The University of Newcastle, Australia

Other pathways and study options

There are other pathways into uni. If you did not complete Year 12 or didn’t get the marks for your dream degree, we have enabling programs to get you started.

Student on campus

Fast-track Open Foundation

Fast-track Open Foundation is a free pathway program that will be available in 2021 for eligible students. This program will enable you to undertake a single semester program allowing you to move quickly into your degree.

This program is only available to current Year 12 applicants

Open Foundation student

Open Foundation

If you are seeking a new career direction, considering attending university after time in the workforce or looking to further pursue your interests, our Open Foundation program can help make this happen with guaranteed entry to over 40+ degrees. Flexible study means you can learn at your own pace, including online, part-time or full-time options. This is a free pathway program for people who do not have the qualifications required for direct entry into an undergraduate degree.

Newstep student


If you did not complete Year 12 or missed the chance to get the marks needed for university entry, our Newstep program offers you the perfect pathway between senior schooling and University, providing you with guaranteed entry to over 40+ degrees. Study on-campus at Newcastle or the Central Coast. Our free Newstep program offers a guaranteed pathway to an undergraduate degree. Newstep is available for students between 18-20 years of age in the year of study.

Yapug student

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entry

Yapug is a free pathway designed to help Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people gain entry into undergraduate degrees, including a pathway into Medicine. Start your university experience in a culturally appropriate learning environment, supported by indigenous peers and staff. You don't have to meet the requirements for entry to university or have any prior experience. To be eligible, you must be over 18 years of age and have confirmation of your indigeneity. Yapug offers flexible study options including full-time and part-time study and provides guaranteed entry to over 40+ degrees.

A student in one of our Student Hubs

Non-award admission and cross-institutional study

If you want to study one or more subjects at university without advancing to a degree or diploma you can choose non-award study. You can apply for non-award admission as preliminary work for a higher degree, for professional requirements or because of an interest in the area.

If you are currently studying at another university you can complete courses at the University of Newcastle for credit towards your degree.

Newcastle International College

Newcastle International College (NIC)

NIC is the official on-campus pathway college for international students, offering various Foundation and Diploma courses leading to either Year 1 or Year 2 at the University of Newcastle. The Foundation Program leads to over 100 undergraduate degrees, including Medicine .

From 2020, NIC also offers a Pre-Masters Program that provides a pathway for international students wishing to study a master’s degree at the University of Newcastle.


University of Newcastle Language Centre

Need to improve your English language skills to gain entry into a degree program at the University of Newcastle, or would like to improve your English skills to boost your career? English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) are designed to enable international students to develop their English language skills for a variety of purposes.

We offer a range of programs to suit varying levels of English language proficiency, and all courses prepare students for further study at the University of Newcastle.