Applying for our 2021 Early Entry Program

Applications for the 2021 Early Entry Program have now closed. If you applied and do not receive a conditional offer, you may still be eligible for a formal offer in the VTAC rounds, so consider keeping it in your preferences. Don’t forget to consider our other entry pathways – UniLink diplomas, regular diplomas and certificates!

If you’re currently studying an Australian Year 12 or International Baccalaureate (IB), this could be for you. Here are all the things you need to know and do if you’re keen on an early conditional offer from us. Plus, your next steps towards securing a full offer.

Most importantly, there are three steps to your application. Step one involves obtaining your school recommendation. Step two is preferencing your chosen 2021 Early Entry Program course/s in VTAC. And step three is completing the application form on our website (you’ll have to upload your school recommendation here too).

Tell me more

What courses are included in the 2021 Early Entry Program and what are their VTAC codes?

Have a look at our full list of eligible courses here. 

When will I find out whether I have an early conditional offer?

If you made your application correctly and included your school’s recommendation, you could hear from us as early as August.

Who should I approach for my school recommendation?

You can choose one of the following school representatives as your referee –school principal (or principal’s delegate), Year 12 or VCE coordinator or equivalent.

How early should I apply?

The total number of Commonwealth Supported Places offered at Swinburne is limited and determined by the government. Which means that places in our Early Entry Program are limited too. We strongly recommend applying during the main application window of 3-28 August; some courses may fill up and not be offered in the second round application window. This second round was originally planned from 29 August – 9 October. However, due to places filling more quickly than expected, this second round will now end on 11 September, not 9 October.

What is my Supporting Statement From Applicant and what should I include in it?

The Supporting Statement From Applicant is a section in your online application form. It helps us assess your suitability for the program and is a part of the selection process. Please include your reasons for applying to study a university degree and other information on your academic and extra-curricular achievements, work experience, community service or other volunteer work. You can do this in 500 words or less. 

After submitting my application to Swinburne, do I still have to preference my 2021 Early Entry Program course/s in VTAC?

Yes. This is really important. To receive a full offer from Swinburne, your 2021 Early Entry Program course/s must be your highest eligible preference/s in your VTAC application.

Should I still preference the ATAR-entry version of my chosen course/s in VTAC?

If you’re aiming for the Guaranteed Entry ATAR for your course, that’s great!  If this motivates you to work harder, then definitely include it on your preference list. But if you’re planning on entering via the 2021 Early Entry Program, make sure to preference the correct VTAC code and submit your school recommendation. In this case, preferencing the ATAR-entry version is optional.

How did you choose the courses offered in this program?

We carefully reviewed our courses and included only those where a school recommendation would be a reasonable alternative to selection via ATAR.  Places in specialist courses like aviation and film & television are limited by specialist facilities and studio capacity, while nursing and education courses have compulsory entry requirements set by external bodies.

Are places in the 2021 Early Entry Program limited?

As with all Australian universities, we have a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places. This impacts both ATAR-entry applicants, as well as Early Entry Program applicants. Applications for the Program closed on 11 September due to high demand.

Even if you've submitted an application and don’t end up receiving a conditional offer, you should leave the Early Entry Program course in your preferences. Here's why – you could still receive an offer for it through the regular VTAC offer rounds.

Will students applying with their ATAR be competing with those applying via the 2021 Early Entry Program?

Swinburne is committed to helping students of all backgrounds and circumstances. The 2021 Early Entry Program was created to provide an alternative entry pathway for students who would otherwise be disadvantaged by their interrupted school year. In doing so, we made sure that neither group of applicants would negatively impact the other.

If I apply for an Early Entry Program course at Swinburne, do I still need to complete VCE exams?

If you apply to Swinburne through the Early Entry Program, you still need to complete VCE exams, even though your ATAR won’t be used as selection criteria. That’s because you still need to meet course prerequisites, like a study score of 20 in any English (which is still five points lower than what’s required if you’re applying through standard entry). If you’re planning on completing an unscored VCE, we recommend exploring our diploma and certificate pathways for entering Swinburne. 

How will you balance the number of offers given to ATAR applicants versus 2021 Early Entry Program applicants?

All applicants must still apply via VTAC and will only receive their full offer after VCE. We’ll make sure that ATAR applicants are not are not disadvantaged by conditional offers received by 2021 Early Entry Program applicants and vice versa. You should choose the entry pathway that best suits you. It’s been an uncertain year, so, if you’re seeking certainty, the Program may be the right choice. Even with an early conditional offer in August, you could do better than you expected at VCE. If that happens, you have the option to change your preference and be accepted into your course via that standard ATAR pathway.

What if my school is reluctant to give me a recommendation?

This is a bit like asking for a bigger allowance from your parents. Seed the idea but expect to have more than one conversation about it. So, start by speaking to a teacher or career practitioner you trust soon! Listen to their feedback. If they seem unsure about you jumping into a bachelor degree, we recommend thinking (and telling them) about our UniLink diplomas as an alternative pathway into your chosen degree. We want to make sure that you’re making the choice that’s right for you.

Does one recommendation cover me, no matter what 2021 Early Entry Program course I choose?

Yes, since the recommendation simply states that you are reasonably likely to succeed in higher education courses. You should check to see whether your chosen course has additional subject study score prerequisites too. It‘s also really important to get your school’s take on which courses you’ll do well in. Our aim is for you to find the course that’s right for you and your future. 

I’m an international student. Can I apply for this program?

If you’re currently studying an Australian Year 12, and studying Units 3 and 4 English or EAL, you absolutely can.

I’m studying the International Baccalaureate (IB). Can I apply for this program?

Yes, you can.

Do I need to submit multiple recommendations if I'm interested in preferencing multiple courses?

No you don’t, since the recommendation simply states that you are reasonably likely to succeed in higher education courses. So, whether you’re preferencing one course or many, you only need to submit a single recommendation. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you meet any required subject study score prerequisites too.

You may still choose to submit multiple applications and receive multiple early conditional offers. But what’s really important is the order in which you preference the courses in VTAC. Remember – you will still receive an offer for your highest eligible preference, so make sure you place the course you really want first!

Will the 2021 Early Entry Program pathway be noted on my transcript?

No. We do not record entry pathways on transcripts. You’ll be studying the same course as those who entered via their ATAR. 

I am studying English as an Additional Language (EAL). Can I apply for the 2021 Early Entry Program?

Yes, you can! You will simply need to complete VCE and achieve a score of 25 in EAL.