University Preparatory Program

The University Preparatory Program (UPP) is a FREE* one year program for anyone who wants to get ready to enter university. It has been designed for those who have never been to university or have not studied for a long period of time. Best of all, there are no prerequisites for entry into the UPP.

The program will help you to improve your skills in numeracy, literacy and research, while providing an introduction to university culture. The program aims to give you the tools to become a successful university student so you will come away from the program with the confidence to go on to further university study.

When you enrol into the UPP you will study at the University of Adelaide's North Terrace campus, having access to all of the first class facilities the University has to offer.

If it has been some time since you last studied or want to find out if university is right for you, the University Preparatory Program at the University of Adelaide is the right pathway for you. Take time to explore our program for the chance to engage with passionate educators and the opportunity university can offer you.

Upon satisfactory completion of the UPP, students will be eligible for entry into a range of undergraduate degree programs at the University of Adelaide, including:

In addition to completion of the UPP, completion of specific courses will be required for entry into certain programs (see program structure).

Please note:

  • Entry into the Bachelor of Nursing is competitive and based on student Grade Point Average (GPA) across the whole UPP.
  • Entry into Bachelor of Teaching degrees will also be based on successfully meeting the non-academic requirement.

You must be 17 years or over by 1 January on the year you commence study. If you have not completed Year 12, you must have been out of school for at least one year.

You must be an Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen resident in Australia, permanent resident of Australia, or holder of a permanent Humanitarian Visa.

You must not have studied for longer than one semester of full-time undergraduate studies at any Australian university, regardless of the results, unless that study was undertaken more than five years previously.

  • Free with no course fees (although there may be cost for traveling to university and stationery)
  • Centrelink approved as long as you study 75% load.
  • As a UPP student, you will have a University of Adelaide student card and access to support services and facilities
  • Full-time and part-time study options available. The program can be completed one year full-time or two years part-time.
  • No long term obligation: a great way to see if university is for you!

As a University of Adelaide Preparatory Program student, you will gain access to the first class facilitiessupport programs and services available to University of Adelaide undergraduate students

Please note that the above services are only available to students studying on the North Terrace campus.

To apply for the University Preparatory Program, please complete an online application form.

If you have not applied for the UPP before, you will need to create a University of Adelaide Account. You can follow our guide to help you along the account creation process .

Dates for Semester 1 2024

Semester 1 applications close: Wednesday 24th January 2024
Applicants notified of outcome: Wednesday 7th February 2024 (approximately)
Enrolment information session: Monday 19th February 2024
Semester starts: Monday 26th February 2024

Late applications may be accepted. Please email the UPP Program Coordinator before submitting an application after this date.

Phone: +61 8 8313 0168 Email:

Wirltu Yarlu University Preparatory Program

This program is for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students aged 17 years and older. For more information, visit the Wirltu Yarlu website.

The Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM) Foundation Year

This program is for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students wishing to study music. For more information, visit the CASM website.

Rural Background Entry Pathway to Medicine

If you have lived for 5 years or more in a rural or remote location, you may be eligible apply to study medicine at the University of Adelaide under the Rural Background Entry (RBE) pathway. Find out more in our knowledgebase.

*No course or amenity fees apply, however this does not consider other incidental costs and living expenses such as; travel, stationary etc. For more information visit our other financial considerations page for future students.

UPP graduate testimonials

The UPP has helped me to prepare for my current studies. I really value the University’s support for students to succeed in their studies including all material, access to Barr Smith Library, friendly staff, the Writing Centre, and many social activities. Once I am qualified, I would like to work in a secondary school as an EAL/D (for students with English as an Additional Language) and Japanese teacher as they would be my subjects specialised to teach.

The UPP was the perfect preparation for my university degree - it gave me the tools required to succeed and not feel overwhelmed in a new field. As a mature-age student I'm so glad to have chosen the UPP entry option, which guaranteed my acceptance into a Bachelor of Science at the University of Adelaide. I would recommend this course as a pre-university option to others in my position; a year which has proved invaluable to my learning. 

The concept of learning how to learn will stay with me forever.

Doing a degree was hard but rewarding as I am a role model for my family, and Uni will mean a lot to others beyond me in time.

Find out more

Contact us and find out how you can emerge as a well-prepared and self-assured individual, equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in your studies at the University of Adelaide.