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High Achiever Program (HAP)

The High Achiever Program enriches the educational opportunities for high-achieving students and develops links between the University of Tasmania, the students and their schools and colleges.

As well as providing students with academic challenge and the chance to experience University life, the High Achiever Program offers a number of other benefits including:

  • Subsidised course costs
  • Credit towards a University of Tasmania Degree
  • Counting units towards the ATAR
  • Access to facilities and support services
  • Guaranteed offer of a place in a University degree program

The High Achiever Program applications for 2020 will open in late September 2019 with applications closing on 20 December 2019. Supporting documentation will be accepted until mid January 2020 and every effort will be made to approve and process applications as early as possible. Please note that late applications will not be accepted.

All general enquiries related to HAP should be sent to

The University of Tasmania High Achiever Program provides high-achieving Tasmanian senior secondary school students with the opportunity to enrol in University units to complement and extend their TCE or IB studies.

The aims of the Program are to:

  • Enrich educational opportunities for Year 11/12 students
  • Extend the University's high quality courses and teaching to Year 11/12 students
  • Develop links between the University, students and their schools and colleges

The University of Tasmania is highly ranked in the Australian higher education sector for its teaching and learning and research activities. This Program provides early opportunities for academically able Year 11/12 students to undertake the challenges of University study while they are enrolled in the Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) or International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

High Achiever Program units may contribute towards the calculation of the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). Upon successful completion of the University unit under HAP, the result will be considered for inclusion among your best five results in the calculation of your ATAR. Please see the tab 'High Achiever Program Units and the ATAR'.

It is most common (and recommended) for HAP students to undertake a 12.5% unit in each of UTAS Semesters 1 and 2.

Note that from 2016 all HAP unit results will be scaled before inclusion in the calculation of the ATAR.

Academic Challenge

The program is designed to engage and challenge very able students through enrolment in University subjects. Students may extend and enhance their TCE studies by undertaking in greater depth a particular subject or discipline area of interest. Depending on the units chosen, students will be required to attend lectures, tutorials or workshops and will be assessed along with first or second year University students.

Experience University Life

Participating students have a valuable chance to experience some of the wider aspects of university life while maintaining progress towards the TCE. Students will experience different teaching styles and learning approaches at University which will complement their Year 11 and 12 studies, and will have access to first class academic and other support facilities and services.

No Course Costs

Australian and permanent resident students undertaking University subjects under the High Achiever Program will not incur any course costs. There may, however, be some costs associated with studying such as textbooks and other learning materials.


Units successfully completed may be credited to a relevant degree when the student enrols at the University of Tasmania. Credit provides two advantages: students have the option of accelerating through their degree, or they can take on additional subjects to extend their study program.

To be eligible for the High Achiever Program, you are required to demonstrate very high levels of academic performance at senior secondary education or equivalent level. For this reason, please note that successful HAP applications will generally only be from students who are enrolled in Year 12 (i.e. in Year 11 at the time of application).

In 2020 and beyond, there will be changes to entry requirements for the University’s High Achiever Program, including adjusted considerations for languages. These are outlined below.

For entry into HAP in Grade 12

For entry into the High Achiever Program in 2020, you will need to demonstrate:

  • The best evidence of exceptional academic achievement is results in TASC Level 3 or 4 subjects in Year 11. It is expected that students will have completed three Level 3 TASC subjects in Year 11, with at least 1 EA results and at least 2 HA results in the other subject completed in Year 11, as documented in school/college reports and TCE scores.
  • A student’s EA must typically be in the general discipline being applied for within the HAP (e.g.- EA in Chinese 3 for entry into HAP Chinese or EA in Maths Methods or Physical Sciences for entry into HAP Maths or Sciences). Entry to other disciplines will be considered, but this will need to be supported by supporting school reports and within a student’s application.
  • In Languages, additional evidence of excellence/high achievement and commitment to the study of Languages may also be considered during the application assessment process. This includes exchanges/study tours, language tests and competitions such as language proficiency tests (e.g.- HSK- Chinese Language Proficiency Test; JLPT- Japanese Language Proficiency Test). Assessments of this evidence will include consultation with language academics in order to make appropriate recommendations regarding entry.

    Please note: you are not eligible to study HAP language units if you are a background speaker of the subject language (that is, if the language has been the primary language spoken in your home or the primary language of instruction during your education at primary school and/or high school).
  • In other disciplinary areas, additional evidence of excellence/high achievement will also be considered during the application assessment process (e.g. awards, study exchanges). Assessments of this evidence will include consultation with disciplinary academics in order to make appropriate recommendations regarding entry.

All other elements relating to entry requirements to the HAP for entry into Grade 12 will stay the same, including special consideration for entry into HAP in Year 11.

For entry into HAP in Grade 11

In the extenuating case that you are seeking to apply to do HAP in Year 11, a special case would need to be made for entry. The University will carefully consider your application to determine not only if there is sufficient evidence of exceptional achievement in your Grade 10 subjects (e.g. - mostly A’s in academic subjects) but also sufficient maturity to balance university level study with TASC accredited study.

