Tertiary qualifications

Tertiary study within Australia

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To be eligible for admission into an undergraduate degree on the basis of tertiary studies, you must have successfully completed the equivalent of at least one full-time year of study at bachelor’s degree level or higher.

The University may also consider the results of completed diplomas and advanced diplomas if they are nationally accredited and fulfill certain faculty-specific requirements (see below).

Entry is competitive and based on academic ability, so the results you achieve in your tertiary study will affect the way that your application is considered. If you have applied for courses that have additional selection criteria your performance in those criteria will also be taken into account.

The success of your application will be determined by the best acceptable result in a tertiary or secondary qualification, regardless of the order in which they were completed. This means that if you have more than one tertiary qualification that meets the conditions listed above, your best tertiary result is considered. If your ATAR or other secondary result is higher than any tertiary qualification you hold, your application will be considered on the ATAR/secondary result only.

Applying with university studies

Results from tertiary study will only be considered if you have been enrolled for at least one year full-time (or an equivalent period part-time) in a bachelor’s degree level or higher. A full-time study load is the equivalent of 48 credit points at the University of Sydney.

Results from graduate certificates (whether complete or incomplete) and incomplete postgraduate research degrees will not be considered.

Please note that certain courses may have more stringent requirements. Please check the relevant course page on our website for any additional requirements for admission.

Applying with a diploma

AQF Diploma

The University may consider the results of a completed diploma or advanced diploma for admission if it was AQF accredited at the time you were enrolled, and it fulfills certain faculty-specific requirements.

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national standard for accrediting post-secondary and tertiary qualifications in Australia. If you are uncertain whether your course had AQF accreditation when you were enrolled, you should be able to obtain this information from the provider. An AQF accreditation symbol may also appear on your transcript of results or award certificate. For further information please visit the AQF website.

If you will be under 21 at the first HECS Census date of your prospective admission, you will also need to have a completed HSC or an equivalent acceptable secondary qualification before your diploma will be considered.

If you have completed the HSC at TAFE, this is considered to be a secondary qualification. For further information, please check year 12 qualifications.

The faculty-specific requirements for applying with an AQF diploma are outlined in the table below. Please note that some faculties do not accept diplomas as a qualification for entry into courses they offer.

Generally results from enrolment in RATE certificates, advanced certificates and AQF certificate I-IV courses offered by universities, TAFE and private providers are not acceptable for admission to undergraduate courses.

Faculty Diploma subjects
Agriculture and Environment Accept all
Architecture Must be relevant
Arts Must be relevant
Business Accept all
Dentistry Accept all
Education and Social Work Must be relevant
Engineering Must be relevant
Health Science Must be relevant
Law None accepted
Medicine None accepted
Nursing Must be relevant
Pharmacy None accepted
Science Accept all
Sydney College of the Arts Must be relevant*
Sydney Conservatorium of Music Accept all*
Veterinary Science Must be relevant

*Other additional selection criteria applies, e.g. auditions, portfolio etc.

Older tertiary study at TAFE and private providers

The University of Sydney may consider results from periods of enrolment in award courses offered at Australian post-secondary institutions such as TAFE colleges and private providers. If your qualification was acquired before 1996 it may have been awarded under the RATE accreditation system.

How to apply

You will need to apply through UAC online.

Failure and exclusion

Applicants with a record of failure at tertiary study are less competitive for a place than those with a successful academic history. A record of exclusion will normally prevent applicants from gaining admission into any undergraduate course.

If you have been excluded from a degree course in the past, you will not be reconsidered for admission unless you have successfully undertaken study at a similar level since the exclusion, or can provide a satisfactory explanation with appropriate supporting documentation. For advice on how to make your submission, see the section below on special consideration for admission.

Special consideration for admission

The Special Consideration for Admission Scheme is a special entry scheme for applicants with a record of tertiary study.

If your performance in your secondary and/or tertiary studies was adversely affected by circumstances beyond your control, you may apply for consideration under this scheme. Likewise, if you have a record of exclusion from tertiary study, this is the scheme to apply under.

You must be able to cite severe medical or personal problems as the cause of your poor results and provide documentation to support your claims. Find out more information about the Special Consideration for Admission Scheme.

Credit on the basis of previous studies

You may be entitled to academic credit if you have previously been enrolled in another university course, TAFE or a private provider. Academic credit is when the subjects you have already completed are counted towards your new enrolment, thereby (potentially) reducing the amount of work you have to do to complete your degree course.

Academic credit is separate from admission. The decision about how much academic credit an applicant can receive for previous study is made by faculty staff, not the Admissions Office, and is usually resolved by making a separate application directly to the faculty.

Most faculties will be able to provide you with a general indication of the amount of credit you might receive, before you apply for admission. However, a final decision is not normally available until after your application for admission has been successful.

As rules and procedures for applying for academic credit are varied, it is best to contact your faculty office soon after you consider applying.

Further information

Please contact the Future Students Contact Centre for further information.

Future Students Contact Centre
Level 4, Jane Foss Russell Building (G02)
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006
T 1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864) select option 1
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