James Cook University

James Cook University


JCU creates a better future for the Tropics worldwide through graduates and discoveries that make a difference. As a JCU student, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience to make a positive impact in urban, regional, rural and remote communities.

More than 21,000 students, including 6,600 international students, are enrolled in a variety of programs. JCU courses have a strong focus on producing career-ready graduates. Throughout your degree, you’ll develop professional skills and gain in-depth knowledge through a wide range of practical, hands-on learning experiences. Small class sizes provide access to world-class lecturers and researchers, giving you the support to succeed.

Study Areas

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

Our study areas include:

  • Arts and Social Sciences
  • Biomedicine
  • Business
  • Dentistry
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Management
  • Health Studies
  • Information Technology
  • Law
  • Marine Science
  • Medicine
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Planning
  • Psychology
  • Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • Science, including Marine Biology
  • Social Work
  • Speech Pathology
  • Sport and Exercise Science
  • Tourism
  • Veterinary and Animal Science

Courses in tropical health and medicine encourage the development of skills in serving regional and remote communities across Australia and the world. Courses in tropical environments and societies equip graduates to develop stronger economies and to pioneer innovation for a range of communities.

There’s a place for you at JCU

JCU offers a range of flexible study options available across four main campuses in Brisbane, Cairns, Singapore and Townsville, as well as study centres in Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, and Thursday Island.

JCU Australia

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. You’ll get to dive into hands-on learning, placements, and projects in some of the most fascinating locations in the world. You could travel to remote communities in a light aircraft, learn in our Classroom on the Reef, or conduct research in the rainforest with the highest biodiversity in Australia.

JCU Brisbane is conveniently located in a modern high-rise building in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD. Operated by Russo Higher Education, JCU Brisbane offers courses in accounting, business, education, hospitality and tourism, information and technology, and social work.

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 prerequisites
  • entry score (ATAR/selection rank)
  • age requirements
  • course specific entry requirements.

Information relating to admissions criteria are 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 course 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 prerequisites.

Programs excluded from the 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
  • Bachelor of Nursing Science (Pre-Registration)
  • Bachelor of Nursing Science – Bachelor of Midwifery
  • Bachelor of Clinical Science

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 may 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 pre-requisites 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.

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. Please view the JCU Credit Calculator for more information.

Overseas Year 12 study

Students who have completed Year 12 or equivalent study overseas will be considered for admissions to JCU. 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 are eligible to meet the subject pre-requisite entry requirements to our courses.

Regional Preference Scheme

This scheme assists residents of the University’s catchment area to gain entry to JCU through an automatic adjustment of an applicant’s ATAR by by two ranks.

The Regional Preference Scheme is open to domestic applicants who reside in the University’s catchment area (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).

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.

Courses with special entry procedures

Applicants for the Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery; and Bachelor of Veterinary Science are required to apply online to QTAC by the due date, and submit a written application to JCU by 5pm, 30 September 2020.

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

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.

Domestic students with overseas qualifications

Domestic students with overseas qualifications should contact JCU for information on how their qualifications will be assessed for entry.

English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency requirements for the course they are applying for. Please visit JCU’s English Language requirements website for more information.

Timing of offers

JCU will make offers to eligible applications throughout the year for most courses.  Offers for Semester 1 commence in August through to February; offers for Semester 2 commence in March through to July. 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.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) refers to the skills and knowledge you’ve gained through work and life experiences. JCU can assess your RPL and determine if you are eligible for credit.

For information on the credit calculator and how to apply, 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.

The table below gives an indication of the likely peer cohort for new students to JCU. It provides data on students who commenced undergraduate study and passed the census date for semester 1, 2021, including those admitted through all offer rounds, across all Australian campuses and international students studying in Australia.

Applicant background Semester 1 intake 2021
Number of students Percentage of all students
(A) Higher education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
802 34.51%
(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study 110 3.73%
(C) Work and life experience
(Admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
170 7.31%
(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)

596 25.65%
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) 273 11.75%
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) 329 14.16%
(E) International students 44 1.89%
All students 2324 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 the 30th of September:

  • Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science
  • 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 OP/selection rank profile for semester 1, 2020 admissions) please refer to the individual course entry using the Course Search section of QTAC’s website.

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