Admission pathways allow applicants with different qualifications to apply for undergraduate courses.

How do the institutions select applicants?

Your chances of getting an offer to an undergraduate course depend on:

  • the number of places available in the course (the quota)
  • the different types of academic qualifications or criteria the course considers
  • whether you meet the admission requirements for the course and are eligible for a place
  • how many other eligible applicants there are with the same qualification(s) as you
  • how your qualifications rank in relation to other eligible applicants

Selection rules

Each institution has a set of selection rules for each of its courses. Selection rules cover who is eligible to apply, and how eligible applicants will be ranked for a place if the course is competitive.

A competitive course is one that has more applicants than places available to offer.

Each institution can set its own rules, so they may vary from course to course.

If you have more than one type of qualification you might compete for a place in a course using your results from each type of study. This would depend on which admission pathways the course uses. The different results are not combined but are considered on their own merit.

If you do not have the qualifications needed to be eligible to apply for your chosen course you may be able to use an admissions test like the STAT.

If you are unsure about whether you are eligible to apply for a course, contact SATAC or the admissions office at the relevant institution for advice.

Selection criteria

For most courses, you will need an academic qualification such as Year 12 study, higher education study, TAFE/VET study or a STAT result to be eligible to apply.

Information about the different types of qualifications is at the bottom of this page.

Institutions and courses might check for English proficiency. Some courses also have additional entry requirements such as a portfolio, interview or test.

Ranking

SATAC ranks eligible applicants in order of academic merit to enable selection to take place. Ranking rules determine how the order of merit is established.

There are different methods of ranking for each type of qualification.

Definition of higher education

In this section, the term ‘higher education level’ means study at diploma level or above at a university or equivalent (e.g. a college of advanced education, institute of technology, or institute of higher education). It also includes bachelor degree courses studied at TAFE or other registered training organisations.

Higher education courses must have been listed by the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) National Register, and accredited at the time of study.

In all cases in this section, ‘one year’ in relation to length of higher education level study means the equivalent of one full-time year, e.g. 80 credit points at Charles Darwin University; 36 units at Flinders University or University of South Australia; 24 points at the University of Adelaide; 48 points at CQUniversity Australia and Tabor; 32 points at Torrens University Australia; or the interstate equivalent.

Most undergraduate courses consider Year 12 qualifications. Use course search to check if Year 12 qualifications are used for entry to the courses you are interested in.

Eligibility to apply with Year 12 results

If you have completed Year 12 as described here, and you have never studied at higher education (e.g. university) level, you are eligible to apply to most courses.

If you have completed Year 12, but have also studied at higher education level your eligibility will depend on how much higher education level study you have done.

Find out more about Year 12 and higher education study

Note about SAIBT courses

For entry into courses offered by SAIBT you must have successfully completed SACE Stage 1 (Year 11) or equivalent.

Year 12 selection ranks

Selection ranks are the ranks used to determine your competitiveness relative to other applicants. If you are competing with Year 12 results your selection rank for most courses will be based on your ATAR. Your selection rank may by equity or subject adjustments, or other selection criteria.

Use course search to check ATAR profiles and selection ranks for individual courses.

South Australia and Northern Territory Year 12

Students completing the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) or the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET) in 2020:

Use course search to check prerequisites and assumed knowledge for individual courses.

Your selection rank is based on your ATAR but may also include equity or subject adjustments.

More information about tertiary entrance for SACE/NTCET students is in the Tertiary Entrance booklet 2021, 2022, and 2023.

If you completed the SACE or NTCET in the years 2011 to 2019 the requirements are the same.

SA and NT Year 12 1993 to 2010

If you completed the SACE or NTCE in the period 1993 to 2010 you must have:

  • qualified for the SACE/NTCE
  • received a university aggregate and an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) (formerly Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER))
  • fulfilled the Higher Education Selection Subject (HESS) requirements for the course
  • fulfilled any prerequisite subject requirements for the course.

Note that, for the years 1993 to 1996, the meeting of HESS requirements is determined by the possession of an appropriate ‘all courses’ or ‘some courses’ aggregate.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

International Baccalaureate students must complete the IB Diploma Program and meet any prerequisite subject requirements.

Your selection rank is based on your total IB points (in the range 24-45) which SATAC will convert to an ATAR equivalent. Your selection rank may also include equity or subject adjustments.

More information about tertiary entrance for IB students is in the International Baccalaureate booklet for 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Interstate year 12

Students completing Year 12 interstate must complete an Australian Year 12 program, receive an ATAR and meet any prerequisite subject requirements.

Your selection rank is based on your ATAR and may also include equity or subject adjustments.

