Pathway programmes (Foundation)

If you don’t meet academic entry requirements for your preferred degree course at the moment, you might want to consider enrolling on a pathway programme.

Pathway programmes are courses specifically designed to get your knowledge and skills to the academic level required for admission to a university’s undergraduate programmes, if they are not there already.

Foundation Studies

The majority are run either by the individual university, or by a closely associated specialist college, and are located on or very near to the host university’s campus.

Because they are so closely affiliated with a particular university, the process of moving from Foundation to a degree is very straightforward and clear-cut. When you apply for a place on Foundation, you also submit an application for the degree. You will receive two offer letters simultaneously (a ‘packaged offer’). The offer for the degree will state that your place is conditional upon you achieving a score of xx in the foundation programme so you will know – before you start the pathway course – exactly what you need to do in order to progress to your degree.

Receiving a packaged offer also has the advantage of allowing you to apply for just one student visa to cover you for both courses.

It’s usually best to do Foundation at the university that you intend to enrol at, but many do have wider recognition and are accepted for entry at other Australian and New Zealand universities, so if you change your mind and want to enrol somewhere else the qualification will still be a valuable one to have. Please check each course carefully for details of its wider recognition and contact Study Options if you have any questions about this.

To get details of the Foundation or other pathway programmes offered at any of our partner universities in Australia or New Zealand, or to discuss whether a pathway would be a suitable programme for your situation, please contact Study Options to speak to a student advisor.

In the meantime, we’ve highlighted some of the options below:

Subject specific pathways: Nursing, Early Childhood Education and more…

Depending on the degree that you are aiming to study, there may be an option to enrol on a pathway Diploma programme in the same subject. These would usually be taught at a vocational college, such as a TAFE college (Technical and Further Education) and are specifically designed to bridge the gap between school leaving qualifications and degree study. This option is ideal for mature age students who have been out of formal education for a while, or for students who left school after GCSEs at 16. 

Many of these diplomas have been designed as formal pathways into the corresponding degrees. This means that, if you successfully complete the diploma, you are guaranteed a place on the degree course – in most cases with advanced standing (i.e. You won’t have to start at the beginning of the degree). Such diploma to degree options are the safest and most time and cost efficient way of gaining your goal qualification, particularly in professions such as nursing and early childhood education. 

Applying for a Diploma to Degree pathway also allows you to apply for one student visa, which would cover you for both of your study programmes. Students going for this option are given two offer letters at the same time – one for the diploma, and a second for the degree. The offer for the degree will state that your place is conditional upon you achieving a certain score in the diploma programme so you will know – before you start the first course – exactly what you need to do in order to progress to your degree.

For more information or to discuss your options for Diploma to Degree study please contact a Study Options student advisor.