Applying for Universities, TAFEs and Private Colleges

Tertiary admissions centres (TACs) manage applications for most university courses. Some TACs also manage applications to TAFEs and Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Some TACs manage applications to private or independent universities or colleges.

Apply directly to the course provider for courses that are not managed TACs.

Course Seeker summarises all higher education courses managed by TACs. This includes courses that lead to these qualifications:

  • Undergraduate Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree

Course Seeker has information such as:

  • Course overview
  • ATAR (highest, median and lowest) where applicable
  • Prerequisite subjects (if any) or assumed knowledge
  • Admission processes

Further information is available on the relevant TAC website, including:

  • Courses information
  • Key dates for applying
  • Application procedures
  • Offer round processes
  • Some types of scholarships
Type of Institution Where to Apply
Universities or participating private tertiary education providers in New South Wales or ACT. Apply to the Universities Admissions Centre UAC
TAFEs in New South Wales Apply to TAFE NSW
Universities, TAFE or participating private tertiary education providers in Queensland Apply to the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre QTAC
Universities or participating private tertiary education providers in South Australia or Charles Darwin University in Northern Territory Apply to the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre SATAC
Universities, higher education providers, TAFE or private tertiary education providers in Tasmania Apply directly to the university, TAFE or private tertiary education provider
Universities, TAFE or participating private tertiary education providers in Victoria Apply to the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre VTAC
Participating Universities and associate institutions in Western Australia Apply to the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre TISC
TAFE or private tertiary education providers in Western Australia Apply directly to the TAFE or private tertiary education provider.

North Metropolitan TAFE
South Metropolitan TAFE
Central Regional TAFE
South Regional TAFE
North Regional TAFE

TAFEs in South Australia Apply to TAFESA or apply via the link on SATAC

Compare higher education student experiences and outcomes on comparED. This should be part of your research to work out your course preferences.

Other information

  • Some tertiary admissions centres produce booklets each year that replicate their website information. Your school may have these, or you may be able to get one at a newsagent.
  • There is a fee for processing the applications to most tertiary admissions centres. But you can apply for several courses for the one processing fee. The processing fee for late applications is higher.
  • Year 10 and 11 students should look into prerequisite subjects or assumed knowledge. This is helpful for choosing Year 11 and 12 subjects.

Applying and how offers are made

Depending on the TAC, you can usually only apply for between 5 and 8 courses. It is important that you list your course preferences in your order of preference. The course that you enter as your first preference should be your most preferred course. The course you list as your second preference should be your next most preferred course and so on. Make sure you meet, or have a good chance of meeting the entrance requirements for courses in your list.

The TACs give your course preferences to course selection authorities at the institutions you have applied to. The course selection authorities decide on your eligibility for a place in the courses you have applied for.

At offer time, you will only receive one offer in each offer round. That offer will be the course that is highest in your list of course preferences that you are eligible and competitive for.

Not everyone who receives an offer of a place in a course will take up that offer. Some may defer. Some may change their mind. This means that there are usually second, third round and even more offer rounds.

If you did not receive an offer in your most preferred course, you may get another chance through the offer round system.

Working out your order of course preference

When deciding on order of course preference, a good strategy could be:

  • First two preferences - courses you would love to do and are hopeful of getting into.
  • Next two preferences - courses would love to do and are quite confident of getting into.
  • Other preferences - foot in the door courses - courses you would love to do and may help you to get to a target course. Pathway courses may fall into this category

Read the myfuture article on choosing your course preferences.

Tips for working out course preferences

  • Compare the content of the units you will study in the first year of the course.
  • Consider all the costs. These could include course fees, accommodation.
  • Read about the course experience of students who have studied the courses in your list.
  • Check that courses that provide entry into a profession are endorsed by the professional association. For example, the professional association for Occupational Therapist is Occupational Therapy Australia. Their website lists all accredited entry level university courses for Occupational Therapists. Similarly, the Australian Psychological Society provides links to all accredited courses in Australia. Accreditation and professional recognition is usually outlined on course information pages.
  • Attend Open Days for the current year.