Just a month before you get handed your ATAR, you might have been thinking recently about the feasibility of studying at uni next year – or, at least, studying at uni and actually enjoying it. In reality, many students enrol in a full degree just because it’s the done thing or expected of them, but is this really the best way to go about approaching tertiary education?

There are other options available to you, and the truth is, you can start at uni without needing a ten-year plan and having every single element of your life planned out for the next decade. And this is true irrespective of the numbers you see when you open your ATAR on December 14.


Get started at uni, regardless of your ATAR

As we approach the final weeks before ATAR release, it’s natural to have results on your mind. The ATAR is the culmination of more than a decade of formal education and, obviously, is something you’ve worked toward. But what you might not realise is that the ATAR isn’t the be all and end all – even as a means of accessing university. In fact, for many students, the ATAR is a bit of an anti-climax.

You can actually get started at uni, regardless of your ATAR. Through Open Universities Australia (OUA), you can enrol in most undergraduate subjects and start studying online with leading Australian unis, with no entry requirements. Once you pass the relevant subjects, you’ll become eligible to formally enter a full degree program. That is, your ATAR isn’t relevant – a relief for many.

get started at uni

Studying doesn’t need to dictate your life

Here’s another common concern: the idea that, after years of studying at high school, the study grind is just getting started. However, OUA makes it possible for you to fit study into your existing life and schedule, rather than trying to fit life around study. According to OUA student Daniel, “[s]tudying online [through] OUA granted me a lot of flexibility. It allowed me to balance my work/social/study life better than I could have if I was studying on campus.”

Indeed, balance is one of the major advantages on offer. As you study online, there is great flexibility available to you: reduced travel time, no need to physically attend classes, and greater opportunities to fit in other things.

For example, do you want to work? Do you want to travel? Great – you can still do these things, even while getting qualified.



Am I still getting the same degree?

Even though you’re studying subjects online, you’re still working toward the same degree available to on-campus students. Your degree is from the same university, and you receive the same qualifications – just at your own pace. This gives you the time you might need to really work out what you want to pursue.

Once you’ve formally entered your degree with your chosen university, you’ll be an official student of that university, and have access to the same academic and non-academic support services that on-campus students have.

get started at uni

So if you don’t know what you want to do…

… this might be a really great option for you. Being able to hand pick single subjects from a wide range of leading Australian universities gives you the opportunity to really tailor your degree to your own interests. Daniel, for instance, completed some accounting subjects from the University of South Australia and marketing subjects with Swinburne University, even though his main degree through OUA was a Bachelor of Business at Griffith University. He says:

“I definitely benefited for the additional guidance I received from OUA. I did not have a fully clear picture of what I wanted to study at the commencement of my degree… Originally I was studying Accounting but was very interested in the Business and Human Resource Management units I was exposed to and the OUA advisors helped me to transfer degrees and [get credit for] completed subjects into the new degree.”

So, if you feel unsure about what to study, Open Universities Australia can help you find the right uni option for you. Explore hundreds of degrees and over 1,400 single subjects at open.edu.au, or call a friendly student advisor on 13 OPEN. Remember: you can get started at uni regardless of your ATAR!

Get access to heaps of uni perspectives, resources, and information with Uni Notes - unleash your university success!