Diploma of Higher Education

Support to return to study | 6-12 months | Credit towards your degree

What will you achieve?

The Diploma of Higher Education is a six-month to one-year full-time course designed to help you if you want to study a degree but need to upskill first. Maybe it’s been a while since you studied, or you didn’t finish Year 12. No matter your circumstances, the JCU team are here to help you succeed.

Staff will be on-hand to support and guide you as you study a combination of introductory and first-year degree subjects. You’ll develop the practical skills to be a successful university student and gain credit towards your chosen degree.

Read on to find out more.

Looking for fast way to meet pre-requisites for your chosen Bachelor degree? Click here to find out more about the Certificate of Higher Education.

Is the Diploma of Higher Education right for me?

If it's been a while since you studied or you're feeling uncertain, then this course may be suited for you. The Diploma of Higher Education is designed for students who are wanting to study a Bachelor degree but may need additional support or to build their study skills before they enrol.

The Diploma of Higher Education takes between six and 12 months full-time. Some majors are offered online, and all are available on-campus in Cairns and Townsville. If you meet your chosen Bachelor degree's entry after six months you can move across. Finishing the full 12 months will give you a stand-alone qualification and get you entry into your chosen Bachelor degree.*

Get in touch and a JCU Advisor can help you decide if the Diploma of Education is the right course for you.

*Please note: Some courses such as the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery have limited places and completing the Diploma of Higher Education does not guarantee a place.

Student in a cafe writing on a notepad in front of a laptop

Student adjusting controls on a board

What will I learn?

Complete two core subjects:

  • Developing Academic Skills, and
  • Learning in a Digital Environment.

Then choose your major based on your desired Bachelor degree:

  • Business Studies
  • Education
  • Engineering and Applied Science
  • Health
  • Information Technology
  • Science
  • Social Work
  • Society and Culture
  • General studies (if you're still exploring your options)

See below for more information on these majors.

Entry requirements

  • Minimum English language proficiency requirements apply.
  • Students need to be 18 or be currently completing Year 12 to apply.

Read the FAQs to find out more about entry requirements.

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses.

Two students getting advice from a staff member at a computer desk

Two students on a laptop smiling

Why the Diploma of Higher Education?

Experience a comprehensive wrap-around support structure.

Be supported by specialist staff including Student Support Advisors and Academic staff throughout your studies. Introductory subjects will help you develop the critical reading and writing, digital research, and time management skills to enable you to study successfully.


Plus choose a major and start earning credit towards your desired Bachelor course.

Choose your major

You will be enrolled in a set study plan which will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects, selected major and elective subjects. Study Plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.

Options

Select 9 credit points of Business Studies subjects from List 1

PLUS

Select 9 credit points of Business Studies subjects from List 1 or elective subjects from List 2

List 1 (Business Studies subjects)

  • Introduction to Management Concepts and Application
  • Business Communication
  • Principles of Data Analysis for Business
  • Marketing Matters
  • Business Law
  • Accounting for Decision Making
  • Principles of Economics
  • Essential Maths

List 2 (Elective subjects)

  • Effective Writing
  • Effective Speaking
  • Preparatory Mathematics

Where you can study

  • Online
  • Cairns
  • Townsville

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of subjects.


You will be enrolled in a set study plan which will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects, selected major and elective subjects. Study Plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.

Core Subjects

  • Essential Science
  • Essential Maths
  • Educational Psychology: Learners and Learning or Technologies for Primary School
  • Science and Sustainability in Education

Options

Select 6 credit points of subjects from List 1

List 1

  • Technologies for Primary School
  • Arts Education for Primary School
  • The World of Archaeology
  • Introduction to Biological Processes or Introductory Ecology
  • Introduction to Biodiversity or Diversity of Life
  • Accounting for Decision Making
  • Principles of Economics
  • Introduction to Management Concepts and Application
  • Foundation of Accounting Principles
  • Chemistry: A Central Science
  • Chemistry: Principles and Applications
  • Preparatory Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Problem Solving and Programming I
  • Design Thinking
  • Effective Writing
  • Evolution of the Earth
  • Human Geography
  • Foundation French 1
  • Foundation French 2
  • Foundations of Movement and Physical Activity
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Indigenous People of North Queensland
  • Legal Institutions and Processes
  • Legal Research, Writing and Analysis
  • Mathematical Techniques
  • Preparatory Mathematics
  • Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers
  • Advanced Stream Physics 1
  • Advanced Stream Physics 2
  • Science and Practice of Sport and Exercise

Where you can study

  • Online
  • Cairns
  • Townsville

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of subjects.


