Mature age and TAFE students

Each year thousands of adults across Australia make the rewarding and challenging decision to study at university as a mature age student. Many do not have a HSC or formal qualifications. So how do you get in to university with no qualifications? At UNSW, it’s not a case of how much you are willing to pay or how ‘mature’ you are, it’s about hard work and potential. By completing the University Preparation Program (UPP) you can build your academic skills, experience part-time study in a subject area of your interest and decide if you will make the decision to study at university as a mature student.

How to apply

Applications for mature age, non-school leavers and TAFE students is the same as for high school leavers – through UAC (the Universities Admission Centre). 

Apply now or find out more

Recognising previous study

When you are applying to study at UNSW Engineering, you may be given ‘advanced standing’ or ‘credit transfer’ for any previous study you’ve done at a university or TAFE.

Find out more

Ways to get in

As a non-school leaver, there are a number of alternative ways to get in to the undergraduate programs at the UNSW Engineering. The right one for you will depend on your age, your educational qualifications and what you choose to study.

Here are some of the options you might like to consider:

  • UNSW University Preparation Program (UPP) for local students
  • UNSW Foundation Year for international students
  • Limited ATAR
  • Certificate in Tertiary Preparation (TPC)

Find out more about these and other alternative pathways.

Support services

Getting used to studying at university, especially in first year, can be challenging. Mature age students will face similar issues to other new students at UNSW, but we recognise that you may have additional hurdles to overcome. Things like work, home and study balance; getting into the habit of studying again; and catching up with changes in technology are all likely to have some effect.

Support is available for pretty much everything, but some of the services that will probably appeal most to mature age students and non-school leavers include:

Faculty of Engineering peer mentoring program

Each of the Faculty of Engineering’s schools has a mentoring program to help all new students adapt to university life. It's an excellent way to find support during the early weeks of your first year, and hopefully to form friendships and networks. 

UNSW Counselling Service peer mentoring program

The University also has a peer mentoring program which is run through the UNSW Counselling Service. 

Find out more

Academic and personal support

Various UNSW student services offer programs and workshops for first year students. The UNSW Counselling Service can also help through this period of adjustment if you feel you need the support of one-on-one counselling or referral. Find out more about the UNSW Counselling Service.

Child care

Quality childcare can have a significant impact on your studies and career. That’s why UNSW sponsors places and subsidises the running costs for students' children at several centres. There are generally long waiting lists, so it’s important to get in early. 

For more information