ATARs are comparable across all states and territories in Australia. An ATAR of 81.00 in South Australia is the same as an ATAR of 81.00 in any other state or territory.

Non-standard or overseas year 12 qualification

SATAC will assess non-standard or overseas Year 12 qualifications using the guidelines agreed to by our participating institutions. These guidelines determine your eligibility to apply and whether you have met any prerequisite subject requirements for the course.

The institution guidelines will also determine whether your results can be converted to an ATAR equivalent.

New Zealand NCEA students

New Zealand NCEA students must meet the requirements for entrance to a university in New Zealand as stipulated by the board of the NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority). You must also meet any prerequisite subject requirements for the course.

The NZQA will calculate an aggregated mark and convert this to an ATAR using a common index agreed to by the NZQA and all tertiary admission centres in Australia.

If you have studied at higher education level (e.g. university) you may be eligible to apply to enter another course with your results from that study.

Use course search to check if higher education qualifications are used for entry to the courses you are interested in.

Higher education level study at an Australian institution

If you have studied at higher education level in Australia your eligibility to apply will depend on the amount of study you have done.

Your selection rank will be based on your grade point average (GPA). SATAC will calculate a GPA for any higher education level course you enrolled in for the equivalent of one full-time semester or more.

Calculating a Grade Point Average (GPA) (48KB PDF)

Students who are currently studying in a higher education course will have results from study up to, and including, semester 2 2020 included in the GPA calculation. Results from later study periods are usually not included. This might affect applicants studying in summer school or with Open Universities Australia (OUA).

If you have attempted more than one higher education level course, SATAC will calculate a GPA for each course separately.

If you have studied at higher education level for less than one semester, you are not eligible to apply with your results.

There are a few exceptions to this rule.

For Flinders University Arts and Science (Honours) Enhanced Program for High Achievers

  • you must have studied at higher education level for exactly one year or more to be eligible to apply with your results.
  • if you have studied at higher education level for less than one year, you are not eligible to apply with your results.

For the University of Adelaide Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery (including Bonded Medical Program)

There are specific eligibility requirements for Medicine/Surgery at the University of Adelaide. The Medicine 2021 Admissions Guide covers all eligibility requirements for the course. Applicants must read the Admissions Guide together with the course entry.

For selected University of South Australia courses

If you have studied a higher education diploma course, you must have completed your diploma to be eligible to apply with your results. Use course search to check individual course entries.

For SAIBT courses

If you have studied at higher education level for any amount of time, you are eligible to apply with your results.

Higher education study overseas

SATAC will assess higher education study completed overseas using the guidelines agreed to by our participating institutions. These guidelines determine your eligibility to apply with the results from your overseas study.

If you have completed a TAFE or VET qualification you may be eligible to apply for an undergraduate course. 

Use course search to check if VET qualifications are used for entry to the courses you are interested in.

Eligibility to use VET qualifications

Your eligibility to use a VET qualification to apply for an undergraduate course depends on the level of the qualification you have completed. For University of South Australia programs, it will also depend on whether you have studied at higher education level.

The rules vary between institutions and from course to course as we explain below.

In this section you will find references to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) in relation to levels of qualifications. The AQF regulates standards for educational qualifications in Australia. It covers higher education, VET and schools.

Examples of a TAFE or VET award include Certificate III, Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma.

If you have studied towards a bachelor degree at a TAFE or RTO and it is listed on the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) National Register, you may be eligible to apply under the higher education pathway.

Charles Darwin University

For Midwifery and all Masters pathway courses you must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Diploma level or above. For all other courses you must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Certificate IV level or above.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the qualification. If your VET qualification is from Charles Darwin University your selection rank will be adjusted by bonus points.

Flinders University

You must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Certificate III level or above.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the qualification.

For Nursing courses

If you are an enrolled nurse with a current practising certificate your application will be ranked higher than other TAFE/VET qualifications.

The University of Adelaide

For Nursing (Pre-registration) and Oral Health you must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Diploma level or above. For all other programs you must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Certificate IV or above.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the qualification.

University of South Australia

For all programs except diploma and combined diploma/degree programs you must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Certificate IV level or above. You must also have not subsequently studied at higher education level for a total of more than two years.

University of South Australia’s rules for applying with a VET qualification vary between programs. Use course search to check requirements for individual courses.

Diploma and combined diploma/degree programs

For all diploma and combined diploma/degree programs you must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Certificate III or Certificate IV level. If you have completed a Diploma level course or above, or if you have studied at higher education level for more than two years you are not eligible under this pathway.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the qualification.

CQUniversity Australia

You must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Certificate III level or above.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the qualification.

