What to do if you don’t get into your dream uni course
THOUSANDS of university hopefuls will today discover if they've landed their dream course, but for those that don't, there's no need for despair.
There is still every chance to land the optimal program although some patience and hard work may be required.
If a student is overlooked, the next step is to select the correct pathway program, one that will, in 12 months' time, allow them to reach the door to their chosen course.
And there's no need for any student to work this out on their own.
Universities employ specialists to guide students through the options and how to submit their preferences for the next round of offers (January 16) through the Queensland Tertiary Acceptance Course (QTAC).
It may take only a few minutes of chatting online, over the phone or even in person to a university representative to determine the best course of action.
Whatever the outcome, the student will need to apply themselves to obtain a high score to switch programs, says University of Queensland's domestic student recruitment Steve Forster.
"There is certainly no reason to panic because every university could come up with a solution for you," Mr Forster said.
"Their first and second preferences should be their dream programs and their third and fourth should be their back-up plans."
He said, while thousands of offers may be delivered today, the next round on January 16 would be bigger.
"Most universities will have the January 16 date as the main offer round," he said.
Mr Forster said "upgrading", now referred to as undertaking a tertiary study pathway, all starts with those QTAC preferences.
"If an OP score was not what they were looking for, they need look at another program, which has a less competitive OP cut-off and do that degree for 12 months in order to upgrade to another degree," Mr Forster said.
Courses in nursing, teaching, medicine and dentistry were among the chartbusters for high school graduates aiming to get into Griffith University and the University of Queensland.
The programs were among the top five in demand at each institution.
However, Mr Forster said the most desired programs were sometimes, but not always, the hardest to gain entry.
For instance medicine, which has an OP score of 1, was extremely difficult and even included a mid-year undergraduate medical admissions test.
"We have so much interest in medicine but not enough places," he said.
However, an arts course could very easily deliver you a law degree program or another dream program.
That's because after 12 months at university, your OP scores no longer counts and students are assessed on their university score, rated from a low of 1 to 7.
"If you score 5-1/2 or better then you can look at changing degrees," Mr Forster said.
"If you wanted to get into law, which is an OP2 and you didn't get your preferred score, you could choose another degree which has a score that is not as competitive, like arts or business management, for example.
"Do that first and once you have done 12 months, they no longer look at your school results, we only look at your university results."
For those who miss out on a nursing program, Griffith University professor Debra Henly, deputy vice chancellor, said a Bachelor of Science was an ideal, but not the only pathway to a Bachelor of Nursing.
"Bachelor of Health Science is an ideal pathway degree to the Bachelor of Nursing, as it provides students with an introduction to a wide range of health specialisations," Prof Henly said.
"Alternatively, prospective students may consider the Bachelor of Exercise science."
She said a bachelor degree in arts, science or business provided pathways for a Bachelor of Education.
EXAMPLES of pathways for students who miss entry to the five most popular courses at Griffith University:
Bachelor of Nursing
• An ideal pathway is Bachelor of Health Science, alternatively a Bachelor of Exercise Science.
Bachelor of Education
• Applicants who wish to improve their entry score may consider another bachelor degree at Griffith, such as a science, arts or business and apply to transfer to the Bachelor of Education after a year. They may also consider a bridging courses if they have not completed the subject prerequisites.
Bachelor of Medical science
• It is the most competitive degree to get into in Queensland. Due to its high demand and small cohort, students cannot transfer to this degree from another Griffith degree after a year of study. However, those interested in a career as a doctor should consider a Bachelor of Biomedical Science or Bachelor of Pharmacy, which can provide a pathway into the Doctor of Medicine.
Bachelor of Dental Health science
• Applicants who miss out may consider upgrading their entry score through a Bachelor of Biomedical science or Bachelor of Health Science. A Bachelor of Dental Technology or Bachelor of Dental Prosthetics may also be considered for those interested in a career working in the field of oral health, but not as a qualified dentist.
Bachelor of Business
• Applicants who miss out may consider applying for the Diploma of Commerce offered through Griffith College. The diploma, taught over two trimesters, is equivalent to university study and can lead to admission to second year of the Bachelor of Business.