Thursday, 15 December 2011

Breaking up with your ATAR and finding a new pathway into Uni

3 students, 3 different pathways; all have the same degree and have started on the same career path.

Finishing school, getting an ATAR score and jumping straight to uni is just one way of doing it and this way, well it might work for some, but not for others.

For whatever reason you may not have achieved the ATAR you needed to get into the course you really wanted to do. Or, let’s be frank, you may not have got the ATAR you needed because you really had no clue what you wanted to do and we all know that when you don’t have something to aim for, that you aspire to, it can be hard to stay motivated.

Whatever. That was then. This is now and maybe now you’ve decided that getting into uni and studying [insert name of course that takes your fancy] is exactly what you want to do.

So, if using your ATAR isn’t an option let’s forget about ATAR and focus on what your options as a school leaver are now:

Media portfolios

Some media and arts courses don’t need an ATAR score but instead you submit a portfolio of work. Check the Media portfolio entry pathway for more details and a list of courses.


Ahh, another acronym. MUPC stands for Murdoch University Preparation Course and if you didn’t love your ATAR you are going to love MUPC because it means you can study at the Murdoch Institute of Technology (MIT) and get a Diploma that can lead you straight into a course at Murdoch.

You get to study on the South Street campus which makes your transition to uni really easy once you have successfully completed the MIT course.   A diploma acts as credit to your uni degree as well, so if you take their Express Route, you can end up graduating with your degree at the same time as someone who went from school straight to uni.

Take a look at the MIT website for course details and options.

On Track and TOP

If major disruptions affected your studies in high school and your teachers can support your application you may be able to apply for On Track which is a free pre-uni 12 week program or the Tertiary Options Project (TOP) which can lead to direct admission into Murdoch.

Download the TOP brochure for more info or contact our Equity Office on 08 9360 6084 or

If you would like to apply for TOP, download the application form.

For more info on On Track  call (08) 9360 2609 or email

Entry Awards (formerly named Entry Scholarships)

Check out our different Entry Award options, we have a number of High School Entry Awards and Financial Awards on offer. Details about these are given to high schools each year and you will in most cases need to be nominated by your high school.

Indigenous programs

Murdoch’s Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre provides a number of educational pathways into both pre-tertiary and undergraduate studies.

For more information, visit the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre website or call 08 9360 2128.

Access Southwest

If you’re in Year 12 and are studying in the Peel or Rockingham area you can apply for special consideration for admission directly to Murdoch.

Download the Access Southwest Brochure for more info or contact our Equity Office on 08 9360 6084 or
To apply, download the application form.

Tafe and Trade Certificates

Go out there, get some experience and then reapply to Uni. Tafe Diplomas, Certificate IV and Trade Certificates all count as experience that can get you into Murdoch Uni. Most Tafe certificates only require one semester to get and then you can enter uni at the start of the next year or even at the Mid Year entry time. 

Some courses such as Vet, Chiropractic and Law don’t count as they have different entry requirements but chat to our Student Advisors to check what Tafe courses will be good introductions into particular courses at Murdoch.

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