University at high school

Some Universities have programs that allow high school students to take University Units whilst you’re still at high school.

They’re designed to do a few things:

  • Encourage you to pursue a tertiary education
  • Get a taste for a course and see whether you like it (or not)
  • Ease your transition from Year 12 into Uni

Some of the courses will even give you credits towards your first year at Uni, that could mean you have less work to do once you get there.

Available programs include:

Headstart at USC. A transition program allowing students to study first-year uni subjects while in Years 11 and 12. There are over 80 subjects to choose from.

You could gain one credit per semester studied (max. 4) which counts towards your degree if you enrol at USC. Feel connected to the University to make the move less daunting and ease your workload in first year. Save money as Headstart programs are subsidised by USC, and there are scholarships available to apply for. Contribute to your QCE.

For Fraser Coast, Gympie, Caboolture and Sunshine Coast students. Applications for Semester 2 (started 22 July in 2019) close at the end of April. Applications for Semester 1 (starts 24 February 2020) close on 1 November 2019. Apply online.


USQ –Head Start is for motivated, high-achieving Year 10, 11 or 12 students. You can study one university subject per semester, allowing you to get a head start on your university studies early.

If you complete a course, it could help you gain entry into a related USQ degree, plus get credits towards the course. Prepare yourself for Uni and develop the necessary study skills. Receive 2 credits towards your QCE (max. 8). Save money as these courses are FREE.

For Semester 2 applications closed on 19 July 2019, Semester 3 applications are open and close on 4 November 2019 (Semester starts on 18 November 2019). Other Key dates including exam and results are on the website.


START QUT – High-achieving Year 11 and 12 students can select two units from across the university, and study one unit each semester.

It’s an opportunity to get a head start on your chosen undergraduate course, or to try out study areas you’re interested in. Locations are at Kelvin Grove and Gardens Point, Brisbane.

Applications open 6 August 2019 and close 31 October 2019.


GUESTS at Griffith– Griffith University Early Start to Tertiary Studies program is designed to give students the opportunity to study a single course (subject) at Griffith while completing your high school studies.

You are eligible to apply for a GUESTS course if you are:

  • an ATAR eligible student
  • achieving a minimum grade of C (or Satisfactory Achievement) across all subjects, including a General English*, or equivalent grades in interstate ATAR or IB Diploma subjects
  • meet any other subject prerequisites.

If you’d like to study with Griffiths in 2020, you’ll need to get your application in by 15 October 2019.


GUESTS at school The majority of the coursework is taught at your high school or through online modules. No course fees, build on your study skills and gain confidence, you could also get recognition towards your QCE, and receive two adjustments to your OP, plus gain credit transfer towards your Uni course.

Most courses begin in Term 1 of Year 11, however, some can begin in Term 2 or 3 of Year 11.

You are eligible for a GUESTS At-School course if you are:

  • an ATAR student
  • studying subject prerequisites for the course
  • a motivated student

You will also need approval from your school and the support of your parents or guardian. You can apply online.


ACU – Uni Step-Up enables you to study a first-year unit while you’re still in Year 11 or Year 12. Study options are available in Queensland. Credit is given to students who enter ACU in the future, choosing a relevant path of study. Contact 02 9701 4606 for more information or to register your interest.


Bond – Student for a Semester is for high achieving year 11 and 12 students. You’ll attend lectures and tutorials on campus, complete assignments and sit their subject exams. Applications for the September 2019 semester are open from 12 July and close 16 August.

Students who successfully pass their Student for a Semester subject may be able to credit this towards your Bond University undergraduate degree. Cover a range of topics from law, to accounting, to advertising, to sustainable development – the subjects and class timetables vary each semester.


CQU – Start Uni Now (SUN) students in Year 10*, 11 and 12 can study CQUniversity units whilst still in high school. A ‘unit’ is the word used to describe something similar to your school subjects. You can enrol in a range of CQUniversity units, either on-campus (face-to-face) or by online study (online), and combine them with your regular high school work. You may be eligible to apply for direct entry into an undergraduate degree at CQUniversity, and you may be able to transfer credits to your first year at Uni.  Your first SUN unit is FREE.

The SUN brochure has all the information you might need, courses available and term dates, along with application dates. It’s for 2019, the 2020 information hasn’t been published just yet. You still have tie to apply for Term 3 for 2019 (term dates Monday 11 November 2019 – Friday 14 February 2020) applications close on Friday 18 October.


UQ – Enhanced Studies Program has 40 courses available. Providing students with an opportunity to extend their knowledge, skills and abilities by completing one university subject during Year 12. You’ll experience Uni work and life, gain study skills, receive one adjustment point on your UQ entrance ranking, you may receive credit towards your course if you enrol at UQ, and it counts towards your QCE. Tuition fees are FREE. Applications for 2020 open 5 August 2019 and close 31 October 2019.


Click on the links to find out more information and how to go about applying.

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