James Cook University

James Cook University
Townsville, Cairns, Online


James Cook University is committed to creating a brighter future for life in the Tropics and beyond, through education and research that makes a difference locally, and globally. As a JCU graduate, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience to create a positive impact on urban, regional, rural and remote communities.

Join over 20,000 students, including 6,600 international students, who are enrolled in a variety of programs at JCU. Graduate career-ready through courses focused on practical experience and hands-on learning. Throughout your degree, you’ll develop professional skills and gain in-depth knowledge as you engage with lecturers, researchers and industry experts. Small class sizes provide access to personalised learning opportunities, empowering you to achieve success your way.

Study Areas

JCU’s courses span a diverse set of study areas at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Our study areas include:

Allied Health and Pharmacy
Biomedical Sciences
Business, Law and Finance
Environmental Management
Healthcare Sciences
Information Technology
Marine Science and Marine Biology
Nursing and Midwifery
Planning, Development and the Environment
Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
Society and Culture
Sport and Exercise Science
Teaching and Education
Veterinary Science

There’s a place for you at JCU

Study at JCU campuses in Townsville, Cairns, Singapore and Brisbane. Depending on your chosen course, there are also options to attend our campuses in Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton and Thursday Island.

JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus, Smithfield and JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas offer access to spectacular natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and the Outback. Dive into hands-on learning experiences, placements and projects in some of the most fascinating locations on Earth. You could undertake work experience in remote communities, learn in our Classroom on the Reef, or conduct research in the rainforest with the richest biodiversity in Australia.

Why JCU?

A five-star experience

JCU has been independently rated five stars for full-time employment outcomes, starting salary, and student-teacher ratio for both undergraduate and postgraduate students*. Excel in your studies and future career through the support of academics and staff committed to student success. The careers team at JCU provide knowledge and support for your dream role, and can assist you to seek out job vacancies, craft a strong resume and submit applications throughout the duration of your studies.

*Good Universities Guide 2023

This is Uni… but not as you know it

Field trips, clinical placements, practicums and internships — no matter your chosen course, JCU provides opportunities to build your knowledge and skill base. Gain hands-on experience working and learning in outback cattle stations, remote health clinics, the heart of the Daintree Rainforest and the depths of the Great Barrier Reef.

Ready today, for tomorrow

Kickstart your career through study that incorporates real-world issues and scenarios. JCU prioritises practical learning within every degree. Our academics maintain strong industry connections and can assist you in identifying a range of placement opportunities. Gain valuable work experience while building a network of industry professionals within your field. You’ll be empowered to transition into the workplace with the practical skills, knowledge and connections that best equip you for success.

Virtual open day

No matter where you live, JCU’s Virtual Open Day is the perfect opportunity to learn more about our study offerings and campuses. Explore available courses and student support services in a relaxed and convenient environment. Receive answers to all your university questions via live chat, with JCU advisors, current students, academics and alumni all on hand to provide detailed information.

You can also discover the ins and outs of student life through virtual presentations on study and take a tour of each campus and its facilities.
Register for the next JCU Virtual Open Day today.

UniX Events

Whether you’re local to Brisbane, Cairns or Townsville, or live further afield, JCU hosts a series of events every year to meet with students like you. Our UniX Events provide you with an opportunity to discuss your career aspirations and study plans, as well as discover how JCU can support you to be ready today for tomorrow. Find out more on our website.

Important dates

Visit the JCU website for information on enrolment and teaching dates, as well as semester and trimester dates and other important academic information.

Visit key dates for more information on important QTAC dates.

Admission criteria

Applicants are required to meet the course entry requirements for direct entry into a course. Entry requirements can include a combination of the following:

  • English Language Proficiency,
  • Subject Pre-requisites,
  • Entry Score (ATAR /Selection Rank)
  • Age requirements
  • Course specific entry requirements.

Information relating to admissions criteria is available on our course pages and the JCU Admissions Policy.

JCU Guaranteed Admission:

JCU guarantees entry to a majority of courses for current year 12 applicants based on the final ATAR result.

ATAR of 90 or above recipients are guaranteed entry into most JCU courses with all subject prerequisites waived.

Applicants awarded an ATAR of 73 or above will be guaranteed entry into most JCU courses, though must meet the course subject pre-requisites.

Programs excluded from these guarantees are:

  • Bachelor of Advanced Science
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education)
  • Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Nursing Science (Pre-Registration)
  • Bachelor of Nursing Science – Bachelor of Midwifery
  • Bachelor of Clinical Science

If you finish Year 12 with a Certificate III or a Certificate IV qualification you are guaranteed entry into a number of JCU undergraduate courses. Some courses require additional subject prerequisites are met.
These prerequisites may include subjects such as English, Maths or Science. For more details, click the link for more details about our Guaranteed Admission Plan.