You will be enrolled in a set study plan which will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects, selected major and elective subjects. Study Plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.

Core Subjects

  • Essential Maths

Options

Select 9 credit points of Engineering and Applied Science subjects from List 1

Plus

Select 6 credit points of Engineering and Applied Science subjects from List 1 or Elective subjects from List 2

List 1 (Engineering and Applied Science subjects)

  • Introduction to Biological Processes oIntroductory Ecology
  • Preparatory Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Problem Solving and Programming I
  • Evolution of the Earth
  • Engineering 1
  • Computing and Sensors
  • Process Engineering
  • Environmental Processes and Global Change
  • Preparatory Maths
  • Preparatory Physics or Advanced Stream Physics 1
  • Modelling Natural Systems

List 2 (Elective subjects)

  • Effective Writing
  • Essential Science

Where you can study

  • Cairns
  • Townsville

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of subjects.


You will be enrolled in a set study plan which will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects, selected major and elective subjects. Study Plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.

Core Subjects

  • Essential Maths
  • Introduction to Health Sciences

Options

Select 12 credit points of subjects from List 1

List 1

  • Physiological Systems and Processes 1
  • Introduction to Biological Processes or Introductory Ecology
  • Introduction to Biodiversity or Diversity of Life
  • Preparatory Chemistry
  • Effective Writing
  • Lifespan Development for Health A
  • Communication for Nursing and Midwifery
  • Health and Health Care in Australia
  • Preparatory Mathematics
  • Introduction to Pharmacy
  • Preparatory Physics
  • Exploring Psychology: from Brain to Practice
  • Exploring Psychology: from Perception to Reality
  • Communication Skills for Health Professionals
  • Foundations of Allied Health Professional Practice
  • Essential Science
  • Foundations of Speech Pathology
  • Science and Practice of Sport and Exercise
  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition
  • Australian People: Indigeneity and Multiculturalism
  • Human Rights and Social Justice

Where you can study

  • Cairns
  • Townsville

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of subjects.


You will be enrolled in a set study plan which will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects, selected major and elective subjects. Study Plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.

Core Subjects

  • Essential Maths

Options

Select 9 credit points of specified Information Technology subjects from List 1

Plus

Select 6 credit points of specified Information Technology subjects from List 1 or elective subjects from List 2

List 1 (Information Technology subjects)

  • Business Communication
  • Fundamentals of Problem Solving and Programming I
  • Internet Fundamentals
  • Design Thinking
  • Web Design and Development
  • Preparatory Mathematics

List 2 (Elective subjects)

  • Effective Writing
  • Effective Speaking

Where you can study

  • Online
  • Cairns
  • Townsville

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of subjects.


You will be enrolled in a set study plan which will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects, selected major and elective subjects. Study Plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.

Core Subjects

  • Essential Maths
  • Essential Science

Options

Select 12 credit points of Science subjects from List 1

List 1

  • Introduction to Biological Processes or Introductory Ecology
  • Introduction to Biodiversity or Diversity of Life
  • Preparatory Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Problem Solving and Programming I
  • Effective Writing
  • Evolution of the Earth
  • Environmental Processes and Global Change
  • Preparatory Mathematics
  • Preparatory Physics
  • Science, Technology and Truth
  • Modelling Natural Systems
  • Modelling Natural Systems-Advanced

Where you can study

  • Cairns
  • Townsville

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of subjects.


You will be enrolled in a set study plan which will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects, selected major and elective subjects. Study Plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.

