Open Foundation at the University of Newcastle offers a range of courses designed to help you get into uni.

Open Foundation

Fast Facts

Can the age restriction be relaxed?

No, students must be turning 20 (or more) in the year they undertake Open Foundation.

What are the costs involved?

There are no tuition fees. Students do not pay HECS but there may be costs for such things as textbooks and photocopying.

What is the choice of courses (subjects)?

Students choose their two courses from a range of arts, social science, mathematics and science courses. Part-time on campus and Online students are advised to study Part 1 & Part 2 of a pair of courses. (For example: Australian History 1 & Australian History 2; Introductory Mathematics 1 & Introductory Mathematics 2.)

Is the same range of courses offered at Callaghan, Ourimbah and by Online?

No, the widest range of courses is offered at the Callaghan campus. Many, but not all, of these courses are also offered at the Ourimbah campus.

In the part-time (online) program only 7 pairs of courses are offered: Introductory Mathematics, Business Organisation and Management, Chemistry & Life Sciences, Studies in Law, Australian History, The Study of Language and Earth Science.

Can students study one course at each campus?

Yes, for example, students from Ourimbah can study Chemistry and Life Sciences at Ourimbah and Physics at Callaghan.

Can students study one course Online and one on campus?

Yes, in the part-time program, students can study one pair of courses Online and the other pair at either campus. Applicants need to apply to study off-campus for the Open Foundation Online program.

Can Online students attend on campus lectures?

This is not encouraged. Online students have all their course notes provided online. If they are able to attend lectures on campus, they should enrol as on-campus students.

Do Open Foundation students have to pass all their courses?

Yes, students must pass all their courses and this must be done within one academic year. Students are not allowed to carry over a partially completed program to the following year(s); this means that it is not possible to have credit for completed courses in one attempt at Open Foundation counted in a later attempt. (However, the skills and learning you obtained from those courses will stay with you.)

What degrees can Open Foundation students be admitted to?

All undergraduate degrees at the University of Newcastle, except Medicine. It is possible to achieve an Admission Ranking of 99.

Do Open Foundation students have to apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for admission to an undergraduate degree program?

Yes. Students are assessed on their average mark across their Open Foundation courses (four courses for Part-time OF and two for Intensive OF). This average mark is converted to a University Admission Ranking. Students are NOT sent an ATAR by UAC.

If I pass Open Foundation do I get a certificate of some kind?

Yes. Every student who passes Open Foundation gets a Certificate of Attainment and a Transcript of Academic Record showing their courses and grades. We hold a Recognition of Attainment Ceremony (like a graduation from a degree program) once each year at the Callaghan and Ourimbah campuses to award the certificates.

Do I have to go to the Recognition of Attainment Ceremony?

No; the Certificate of Attainment will be posted to you if you don't attend. We encourage as many students as possible to attend because it is a celebration of your achievement.

Does passing Open Foundation prepare me for a job?

Yes and No. Open Foundation is explicitly designed to help you gain entry into university. While it is aimed at preparing you for further study, the skills and confidence you gain can make quite a big difference to your capacity to do a range of jobs. As well, your Certificate of Attainment and Transcript of Academic Record will demonstrate to an employer that you are willing and able to improve your skills and educational level.