Get into uni, no matter your ATAR

You're more than a single number. If your ATAR result isn't what you expect this year, don't panic. You can still get into your university online through Open Universities Australia.

Simply choose one of these pathways: 

  1. Enrol through single subjects
  2. Enrol in an undergraduate certificate

Enrol through single subjects

You can qualify for entry into certain undergraduate degrees by completing a set of open access subjects through us. These subjects don't have any entry requirements.

  • This pathway is best for students who want to try out a study area before committing to a longer course.
  • Once you successfully pass the subjects, you can continue into the full qualification with academic credit.
  • You don't have to pay upfront; HECS-HELP funding is available.
Search below to find out which degrees offer this enrolment option. 

Discover degrees you can start through single subjects

Undergraduate CUR-BED-DEG

Bachelor of Education (Primary Education)

Undergraduate UNE-LLB-DEG

Bachelor of Laws (4 Years)

Undergraduate MAQ-PSY-DEG

Bachelor of Psychology

Undergraduate LAT-HUN-DEG

Bachelor of Food and Nutrition

Available majors

  • Major in Criminal Justice

Undergraduate TAS-BAC-DEG

Bachelor of Business (Accounting)

Undergraduate MUR-CDV-DEG

Bachelor of Arts (Community Development)

Available majors

  • Major Subjects

Enrol in an undergraduate certificate

Your other option is to enrol in an undergraduate certificate and transition into your degree from there.

The undergraduate certificate is a relatively new, introductory university qualification that is designed to help those with low ATARs get into uni.

  • This pathway is best for those who have a clear career path in mind.
  • You only have to study 4 subjects to earn a certificate, and you're guaranteed entry into the related bachelor degree.
  • You don't have to pay upfront; HECS-HELP funding is available. 

Search upcoming undergraduate certificates below.

A young brunette woman smiling with her arms crossed
Christelle earned her Undergraduate Certificate in Psychology with Curtin University through Open Universities Australia

Discover undergraduate certificates without entry requirements


Get tailored advice when it suits you

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Hear from students just like you

Ben, Taylah and Carmen didn’t let the ATAR stand in their way. They still got into uni through us.


Because I left school early, I didn’t have an ATAR... But Open Universities Australia give you a shot.”

— Ben


Getting straight into the degree may be the easiest way, but it’s not the only way.”

— Taylah


I got one of the lowest ATARs in my class and had no idea what I was going to do.”

— Carmen

Frequently asked questions

Does my ATAR matter?

While high schools put a lot of pressure on Year 12 students to achieve a high ATAR, the fact is a low ATAR will not prevent you from going to university. If you enrol in online single subjects or an undergraduate certificate via Open Universities Australia, your university likely won't even look at your ATAR.

Will I still earn the same qualification as an on-campus student if I study via Open Universities Australia?

Yes, you will. We handle all the enrolment administration for you, but you still study directly with your chosen university, and your qualification will be with that university. You will cover exactly the same material you would have covered if you were studying in person. The only difference is the delivery method—you will learn via recorded lectures, video chats and discussion forums instead of having to attend classes. 

When you finish, your certificate of attainment won’t even mention that you studied online via Open Universities Australia. 

Is studying online less legitimate than studying on campus?

Not at all. Thousands of students earn their qualifications online every day in Australia. And there are plenty of advantages in doing so. For a start, you can access interstate universities and courses that you wouldn’t normally have access to. You also have the flexibility to complete your coursework when you want to, which makes it easier to pursue part-time work opportunities and internships. 

And let’s not forget the digital expertise and time management skills you will develop from studying online. These traits are in high demand in today’s workforce. 

Which alternative pathway into university is the best choice for me?

It depends what your long-term plans are, and how comfortable you are with online study. 

If you’re still figuring things out or you just want to give online study a test run before committing to anything, try a single subject. You won’t be locked into a longer course, so you’re free to stop and reconsider your options after finishing your first subject. You can read more about single subject study here.

If you know exactly what bachelor degree you want to do, it may make more sense to enrol straight in the related undergraduate certificate. You will receive full academic credit for the 4 subjects that you study, meaning you will already be part way towards a bachelor degree when you finish. You can read more about undergraduate certificates here.

Still not sure? You can ask our student advisors for advice about ways to get into uni without an ATAR. 

Are these study options covered by HELP loans?

Yes, provided you’re eligible. When you study a single subject or undergraduate certificate through Open Universities Australia, your course fees will be covered by a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan. This means you won’t start paying your tuition fees back until you’re earning over the minimum income threshold in a full-time job.  

Can I switch to an on-campus place after successfully getting into my university degree?

You absolutely can. Once you complete your required single subjects or undergraduate certificate through Open Universities Australia, and you’re accepted into the full degree, you can ask the university to switch you to an on-campus place. 

Though interestingly, many students actually end up sticking with online study when they realise how much freedom they have. 

I’m still not sure. Where can I go for guidance?

Our friendly student advisors are here to help you figure out what life after Year 12 looks like. You can reach out via phone, messenger or web chat to ask them about anything including undergraduate study options, tuition fees and enrolment. 

You can also book a free phone consultation to discuss alternative pathways into uni in more detail. 

More advice for Year 12 students

Does your ATAR really matter?

Regardless of your ATAR, there’s a range of ways to work towards your ideal future. Here’s how. 

How does university work? The ultimate guide

New to uni and online study? Check out this handy resource, which answers questions most of us feel too silly to ask.

How to cope with stress the morning of your Year 12 ATAR results

If you’re one of thousands of Year 12 students awaiting ATAR results, things are about to get very real. So, how can you fight the symptoms of stress?

How to get into uni without an ATAR

There’s no one right way into university. Discover the alternative pathways you can follow to gain entry, even if you don’t have a strong academic history.

Open Universities Australia is a not-for-profit organisation helping every Australian access thousands of university courses.

Over 515,000 students have enrolled in university through us since 1993.

The logos of all the universities that are a part of Open Universities Australia's marketplace as of January 2024

Courses from 25 of Australia's leading universities

Our friendly student advisors are here to help

We’re here to guide you every step of the way with advice on:

  • Choosing a course that suits you best.
  • Enrolling and planning your studies.
  • Understanding your funding options.

Call, message or chat with a student advisor today.

Peter – OUA Student Advisor
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