Pathways to university Tertiary Access Courses

Tertiary Access Courses

The Tertiary Access Course (TAC) is a pathway course for mature-age students or school leavers who do not have an ATAR Score or recognised experience (must be at least 18 years old at time of application). Note this course is only available to Australian citizens and permanent residents.

There are no subject fees with TAC but there is a Student Services and Amenities Fee for each subject. Eligible students can defer this fee. Please go to Student Services and Amenities Fee for more details.

TAC can be completed full time or part time. TAC is available for internal study only on the Cairns, Nguma-bada and Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campuses.  

How to enrol

Please complete the TAC Application Form (PDF, 961 KB).

You can email the form to or post it to:

JCU Student Centre
Education Central (Building 134)
James Cook University
Townsville QLD 4811

  • People who didn’t finish high school
  • People who didn’t pass high school English
  • People who don’t think they are prepared for university study
  • People who are 18+ years old

TAC can provide you with:

  • The formal prerequisites to gain entry into many undergraduate courses
  • Academic skills (literacy and numeracy) to enter and succeed in undergraduate studies
  • Experience of a variety of university subjects
  • Computing and information technology experience.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of academic practices and requirements, including ethical and legal considerations relating to use of information.
  • Identify, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information, claims and evidence from a range of sources.
  • Communicate information, ideas and arguments in a clear and logical way through proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Calculate, interpret and communicate numerical information.
  • Utilise appropriate media and technologies to locate, organise and communicate information.
  • Plan, design and evaluate solutions to problems in a range of situations exercising initiative and judgement. Apply knowledge of diversity and interpersonal and intercultural skills to work effectively in teams.
  • Demonstrate accountability and responsibility to complete a range of activities within established parameters and, where appropriate, manage personal development and future pathways.

BR1111 - Introduction to Academic Learning

Students will gain and develop the academic knowledge and abilities to be able to actively and effectively participate within an array of academic contexts at university.

This subject is offered as a block mode and classes will be held from 9-4pm over four consecutive days during orientation week plus weekly tutorials during the teaching period.

BR1114 - Learning With Technology

This computer-based subject enables students to select and use appropriate tools and technologies for research purposes, and provides the skills to use online information effectively and ethically.

BR1224 - Critical Literacy: Text Analysis

In this English subject, students are introduced to ways of critically analysing a variety of texts for academic purposes.

BR1244 - Mathematics A1

This subject focuses on developing foundational mathematical concepts and skills to support students in their tertiary studies and life-skill situations.

The full course requirements and structure can be viewed here.

TAC is exempt from Commonwealth Supported Place fees for eligible applicants. Students are only required to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee.

For further information, contact Pathways team:

Phone Cairns (07) 4232 1155
Phone Townsville (07) 4781 5740