Skip to content

University Preparation Program

Your pathway into university study.

Why study a pathway program?

University is for everyone, although some people may need to build their skills to help them begin their uni journey. The University Preparation Program (UPP) will teach you the academic skills and confidence to make the most of your time at the University of Tasmania and be successful. This course is also a great option if you don’t yet meet the entry requirements for your chosen bachelor’s degree, as an alternative pathway into uni . We’ll help you adjust to life as a university student, navigate university systems, and teach you how to make the most of the learning experiences on offer. This program will give you support and encouragement so that you feel comfortable being a uni student both on-campus and in the online learning environment.

This course is perfect for you if it’s been a while since you last studied, if you didn’t finish school or receive the ATAR you had hoped for, or if you want a gentle introduction to uni life. It’s also ideal for those who need a bit of extra support to meet the General Entry Requirements needed to enter a bachelor’s degree.

UPP has been designed to support students to develop the academic skills and confidence to undertake university study successfully. If you don’t currently meet the entry requirements for your chosen course, the UPP can provide you with an alternative entry pathway into university, with successful completion qualify you for General Entry Requirements (GER). The UPP is open to everyone and aims to enhance your experience of student life.


One year full-time or part-time equivalent.


On campus (face-to-face), distance (online), combination*


Cradle Coast campus
Newnham campus
Sandy Bay campus


Semester 1, 2021 and Semester 2, 2021


"I have learnt many useful academic skills from the University Preparation Program and feel proud to be a university student."

Dilip said the key to successfully juggling work, study and family is good time management to ensure balance.

"And try to build a strong foundation before starting the course. The University Preparation Program course is a good course to start with if you need it."

The UPP is an enabling course - this means that it will help you to:

  • Learn how to learn in the university environment
  • Learn how to write and present in an academic setting (e.g. essay writing, referencing, group work and presentations)
  • Build your numeracy and maths skills
  • Think critically
  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Gain an overall understanding of university life and culture

This one year, full-time course is free to eligible students.

Program structure

To complete UPP you will undertake eight units - six core units and two elective units. These units cover the essential skills and knowledge you will need to perform successfully at the first-year university level. Successful completion of the UPP will qualify you to meet the General Entry Requirements for a undergraduate degree or associate degree at the University of Tasmania.

For more detailed information, please visit the Course and Unit Handbook.


This is an open access program for domestic students. Proficiency in English language, reading and writing are recommended (Year 10 level).

Frequently Asked Questions

This course is free to eligible students. Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY or ABSTUDY are also available to eligible students who are accepted into this course. Costs associated with study may include:

  • Personal spending on items such as paper, copying, postage- around $75 per semester.
  • Textbooks- how many books you require and what they will cost you will vary depending on the units you are studying and whether you are able to obtain second-hand copies.

Studying three to four units per semester is considered full-time study. For each unit students need to allocate about 10 hours per week to attend classes and study independently.

Studying UPP full-time is the equivalent to working full-time or being a full-time university student in any other course. For on campus students, lectures and tutorials will be scheduled at any time between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. Students are expected to attend three to four hours of timetabled classes per unit each week.

Students who work, have family responsibilities, or manage health or learning issues need to think carefully about how much time they have available and how they will manage study commitments. We strongly recommend that these students study part-time, at least to start with. Students can study between one and four units each semester.

There is no time limit for completing UPP.

Yes. All units will deliver resources via the internet. If you are studying by distance mode you may also be required to participate in online discussions or web tutorials (webinars). Some units also require online participation as part of the learning process regardless of whether you are studying by distance or not. If you do not have access to this technology in your home or workplace, you may use computer and internet resources at University of Tasmania campuses. Alternatively, you can explore what is available in your local area, including Online Access Centres and libraries.

No. UPP is an enabling course only. You will receive results for the UPP units you undertake and these will be recoded on your academic transcript. You will also receive a certificate at the end of the year listing all units you have successfully completed. You can use your UPP results as supporting evidence in an application for a degree course or in other evidence such as a resume, however, these results do not count towards, or give you credit in, any degree program at the University of Tasmania or other tertiary institution.

Please note that there are credit arrangements between UPP and the Diploma of University Studies Foundation Year Pathway courses, meaning that students transferring from UPP into one of these pathways may be eligible for credit for some foundation level units.

There will be regular assessments for each unit and your tutor will mark, comment on and return all of your assignments and provide ongoing support and encouragement throughout the course.

Our goal is to support you in a friendly and encouraging environment fo that you can do your best. Staff will provide support whenever they can and if they are unable to help, will advise you about other support available at the University of Tasmania, including disability support services, counselling and study advice.

By the end of the course, you will have:

  • Developed the necessary skills so that you can undertake your chosen university course with confidence
  • Adjusted your lifestyle to cope with the demands of tertiary study
  • Grasped the basic language and mathematical concepts and skills necessary for tertiary study
  • Acquired some knowledge of specific objectives, methods and levels in the academic areas you have attempted
  • Learnt a little about the working and culture of university
  • A certificate indicating the units you have successfully completed.
Dr Sarah Dempster
Pre-degree Coordinator
+61 3 6226 6906