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Our Early Leaders Program allows you to explore your interests, hone your strengths, get clarity on your passions, and put some shine on your CV. 

If you’re studying Australian Year 11 in 2021, you can apply for the program, including VCE, VCAL and International Baccalaureate students, plus regional students and those outside of Victoria.

You’ll gain valuable skills in academic writing, creativity, job readiness and community development.

There are a number of activities offered on campus, but you can also choose to complete the entire program online at your own pace — just as long as you finish by the final deadline in early October.

Swinburne Early Leaders Program

Boost your ATAR

To recognise your achievements, if you successfully complete the Early Leaders Program in 2021, you’ll receive an ATAR adjustment when you apply to study with Swinburne. We automatically award one aggregate point for each completed category, up to a maximum of two points.

If you’re interested in completing the Early Leaders Program and unsure if you’ll receive this boost to your ATAR you can email us to find out:

Student experiences

Hear from our Early Leaders Paige and Matt! They share their experiences as Early Leaders and how it's made their transition into university a little less daunting. 

How does the program work?

As part of the Early Leaders Program you’ll complete two units; the academic ‘core’ unit, which is mandatory, and one of three elective units.

Note: These units are non-accredited and cannot be used for Recognition in Prior Learning.

Core unit

The research/academic skills certificate encourages you to self-assess and reflect on how well prepared you are for further study, as well as developing strategies for future academic programs.

Elective units

Students can choose one of the following elective units:

  • Creativity — undertake a creative project of your choice, for example:
    • Create stage sets for your school concert
    • Write music for your school band or orchestra
    • Start up an entrepreneurial business
  • Community Engagement — gain recognition for your volunteer work within the community. You’ll be required to undertake a minimum of 20 hours community service. 
  • Career Development — participate in a number of career development activities to assist you in your career exploration and decisions. You’ll be required to complete a minimum of three activities, which may include attending university Open Days, updating your resume, creating a LinkedIn profile or completing the Swinburne ‘Study Smarter’ modules.

Additional resources and activities

  • Meet a Swinburne student
  • Introduction to academic writing
  • Career planning
  • Star reflections
  • Introduction to university

How to apply

Applications for the 2021 Early Leaders Program are now closed.

To be kept in the loop with our 2022 program, get in touch at

Have any questions?

Drop us an email to find out more about your options and which program structure will work best for you.

Email us