At UNSW we know that school is not the peak of everyone’s academic career.  Sometimes circumstances beyond your control can get in the way of results that reflect your true potential.

If you are keen to study at uni but have faced challenges in year 11 and 12 that make you eligible for the UNSW ACCESS Scheme, and you don't meet the cut-off for degree entry, we want you to consider UNSW Prep. 

UNSW Prep is a one year (18 months for Engineering) pathway to a UNSW degree place. You study subjects that allow you to develop your academic skills, including maths skills if needed, so that you can achieve your best results.  You also study degree level courses from week one, to give you a realistic introduction to university level study.  If you do well in these courses you can earn course credit towards your degree.

Things to know

UNSW Prep has four program options for study and these can lead to the degrees below. Please click on your faculty of interest for a course outline.
Faculty Undergraduate Degree
All degrees in Humanities*
Business School Bachelor of Commerce*
Engineering Bachelor of Engineering (Flexible First Year)*
Science Bachelor of Science

You must pass all term one courses to progress to term 2, and you must pass all term 2 courses to progress to term 3. Before you can move into your chosen degree you must meet the requirements for that particular program. *Details are provided in the linked pdf outlines.

If you go on to postgraduate study you could end up in other areas. For example, some students from Arts and Social Sciences are now studying postgraduate Law at UNSW.

More information here: UNSW Prep 17-19 Academic Rules 2024

To be considered for UNSW Prep you need to meet certain entry criteria
Criteria Condition
ACCESS Eligible Assessed as eligible for UNSW's ACCESS Scheme via UAC’s Educational Access Schemes (EAS) process#
Age 17-19 years on 1 March 2025^
Citizenship / Residency You should be an Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen or hold a current Australian Permanent Resident visa (including Australian Permanent Resident Humanitarian visa).
Post-school study You cannot study UNSW Prep at the same time as another course
UAC Include at least one UNSW Preparation Program preference in your UAC application. UAC codes are:
Humanities - 430100
Business - 430110
Engineering - 430120
Science - 430130

Have an ATAR of 50.00 or above, or be an Indigenous applicant applying via UNSW's Nura Gili Indigenous Admission Scheme

Additional Criteria Provide a personal statement (using the template below) via UAC's 'Check and Change' facility. You may also be asked to attend a short interview in January.

#UAC will advise applicants of their ATAR and EAS eligibility.

^Older applicants can apply for the University Preparation Program

Applications must be made online via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), UAC applications open in early April and on-time applications close in late September each year. As long as you have applied to UAC by the on-time closing date you can change your preferences to include UNSW Prep up until early January without having to pay late fees.

Course Codes:

UNSW Preparation Program (Humanities) - 430100

UNSW Preparation Program (Business) - 430110

UNSW Preparation Program (Engineering) - 430120

UNSW Preparation Program (Science) - 430130

Personal Statement

The Personal Statement is a compulsory part of the application process to UNSW Prep. It is your chance to share what interests you about the program and what makes you a suitable candidate. Instructions for completing and uploading your Personal Statement are available here: Personal Statement Instructions. You must ensure you upload your Personal Statement by the deadline for each offer round, to be considered for this program.

It is important to save your responses to the questions in the Personal Statement on your computer prior to uploading to 'Check and Change'.

Register account  
Continue with Personal Statement

Will I have to attend an interview?

An interview may be required by phone or in person for entry into the UNSW Prep Program.

UNSW Prep is fully funded by the Australian Government so for the first few subjects of your degree you pay no course fees.* You will need to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee ($326 per year in 2023 for full time study) which lets you access all the services for students at UNSW, and the cost of any materials you need for your course. How much you spend will depend on where you are living, the subjects you study and your own circumstances.

You study two subjects each term (instead of the usual three or four) so you are a full-time student but you have more time to juggle study with work and home life.

If you’re thinking of living away from home more information on accommodation is available here. Also towards the end of UNSW Prep you can apply for selected scholarships.

* This may change. Please check for details prior to your application.

If you are offered a UNSW Prep place you can apply to defer your studies. This means that you are given a place on the program but you can delay starting your studies for up to two years, providing you still meet the age requirement. This might allow you to work and save some money or fulfil family responsibilities, but if you study at Diploma level or higher during that time, you will lose your UNSW Prep place.

Want more information?

 Speak to one of our Future Student Advisers.