The University of Newcastle, Australia

Applying - FAQ

Information on this page is prospective students. If you are a current UON student (including Open Foundation, Newstep and Yapug), please see our information on internal transfers.

There are two main intakes each year for undergraduate programs:

  • The major intake period for all undergraduate programs is Semester 1 (usually start in February/March each year).
  • A smaller number of programs are available for admission in Semester 2 (or mid-year which usually starts in late July each year).

Most domestic undergraduate applicants, who are not already studying at UON (either in an enabling or undergraduate degree) should apply online through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). There are a small number of degrees where applicants apply directly to UON:

Applications for Semester 1 open in August each year, and early bird applications are due in late September. Applications may be lodged after the early bird closing date, however additional fees apply. See UAC Key Dates for more information about closing dates.

How do I plan my preferences?

  • When applying through UAC you can list up to five preferences.
  • Make sure you list your preferences in the order you would like them considered.
  • If you’re not made an offer for your first preference, you’ll be considered for your second preference, and so on in order.
  • If you receive an offer to one of your preferences but would prefer an offer to something else you can change the order of your preferences by the preference change closing date for the respective offer round.
  • UAC provides advice about selecting and changing your preferences.

If you’re finishing high school you will not usually receive an offer until after your Year 12 results are finalised. For most applicants, this will be in UAC’s December Round 2 on 21 December, 2017.

If you have previously completed high school, or another assessable qualification, you may be able to receive an offer as early as August, depending on when you submit your application and the degree you’re applying for.

For some degrees, there are usually more people applying than the number of places available. We refer to these programs as having a quota and have to closely manage their admissions. For this reason, you may have to wait a little longer for an offer to the following programs:

If your ATAR or Selection Rank isn’t what you hoped for – or if you don’t meet a program’s entry requirements – we have a range of options to help you:


Upgrading involves studying another degree with a lower Selection Rank that you meet the entry requirements for. It’s a good idea to choose a program that has something in common with your desired degree – preferably with some of the same or similar courses. In many cases, when you successfully upgrade between two similar degrees you can apply for credit in your new program. You should include this program lower down in your list of preferences as your back-up option.

Pathway programs (Newstep, Open Foundation and Yapug)

UON is the largest provider of pathway programs in Australia. If you haven’t studied for a while, or your high school results weren’t what you expected, you can start at university with one of our pathway programs. When you complete this program your Grade Average as a percentage can be converted to a selection rank to be used for admission purposes. The programs on offer are:

  • Newstep
    If you are aged 18-20 you can get a second chance for entry by completing our one year Newstep program.
  • Open Foundation
    If you are aged 20 or over you could complete this one year or six month program to get a new rank to apply straight into a degree.
  • Yapug
    If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student you could complete our one year Yapug pathway program.

Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)

The Special Tertiary Admissions Test or STAT is an aptitude test, organised through the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), that assesses a range of competencies considered important for successful tertiary study. If you are over 18 and not a current Year 12 student, results from the STAT multiple-choice test can be used for entry into some (but not all) of the degrees offered at UON. Make sure you look into which degrees accept STAT for entry.

ATAR-related adjustments

There are a number of special entry schemes that can increase your chance of admission to UON. Some require a separate application in addition to your application for admissions, others you are automatically considered for or invited to participate in.


Additional application required:

  • Educational Access Scheme
  • Elite Athletes Admissions Scheme
  • Schools Recommendation Scheme

Other admission options

Special Circumstances Admission Scheme

If you have been disadvantaged by specific circumstances not already included in the other admission schemes offered by UON such as family/home/work circumstances and/or late qualification assessment at UAC, you can apply directly to UON by emailing Each application will be assessed on its own merits. To be considered under this scheme you will usually need to be within 4 points of the program cut off.

Please note, the Special Circumstances Admission Scheme does not apply to Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program).

All applicants who do not speak English as a first language must demonstrate that they meet the University's English proficiency requirement. Further information regarding English language proficiency requirements can be found by viewing the English Language Proficiency for Admission Policy(PDF, 32.7KB).

UAC and UON will notify you by email if you have received an offer. You will also be able to see your online offer letter on the UAC website, or use the ‘My UAC’ app.

You should follow the instructions sent to you to accept, defer or decline any offer you receive within 7 days, even if it’s for a program that isn’t your first preference. Accepting an offer doesn’t stop you from being considered for one of your higher preferences in later offer rounds.

After you accept your offer we will stay in touch with you via email to send you information on getting prepared, enrolled and ready to start university.

There could be a few reasons why you don’t receive an offer ranging from entry requirements and missed due dates to unpaid application fees or incorrectly ordered preferences. If you didn’t meet the entry requirements you can consider:

  • changing preferences for the next offer round; or
  • other pathways to your dream degree like Newstep or Open Foundation

Unfortunately there is no avenue for appeal if you think you should have recieved an offer and don't agree with the University's decision. However you can make a complaint about an aspect of the University’s conduct through our Complaints process.