Not Happy With Your University Offer?

By ATAR Notes in HSC
16th of January 2019
university offer

Many students have an idealised vision of Year 12. They work hard, they get the marks they need, they gain entry to their dream course, and everything goes exactly to plan. Of course, in reality, this isn’t always the case. Hard work doesn’t always translate to incredible marks, and there are very many students who don’t get accepted into their first university preference.

Luckily, if that’s you, it doesn’t mean that’s the end of your journey. In fact, it could just be the beginning! There are other ways to get to where you want to be and, although gaining direct entry into your number one preference might be the quickest way, there are other options available to you.


Start studying with single subjects

Imagine this: you study single university subjects (with no entry requirements), you get full government funding for those single subjects, you test out whether or not that area of study is for you and, if so, you get credited for those single subjects as you work your way toward a full degree.

Sound good?

Well, all of that is possible. Very possible, in fact, through Open Universities Australia (OUA). Through OUA, you can study single subjects online, with leading Australian universities. There are thousands of subjects to choose from, which you can browse here. They’re all university-level subjects, meaning that after completing a few relevant ones, you’ll become eligible to formally enter your degree with your chosen uni through OUA. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to study on-campus, you can apply with these subjects too. So if you didn’t get the ATAR you needed, or if you don’t get an offer for your dream university course, this is a great pathway, with the added benefit of being able to test out the area of study before you commit to a full degree.

university offer

This is precisely the case of Taylah, who is now studying a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice with Griffith University, online, through OUA. She says:

“My ATAR didn’t have an impact at all on my studies through OUA… it just meant I had to complete the first 4 subjects (they call them pathway subjects) as single subjects… and once I passed all 4 I [became eligible for the full] degree as a commonwealth supported student… Either way, I could get into the degree by doing the exact same subjects as single subjects first and they would be credited towards my degree once I had completed them.”


The benefits of studying single subjects

There are other reasons you might consider studying single subjects online, too. A big one for a lot of students is flexibility – you can study on your terms, and fit study around your existing commitments. Taylah goes on:

“Studying [online] through OUA means I’m not losing 4 hours out of my day to travel. I’m not confined to studying at certain times as there is no set lectures so I can study any place, any time for however long I want to. Having more free time due to no travel and the flexibility of being able to study on my terms when I wanted to throughout the day/week meant I could shift things around to suit my schedule and be able to go out with friends, spend time with family and not have to worry about attending a lecture early the next morning.”

And that’s a huge win, particularly if you’re trying to balance study with family, work, and other commitments.

With single subjects, you can even personalise your degree, taking subjects from multiple universities like Macquarie, Swinburne or RMIT – even after you’ve enrolled in a full degree program. Ultimately, you will receive a qualification from your university tailored to you – made possible by studying through OUA.


Not sure where to go from here?

Whether you have received an offer or are still waiting for one to come through, remember that university offers aren’t the end of the world. There are always other options. If things don’t go to plan, that’s okay – new plans can always be made. Don’t believe us? Here’s some final advice from Taylah:

“DON’T PANIC! Just because you didn’t receive the ATAR you wanted and/or needed it doesn’t mean you can’t get into a degree you love. Getting straight into the degree with your ATAR may be the easiest way, but it’s not the only way. I promise you that it is not the end of the world, you can move forward and you do have options to chase your dreams.”

For 25 years, Open Universities Australia has enabled students to start studying online with leading unis, regardless of their ATAR. Explore your options at or call a friendly student advisor on 13 OPEN.