SAIBT

You must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Certificate II level or above.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the qualification.

Tabor

You must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Certificate IV level or above.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the qualification.

Torrens University Australia

You must have completed a TAFE/VET qualification at AQF Certificate IV level or above. For diploma courses you may be eligible to apply with a lower level TAFE/VET qualification.

Your selection rank will be based on the level of the qualification.

Most undergraduate courses will consider a STAT score. Some courses will also consider a personal competencies statement or employment experience, or a combination of the three.

Use course search to check if STAT, work and life experience can be used for entry to the courses you are interested in.

Who should use this pathway?

You might choose this pathway if:

  • you are not eligible to apply with any other qualification, or
  • your previous grades would not be competitive enough to receive an offer to your preferred course

Each institution can decide which combination of STAT, personal competencies statement or employment experience is acceptable for their courses.

The criteria accepted may vary between different courses at the same institution. 

If you're considering sitting the STAT or submitting a personal competencies statement or details about your employment, you should find out:

  • if you are eligible to use a STAT score and/or work and life experience
  • if your preferred course(s) offers places through this pathway
  • what combination of selection criteria applies for your preferred course(s)

Eligibility to use STAT, work and life experience

Whether you are eligible to apply using STAT, work or life experience depends on:

For entry to an undergraduate course starting in semester 1 you must be at least 18 years of age before 1 February in the year of entry to the course.

For entry to an undergraduate course starting in midyear or a later teaching period you must be at least 18 years of age before 1 July in the year of entry to the course.

If you have studied at higher education level before your eligibility will also depend on:

  • how much higher education study you have done, and
  • when you last studied in a higher education level course

Use course search to check eligibility requirements for entry to the courses you are interested in.

Selection ranks for STAT, work and life experience

Your selection rank for a course depends on the combination of criteria it uses, and the weightings it applies to those criteria.

If you submit a personal competencies statement or employment experience they can't reduce your STAT rank, only enhance it.

Personal competencies statement

A personal competencies statement is a short written statement supporting your application to a course. In the statement you must address set criteria, which you can find in your online application. SATAC will assess your personal competencies statement using guidelines from our participating institutions.

Note that only some courses consider personal competencies statements.

Employment experience

When you apply online you may have the opportunity to enter information about your employment experience. You don't need to list every job you have held, only those jobs you would like SATAC to assess in support of your application.

Note that only some courses consider employment experience.

Prerequisites

Some courses have prerequisite subject requirements. If a course has prerequisites then you must meet these to be eligible for consideration. Use course search to check if prerequisties apply to the courses you are interested in.

It is not possible to meet prerequisite subject requirements with the STAT alone. Speak to the relevant admissions office if you are in doubt about meeting prerequisites for your preferred course.

Enabling courses give students the skills they need to study at higher education level. They are sometimes called foundation studies or preparation courses.

If you have completed an enabling course you might be eligible to apply for an undergraduate course. To be eligible, your course must be recognised by the institutions and be at least 6 months in duration.

There are lots of different enabling courses available so it's not possible to list them all here. Contact SATAC or the institution to find out whether your course is recognised.

There are different eligibility rules for using an enabling course to apply. Use course search to check if enabling courses/programs can be used for entry to the courses you are interested in.

In most cases, your selection rank is based on the duration of the course you have completed.

Charles Darwin University

You are eligible to apply for most courses if you have completed a recognised enabling course of at least 6 months' duration

Flinders University

You are eligible to apply for most courses if you have completed a recognised enabling course and:

  • you do not hold a completed higher education level award, and
  • if you studied at higher education level in 2019 or 2020 you have not accumulated more than a total of two full-time years of higher education study, including any study completed before 2019

If you completed the Flinders Foundation course, your selection rank is based on your level of achievement within the course as determined by the University.

The University of Adelaide

Some University of Adelaide courses consider enabling courses as a pathway. Wiltu Yarlu offers preparation programs at the University for Indigenous students - contact the University for further details.

University of South Australia

You are eligible to apply to most courses if you have completed a recognised enabling course of at least 6 months' duration and:

  • you are 18 years of age or older before 1 February 2021 (for Study Period 2) or 1 July 2021 (for Study Period 5)
  • you have not accumulated more than two full-time years of higher education level study
  • you have not completed a TAFE/VET award at AQF Diploma level or above

If you have completed the UniSA Foundation Studies program, your selection rank may be based on your level of achievement within the program, as well as its duration.

CQUniversity Australia, SAIBT, Tabor and Torrens University Australia

You are eligible to apply if you have completed a recognised enabling course of at least 6 months' duration.