Pathways to university

Pathways to university

Senior school students can choose from a wide range of pathways to university, training and employment. Pathways can be selected to meet students’ interests, skills, needs and aspirations.

Pathways to university


A student’s Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) is calculated using their course and examination results. A minimum of four ATAR courses is required. For most students, the academic nature and challenge of ATAR courses provides the best preparation for success at university. 

To be considered for university as a school leaver using ATAR, students must:

  • meet the requirements for the Western Australian Certificate of Education
  • meet English Language Competency standard as outlined by each university, through one of:
    • ATAR English
    • ATAR Literature
    • ATAR EAL/D or equivalent (scaled score of 50 or above)
    • the minimum requirements in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) written test for English.
  • obtain a sufficiently high ATAR for entry to a particular course, and
  • satisfy any prerequisites or special requirements for entry to a particular course.

Year 12 students are provided with information about applying to universities and admission to undergraduate courses by their schools.

Some students are eligible for an ATAR adjustment. Adjustments increase a student’s rank due to factors such as:

  • performance in Year 12 subjects
  • living or attending school in a certain area
  • being first in a family to attend university, or
  • eligibility for Educational Access Schemes.

A student can have different selection ranks for different universities. For more information, visit:

Students can use VET qualifications to meet the minimum entry requirements of a range of undergraduate courses. Usually applicants have successfully achieved a WACE, completed a qualification at Certificate IV level and met English Language Competency. For more information, visit:

There are dedicated pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to enter university. For more information, visit:

  • Curtin University for a number of enabling courses to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students meet the requirements for their chosen course.
  • Edith Cowan University, to access the Aboriginal University Readiness Assessment (AURA), which allows students who have completed a Certificate II or lower to be considered for university entry.
  • Murdoch University for the K-Track enabling program, a free course enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders starting out with tertiary education or looking for a change in direction.
  • The University of Notre Dame, to access a number of opportunities and alternative entry pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to study Medicine.
  • The University of Western Australia, for Indigenous study opportunities which includes the Aboriginal Orientation course and Provisional Entry scheme.

University preparation or enabling courses are designed to prepare students to qualify for a range of undergraduate courses. These courses focus on the skills required for university level study such as research, writing processes and numeracy. For more information, visit:

Students may be considered for entry into specific undergraduate courses based on a portfolio that showcases academic achievements, qualifications, capabilities, and suitability for tertiary study. For more information, visit:

  • Curtin University for the portfolio entry which is available for a range of humanities, science, business and health science courses.
  • Edith Cowan University, where students may be considered for entry to specific undergraduate courses in creative arts and design disciplines without an ATAR.
  • Murdoch University to access the media pathway for creative students aiming to enrol in an Arts course.

Students may be considered for entry to an undergraduate course through university assessment of their ability to succeed in higher education based on evidence provided. For more information, visit:

Students who have experienced exceptional circumstances during senior secondary schooling, that has adversely affected their Year 11 and 12 study, can seek undergraduate admission to Western Australia universities. Applicants may apply for special consideration through the Tertiary Institution Service Centre (TISC).

For more information, visit the TISC.

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