Core Subjects

  • Human Rights and Social Issues
  • Self in Professional Helping

Options

Select 12 credit points of subjects from List 1

List 1

  • Time, Truth, and the Human Condition
  • Our Space: Networks, Narrative and the Making of Place
  • Effective Writing
  • Effective Speaking
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Indigenous People of North Queensland
  • Preparatory Mathematics
  • Essential Maths
  • The Political World: An Introduction to Political Science
  • Exploring Psychology: from Brain to Practice or Exploring Psychology: from Perception to Reality
  • Essential Science
  • Australian People: Indigeneity and Multiculturalism
  • Australian Society: An Introduction to Sociology or Deviance, Crime and Society

Where you can study

  • Cairns
  • Townsville

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of subjects.


You will be enrolled in a set study plan which will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects, selected major and elective subjects. Study Plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.

Options

Select 9 credit points of Society and Culture subjects from List 1

Plus

Select 9 credit points of Society and Culture subjects from List 1 or elective subjects from List 2

List 1 (Society and Culture subjects)

  • Time, Truth, and the Human Condition
  • Our Space: Networks, Narrative and the Making of Place
  • Effective Writing
  • Effective Speaking
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Indigenous People of North Queensland
  • Introduction to Creativity and Innovation
  • The Political World: An Introduction to Political Science
  • Exploring Psychology: from Brain to Practice
  • Exploring Psychology: from Perception to Reality
  • Australian People: Indigeneity and Multiculturalism
  • Australian Society: An Introduction to Sociology
  • Human Rights and Social Justice
  • Self in Professional Helping

List 2 (Elective subjects)

  • Essential Maths
  • Preparatory Mathematics
  • Essential Science

Where you can study

  • Online
  • Cairns
  • Townsville

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of subjects.


You will be enrolled in a set study plan which will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects, selected major and elective subjects. Study Plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.

Options

Select 18 credit points of elective subjects from List 1

List 1 

  • The World of Archaeology
  • Time, Truth, and the Human Condition
  • Our Space: Networks, Narrative and the Making of Place
  • Physiological Systems and Processes 1
  • Introduction to Health Sciences
  • Introduction to Biological Processes or Introductory Ecology
  • Introduction to Biodiversity or Diversity of Life
  • Introduction to Management Concepts and Application
  • Business Communication
  • Marketing Matters
  • Business Law
  • Accounting for Decision Making
  • Principles of Economics
  • Preparatory Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Problem Solving and Programming I
  • Internet Fundamentals
  • Design Thinking
  • Web Design and Development
  • Effective Writing
  • Effective Speaking
  • Evolution of the Earth
  • Engineering 1
  • Computing and Sensors
  • Process Engineering
  • Environmental Processes and Global Change
  • Human Geography
  • Foundation French 1
  • Foundation French 2
  • Lifespan Development for Health A
  • Communication for Nursing and Midwifery or Communication Skills for Health Professionals
  • Health and Health Care in Australia
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Indigenous People of North Queensland
  • Legal Institutions and Processes
  • Legal Research, Writing and Analysis
  • Preparatory Mathematics
  • Essential Maths
  • Introduction to Creativity and Innovation
  • Introduction to Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences 1
  • Preparatory Physics or Advanced Stream Physics 1
  • The Political World: An Introduction to Political Science
  • Exploring Psychology: from Brain to Practice
  • Exploring Psychology: from Perception to Reality
  • Foundations of Allied Health Professional Practice
  • Essential Science
  • Science, Technology and Truth
  • Modelling Natural Systems
  • Modelling Natural Systems-Advanced
  • Foundations of Speech Pathology
  • Science and Practice of Sport and Exercise
  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition
  • Australian People: Indigeneity and Multiculturalism
  • Australian Society: An Introduction to Sociology
  • Human Rights and Social Justice
  • Self in Professional Helping

Where you can study

  • Online
  • Cairns
  • Townsville

Please note: This website is intended as a general guide for domestic students only. Prospective students should contact the University to confirm admission requirements and the availability of subjects.


Register your interest

Diploma of Higher Education

Applications for the Diploma of Higher Education open soon.
Click here to tell us your study goals and we'll get in touch with you when you can apply.

Why study with JCU?

Experience a vibrant learning culture where you’ll develop digital literacy skills, explore tools and technologies for learning and research, and take part in experiential learning activities. Develop the necessary knowledge to use information communication technologies that are integral to learning and success at university and your future career.

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