COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 19 October 2021, 8am (AEST)

Planning for your future Frequently asked questions about uni

Frequently asked questions about uni

Do you have a question about applying to study at JCU, our courses or life on campus? Check out our list of commonly asked questions below and if you can't find the information you’re looking for get in touch with your query and one of our Future Student Advisors will be in touch.

If we think other students may have a similar question or would be interested in the answer we’ll add it to the FAQs listed below (don’t worry, we won’t include your name).

First off think about what your interests or passions are. Is there a subject at school you really like, or a real world issue that you would love to solve? Answering these questions can be a good starting point when thinking about possible university courses as you are more likely to complete your degree and enjoy your time studying if you have a keen interest in the subject matter.

Our course pages are packed full of helpful information about what you can expect from a course, including videos, brochures and testimonials from current and past students, as well as ideas for future careers.

If you have questions or want to chat about your options you can get in contact with the JCU Student Centre. They’re available face-to-face, on the phone or via email. Your school Guidance Officer is also available for advice on courses and careers, and your family and family friends can also be a good source of information when it comes to seeing what a job looks like in real world situations and finding out how they got into their chosen career.

If you’d like further inspiration or want to know more about a specific job you can also visit the Job Outlook site.

Yes, if you feel like a course or subject isn’t right for you, there are options.

You are able to withdraw from subjects before the Census Date, which means you won’t have to pay for that subject. The Census Date is usually a few weeks into the semester. For more information click here.

If you change your mind further down the track about studying a subject, or your whole degree, JCU has staff who are experts in subjects and enrolments who’ll be able to chat with you about your options and help you make a plan - you may even be able to receive credit towards starting your new course.

ATAR results aren’t always what you expect and changing your mind about your career path (after you’ve already chosen your final year subjects) is common. To help you get back on track and continue your journey towards your dream career there are various pathways and options available to help you succeed.

  • Bridging Courses: some undergraduate courses have prerequisites to admission. If you don’t have these and know exactly what subject you need to get into a course, a bridging course could be for you.
  • The Certificate of Higher Education: if you meet the ATAR score for your preferred bachelor degree but are missing one or two prerequisite subjects this is the course for you. Choose to study Bridging Science for Teachers, Essential Maths, Preparatory Mathematics or Preparatory Chemistry, in short intensive block modes, and complete in time to start your Bachelor degree.
  • The Diploma of Higher Education is a one year course designed to help people who may not meet the academic requirements for entry into their desired course. The Diploma consists of a combination of introductory and first-year degree subjects and is designed to help you develop the necessary skills to be a successful university student through one-on-one personal support and subjects related to your desired degree.

Assessments change depending on your course. You might be:

  • writing an essay on the causes of crime
  • producing your own radio show
  • demonstrating your theoretical knowledge in an exam
  • completing interactive quizzes
  • teaching strength exercises to members of the community, or
  • providing healthcare to a remote community in need.

Have a course in mind and want to know more? Check out the Course Handbook. This will tell you the admission requirements for the course and the various subject combinations you could take during your degree.

If you ever need help during your studies, a wide range of academic and personal support is available. Explore more.

JCU’s Student Success Package provides Year 12 students with the reassurance of knowing they have secured a place at JCU prior to ATAR results being released. The Success Package consists of three components: Early Offers, Guaranteed Admission, and Adjustment Factors.

  • Early Offers: apply for a place at JCU today and receive your conditional offer in only 48 hours. To participate in JCU’s Early Offer Program you must work with your school on a recommendation and list JCU as your first preference in QTAC when applications open in August.
  • Guaranteed Admission: receive guaranteed entry to the majority of JCU courses based on your ATAR results only.
  • Adjustment Factors: you could be eligible to receive ATAR adjustments based on where you live in Queensland or what subjects you successfully completed at school.

To learn more visit Year 12 Student Success Package.

JCU has over 50 scholarships available, some up to the value of $45,000. Students of all abilities and backgrounds may be eligible to apply - even those waiting for ATAR results and offers.

In addition to JCU-run scholarships there are also external scholarships available which are scholarships offered to students by private companies and the government.

Yes, JCU has a wide variety of sports, events and clubs to match your interests – which means you can make the most of your uni experience on and off campus. Whilst you'll spend a good proportion of your time at uni studying, joining a club or society gives you the opportunity to meet new friends from outside of your course with whom you share a common interest, plus it's also a great way to de-stress especially around exam time.

The JCU Student Association has over 40 clubs available covering running, basketball, AFL, swimming, bike riding, films, sustainability, esports and robotics, to name a few. Can’t find the right club? Don’t worry, you can create your own!

Starting university is an incredible time packed with many new experiences and emotions. To give you the best start, you will be matched with an experienced student mentor who’s been there before. Students find these mentors great for advice and support, because they’ve often studied the same course and know what you’re experiencing

Generally students dress quite causally when attending lectures or tutorials - think shorts/skirt, a t-shirt and thongs. For those students out on placement however, or those in an allied health, medical, or dentistry degree who are working in a clinic environment with members of the public, you will be expected to dress more formally or in your clinical attire.

Some of the costs you may need to consider when attending university include:

  • Tuition fees
  • Text books, stationery and other course costs such as a uniform or lab coat for practical's (if required)
  • A laptop (if you don't already have one)
  • Accommodation costs if you are living away from home or are away on work experience
  • Food if you aren't in living in catered accommodation
  • Transport
  • Parking (if you own a car)
  • General living expenses for socialising, gym membership etc.

Many students have part-time jobs around their uni study to help cover costs plus there are a range of scholarships available that can also help offset the costs of text books etc.

All JCU campuses are well served by public transport with frequent buses into Cairns and Townsville respectively. While JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas and JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus, Smithfield appear quite spread out, you can walk from one side to the other in about 15 minutes. Most students walk while others use bicycles, and scooters are becoming a popular and economic method of transport at JCU Townsville.

You can contact the Future Students Team via one of the following channels:

Living on campus is fun, social and supportive. It’s a great way to get the most out of your time at uni and will introduce you to new friends from all over Australia, and around the world. Whether you have to move away from your hometown for study or just want more independence, finding the right accommodation to suit your individual needs is an important step.

Whilst you may feel a little homesick at first, you will be surrounded by many people in exactly the same position as you, so there will always be someone to talk (and home is just a FaceTime or Skye call away). Plus, throughout the year there are lots of fun social activities on campus including movie nights, sporting events, festivals, and outings so there is plenty to keep you busy when you aren't studying.

There are lots of different on campus accommodation options available to choose from. You may find you enjoy traditional dorm style accommodation where you share dining facilities with hundreds of other students. Or perhaps you’re more suited to a smaller apartment or unit where you cook your own meals?

Explore JCU accommodation options here and check out one of the accommodation tours below.

If you would like to apply for a place in on-campus accommodation we suggest doing so as soon as applications open, even if you are waiting on the release of ATAR results to confirm your place at JCU.