Pathways to university Tertiary Access Courses

Tertiary Access Courses

From January 2024 Tertiary Access Courses (TAC) will be replaced by JCU Prep. Similar to TAC, JCU Prep offers a pathway into university study for school-leavers and mature students over 18 years of age who may not have finished high school, meet the entry requirements for their preferred undergraduate degree, or for those who haven’t studied for a while.

JCU Prep is a flexible program that enables mature students and school leavers to gain the skills and knowledge they need to enter their preferred course of study.* Set in a supportive learning environment with guidance from teaching specialists, students only study the subjects they need to gain entry into their preferred Bachelor’s degree.

The following JCU Prep subjects are available+:

  • BR0100: Introduction to Academic Learning
  • BR0101: Developing Academic Skills (English pre-requisite)
  • BR0200: Mathematics A1
  • BR0201: Essential Maths (General Maths pre-requisite)
  • BR0202: Preparatory Maths (Maths Methods pre-requisite)
  • BR0300: Essential Science (General Science pre-requisite)
  • BR0301: Preparatory Chemistry (Chemistry pre-requisite)
  • BR0400: Learning in a Digital Environment (English pre-requisite)

The choice of subjects you enrol in will be dependent on your individual circumstances.

If you have not previously completed high school or you are returning to study after a lengthy gap it is likely that you will commence the JCU Prep program studying 'BR0100: Introduction to Academic learning', and 'BR0200: Mathematics A1', before going on to complete the pre-requisite subjects.

If you are unsure which of the JCU Prep subjects are right for you based on your circumstances, you can speak to a JCU Pathway Programs Student Support Advisor who will be happy to assist.

+Please note, BR0100 and BR0200 are available on-campus only. BR0301 is available online only.

JCU Prep is available to both mature students and recent school leavers (students must be turning 18 in their first year of study) who are Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents. No previous qualifications are required to enrol.

Depending on your circumstances and the number of subjects you enrol in, JCU Prep can be completed in three to twelve months. Upon successful completion you can apply for entry into your preferred Bachelor’s degree.*

JCU Prep subjects will commence in January, May and September 2024 at JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus, Smithfield; JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas; and online.+

+Please note, BR0100 and BR0200 are available on-campus only. BR0301 is available online only.

JCU Prep has no course fees. Students only pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee) and this will vary depending on your study load. In 2023 the fee was $48.90 per subject, with a maximum fee of $326.00 for the full calendar year.

Government financial assistance is available for eligible students. If you are aged 25 years or over and enrol in three JCU Prep subjects you may be able to apply for Austudy. Similarly, if you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and enrol in three JCU Prep subjects you may be able to apply for ABSTUDY.

JCU Prep is a non-award course therefore students do not receive a stand-alone qualification upon completion. Students will however have:

  • The formal pre-requisites to gain entry into many undergraduate courses at JCU*
  • The academic skills (literacy and numeracy) necessary to succeed in their future studies
  • Awareness of and confidence to access JCU’s services, facilities and technologies, all of which help to ensure a smooth transition into their future undergraduate degree.

To apply for JCU Prep visit the JCU online application portal, click the blue ‘Register and Apply’ button, fill out your details and search for ‘JCU Prep’.

If you have any questions about JCU Prep, how JCU Prep can be tailored to help you reach your career goals, or any other questions related to pathways into university, the JCU Pathways Team is available via:

Book a call 
Phone: (07) 4232 1155 (Cairns)
Phone: (07) 4781 5740 (Townsville)

*For students wishing to apply to the Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery; Bachelor of Physiotherapy; or Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours), JCU Prep can only be used to fulfil subject pre-requisites, not ATAR entry requirements.
**Students are only required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee).