University Preparation Program (UPP)

Mature Age Pathway
Each year thousands of adults across Australia make the rewarding and challenging decision to study at university as a mature age student. Many do not have an HSC or formal qualifications. So how do you get in to university with no qualifications?  At UNSW it’s not a case of how much you are willing to pay or how ‘mature’ you are, it’s about hard work and potential.  By completing the University Preparation Program (UPP) you can build your academic skills, experience part-time study in a subject area of your interest and decide if you will make the decision to study at university as a mature student.

“I wholly believe that UPP has provided me with the opportunity to be as great as I always knew and was told that I could be.”  Past UPP Student

Entry Criteria
To be eligible for UPP you need to meet the following criteria:

Criteria

Condition

Age

20 years or over on 1 March in the year you start the program.*

Citizenship / Residency

Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen or hold a current Australian Permanent Resident visa.

Language

English language proficiency is required if your previous schooling was not completed in English. Read the English Requirements Policy for further information.

Previous study

Not already meet the minimum entry requirements for university. If you have attempted study since leaving high school you need to contact our Admissions Office who will advise you on your best pathway, which may be UPP.  

Additional Criteria

Not be enrolled in another program of study at the same time.

* Younger applicants who are eligible for the UNSW ACCESS Scheme may be eligible for entry to UNSW Prep.  

Time commitment
You can study UPP in one of four streams depending on your area of interest or your intended area of undergraduate study. You select your stream when you enrol for UPP not when you apply. Each stream has different time commitments and content.

Stream

Suitable for degrees in

Program length

Semester One Class Times

Humanities*

Arts & Social Sciences

Built Environment

Art & Design

(Courses such as History, languages, literature, education, fine arts, architecture and social policy.)

May also be used as a Law pathway^.

2 x 13 week semesters

(March - June and late July - November)

2 hours per week

Monday 6pm - 8pm

or Tuesday 6pm - 8pm

or Friday 12pm - 2pm

(5 hours in Semester 2)

Science

Science and Mathematics

(Psychology or general science subjects, such as biological, earth and environmental sciences chemistry and physics.)

 

2 x 13 week semesters

(March - June and late July - November)

8 hours per week

Monday 6pm - 9pm

and Wednesday 6pm - 9pm

plus

Tuesday 6pm - 8pm or Friday 12pm - 2pm

(8 hours in Semester 2)

Engineering

Engineering

(Civil, electrical, mechanical and other branches of engineering.)

3 x 13 week semesters

(as above plus March - June the following year)

8 hours per week

Monday 6pm - 9pm

and Wednesday 6pm - 9pm

plus

Tuesday 6pm - 8pm or Friday 12pm - 2pm

(8 hours in Semester 2)

 Business

 Business

(Commerce, marketing, accounting, economics and management)

 

2 x 13 week semesters

(March - June and late July - November)

 

8 hours per week

Monday 6pm - 9pm

and Wednesday 6pm - 9pm

plus

Tuesday 6pm - 8pm or Friday 12pm - 2pm

(8 hours in Semester 2)

You will also need to complete 1 hour a week on-line and it is recommended that you set aside 6 - 8 hours of study per week for each UPP course.  You will need to attend an orientation evening in late February, before classes commence Monday 2 March, 2015. 80% attendance is a course requirement.  

* Please note that students studying in the Humanities stream may not have evening classes available for their elective course in Semester 2.

Course content
Humanities Stream
Semester 1 - University Orientation and Study Skills 1 (REGZ9000).
On successful completion of this course, you enrol in Semester 2 courses.
Semester 2 - University Orientation and Study Skills 2 (REGZ9255) and an elective course (your choice from a list of Gateway courses). Gateway courses allow you to experience first-hand the teaching methods, learning environment and workload of an actual undergraduate university course.

Science Stream
Semester 1 - University Orientation and Study Skills 1 (REGZ9000) and UPP Mathematics Skills 1 (REGZ9070).
On successful completion of the two Semester 1 courses, you enrol in Semester 2 courses.
Semester 2 - University Orientation and Study Skills 2 (REGZ9255) and the UPP Mathematics Skills 2 (REGZ9072).

Engineering Stream
Semester 1 - University Orientation and Study Skills 1 (REGZ9000) and UPP Mathematics Skills 1 (REGZ9070).
On successful completion of the two Semester 1 courses, you enrol in Semester 2 courses.
Semester 2 - Communicating in Engineering (ENG0360), and UPP Mathematics Skills 2 (REGZ9072).
On successful completion of the two Semester 2 courses you enrol in Semester 3 (i.e. Semester 1 - March - June the following year).
Semester 3 - Complete the remaining courses for your area of study. The program must be completed within the 18-month period.

Business Stream
Semester 1 - University Orientation and Study Skills 1 (REGZ9000) and UPP Mathematics Skills 1 (REGZ9070).
On successful completion of the two Semester 1 courses, you enrol in Semester 2 courses.
Semester 2 - University Orientation and Study Skills 2 (REGZ9255) and the UPP Mathematics Skills 2 (REGZ9072).

University Orientation and Study Skills (UOSS)
No matter what stream they choose to follow, all students must complete University Orientation and Study Skills (UOSS) as the first part of their program. It is offered exclusively for UPP students and no prior knowledge is required, except for English Proficiency. Topics covered in the course include orientation to the academic system, time management and critical analysis skills, preparing seminar presentations, essay writing, note taking from lectures and written material, examination techniques and an introduction to online learning. All of these skills are invaluable for success in the UPP and for further study, as past UPP students agree.

“Being taught how to learn was critical. Had those skills been taught to me when I was younger I might not have failed the first time around”

“My study skills, from note taking to essay writing and exam preparation, were very good and this gave me significant advantages at uni.”  Past UPP students and Law graduates

Assessment for the course is continuous and consists of any combination of the following: class participation, seminar presentations, essays, critical reviews, reports, class tests, online activities and final examinations. You will also have access to feedback and support throughout the course.  

More information on the content of UPP courses offered in 2014 is available here.

Costs
“I decided to do the program because it was affordable and accessible to me, and because the classes were only a few hours each week, so I could fit it in around my work hours.” Past UPP Student

  • UPP is fully funded by the Australian Government, so there are no course fees.
  • You need to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee ($145 in 2014), which allows you to access all the services for students at UNSW. Services which students can find the most useful are: the UNSW library, computer facilities, counselling, careers advice and discounted access to sports facilities.
  • You pay the cost of any materials you need for your course.
  • Info on getting to the Kensington campus (where all UPP classes are held) facilities.unsw.edu.au/getting-uni can help you work out your transport costs. 
  • You need to pay a processing charge to the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), $62 for 2014/15 for on-time applications. If you apply after 30 September 2014 the processing charge increases, and continues to increase over time. The earlier you apply the lower the processing charge will be.

Future pathways and study options
Once you complete the UPP you can use your results to apply for further studies at UNSW or at another institution which accepts UPP results for entry. Completion of the UPP does not guarantee you a degree place and institutions will look at a range of factors when you apply for further studies, including interviews, auditions and portfolios for some courses.

In 2012 every UPP student who applied for university entry after completing the program was offered a place at a university. On average, half of all students who complete UPP each year go on to a degree program here at UNSW.

At UNSW there are a huge variety of degrees and over 90 of these consider UPP results for entry. What you can apply for will depend on the UPP stream you study, as above. 

A small number of courses do not accept UPP results for admission. These are: Combined Law, Engineering/ Commerce, Medicine, Medicinal Chemistry, Medical Science, Advanced Science, Advanced Mathematics, Optometry, programs in the UNSW Business School (other than the Bachelor of Commerce) and the 4 year Bachelor of Psychology (although Psychology can also be studied as a major in the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Psychological Sciences and Bachelor of Arts degrees all of which accept UPP for admission).

^Many UPP students have been able to study in some of the areas above, in particular in Law, by studying for an undergraduate degree and then going on to study in these areas as a postgraduate. Our Admissions Office can advise on pathway options.

How to apply
Applications for 2015 will be available at www.uac.edu.au from August 6 2014.  You may apply up until the end of January, however places may have already filled by that time.  You must accept your offer and enrol no later than mid February.

A UAC step by step video is available to help with the application process and the UAC course code for UPP is 430200.  If you need help with the UAC application process please contact us at the Learning Centre, details below. 

Further information
For queries in relation to admission to the UPP and/or undergraduate degrees (eg. are you eligible for UPP? Will it allow you to study your preferred degree?) please contact the Admissions Office. For all other UPP queries please contact the Learning Centre.

The Learning Centre
Tel: +61 2 9385 2060
Email: UPP@unsw.edu.au

UNSW Admissions
Tel: +61 2 9385 3656
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