Program Structure and Entry Requirements

Faculties are asked to confirm their entry requirements, and to specify in their program plan submission whether they comply with the University’s own standard admission requirements as specified below, or whether they are, in effect, an exception, and deemed to be ‘non-standard’.

Faculties are required to consult with Admissions Operations to ensure that their criteria are appropriate and consistent with the University’s standards. Non-standard admission requirements may include additional entry criteria (e.g. auditions, portfolios, work experience, etc.) or a higher level of academic or language proficiency (e.g. Year 12 score, GPA, ELP cut-off, etc.).

In addition, applications to add or amend entry criteria may be made separate to developing a new program or instituting a major revision. In such cases, a memo may be routinely submitted to the APEAC Executive Officer, detailing the nature of the change and how it differs from the criteria currently in place. Each program to be changed must be specified and in the case of the non-standard admission requirements the full text to be added to the Table must be provided.

In accordance with the admissions to coursework programs policy, APEAC considers the entry requirements for each program and makes a recommendation to the DVC & VP(A) as to whether they should be approved.

APEAC also provides recommendations to Academic Board on the institution’s minimum standards in terms of academic (e.g. Year 12 score) and language proficiency (e.g. IELTS minimum score).

Admission requirements

  • Standard admission: undergraduate programs

    Under the current admissions to coursework programs policy, the eligibility criteria for admission to academic programs are entirely at the discretion of the University. The criteria may include but is not limited to:

    • Academic criteria – i.e. formal qualifications or previous studies or prerequisite studies in the secondary, post-secondary, tertiary or higher education sectors
    • Academic or other tests/requirements – i.e. auditions, portfolio, interview/oral assessment, specific knowledge test or aptitude test, work experience, application statement, referee reports
    • English language proficiency
    • Any combination of the above

    Eligibility criteria may be changed but once it is made public for a specified intake/calendar period it will not be changed except in exceptional circumstances.

    There are four standard admission criteria for undergraduate programs. They are:

    Year 12 sub-quota

    Eligibility eligible to compete in this sub-quota if the applicant has completed SACE Stage 2 or an equivalent qualification; and has completed 2 years or less full-time-equivalent higher education study
    Rank eligible applicants ranked on the basis of their ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank)

     Higher education sub-quota

    Eligibility eligible to compete in this sub-quota if the applicant has completed at least 6 months full-time-equivalent higher education study
    Rank eligible applicants ranked on the basis of their best GPA (Grade Point Average)

    VET sub-quota

    Eligibility eligible to compete in this sub-quota if the applicant has completed an AQF Certificate IV or above from any Registered Training Organisation. Admission Pathways are available on the SATAC website.
    Rank eligible applicants ranked according to the level of the completed award.

     Special entry sub-quota

    Eligibility domestic applicants are eligible to compete in this sub-quota if the applicant is over 18 years old on 1 February of the year they apply for entry to; and, if they were enrolled in a program leading to a higher education award, they must not have completed more than 2 years full-time equivalent study in that program
    Rank eligible applicants ranked according to their results in the STAT (Special Tertiary Admissions Test), or for some programs a combination of the STAT result and/or personal competencies statements and/or employment experience statements

    Eligibility score

    The University must report to Commonwealth Department of Education the lowest ATAR for which a student, Commonwealth Supported or Full Fee Paying, may be eligible for entry to one of its programs – the Eligibility Score. The University has determined that the following Eligibility Scores will apply:

    Bachelor programs
    Degree ATAR
    Bachelor (Advanced) degrees 95
    Medicine and Dentistry 90
    Engineering, Law and Commerce 80
    Oral Health 70
    All new Bachelor programs 65
    Diploma programs
    Degree ATAR
    All Diploma programs 55
  • Standard admission: postgraduate coursework programs

    The standard admission criteria for all Master programs is a Bachelor Degree. All admission requirements that vary from this, (e.g. GPA requirement, cognate background, prerequisites, work experience etc) require APEAC approval.

  • Non-standard admission criteria: undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs

    Admission requirements for coursework programs must be consistent with the Admissions to Coursework Programs Policy.

    For programs which require additional non-standard admission requirements approval must be sought via a submission to the Academic Program Entry and Approval Committee.

    A table of programs which have been granted approval to include non-standard admission requirements can be found in the non-standard admission requirements document. 

  • English language standards

    Coursework academic programs

    International students seeking admission to the University's coursework academic programs must meet minimum English language standards (Admissions to Coursework Programs Policy - Schedule A).

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation, alternative English language tests will be accepted for admission to all coursework entry intakes in 2022.

    Changes to these requirements may only be made following a recommendation by the Academic Program Entry and Approval Committee.

    Australian Year 12 applicants*

    International students undertaking an Australian Year 12 program will meet the English language proficiency requirements with a passing grade or above in a recognised English as a Second Language or an English Language subject, as a part of the successful completion of their year 12 qualification.

    International students who are not required to undertake an English subject to successfully complete their Australian Year 12 qualification (or those who successfully complete their Year 12 qualification but do not pass their English subject), can meet the English language proficiency requirements by achieving or exceeding the minimum score in an IELTS or another accepted English language test.

    Successful completion of the International Baccalaureate Diploma meets the English language requirements of the University of Adelaide.

    *Note: Exceptions apply to degrees such as nursing.