Applicants with previous Higher Education study (Diploma or higher), will be assigned a selection rank determined by the level, duration, and Grade Point Average (GPA) of the study.

Higher education study can grant credit toward a degree course. For more information, visit the JCU Credit Calculator.

JCU recognises many tertiary preparatory, enabling, foundation and bridging programs provided by higher education institutions throughout Australia. This study is assessed on the basis of the GPA and the duration of study.

JCU accepts a number of VET qualifications to meet tertiary access ranks and/or subject prerequisites including completed Certificate III and IV qualifications and complete and incomplete diploma and advanced diploma qualifications.

AQF Certificate III qualifications are typically not accepted to satisfy prerequisites.

A Certificate III or a Certificate IV qualification you are guaranteed entry into a number of JCU undergraduate courses. Some courses require additional subject prerequisites are met.
These prerequisites may include subjects such as English, Maths or Science.

JCU will accept the Certificate III in Education Support to meet the ATAR/rank requirement for all Bachelor of Education courses.

JCU will accept the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care to meet the ATAR/rank requirement for Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) only.

JCU recognises many admission pathways including employment experience, the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (age restrictions apply), post-secondary professional, and paraprofessional qualifications.

Applicants who have more than one selection rank will generally be considered on the highest of those ranks.

Current Year 12 applicants

Current ATAR-eligible Year 12 students will be considered for entry based on their ATAR and ability to meet the entry requirements including age and subject pre-requisites.

Current ATAR-ineligible Year 12 students, without VET Qualifications, are considered for entry into the Diploma of Higher EducationTertiary Access Course or a Pathway or Package program.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

JCU accepts the International Baccalaureate (IB) as meeting our course entry requirements. Your final IB Diploma score will then be translated into a QTAC selection rank. Some subjects completed as part of the IB Diploma will meet the subject pre-requisites required for entry into our Undergraduate degrees. Students who have completed particular IB subjects may be eligible for credit.

Overseas Year 12 Study

Students who have completed Year 12 or equivalent study overseas can be considered for admission to JCU. The final results of these studies will be assessed for comparability to Australian Secondary Studies and converted into a QTAC selection rank. Some subjects studied as part of overseas senior secondary education can be eligible to meet the subject pre-requisite entry requirements to our courses.

Applicants with completed year 12 (more than two years ago)

Year 12 results (OP/ATAR) don’t expire and may be considered, along with further post-secondary studies, when an application is assessed.

Regional Preference Scheme

This scheme assists residents of regional and remote areas of Queensland to gain entry into JCU through an automatic adjustment of an applicant’s ATAR by two ranks.

The Regional Preference Scheme is open to domestic applicants who reside in regional and remote Queensland (postcodes 4306 through to 4895).  The scheme cannot be used for entry to postgraduate degrees, graduate entry programs or courses with special application requirements (including Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)).

Applicants do not apply for this scheme.  The bonus ranks are automatically applied to the application.

Educational Access Scheme

JCU participates in QTAC’s Educational Access Scheme (EAS) which recognises applicants who have been educationally disadvantaged due to: financial hardship, home environment and responsibilities, English language difficulty, personal illness and disability or educational disruption.

This scheme is open to domestic applicants who apply through QTAC but does not apply to courses with special application requirements.

Applicants apply for the Educational Access Scheme through QTAC.

Subject Adjustment Scheme

This scheme allows for an automatic adjustment for subjects that require a high level of skill and knowledge that are successfully completed in high school.

The Subject Adjustment Scheme is open to all domestic and international applicants completing Year 12 and can’t be used for entry to postgraduate degrees, graduate entry programs and courses with special application requirements.

Applicants do not apply for this scheme. The bonus ranks are automatically applied at the time of application.

Adjustments are cumulative up to a maximum of ten (10) rankings and some exceptions apply

Courses with special entry procedures

Applicants for the Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) are required to apply online to QTAC by the due date, and submit a written application to JCU by 5pm, 30 September 2023.

Applicants for Education courses are required to meet a non-academic entry requirement.


Refer to privacy information on the JCU website.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Indigenous Education and Research Centre provides an environment that inspire you to grow personally, culturally and academically and deliver student support programs and services to assist throughout your studies. For more information, please visit the JCU website.

Inherent Academic Requirements

Inherent requirements are the fundamental abilities, attributes, skills and behaviours necessary to complete the learning outcomes of a course while preserving the academic integrity of JCU’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes.

