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UNSW Prep Program

This degree is for domestic students only
Looking for a second chance at going to university? This one-year program is designed for recent high school leavers (aged 17-19) who are seeking alternative entry pathways to a UNSW degree. Gain the skills and confidence to thrive at uni and build the foundations for an exciting career, backed by a global top 20 university.
Commencing Terms
Term 1
1 Year(s)
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
UAC code 430100
Program code 6115
CRICOS code -
Entry Requirements
View all admission criteria
Students gathering at UNSW Sydney Kensington campus


Not ready to give up on your dream to study at university? The UNSW Prep Program is your second chance to study at a world-class university and launch a meaningful career in your chosen field. We encourage you to apply for the UNSW Prep program if you are keen to study at uni but didn't meet the cut-off for degree entry and faced challenges in years 11 and 12 that make you eligible for the UNSW ACCESS Scheme.

This part-time program is an alternative pathway to university for recent high school leavers aged between 17 to 19 years old. It’s designed to help you gain the skills and confidence needed for academic success. You’ll build your skills in research, critical thinking and essay writing so you’re better equipped for university study. 

Choose from four streams (Humanities, Engineering, Science and Business) and take on foundational subjects as well as a series of chosen electives. When you successfully complete the program, you will be eligible for entry into a UNSW degree program*.

*Exclusions noted under Future Careers tab.

Key features

Relaxed entry requirements
This program is designed for recent high school leavers aged who didn’t achieve the results they hoped in Year 12 or their HSC. If you experienced difficult circumstances during Year 11 and 12 that impacted your study, UNSW Prep can get your plans back on track. 

Four streams based on your interests
The UNSW Prep Program offers four streams which you’ll choose based on what you’d like to study after completing the course: Humanities, Science, Business and Engineering. Each stream contains orientation courses where you’ll learn the fundamentals of university study, as well as topic-specific content. 

No tuition fees
There are no tuition fees for University Prep – it is fully funded by the Australian Government. However, there are some course-related costs you’ll need to cover, including the Student Services and Amenities Fee and the cost of any course materials such as textbooks or calculators.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

UNSW is a university for all
We provide opportunity, access and support to anyone who has earned it. If you’re dedicated to pursuing further study, we’ll give you the tools, encouragement and guidance to unlock your true potential.

The full university experience
UNSW has a vibrant student community with over 300 clubs, societies and social activities. You can use all the support services and facilities on campus, including career coaching, peer mentoring, mental health services and more.

Pathways for a brighter future
Thousands of students just like you have completed the UNSW Prep Program and gone on to study a wide variety of degrees* across our seven globally renowned faculties. Studying at UNSW will open you up to jobs and opportunities you may never have thought were possible.

*Exclusions noted under Future Careers tab.


Program Code






Total UoC

36 UoC

Want to learn more about UNSW Prep (17-19)?

Entry requirements

To be considered for admission to this course you must:

  • be between 17 to 19 years of age on 1 March 2024 (older students can apply for the University Preparation Program (UPP)).
  • submit an Educational Access Schemes (EAS) application via the University Admissions Centre’s (UAC's) centralised process and be assessed as eligible for UNSW's ACCESS Scheme, be eligible for the UNSW Elite Athlete Program, OR come through the Gateway Program.
  • be an Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen or hold a current Australian Permanent Resident visa (including Australian Permanent Resident Humanitarian visa).
  • achieve an ATAR of 50.00 or above OR be an Indigenous applicant applying via UNSW's Nura Gili Indigenous Admission Scheme.
  • provide a personal statement via UAC's website using the upload facility.
  • demonstrate English language proficiency if you did not undertake your secondary studies in English.


Program structure

The UNSW Prep Program is delivered over three terms (four for the Engineering stream). The program has four streams (study areas) which students can choose from:

  1. Humanities
  2. Science
  3. Engineering
  4. Business

You’ll complete courses in person, with allocated independent study to be completed in your own time.

Full program structure

Your study load and program structure will depend on your chosen stream. 