  • GPA as a condition of admission or progress requirement

    Following a recommendation from the 3/17 meeting of the Program Approval and Entry Committee, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic) approved:

    • all minimum GPA entry requirements between 4.0 to 5.0 (out of 7.0), are submitted to APAEC for noting, and subsequently entered on the non-standard admission requirements document.
    • any GPA outside the threshold range (4.0-5.0) as an admission requirement or as a minimum standard of achievement to progress within the program (e.g. GPA to be used to determine a quota) must have a pedagogical justification.
  • Entry schemes

    Australia Awards Scholarship (AAS) applicants participate in a competitive and rigorous selection process. As a consequence the following qualifications will satisfy a program's minimum academic entry requirements of an AQF Level 7 Bachelor award for AAS awardees:

    • Cambodia - NOOSR Section 2 institutions, minimum 4 years of study, minimum GPA of "B" (70-84), 3.0/4.0 or equivalent;
    • Laos - National University of Laos, Bachelor degree (NOOSR assessed equivalency of Associate Degree), minimum GPA of 3.0/40;
    • Myanmar - NOOSR Section 2 institutions, minimum 4 years of study, minimum GPA of "A", 4.0/5.0 OR 3.0/4.0;
    • Other countries and instances (Undergraduate qualification assessed as AQF Level 6) - assessment on case-by-case basis in consultation with relevant Faculty. A minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or equivalent is required.

Further information is available in the Coursework Academic Programs Policy see Section 1 and Schedule A.

See below for standards for Undergraduate, Honours and Postgraduate Coursework

The Coursework Academic Programs Policy and its schedules contain the requirements for the undergraduate programs standards. Details are outlines in Section 1 and Schedule A. 

Exemptions to the requirements for undergraduate degrees are processed by application Academic Program Entry and Approval Committee, refer to Section 1(L) of the policy. 

The Coursework Academic Programs Policy and its schedules contain the requirements for the honours degrees standards.

  • Unitisation

    Following a review of end-on Honours programs, the following guidelines for unitisation were approved by Academic Board and effective from 1 January 2016. Honours programs are graded as follows:

    1. Marks for individual courses in Honours programs are to be awarded using a single Mark Scheme and these marks are to be reflected on academic transcripts.
    2. A new single Mark Scheme is to be developed for Honours and that:
      • Descriptors are clearly articulated for the new Mark Scheme 11;
      • Marks are awarded based on these Descriptors and are not referenced back to the cohort;
      • Marks are provided to students;
      • the Mark Scheme and its Descriptors are clearly articulated to students; and
      • appropriate levels of feedback are provided in the unitised courses.
    3. The final Honours Grade calculation is to be based on a weighted average of overall marks obtained for each of the component courses comprising the Honours year; each overall mark is to be weighted by the unit value of the course.
    4. The Honours GPA is calculated using a standard program GPA calculation by assigning a value of 1-7 according to the final mark for each course and then multiplying that value by the unit value for the course in which it was awarded. The sum of these values is divided by the total unit value of the completed courses to give a final GPA. [This is the standard program GPA calculation at the University of Adelaide].
  • Mark scheme and grade descriptors

    Mark Scheme 11 and the Grade Descriptors can be accessed from the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.

The Coursework Academic Programs Policy and its schedules contain the requirements for the postgraduate coursework program standards.

  • Extension and conversion programs

    Two types of Masters (Coursework) programs are offered by the University; Extension and Conversion programs.

    To assist faculties and schools in the development and ongoing management of Masters programs, the Academic Program Entry and Approval Committee (APEAC) has developed a series of principles and guidelines that will be applied to Masters programs when making decisions related to the volume of learning outcomes that are necessary for each type of program.

    The following principles and guidelines were developed by APEAC and are based on expectations and standards set by TEQSA and the AQF Council.

  • Guidelines

    1. Masters (Coursework) programs must be designated as either conversion or extension programs.
    2. A conversion program is one that seeks to 'convert' students from one discipline to another rather than further develop their knowledge of their undergraduate discipline.
    3. An extension Masters is one that intends to extend the students skills, understanding and knowledge in the same discipline as their undergraduate degree.
    4. The Volume of Learning for a Conversion Masters is typically:
      1. 2 years in duration if the minimum requirement for entry is an AQF Level 7 qualification in any discipline; or
      2. 1.5 years if the minimum entry requirement is an AQF Level 8 qualification in any discipline.
    5. The Volume of Learning for an Extension Masters is typically:
      1. 1.5 years in duration if the minimum entry requirement is an AQF Level 7 qualification; or
      2. 1 year if the minimum entry requirement is an AQF Level 8 qualification.
  • Principles

    1. Masters (Coursework) programs that are identified as either Conversion or Extension Masters can be of less duration than that specified in 4 and 5a above but a case must be made to demonstrate that the components that make up the program, in its entirety, have learning outcomes that are at AQF Level 9. It would be expected that the components of a program delivered in less than the typical duration would be predominantly or entirely at AQF Level 9.
    2. The use of content that is also used for undergraduate programs is acceptable but the learning outcomes must be at AQF Level 9 and this must be reflected in the teaching and assessment for the program.
    3. Minimum entry requirements should not be used as the basis for granting credit within any Masters program. For example, a Bachelor degree is the minimum entry requirement for Masters programs and credit would not be expected to be granted for any AQF Level 7 awards unless the undergraduate courses have outcomes and assessments which are equivalent to the learning outcomes and assessments required in the AQF Level 9 program.