Current and prospective students must be able to demonstrate that they have acquired or have the ability to acquire the inherent requirements for their degree or course.

Reasonable adjustments may be implemented to assist students to manage additional circumstances which impact on their studies, provided these do not fundamentally change the academic integrity of the degree or course. For further detail visit our JCU Inherent Requirements.

English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency requirements for the course they are applying for. For more information, please visit the JCU website.

Timing of offers

JCU will make offers to eligible applications throughout the year for most courses.  Offers for 2024 will commence in August 2023.

For further information on course availability visit the course webpage.


QTAC applicants are notified of their JCU offer by email and must accept the offer online by the lapse date. You will find details of how to respond in your offer letter. Once you have accepted your offer you will be able plan your studies and enrol in subjects.

Deferring an offer:

You can defer most courses for up to 12 months. Longer deferment may be considered in special circumstances.

Visit the JCU website for more information.

Credit transfer

If you have studied at another university, TAFE, or a private tertiary education provider in Australia or overseas, you may be able to transfer credit to your current degree.

For information on applying for Credit for Previous Study, visit the JCU website.

Fees and charges

Your fees could be determined by several factors. For information on fees and financial support, visit the JCU website.

Student facilities and services

JCU has several facilities dedicated to providing students with built-for-purpose spaces to facilitate their learning, from the LEED Gold Certified The Science Place to various research facilities.

Students can access academic support through The Learning Centre, with options to book one-on-one consultation sessions with a Learning Advisor.


Each year JCU offers a number of scholarships to eligible new and continuing students. For more information, please refer to JCU Scholarships.

Student support services

JCU provides you with a comprehensive range of support services, including career advice and student employment services, chaplaincy, disability and accessibility support (AccessAbility) and personal counselling. Our student mentor program links new students with second and third year students who provide support and information about life at university. For more information, visit the JCU Student Support website.

Career Advice

Benefit from career advice from your first year of study. JCU provides a variety of services to support student employment, including assistance writing job applications and practising for job interviews, as well as career planning advice and tips for finding relevant experience. Students can book appointments with the Careers and Employability team and enrol in the Employability Edge program.

Student accommodation

A range of quality on-campus and off-campus housing is available for rent around each of the JCU campuses. Our latest on-campus accommodation building, Burralga Yumba, opened in February 2022. Contact JCU’s Accommodation Office for assistance with organising your living arrangements. To view available on-campus spaces or submit an application, explore the JCU accommodation website.

Work integrated learning

Certain JCU courses include a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program embedded in particular subjects. WIL programs are designed to develop and integrate employability skills into study by empowering you to engage with industry leaders through placements, internships or assessments. Learn more about JCU’s placement opportunities and requirements today.

Study abroad

JCU supports students through providing multiple avenues for hands-on learning and practical experiences, including overseas study opportunities. Consider spending a semester or year abroad with the JCU Global Experience program. Explore JCU Global Experience to discover whether your prospective course includes opportunities for overseas placements.

The table below gives an indication of the likely cohort of new students at James Cook University. It provides data on students that commenced undergraduate study and passed the census date for Semester 1, 2023 including those admitted through all offer rounds, across all Australian campuses, as well as international students studying in Australia.

Applicant background Semester 1 intake 2023
Number of students Percentage of all students
(A) Higher education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
510 22.22%
(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study 92 4.01%
(C) Work and life experience
(Admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
133 5.80%
(D) Recent secondary education:

Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR/selection rank (regardless of whether this includes the consideration of adjustment factors such as equity or subject bonus points)

637 27.76%
Admitted where both ATAR/selection rank and additional criteria were considered (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR/selection rank) 287 12.51%
Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR/selection rank was not a factor (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, school recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR/selection rank requirement, VET qualification completed during school) 339 14.77%
(E) International students 297 12.94%
All students 2295 100%
Notes:        <5 – The numbers of students is less than five.
N/A – Students not accepted in this category.
N/P – Not published: the number is hidden to prevent calculation of numbers in cells with less than five students.
How to apply

Apply through QTAC for diploma and bachelor degree courses.

If you are applying for any of the following courses you will also need to submit a separate written application direct to JCU. Applications close on 30 September.

  • Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery

Apply direct to JCU if you are a current JCU student continuing study, and for the following courses:

  • Tertiary Access Course
  • Single subjects
  • Postgraduate coursework degrees
  • Honours
  • Cross-institutional study
Course Admissions Information

For course admission information (including the ATAR/selection rank profile for semester 1, 2023 admissions) please refer to the individual course entry using the Course Search section of QTAC’s website.

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