Information for school leavers

Everything year 12s need to know about studying at the University of Tasmania.

We realise that finishing school can be stressful and confusing. You might be overwhelmed trying to weigh up all the career and educational options available to you.

Don't worry – we’re here to help. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions.

There are many different reasons to go to university. Some careers, like psychologists and lawyers, require a university qualification. But no matter what career you're interested in, university graduates have a much higher rate of employment and receive higher salaries.

Many of our students also go to university as a way of adding to the knowledge they gained throughout their senior secondary studies. For example, if you undertook Art in years 11 and 12, you may wish to continue this subject at uni.

Most importantly, you'll graduate with a range of skills that will really set you apart. University students learn how to think critically and flexibly, as well as becoming self-disciplined – which are all great assets for any future career.

Starting uni is a big step, so it's normal to feel a little anxious. Remember, you're setting yourself up for a rewarding career, with greater employability and earning potential. We'll make sure that you settle in quickly, make new friends, and have plenty of support along the way. Plus, we'll help you find the perfect balance between study, your social life, and any other commitments. Find out what support we have available.

It's important to choose your subjects in years 11 and 12 carefully. These can provide a pathway to further education and opportunities.

Generally, we suggest that you choose subjects that:

  • You enjoy studying
  • Reflect your interests and abilities
  • Will help you reach your career and employment goals
  • Will develop skills useful throughout your life

Some university courses have prerequisite subjects – these are subjects that will provide you with a level of understanding of subjects that will assist with studying your university course. Prerequisites like maths, physics and chemistry are common for courses like engineering and medicine. It is important to check if your university course has prerequisites. You can do this by browsing our Course and Unit Handbook.

It's a good idea to have a few careers in mind before choosing subjects. If you're uncertain about this right now, then select subjects that will keep several career options open to you.

Your school Careers Advisor or Pathway Planning Officer will be able to help get you started.

To make sure you pick the right subjects, you should investigate the pathways you can take to get a job in the area that interests you. Once you know these, you can select the most appropriate one for you.

You can learn more at My future and Good Careers Guide.

To make sure you understand the content and requirements of each subject, you should:

  • Read subject descriptions and course outlines in the booklets provided by your school
  • Talk to the teachers of each subject
  • Look at books and materials used in the subject
  • Listen carefully at subject selection talks
  • Talk to students who are already studying the subject

Don't panic. The University runs Foundation Unit classes before the start of semester. These foundation units make sure you achieve the level of understanding you need of subjects like maths, chemistry and physics – and it doesn't add any extra time to your degree! Our team can answer any questions you have about prerequisites.

Many students still go on to study at university even if they didn't receive an ATAR at the end of year 12. The University offers pathways options which will help you get entry to the course you want to study. We're here to help chat about the options that suit you and your journey to study. You can find out more about our pathway options.

Even if you know what you'd like to do after year 12, it's a good idea to pick a broad range of subjects. For example, while it might be appealing to choose all Science and Maths, choosing one or more Humanities or Social Sciences subjects will open up careers possibilities that you've never considered.

If you're unsure what subjects to choose, don't be afraid to ask for help from:

Our High Achiever Program (HAP) allows high achieving Tasmanian senior secondary school students to enrol in university subjects. This allows these students to complement and extend their TCE or IB studies. For more information, see the High Achiever Program.

Here are the best ways to get advice on careers and courses.

Talk to people

  • Make time to chat to your teachers and careers advisors at school
  • Attend any university information sessions at your school
  • Attend a University of Tasmania Open Day

Jump online

The following websites provide valuable information about careers and course options:

Start reading

Our university has many useful resources, including:

  • Course and subject brochures
  • Course guides
  • Pamphlets on programs and other university support services

To get this information mailed out to you, Request Course Info or contact the Uni Info Centre on 13 8827 (13 UTAS).

For detailed, up-to-date information about entry requirements, including alternative pathways for those students who do not meet minimum entrance requirements, visit our admission requirements webpage.

Please refer to our Key Dates page to check application periods and cut off dates.

Don't worry. We have a range of alternative pathways to get you where you want to be. Read about these below.

Enabling and supporting programs

These provide you with subject prerequisites, if you have not successfully completed these in years 11 & 12. They also build your academic skills.

To find out what programs are available, please follow this link to the Pathways to university.

Associate degrees

Our associate degrees are shorter and have more flexible study options. They are a formal qualification in their own right, but can also be used as a pathway into a bachelor's degree.

Related bachelor degrees

These can be pathways into the course that you want to study. For example, one year of a Bachelor of Arts may be undertaken as a way of building your academic profile to assist an application for a Bachelor of Laws in the following year.

Non-university pathways that can help you be accepted include:

  • Year 13
  • TAFE study
  • Accredited training programs
  • Relevant work experience.

You'll notice some big differences between school and university.

Teaching and learning at university has a different approach. For each unit, students have scheduled lectures and tutorials. Some courses include practical sessions or workshops.

The academic year is structured as two main semesters, each comprising 13 weeks of teaching. Within each semester, the required attendance at lectures and tutorials (called 'contact hours') can be as little as 12 hours a week for a full-time enrolment. This means you'll have less structured class time than at school.

Motivation is a very important. Although formal class time is much less than at school, university students need to put in 5-6 hours per subject each week reading for tutorials, preparing for assignments, and studying for exams.

As a university student, you'll be treated as an adult. Any communications about you with third parties (e.g. your parents) are subject to Australian privacy legislation.

For detailed information of all costs relating to studying at the University of Tasmania, please visit Scholarships, Fees and Costs.

We have more than 400 scholarships across all areas of study that help improve access to uni.

You can even apply for multiple scholarships in one simple application. If you have to move to Tasmania to study with us, you could be eligible for a relocation scholarship, even if you're just moving to a different part of Tasmania.

We encourage all students to apply. For further more information visit Scholarships, fees and costs.

The Tertiary Access Payment (TAP) is a one-off payment of $5,000 for school leavers currently living in outer regional and remote areas who need to move to study at university. School leavers wishing to relocate from interstate outer regional and remote areas can also apply.

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility for TAP with the University of Tasmania, you can apply from 4 January 2021, via the scholarship page at Tertiary Access Payment.

For information about courses at the University of Tasmania and the application process, contact the Uni Info Centre. You can call us on 13 8827 (13 UTAS) or email us at

For information about the range of services provided to University of Tasmania students go to Starting at the University.

These provide you with subject prerequisites, if you have not successfully completed these in years 11 & 12. They also build your academic skills.

To find out what programs are available, please go to Pathways to university.

Our associate degrees are two year courses and offer flexible study options across a variety of discipline areas. They are a formal qualification in their own right but can also be used as a pathway into a bachelor's degree. Search the Courses and Units Guidebook to find out what associate degrees are available.