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Tertiary study

Studying another tertiary-level course can give you a better selection rank, which could improve your chances of getting into the course you really want.

Tertiary study includes:

  • diploma
  • advanced diploma
  • associate degree
  • bachelor’s degree
  • honours degree
  • masters degree
  • PhD
  • higher degree level accredited study.

Study options

One year full-time study

If you complete one year (or equivalent) of graded full-time tertiary study you will receive a selection rank.  One year full-time study usually equals eight credit points or eight subjects, but you should check with both the institution you attended and the institution you want to study at  to ensure your course load is considered full-time for tertiary entrance purposes.

AQF diploma and advanced diploma

If you complete a graded AQF diploma or AQF advanced diploma, you will get a selection rank. Contact us for more information.

Less than one year full-time, or incomplete diploma or advanced diploma

If you don’t finish one full-time year, or don’t complete your diploma or advanced diploma, you may still receive a rank but it may not be as competitive, meaning you might not get into the course you really want.

Higher ranks and assessment policies

Not all tertiary study is treated the same. If you have a higher-level qualification or have studied one full-time year or more, you will usually receive a higher rank. However, universities have different policies on how tertiary study is assessed, including if you have multiple attempts at tertiary study. 

In general, you should check assessment policies directly with the institution.

Selection ranks

Getting a better selection rank

Undertaking tertiary study doesnt improve your original Year 12 rank.  If you undertake a certain amount of tertiary study you can receive a new QTAC selection rank.  However, tertiary results are never combined with a year 12 score. 

First order rank

If you have more than one selection rank, and you need to compete for a place in a course, the first order rank is particularly important if you have completed or even attempted some tertiary-level study.

For example, if you had good Year 12 results but then didnt do very well with tertiary study, we use specific institution policies to determine which rank we will use as the first order rank.

For more information about institution policies on first order ranks, contact the institution you want to attend.

Calculating your selection rank

First you need to find out your Grade Point Average (GPA). This will involve contacting both the institution you attended and the one you want to get into.

Note: if your course is assessed as ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’ it means that the study is competency-based and not graded. Find out more about upgrading via competency-based training.

Once you have your GPA, contact QTAC or the institution you want to get into for an estimate of your rank. 

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