The University of Newcastle, Australia

Applying - FAQ

Information on this page is for prospective students. If you are a current UON 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 UON (either in an enabling or undergraduate degree) should apply online through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Applications for Semester 1 open through UAC 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.
  • 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.
  • Newstep is recommended for preference 5 for 18-20 year olds, or you can apply directly to Open Foundation and Yapug.
  • 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, released late December each year. We do make early offers via our Schools Recommendation Scheme and Subject Spotlight Early Offer Program.

If you have previously completed high school, or hold any other 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:

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 (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. We recommend putting this as your fifth UAC preference.
  • 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. Open Foundation can be studied online or face to face at our Newcastle and Ourimbah campuses
  • 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 admission, others you are automatically considered for or invited to participate in.

Automatic:

Additional application required:

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, including the Educational Access Scheme, you may be eligible for this scheme. Disadvantage can include family/home/work circumstances and/or late qualification assessment at UAC, you can apply directly to UON by emailing admissions@newcastle.edu.au. 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 the 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 (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 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 to a degree program with a lower admissions rank; 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 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

Have questions about applying for an undergraduate course through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC)? Grace, a current UON student, has some helpful tips.

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