Pathways to Uni…

pathwayWhy do people talk about pathways all the time when it comes to making choices for University?

There can be a significant number of ways to get into the degree of your choice. If you miss out, for one reason or another, on the ‘traditional pathway” (ie. straight in) you can take a more circuitous route.

For example you may want to study Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne, but your score precludes you, so you can opt (for example) to study Animal and Veterinary Biosciences at LaTrobe and transfer into your desired course at UoM once you’ve aced your studies at LaTrobe. This is called a ‘pathway’.

Many Universities have Pathway plans developed with TAFE or Polytechnic institutions (see some handy links below). Searching for ‘pathways’ at the relevant Uni or TAFE site may be useful, but speaking directly to the horses mouth (degree provider) is the best way to find out what pathways lead you to your dream degree.

Some other pathways include:

  • Direct Entry (this by-passes the usual application processes at the end of the year) you need to call the institution for a chat regarding this option (if provided).
  • Mid-Year Entry—where perhaps the competition/intake is less and you have had time to sort your head out.
  • Sometimes attending a regional university campus can work for you (usually a lower ATAR score is needed), and you can consider
  • University Diplomas and Associate Degrees—many of these are the equivalent of a first year Uni degree or can at least provide you with ‘credits’.
  • You could try online, or interstate study—look for my tips about online study here.
  • The Australian Defence Forces (Navy, Army, Airforce) can provide pathways into professional careers—even paying for your degree!
  • Overseas university is an exciting possibility and
  • Single Uni subjects can give you a taste of studying.
  • Intensive-uni-boot-camps provided by Pathway Colleges could be the answer to your dilemma, or
  • Let the moths out of your (parents) wallet and go for a Private Provider.

As I have said, the horses mouth is the best place to start. However, I do find the (free) UniOptions website very helpful for Uni pathway options. Written in plain-language, you will find UniOptions easy to navigate and understand. Click on the Pathway Planner when there.

I provide a very quick ‘how to’ video clip below.

The following links may be useful to you:

Victoria University

  • Offer a one year Foundation Studies program in the Engineering / Sciences disciplines (includes health / teaching etc).


  • Swinburne’s Degree to Diploma scheme is well worth a bit of your research-attention-span.

University of Melbourne

La Trobe Melbourne

  • La Trobe Melbourne (not to be confused with La Trobe University) provides excellent pathway options to that ‘not to be confused with’ University.

Charles Sturt University

  • Charles Sturt University CSU’s Pathway Program is a partnership between CSU and Wodonga Institute of TAFE to provide you with guaranteed entry into a CSU degree.



Take every opportunity you can (Exhibitions, Open Days, Visits to schools by Tertiary providers) to grill people about pathways into your preferred degree...
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