Course details

What you'll study

  • UAC Code: 430100
  • 3x10 week terms (Feb-Apr, Jun-Aug, Sep-Nov)
  • Suitable for those who want to study a degree in humanities, including history, languages, literature, education, fine arts, architecture or social policy. 
  • Term 1 – Academic Skills 1 + Social Science Skills 1
  • Term 2 – Academic Skills 2 + Social Science Skills 2
  • Term 3 – Two Humanities electives



Course details What you'll study
  • UAC Code: 430130
  • 3x10 week terms (Feb-Apr, Jun-Aug, Sep-Nov)
  • Suitable for those who want to study the Bachelor of Science
  • Term 1 – Academic Skills 1 + Maths Skills 1*
  • Term 2 – Academic Skills 2 + Maths Skills 2*  
  • Term 3 – Science Elective + Maths Skills 3*



Course details What you'll study
  • UAC Code: 430110
  • 3x10 week terms (Feb-Apr, Jun-Aug, Sep-Nov)
  • Suitable for those who want to study the Bachelor of Commerce
  • Term 1 – Academic Skills 1 + Maths Skills 1*
  • Term 2 – Academic Skills 2 + Maths Skills 2*  
  • Term 3 – Business Decision Making + Maths Skills 3 or Collaboration and Innovation in Business*



Course details What you'll study
  • UAC Code: 430120
  • 4x10 week terms (Feb-Apr, Jun-Aug, Sep-Nov. Plus, Feb-Apr the following year)
  • Suitable for those who want to study the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • Term 1 – Academic Skills 1 + Maths Skills 1*
  • Term 2 – Computing for Engineers + Maths Skills 2*
  • Term 3 – Communicating in Engineering + Maths Skills 3*
  • Term 1 (following year) – Fundamentals of Physics + Fundamentals of Mathematics B  


*If you already have completed Year 12 Mathematics at the standard expected of 1st Year, you are able to substitute Maths Skills courses. These substitute courses must be approved by the program co-ordinator. Please contact the program co-ordinator in Orientation Week to discuss alternative courses.


Future careers

The UNSW Prep Program is a pre-entry course to help you improve your academic skills before you start a degree, where you focus on one of the streams below based on your interests. After completing the program, you’ll be eligible to study a degree in one of the four fields of study – here’s where those pathways might take you:

  • Science: Psychology or general science, such as biological, earth and environmental sciences, chemistry and physics.
  • Business: Commerce, marketing, accounting, economics, information systems or management.
  • Engineering: Civil, electrical, mechanical and other branches of engineering.
  • Humanities: History, languages, literature, education, fine arts, architecture and social policy.

At UNSW, you’ll benefit from our hands-on, practical approach to learning which focuses on building employability for success in the workforce. UNSW has been recognised for producing the most employable graduates in Australia*. Our students also earn the highest graduate median salaries of Go8 universities^.

*AFR Top 100 Future Leaders Awards 2020,2021,2022,2023
^QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey 2022


Please note, UNSW Prep is not accepted for entry to the following programs at UNSW:

  • Medicine (UAC code: 428000)
  • Medicinal Chemistry (UAC code: 429006)
  • Medical Science (UAC code: 429007)
  • Advanced Science (UAC code: 429013)
  • Advanced Mathematics (UAC code: 429014)
  • Optometry (UAC code: 429025)
  • Psychology (UAC code: 429026)

How to apply

Step 1

Apply online via the University Admission Centre’s (UAC) online system uac.edu.au using the following course codes:

  • Science (430130) 
  • Engineering (430120) 
  • Humanities (430100) 
  • Business (430110) 

Step 2

You will need to prepare a personal statement that must be uploaded with your UAC application. The personal statement is your chance to share why you have chosen UNSW Prep and what makes you a suitable candidate.

Instructions for completing and uploading your personal statement, including key dates, can be found below:

Step 3

A phone interview may also be required for entry into UNSW before each offer round.

Ready to apply?


Tutition fees for UNSW Prep are covered by the Australian Government. Please note this is subject to change  –  please check fee details prior to application.

Other costs associated with study that you will need to cover are: 

  • Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) which is $351 per year in 2024 for full time study. This helps cover costs of all the non-academic student services, sporting and recreational activities, etc. 
    • Students can apply for SA-HELP, a Commonwealth loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay all or part of their SSAF.
  • You will have to buy or borrow course materials such as textbooks, calculators, lab coats, etc.

Top 20

QS World University Rankings, 2024.

Employable Graduates

AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.


#1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

The learning culture at UNSW, which challenges the status quo, helped set me apart from others.
Alumni, Harry Goldberg

Harry Goldberg