specialisations)

University of South Australia

  • UniSA Foundation Studies
  • UniSA Foundation Studies/Aviation (Management)
  • UniSA Foundation Studies/Aviation (Pilot)

Eligibility to use VET qualifications

Whether you are eligible to use your VET qualification to apply for an undergraduate course depends upon the level of the award you have completed, and for University of South Australia programs, whether you have also studied at higher education level. The rules vary between institutions and from course to course as we explain below.

You will find references below to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) in relation to levels of awards. The AQF is a national system of classification of tertiary awards offered by tertiary institutions i.e. universities, TAFE and other registered training organisations.

If you have studied towards a bachelor degree course at TAFE and it is listed on the AQF higher education register of qualifications, you may be eligible under the higher education pathway.

Charles Darwin University

For Midwifery you must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Diploma level or above. For all other Charles Darwin University courses you must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Certificate IV level or above. 

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the award. If you hold a completed VET award from Charles Darwin University your selection rank will be adjusted by bonus points.

Flinders University

You must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Certificate III level or above. Your selection rank will be based on the level of the award. For Nursing courses, if you are an enrolled nurse with a current practising certificate your rank will be adjusted by bonus points.

The University of Adelaide

For Nursing (Pre-registration) and Oral Health you must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Diploma level or above. For all other programs you must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Certificate IV or above.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the award.

University of South Australia

For all programs except diploma and combined diploma/degree programs you must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Certificate IV level or above and have not subsequently studied at higher education level for a total of more than two years. Eligibility rules for applicants with a VET qualification vary between programs.

For all diploma and combined diploma/degree programs you must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Certificate III or Certificate IV level. If you have completed a Diploma level course or above, or if you have studied at higher education level for more than two years you are not eligible to apply for these courses.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the award.

Check the entry in course search for information about individual entry requirements for each program.

CQUniversity Australia

You must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Certificate III level or above. Your selection rank will be based on the level of the award.

SAIBT

You must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Certificate II level or above. Your selection rank will be based on the level of the award.

Tabor

You must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Certificate IV level or above. Your selection rank will be based on the level of the award.

Torrens University Australia

You must have completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Certificate IV level or above. For diploma courses you may be eligible to apply with a lower level TAFE/VET award. Your selection rank will be based on the level of the award.

Prospective students who do not have the necessary qualifications, or whose qualifications are not competitive enough, may consider sitting an admissions test, or provide details of their work and life experience, to gain entry to their chosen course.

If you are considering this pathway you will normally be required to sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT), however some courses will consider life experience in the form of a personal competencies statement and/or work experience, or a combination of all three.

Before you apply it is important that you find out:

  • if you are eligible to use a STAT score and/or work and life experience
  • if the course(s) you are interested in offers places through this pathway
  • what combination of selection criteria applies for the courses you are interested in

Eligibility for this pathway

There are different rules that determine who is eligible to be considered for courses using a STAT result and/or work and life experience. These rules are about your age, how much higher education level study you have done, and when you last studied. 

Where STAT is required this applies only to applicants who are applying via this pathway. If you are eligible and competitive enough to apply with another qualification you do not need to sit the STAT.

For courses where STAT is recommended but not required, you may choose not to sit the STAT and only submit a personal competencies statement and/or information about your employment experience. The institutions however, recommend that you sit the STAT in order to maximise your chances of selection.

Find out more about eligibility to use STAT, work or life experience

Ranking STAT, work and life experience selection criteria

Your selection rank may vary from one course to another, depending upon the combination of criteria used for ranking applicants and the various weightings applied to those criteria.

If you choose to submit a personal competencies statement or your employment experience, they will only be used to enhance your STAT rank — a poor statement or a low employment experience rank will not reduce your STAT rank.

Check the STAT section of this website for more information about the test.

Personal competencies statement

When you apply online you will be asked if you wish to submit a personal competencies statement. You must write the personal competencies statement according to the criteria published on this website. The statement will be assessed by SATAC following guidelines agreed to by its participating institutions.

