University studies for post-Year 12 students


Are you looking into a university pathway after Year 12? Do you know what course you need to study to get the job you want? If so, you are well on your way..

The next step is to consider:

How will I study?

University offers quite a few options including full-time, part-time or online. Consider what option best meets your needs. Think about:

  • whether you have access to transport and the time to attend lectures and tutorials
  • what IT equipment you need including what speed and type of internet connection.

Where will I study?

Investigate which universities have the best employment outcomes for your course. When comparing universities you should consider:

  • location - including whether you will need to move and the costs involved with moving
  • facilities - investigate what support services they offer students, including career hubs and access to computers
  • course structure - for example, the number of units, electives and availability
  • whether they offer work placements as part of their courses
  • cost and entry requirements.

In some industries, employers prefer university courses that include a vocational or industry placement. This allows students to apply their knowledge in a workplace setting.

Are there any entry requirements?

For university, you will usually need an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or an ATAR-equivalent. The ATAR or ATAR-equivalent required for a particular qualification is university specific and set by the university. 

Some university courses may have other entry requirements in addition to the ATAR. These could be:

  • compulsory entry requirements, like an entry exam or interview, or
  • recommended entry requirements, such as any two units of English.

Read our article 'What is an ATAR or ATAR-equivalent and what are they used for?' to find out more.

It is still possible to gain entry to university courses without an ATAR or ATAR-equivalent. Read 'What to do if you didn't get the ATAR you need for your course' to find out more.

How will I pay for my study?

If you are eligible, you may be able to access a HECS‑HELP loan for a subsidised higher education place.

For a non-subsidised place, you may be able to access a FEE-HELP loan.

To find out more about funding your higher education, check out the Study Assist 'Beyond year 12 school study guide'.

One last thing to remember...

Most people think that having a qualification will guarantee them a job in their chosen occupation. But this is not the case.

To be competitive for jobs once you finish university, consider balancing your studies with workplace experience. You can build your workplace experience by getting a part-time job or undertaking work experience or an internship as part of your study.

Check out our article 'Five myths about higher education' to find out more. 

These tools can help you: