Applying - FAQ

Information on this page is for prospective students. If you are a current University of Newcastle student please see our information on internal transfers. Or if you are a current Open Foundation, Newstep or Yapug student please click here.

There are two main intakes each year for undergraduate programs:

  • The major intake period for all undergraduate programs is Semester 1 (usually starts 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 Australian undergraduate applicants, who are not already studying at the University of Newcastle (either in an enabling or undergraduate degree) should apply online through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Applications for Semester 1 open through UAC in April 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 course preferences.
  • Ensure you check if your degree has any special entry requirements, such as a separate direct application or interviews.
  • Each course has a code, and they vary by campus and semester. Make sure you list your preferences in the order of a wish list, with the course you most want to study as your top preference.
  • Use preferences 2-5 as a backup, filling in all five to increase your chances of getting an offer.
  • Open Foundation is recommended for your last University of Newcastle preference, or you can apply directly to Open Foundation and Yapug.
  • There are also a number of new diplomas to explore and if your interested it is recommended to include a diploma as your last University of Newcastle  preference.
  • If you do not receive an offer for your first preference, you’ll be considered for your second preference, and so on in order.
  • It is recommended to keep your first preference as is, as you may receive an offer in a later round.
  • 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 change of preferences 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. We do make early offers via our Schools Recommendation Scheme and Subject Spotlight Early Offer Program.

If you have previously completed high school, or have other qualifications such as TAFE certificates, 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.

  • If you are a school leaver outside of the Schools Recommendation Scheme, no offers will be made until December Round 2.
  • If you are a non school leaver applicant you will be considered from December Round 1:

Quota Programs:

After you apply is the best time to start exploring scholarship, credit and accommodation options that best suit you.

Also, check if the course that you wish to study has any additional entry requirements.

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.

Back-up degree

This pathway 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. After you have successfully completed at least 2 subjects in this degree you may be able to apply for a degree transfer into the degree you really wanted to study. In many cases, when you successfully transfer 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 (Open Foundation and Yapug)

The University of Newcastle 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.

Our pathway programs offer guaranteed entry to over 40 University of Newcastle degrees. When you complete this program your Grade Point Average can be converted to a selection rank.

The programs on offer are:

  • Open Foundation
    Completing our Open Foundation pathway program will award you a new rank to apply to uni.  Finish Open Foundation in just a single semester or take your time - up to 2 years. Flexible study supports you to learn at your own pace.
  • Yapug
    If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student you could complete our one year Yapug pathway program.
  • Diplomas
    Complete a diploma either full-time or part-time to get entry into one of our related Bachelor's degree.

Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)

The Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) is an aptitude test, organised through the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). It 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 test can be used for entry into some (but not all) University of Newcastle degrees. Make sure you look into which degrees accept STAT for entry.

If your qualification is not listed and you are unsure whether you can use it to gain entry please contact us on 1300 275 866 or AskUON.

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 admission, others you are automatically considered for or invited to participate in.


Additional application required:

The University of Newcastle (University) is committed to offering its educational programs to students from a broad range of backgrounds, cultures and languages. In doing so, it recognises its responsibility to ensure all students, including those whose first language is not English, have sufficient proficiency to undertake the program of their choice.

Further information regarding English language proficiency requirements can be found by viewing the English Language Proficiency for Admission Policy

Applicants who want to study the Bachelor of Nursing or Bachelor of Midwifery should also review How do I satisfy the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia English Language Requirements?

UAC and the University of Newcastle will notify you by email or SMS if you have received an offer (make sure you keep an eye on your inbox, clutter and junk). 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. If you do not accept your offer, or you decline it, you will not receive another offer for this course in later rounds. Accepting an offer doesn’t stop you from being considered for one of your higher preferences in later offer rounds. Make sure you keep checking your email (including junk and clutter) for offers.

After you accept your offer we will stay in touch with you via email and phone with all the information you need to prepare for your University studies.

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 to a degree program with a lower admissions rank; or
  • other pathways to your dream degree like Open Foundation or a diploma.

Unfortunately, there is no avenue for appeal if you think you should have received 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.

Applying through UAC

Questions about applying for an undergraduate course through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC)? Grace, a current University of Newcastle student, has some helpful tips.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.