VET Pathways to University

Did you know that getting an ATAR isn’t the only pathway to study at university? Heaps of unis have multiple pathway options, including for people who have obtained a VET qualification. If you’re in high school and thinking of uni, it might be worth considering a VET pathway to university to boost your chances of getting in.

So what exactly do you need to do to get in?


Getting a VET qualification


If you’re still in high school, you can earn a VET qualification by undertaking a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SBAT). Not only will you get a nationally-recognised qualification, you’ll gain real work experience, and your VET studies can also contribute towards your high school certificate. In some cases, you can even gain credit towards an ATAR, leaving you with multiple options once you leave school.

You can also obtain a VET qualification in high school through a VET in Schools program, where you will study VET subjects alongside your high school subjects. Just like school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, this study can also contribute towards your high school certificate, and even an ATAR.

You can also choose to study with a TAFE or RTO once you’ve finished school and gain a qualification that way. Most VET courses have no strict entry requirements, so if your ATAR was lower than expected, you can study a VET qualification as a stepping stone to uni – and it can be a great way to get a feel for what study is like and if you enjoy certain subjects.

Some universities even have pathway programs through affiliated colleges, allowing you to study for a Diploma that will give you direct entry into an undergraduate degree. In most cases, your studies will also provide you with credit for your degree, meaning you don’t need to spend longer to gain a qualification. For example, UOW College offer Diplomas in a variety of areas that will give you guaranteed entry to UOW on completion.


Using a VET qualification for uni entry


Pretty much every university in Australia will accept a completed VET qualification as a pathway to study. In most cases, you’ll need to have completed a minimum of a Certificate III level qualification.

For example, at JCU, completing a Certificate III qualification in any area will give you guaranteed entry to four of their courses (including the Bachelor of Science). At QUT, if you’ve completed a Certificate IV qualification, this translates to a Selection Rank of 74, meaning you can gain entry to any course with an SR of 74 and under.

Generally, the higher the level of qualification you have, the more degrees you will be eligible for (a Diploma will allow you to gain entry to more courses than a Certificate III, for example). Some degrees might still have subject prerequisites as well.

Different universities will have different criteria for entry, so it’s best to check with the specific uni you want to apply to.


Why should you consider VET pathways?


There are lots of reasons you might like to study a VET qualification while you’re still at school or after you’ve finished, including:

  • Getting a feel for what higher study is like and preparing yourself for uni
  • If you’re doing an SBAT, you get real work experience (and some money too)
  • Giving yourself more options for your future
  • You might find a VET qualification is enough for your dream job
  • Exploring pathways you might not have considered before
  • Peace of mind knowing an ATAR isn’t the only way to get into uni


Find out more


If you’re interested in VET pathways to university and studying VET at school, get in touch with your school’s VET coordinator or careers advisor to discuss what options are available to you.

You can also browse your chosen uni’s website to read more about entry requirements, or contact them to ask any questions you might have.

Or you can read more about VET study on our website here.


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