Student Life is responsible for the following alternative entry pathways for students with high potential. Each program is distinct in its design to support and transition those students into UNSW who may not have had the opportunity because of low ATAR scores or life circumstances.   


U@UNSW program is our flagship program offering HSC students an alternate pathway to study at UNSW. There are currently 41 Sydney Metropolitan schools participating in the program and we are expanding our reach to include all Sydney metro schools that have an ICSEA rating under 1,000.U @ UNSW program leaders

Students are also considered for a number of Academic Excellence Awards if they chose to study at UNSW after the HSC and they are offered transition support whilst studying here.

Since commencing in 2011, hundreds of high school students from LSES backgrounds have qualified to study at UNSW by participating in the program.

For detailed information about the U@UNSW program and the student selection criteria please download our brochure.

More pre-uni programs

All schools can access the following schemes that can assist your students to gain entry to UNSW.

    • HSC Plus awards a maximum of 5 points for domestic students who perform well in subjects during their Australian Senior Secondary Certificate that are relevant to their preferred UNSW degree

    • The ACCESS Scheme is available for any student from any High School in NSW.  Students can receive up to ten EAS points depending on the degree of educational disadvantage they have experienced

For more information please contact the U@UNSW team at or call (02) 9385-9416.

University Preparation Program (UPP 20+)

The UPP is a mature age pathway for adults wanting to make the rewarding decision to study at UNSW. Many do not have an HSC or formal qualifications. By completing the UPP they can build their academic skills, experience part-time study in a subject area of their interest and decide which study path they would like to take to enhance or start a new career. 

UNSW Prep (17-19 years of age)

UNSW Prep is a one year (18 months for engineering) course. Students who qualify for the UNSW ACCESS Scheme, with an ATAR of 50 or over, and Indigenous Students applying through Nura Gili, will be eligible to apply for entry to UNSW degree programs through UNSW Prep. UNSW Prep offers students time to develop core academic skills in smaller classes with excellent tutors, a lighter study load than direct degree entry and a conditional UNSW degree place. Full details can be found at the UNSW Prep page.