Mature age student entry schemes

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Students come to ANU with a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds. We recognise that many of our new students have taken different pathways after leaving school, often a long time ago, and are now ready to make the first step towards university.

If you are a domestic resident over the age of 21 and you do not have an assessable qualification, you will need to complete one of the following entry schemes.

Remember being over 21 alone is not enough to gain entry to an ANU program. You need to complete a pathway or already have a qualification that we can assess. But don't worry, you have plenty of options depending on your needs.


You can apply as a mature age student if you are over the age of 21 and you do not have an assessable qualification.

You do not need to go through an entry scheme if you meet any of the following criteria. In this case you might already satisfy the minimum admission requirements and you should follow the application procedure for domestic undergraduate application process described on the Apply - ANU webpage.

  • You have completed year 12 at any time.
  • You hold an Associate Diploma, Diploma, or Advanced Diploma.
  • You have at any time completed at least one year of full-time equivalent (i.e. eight courses) at a university or college of advanced education at degree level.

Work experience is accepted for entry to some ANU postgraduate programs. Learn more about these requirements by clicking on the Admissions & Fees tab of your program's page in the programs and courses catalogue.

If you do not have an assessable qualification you have a number of entry scheme options available to you, and your choice will depend upon how you feel about your ability to successfully start full-time university study.

Entry schemes

Special Adult Entry Scheme

If you have completed year 12 and your results do not meet minimum entry, but you already feel confident about your ability to succeed at degree level study, you should consider the Special Adult Entry Scheme described on the advisory page listed above.

Preparatory & bridging courses

If you are reasonably confident about your basic skills, but think you need to develop those skills further before attempting degree level study, you should consider the University Preparation Scheme described on the advisory page listed above.

Pre-tertiary studies

If you think you need some assistance in basic skills associated with academic study, you should consider undertaking pre-tertiary studies at the Canberra Institute of Technology or a TAFE Institute in New South Wales described on the advisory page listed above.

Complete a Diploma or Advanced Diploma

ANU will assess qualifications at a Diploma level or higher. We do not assess Certificate level qualifications. You may like to consider completing a graded Diploma if you would like some prior experience in a particular subject before starting an undergraduate degree.

University study

You might also want to consider studying for one year at another university and applying to an ANU program through the Universities Admissions Centre based on one year of full-time results. This is called Transferring to ANU.

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ANU Student Recruitment