Can my teen go to uni without an ATAR?

Two teens sitting together by a laptop

You might be surprised to find out the answer is ‘yes.’ Murdoch’s enabling pathways make it simple.

Your child has been told not to study ATAR – does this mean uni isn’t an option for them now?

While this can be devastating for your teen to hear, it doesn’t determine their future. Your teen’s school may have your child’s best interests in mind, feeling that they wouldn’t excel under the pressure of ATAR.

This is in no way a reflection on your teen, their skills or their intelligence and does not mean that they will not excel at university. In fact, many students who flourish at the university level have had a hard time at high school.

So not having an ATAR doesn’t mean the end of your teen’s education journey. In fact, recent data indicate more students are accepted to university without an ATAR than with one.

No matter your circumstances, if your child wants to go to uni, we have a way to get them there. Keep reading to learn how to get into uni without an ATAR.

Year 12 Early Offers Program

Teens who are graduating from Year 12 in 2022 can apply to study at Murdoch in 2023 using their Year 11 ATAR subject results or their Year 12 ATAR results, or even through a recognised pathway (like a Cert IV or an enabling program). 

This is perfect for teens who are worried about the pressure of Year 12 impacting their results and means your teen could be be offered a place to their chosen course ahead of time, on the condition that they complete Year 12 or their enabling pathway. 

See if your teen is eligible for our Year 12 Early Offers Program

Enabling Pathways Courses

Murdoch values a diverse learning environment where people from all kinds of backgrounds can thrive as members of our community. We understand everyone’s journey is not the same. That’s why we have created a number of enabling pathways courses designed to prepare your teen for admissions to Murdoch even if they don’t have an ATAR (or didn’t quite get the score they need).

Our enabling pathways courses all share some features in common:

  • They are free of charge.
  • They give your teen the opportunity to develop the academic skills in areas like literacy and critical thinking they’ll need to succeed at uni.
  • They provide support in exploring undergraduate course options and identifying the area of study that fits your teen’s goals and interests.
  • They help your teen build a network of peers and academic staff who can support them in their transition to university life.
  • When successfully completed, they qualify your teen for direct entry into a wide range of undergraduate courses.

We provide these enabling pathways in a variety of formats, which allow you to select the best fit for your child, including:

OnTrack: This course runs for 14 weeks with 2-3 days per week spent on campus. It’s a great way to finish quickly, get acquainted with Murdoch’s campus, and build relationships with peers and staff face to face.

FlexiTrack: This track is fully online and is designed for those who can’t get to campus or otherwise need more flexibility. Students can complete the course in 20 weeks studying full-time, or in 40 weeks of part-time study. It’s a great opportunity to get ready for uni while juggling the other demands of life.

K-Track: Designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, this award-winning program is taught on campus over 14 weeks by staff at Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre. One of the distinctives of this program is a holistic approach that aims to help students develop both academically and in other areas of life (like time management and communication) to truly prepare them for success.

More options for uni without an ATAR

The enabling pathways courses are a great way for students without an ATAR to prepare for admission to Murdoch. We truly believe in the potential of each student and have created these courses as a simple way to expand the options for those hoping to study at university.

Taking one of these courses isn’t the only possible path, however. Your teen could, for instance, apply to Murdoch on the basis of their TAFE or VET certificate.

Lilly, now a postgraduate student at Murdoch, began her university journey that way. Though she struggled academically in high school, she has thrived in her study of forensic science.

Another option is portfolio entry, which allows your child to demonstrate their academic achievements, ability, and qualifications through a presentation of their work.

We also have programs specially designed for teens who are still in high school, including our Horizons Summer Programs.

You can explore all the pathways at Murdoch open to your child, here.

As you can see, your teen’s dream of attending university isn’t over with no ATAR. Murdoch has a pathway to make that dream a reality.

For even more help, you can assist your teen in their transition from high school to university by attending Murdoch’s parent and support information evening.
Posted on:

16 Mar 2022

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