If you’re a high school student preparing to start uni, you’ll know VTAC preferences are paramount when it comes to studying something you love.

Whether you’re looking to learn more about preferences, how and when to change them, or how to access support and advice – you’re in the right place.

On this page you’ll find:

What is Change of Preference?

Between August and February, as you complete your studies and sit your exams, there are various periods where you’re able to choose and change the shortlist of uni courses you’d most like to end up in next year – also known as your VTAC preferences.  

The window just after your ATAR and Year 12 results are released is a crucial Change of Preference period. This is your window in which to make changes to your eight preferences for the main offer round in January, with the help of unis, course advisers and your school. 

Why would you want to change your preferences after you get your results? Great question. You might want to tweak or toggle your preferences because your results were better than expected, or if you didn’t get the results you wanted, or you may find that you just want to change your mind.

Preference Swinburne

Ready to preference Swinburne? Head on over to VTAC now.

Visit the VTAC website

ATAR Evaluator

Take a look at our ATAR Evaluator to find out which courses you can get into with your results.

Evaluate my ATAR

How Change of Preference works

  • Step 1: Submit your preferences in August and September

    Part of applying to uni as a Year 12 student involves submitting your preferred courses via VTAC, in the order of most-preferred to least-preferred.

    Once your preferences are submitted, you can then use the various windows throughout December, January and February to alter your list if you need to.

  • Step 2: Receive your results

    Once you have your ATAR or results you’ll be able to look at your preference list and rearrange based on your results.

    Did you do better than expected? Move those courses you didn’t think you’d get into up higher on your list. Didn’t get the results you were hoping for? You can rejig your preferences based on a pathway into your chosen course or another alternative.

  • Step 3: Make contact with the unis highest on your list

    During the Change of Preference period, usually in mid-December, you then have the chance to engage with the unis you’re hoping to study with – like with the Change of Preference Expo at Swinburne – and access immediate and expert advice on how to best arrange your preferences to end up in your chosen study area. 

  • Step 4: Sit back and relax

    Enjoy a hard-earned holiday break knowing your preferences are resembling your uni goals, and wait until the offers roll in – beginning with the January offer round.

    If you find that you’re still wanting to swap things in and out or up and down your list, there will be more options to change your preferences throughout the February offer rounds.

Couldn't make it to our Change of Preference Expo but need support and advice?

If you couldn't make the event, you can also get the support and advice you need from our Future Students Enquiries team through our extended opening hours via phone or email:

  • Friday 17 and Monday 20 December: 8am – 6pm 
  • Saturday 18 December: 8am – 4pm
  • Sunday 19 December: 10am – 2pm

Calendar of key Change of Preference dates and deadlines

Please note that the following dates are applicable to Year 12s studying in Australia. For dates applicable to non-Year 12s, or students completing high school internationally or through International Baccalaureate, head to the VTAC website.

2021/2022 Change of Preference (COP) Calendar

2021/2022 Change of Preference (COP) Calendar

To make your life easier, here’s one we prepared earlier. Introducing the Ultimate Offer Rounds Calendar.

Get the inside scoop

Looking for easy-to-digest facts and tips about ATARs and Early Entry Program offers but only have four lots of 15 seconds to spare? You’re in the right place.  

What do I do if my ATAR is lower than expected?

ATAR not as sweet as you’d hoped? Get the scoop on your options. From UniLink Diplomas, certificates, and more.

Don’t let a lower ATAR derail your plans. We’ll help you get on track and towards your desired course and career. Whatever your ATAR, you can find your path and eat your ice cream too.

What do I do if my ATAR is higher than expected?

ATAR higher than expected? Get the scoop on your options. You could consider a professional degree, which includes a 12-month professional placement.

ATAR is over 95? You could be eligible for a pretty amazing scholarship. We're guessing you smashed your results (or you're confident you will), so, go get yourself a celebratory scoop of ice cream.

I have a conditional offer to the Early Entry Program – what now?

ATAR meets our guaranteed entry ATAR? Here’s the scoop on what you need to do.

If yes, then go ahead and spend your ATAR. If no, but your English score is over 25? Sweet! Put Early Entry at the top of your preferences and your offer will land soon.

I applied for the Early Entry Program, but didn’t get an offer – what now?

ATAR just missed our guaranteed entry ATAR? If you didn’t get a conditional offer to our Early Entry Program, don’t worry! Keep it at the top of your preferences, as places can open in future rounds.

Why choose Swinburne?

Swinburne students have completed placements at Pfizer, Zoos Victoria and The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing as part of their Work Integrated Learning

Our graduates are Oscar-nominated, Nobel Peace Prize-winning, and Untitled Goose Game-creating

You’ll have access to tailored support at Swinburne, including Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, disability support and more

Year 11 & 12 Hub

Want to know how pathways work? Want the rundown on scholarships and supports available to Swinburne students, or how to book a one-on-one appointment or a campus tour?

Head to our Year 11 & 12 Hub, the home of everything you need to know as a high school student preparing to transition into uni.

Visit the Year 11 & 12 hub

Keep on exploring