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How to help your child pick their course at university

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The university application process is a major milestone for high school students.

For some children, it’s an enjoyable task as they look forward to their future. For others, it can be a terrifying undertaking, especially if they aren’t sure about what they want to do. Either way, what to study at university and how to choose a university course is a big decision for anyone. Read on for guidance for parents and caregivers about how to help your teenager apply for university.

What are the different areas of study available?

Murdoch has a diverse range of study areas to suit the interests and talents of your child. These broad areas each have multiple degrees, so click on the link of the category to find out more:

What if my child can’t decide between two courses?

There’s no need to stress about choosing one area of study. It’s possible to personalise courses at Murdoch to enhance both your child’s learning experience and their future employment options. There are two ways to do this.

  1. Double major allows your child to complete two majors under one degree, usually in the same time frame as if they were taking a single degree. At graduation, they’ll receive one bachelor’s degree with recognition of both majors. To apply for a double major or minor, your child has to be offered a place at Murdoch for a single major. Once they’ve accepted their offer, they can apply to add a second major, co-major or minors to their course. There are some restricted majors due to class quotas so if your child is interested in one of these courses, make sure it’s put down as a first preference in the uni admission process.
  2. Combined degrees provide the ability to study and complete the requirements for two different degrees at the same time. This usually takes a year or two longer than a single degree or double major but it’s faster than undertaking two degrees, one after the other.

What if my child does not meet university entry requirements?

Don’t worry if your child hasn’t done well on their ATAR. Murdoch offers a variety of ways for them to boost their academic skills and transition to uni. There are also plenty of flexible study arrangements for people who want or need to study online or attend university on a part-time basis. These enabling pathways to university study recognise the diversity of our students and provide them with the support needed for a successful university experience.

What can I do if my child has no idea about what to study? 

If your child doesn’t know what they want to do, assure them there’s nothing wrong with being indecisive about a big decision. Help them manage their anxiety and talk to them about the practicalities of career planning. Another option is to attend online Open Night information sessions or view past sessions about specific courses.

How does COVID-19 impact the university application process?

With the uncertainty about how COVID-19 is going to impact the end of high school, Murdoch wants parents to know their child’s university career will not be derailed. Your child will have access to a Year 12 Uni Entry Safety Net pathways to provide certainty about university education opportunities. For students graduating at the end of 2020, this means they will be able to apply to undergraduate courses at Murdoch University directly, using their Year 11 ATAR results.

What else can I do to help my child pick their university courses?

Watch this video about admission pathways into Murdoch University for more information about how to apply for university.


Unsure how to help your child apply to university? Read our parent's guide to the uni admission process.

Posted on:

22 Jul 2020

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