In this regard, your school/referee reports will need to provide a strong case to support your application to be enrolled in the HAP program earlier than Year 12. For this to occur, School reports need to explicitly address how the student is able to meet the academic requirements of the program, their maturity to do so and reference to the support of their school.

It is strongly recommended that school representatives of potential applicants who seek to enter the High Achiever Program in Grade 11 should contact the High Achiever Program Academic Coordinator to discuss prior to the application deadline. (Dr Jess Woodroffe -

The HAP Admissions Panel made up of the Head of Enrolments, the HAP Coordinator and relevant College representatives may decide to contact the school or student for further information, or to conduct a short interview to determine eligibility and entry into the program in Grade 11. Students who are unsuccessful in their application for entry in HAP in Grade 11, are eligible to apply for HAP in Grade 12.

All Applications to the program will be assessed by the High Achiever Program Admissions Panel, and will involve where needed, further advice from disciplines or academics.

School/teachers who are nominated referees may also be contacted in order to make a final determination of suitability for a student who applies to the High Achiever Program.

Most HAP units are taught face-to-face at one of the University of Tasmania's campuses in Hobart, Launceston or Cradle Coast - please note that the unit choices vary from campus to campus. Some units may also be available by flexible delivery modes.

Most UTAS HAP units are supported by the My Learning Online (MyLO) program.

How do I apply?

To apply for the High Achiever Program 2020, you will need to submit an application.

The High Achiever Program applications open in late September and close on 20 December 2019. Supporting documentation will be accepted until mid January and every effort will be made to approve and process applications as early as possible. Please note that late applications will not be accepted.

You will receive written notification of the application outcome by late January/early February 2020. You will need to decide which unit(s) you would like to enrol in. Please consult the section on units offered in 2020 in order to complete the application form.

Please direct all enquiries relating to the High Achiever Program or UTAS College Program to the following email address

HAP applications can also be submitted to

How do we assess applications?

Shortly after the closing date, the admissions committee will review applicants' documentation and, if necessary, contact schools and principals for further information regarding an application. Students will be assessed as to their suitability for their selected unit(s) in accordance with the stipulated pre-requisite or co-requisite TASC/IB subjects.

If the unit is not available, we will contact all applicants and discuss alternative units or the option of withdrawal.

The University will provide written notification of the outcome of your application, whether successful or unsuccessful, by early February 2020.

The decision regarding your application is final. Please direct any queries regarding your application only to Enrolments.

NOTE: If you wish to change units once you have enrolled please contact Enrolments at the University of Tasmania and identify yourself as a HAP student. You must not change your enrolment online.

How will I be enrolled?

In order to enrol in a HAP unit, the University will first enrol you in a course. The HAP unit will be enrolled under that course.

From 2017, HAP students will be enrolled into the new X1P Diploma of Philosophy.

The Diploma of Philosophy provides an entry award for students for high achieving and academically gifted students. The Diploma of Philosophy exists within the Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil) suite of courses and is specifically designed for academically high achieving and gifted students to undertake study in addition to their principal degree. The Diploma can also provide entry into Bachelor level study, however specific units may need to be completed for articulation.

Successfully completed HAP units may be credited to a relevant degree (e.g. Bachelor Degree) when the student enrols at the University of Tasmania.

Credit can be used for successful completed HAP units studied within the Diploma of Philosophy in most Bachelor Degrees.

What happens after Year 12?

Enrolment in the High Achiever Program while you are studying year 11 or 12 is not the same as being admitted to a degree program at the University of Tasmania. This means that you will need to apply for entrance to the University as a Year 12 leaver through the standard procedures if you wish to gain a place in the degree program of your choice at the University of Tasmania on completion of your Year 12 studies.


As the studies being undertaken in the High Achiever Program are standard University of Tasmania units, students who are successful in achieving a pass grade or higher will be eligible to apply for credit towards a relevant degree program. Once you have been granted credit towards the degree for which you have applied, you have a number of options:

  • Accelerate your studies - start on second year units during your first year at University
  • Broaden your studies - undertake an extra first-year unit in an area of interest
  • Reduce your study load - as you will have less than a full-time load, you have the opportunity to undertake some work experience, or pursue other personal interests.

Please note you will still be required to apply to the University as a Year 12 leaver, even after completing a number of University units in the High Achiever Program. Under the Guaranteed Offer Scheme you can receive an early offer on your proposed degree program.

A collaboration between the University of Tasmania and the Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards & Certification (TASC) allows results from High Achiever Program (HAP) units to be counted towards the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) in Tasmania.

A student’s Tertiary Entrance (TE) score is calculated by adding their best subject scores. The TE score is then used to calculate an ATAR.

