Pathways to university Which pathway is right for me?

Which pathway is right for me?

JCU is committed to providing everyone with access to higher education and the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Whether you are a recent school leaver who didn’t quite meet the entry requirements for your preferred course; a mature student entering university study for the first time; or you’re returning after a gap in study, JCU offers a range of pathways into university to help you achieve your study goals.

Domestic students

Recent school leaver applicants

If you completed Year 12 in the last three years and achieved an ATAR (or equivalent), you can apply for entry to your preferred bachelor’s degree at JCU directly through the Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre (QTAC).

If you do not meet the entry requirements for your chosen course, JCU may offer you a QTAC packaged offer, where you receive an offer into JCU Prep and your preferred bachelor’s course at the same time. JCU Prep is a fee-free* pathway program for domestic students to acquire the pre-requisite knowledge needed for entry into their chosen degree.** Study can be completed in as little as three months.

Applications for JCU's Trimester/Semester One (January/February) intake open in August of the previous year. For information about mid-year semester and trimester dates, refer to the JCU Academic Calendar.

For more information on QTAC Admissions you can watch our recent QTAC Information Webinar on YouTube. Watch our Pathways Webinar to help you determine which Pathway into JCU works best for you.

If you left school before Year 12 or you completed Year 12 but didn’t receive an ATAR (or equivalent) JCU Prep can prepare you with the skills and knowledge required to apply for your chosen bachelor’s degree.** Covering a range of foundational and pre-requisite subjects, this pathway program is open to all domestic students (students must be turning 18 years of age in their first year of study) and has no associated course fees.*

If you know the general field of study you would like to enter, an alternative pathway into a bachelor’s degree is via a one-year course entry diploma. Learn in a supportive environment as you gain a foundational knowledge and skills in Engineering or Health.

On completion of JCU Prep or a discipline diploma, you can apply directly to JCU for entry into select JCU bachelor’s degrees.^

If you have a VET or TAFE qualification, you may be able to gain Guaranteed Entry into a number of JCU courses. This qualification could also be eligible for credit towards your chosen Bachelor’s degree.** For more information on Guaranteed Entry and the courses available, visit the VET/TAFE webpage.

Mature student applicants

If you are over 21 years of age and thinking of entering university study for the first time, or you’re considering a return to study, our Pathways programs can help you gain entry into your chosen degree.**

Watch our Pathways Webinar to help you determine which Pathway into JCU works best for you.

JCU Prep is a free*, non-award pathway program available to all Australian citizens and permanent residents. No prior qualifications or experience are required for entry into the program and study can be completed in less than twelve months. The flexibility of this program means that you will only complete the subjects you require for future entry into your chosen degree.** Upon completion you will have a foundational subject knowledge relevant to your chosen degree area and be well-placed to transition to your Bachelor’s study.

Completing a course entry diploma can provide an alternate pathway into certain JCU degrees. You will gain a foundational knowledge and skills specific to the fields of Engineering or Health. On successful completion of your studies you will obtain a diploma qualification and can choose to transition into a Bachelor’s degree related to your diploma qualification.^

If you hold a VET or TAFE qualification you may be able to gain Guaranteed Entry into a number of JCU courses. This qualification could also be eligible for credit towards entry into your chosen Bachelor’s degree.** For more information on Guaranteed Entry and the courses available visit the VET/TAFE webpage.

International students

The Certificate of Higher Education is a six-month program of study covering four subjects and is available to international students studying at JCU Brisbane. On successful completion of this course you will have developed the key study skills and foundational knowledge you’ll need to go on to apply for entry to selected JCU Bachelor's degrees.**

For students who know the general area of study that they would like to pursue at an undergraduate level, course entry diplomas offer an alternate pathway into university study. Successful completion of these one-year full-time (two-years part-time) courses+, can gain you entry into select Business, Engineering and Information Technology (IT) focused degrees. Graduates also emerge with a diploma award.

The Diploma of Higher Education is a one-year full-time (or two years part-time) university preparatory course for international students, combining a range of introductory and first-year degree subjects. Designed to meet the academic requirements for entry into a Bachelor’s degree, completion of this course will see you graduate with a formal qualification and credit towards future entry into many JCU Bachelor’s degrees. This course is available to study at JCU Cairns or JCU Townsville.

Study credit

If you previously completed studies at another university, TAFE, or private tertiary education provider in Australia or overseas, or if you have professional experience relevant to your chosen Bachelor’ degree course, you may be able to apply for credit. Successful applications for credit or Recognition of Prior Learning can allow you to complete your studies earlier.

Use the JCU credit calculator and Recognition of Prior Learning form to apply for credit. Once you are accepted into your course, the enrolment team will assess your application.

If you have any questions about applying for credit, reach out to our friendly Future Students Team.

Employment is assessed on the level of skill required for the job and your length of service. A minimum of six months full-time equivalent paid employment is required and does not need to be related to the course you are applying for.

Contact us if you have any questions

If you have any questions about applying to JCU, pathway programs and subjects, or how a pathway enabling course can help you reach your career goals, the JCU Future Students Team is available to discuss your options:

Email: study@jcu.edu.au
Phone: 1800 246 446 within Australia

*Students are required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee)
**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 completing JCU Prep are unable to apply for entry into the the Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Physiotherapy, and Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) unless they already meet the ATAR requirement. Students completing the Diploma of Engineering [Pathway] and the Diploma of Health (Nursing Pathway) are only eligible for entry into the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and the Bachelor of Nursing Science [Pre-Registration] respectively.
+Part-time study only available for students studying the Diploma of Engineering [pathway].