Guidelines for submitting a personal competencies statement can also be found inside your application.

Work experience

When you apply online you will be given the opportunity to present details of your work experience. It is not necessary to enter details of every job you have held; include only those which you wish to have considered in the assessment of your application. Follow the instructions carefully and do not leave any information boxes empty.

Do I need to meet prerequisites?

If a course has prerequisite subject requirements, then you must meet these requirements to be eligible for consideration. Use course search to check if the course you are interested in has prerequisite requirements.

Please note that the STAT does not meet prerequisite subject requirements.

Applicants who have completed a ‘recognised’ enabling course of minimum six months duration may be eligible to use their qualification to apply for an undergraduate course.

Enabling courses are courses which provide students with the skills for further study and are also known as foundation studies or preparation courses.

There is such a large number and variety of enabling courses it’s not possible to list them all here. Prospective students are advised to contact either SATAC or the institution they wish to enter to find out whether the course they have completed (or will complete in 2019) is ‘recognised’.

The rules for using an enabling course to apply for entry to an undergraduate course are described on this page.

In most cases your selection rank will be based on the length of the course you have completed. Exceptions are listed for individual institutions.

Charles Darwin University

  • Computer Science/Master of Information Technology
  • Engineering Science (Civil and Structural)/Master of Engineering
  • Engineering Science (Electrical and Electronics)/Master of Engineering)
  • Engineering Science (Mechanical)/Master of Engineering
  • Medicine (Clinical Sciences)

You are eligible to apply if you have completed a ‘recognised’ enabling course of minimum six months duration, or an Indigenous Preparation Program previously offered by Charles Darwin University.

Flinders University

  • Creative Arts (Costume Design) (VET pathway)
  • Creative Arts (Fashion) (VET pathway)
  • Creative Arts (Visual Effects and Entertainment Design) (VET pathway)
  • Laws and Legal Practice (Honours) (including combined degrees)
  • Medicine (Clinical Sciences)
  • Optometry
  • Physiotherapy
  • All TAFE SA/Flinders pathway courses

You are eligible to apply if you have completed a recognised enabling course and:

  • you do not hold a completed higher education level award, and
  • if you studied at higher education level in 2018 or 2019 you must not have accumulated more than a total of two full-time years of higher education study, including any study completed prior to 2018

If you have completed the Flinders Foundation course, your selection rank will be based on your level of achievement within the course as determined by Flinders University.

The University of Adelaide

  • Arts (Advanced)
  • Arts/Music double degrees
  • Computer Science (Advanced)
  • Dental Surgery
  • Economics (Advanced)
  • Engineering (Honours) (all specialisations and including double/combined degrees)
  • Health and Medical Sciences (Advanced)
  • High Performance Computational Physics (Honours)
  • Laws (including double degrees)
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences (Advanced)
  • Medicine/Surgery (including Bonded Medical place)
  • Middle and Secondary Teaching double degrees
  • Music (all specialisations)
  • Nursing
  • Oral Health
  • Psychology (Advanced) (Honours)
  • Science (Advanced)
  • Veterinary Bioscience
  • Diplomas in Languages (all specialisations)
  • Diplomas in Music (all specialisations)

Wiltu Yarlu offers preparation programs at the University for Indigenous students who wish to gain entry to the University’s undergraduate programs.

University of South Australia

  • UniSA Foundation Studies
  • UniSA Foundation Studies/Aviation (Management)
  • UniSA Foundation Studies/Aviation (Pilot)

You are eligible to apply if you have completed a ‘recognised’ enabling course of minimum six months duration and you have not have accumulated more than the equivalent of two full-time years of higher education level study or completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Diploma level or above.

If you have completed the UniSA Foundation Studies program, your selection rank may be based on your level of achievement within the program.

CQUniversity Australia, SAIBT, Tabor and Torrens University Australia

All CQUniversity Australia, Tabor, Torrens University Australia and SAIBT courses offered through SATAC consider enabling courses as a pathway. You are eligible to apply if you have completed a 'recognised' enabling course of a minimum six months duration.