The best subject scores are, in most cases, the best five subjects (worth 15 credit points each) totalling 75 credit points of study. At least three of these subjects must be completed in the final year of senior secondary study. Other rules may apply when calculating student TE scores. For example, the same course cannot be counted twice, and some approved university subjects are weighted according to the credit point weight of that subject. VET courses do not contribute to the TE score.

In the case of HAP or University Connections Program (UCP) units that contribute to the ATAR, a 12.5% university unit is worth only 8 credit points or is half the size of a full year TASC unit. HAP students typically study two 12.5% units across the year which equates to approximately 150 hours of learning, or an equivalent TASC Level 3 or 4 unit.

These university units are weighted according to their credit point value when they are included in the TE score (that is, a single 12.5% unit is only 8/15 the size of a normal Level 3 or Level 4 TASC subject), and as such only 8/15 of the HAP subject score achieved will be considered in the TE score calculation. However, both HAP subject scores are eligible for inclusion in the calculation.

Please note: Students who reside outside of Tasmania should contact their Tertiary Admission Centre for advice on the possible inclusion of results from their study at the University of Tasmania in the calculation of an ATAR in their home state.

All information relating to the ATAR and current University of Tasmania arrangements with TASC should be read in conjunction with the following resources: 

Understanding the ATAR (PDF): Calculating the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) For Senior Secondary Students in Tasmania

The ATAR webpage

New ATAR arrangements for Year 11/12 HAP study in 2016 and beyond

To be eligible for an ATAR a student must meet certain requirements, which are explained in detail on the TASC website.


Scaling is calculated and applied each year, and will be applied to relevant HAP units studied in 2016 and beyond. The scaling process is determined and managed by TASC and is applied to all accredited senior secondary courses at TASC level 3 or 4 and to approved* University of Tasmania units at Foundation level and above. For more information about scaling, please see the TASC website.

All other enquiries should be directed via email to

*Approved units are listed for the relevant year on the University of Tasmania website as HAP units (PDF 199.1 KB).

Number of HAP units students can study:

From 2016 there is no limit to the number of HAP units a student can study. However, the HAP Admissions Panel will look closely at supporting school reports before approving enrolment into more than one unit. You may not be able to gain credit for all completed HAP units if you enrol in a University course. This is because some Colleges may limit the amount of credit you can receive. See credit information for more detail.

The following page lists some questions commonly asked about the High Achiever Program. If you think of a question that is not answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Yes. Even though HAP students are not liable for HECS they still need to fill out the online eCAF form prior to census date. This form can be found through the UTAS eStudent online portal.

If you don't have a Tax File Number you can skip this question when completing the eCAF. You can supply your TFN at a later date.

All assessments for HAP units will be exactly the same as if you were a University student. Depending on the unit, you may be required to submit assignments by the due date and/or sit exams during the assigned exam period along with your fellow class members.

If you are having problems meeting the deadlines for the internal assessment it might be a good idea to talk to your school High Achiever coordinator and/or your unit Lecturer. It is possible to get extensions if there is very good reason and they will be able to assist you in looking into this option. However it is very important when participating in the High Achiever program that you have good time management and don't leave everything to the last minute.

High Achiever Program students will have access to a range of support and information services.

See the Current Students website for more information on services such as:

  • the University Library and related resources
  • computer facilities on campus
  • recreation and social activities (subject to age restrictions)
  • a University identification card and email address
  • academic and pastoral care support
  • student discount programs, including UniGym membership

Yes. All students on the High Achiever Program will be guaranteed a place on a University undergraduate program, subject to meeting entry requirements and excluding quota courses. When you have completed your Year 11/12 studies, you will need to apply for entrance to the University as a Year 12 leaver through the standard procedures if you wish to gain a place in the degree program of your choice at UTAS on completion of your year 12 studies. However you can apply for credit for the units you have studied.

No, you are most welcome to wear what ever you feel comfortable in. You may feel more at ease in casual clothes.

It is very important to check your UTAS email account regularly as this is the main mode of communication used by the University and you don't want to miss out on any important information. If your HAP unit has a MyLO presence, again it is vital to check this regularly for updates on unit information such as timetable changes, assessment and other information.

2020 High Achiever Program unit offerings will be promoted/available on the website in late September 2019, prior to applications opening.

Please see the below listing for units available in the High Achiever Program:

Please note: there is no limit to the number of HAP units a student can study. However, you may not be able to get credit for all HAP units studies if you enrol in a University course. This is because some Colleges may limit the amount of credit you can receive.

It is most common (and recommended) for HAP students to undertake a 12.5% unit in each of UTAS semesters 1 and 2.

High Achiever Program Application for Admission and Enrolment Pack

Please note: application form is a fillable PDF. Please download first before completing rather than filling in details in your browser

Please remember that written references from two teachers and signed permission from your school/college principal will need to be arranged before the school year finishes.

2020 High Achiever Program Application Form (PDF 3.2 MB)
2020 High Achiever Program Unit Offerings (PDF 199.1 KB)

All general enquiries related to HAP should be sent to