Swinburne Early Leaders Program

At Swinburne, we believe in getting you future ready. Our Early Leaders Program (ELP) helps secondary students prepare for their transition to university and be recognised for their extra-curricular activities.

Early Leaders Program

At Swinburne, we believe in getting students future ready.

Who can apply?

The Early Leaders Program is open to all students undertaking Australian Year 11, including VCE, IB and VCAL students, plus regional students and those outside of Victoria.

About the program

Participating in the Early Leaders Program will help you to build on and document all your extra-curricular activities, as well as reflect on your individual strengths and interests. The program is designed to prepare you for the transition to university and encourages you to begin career development activities that will help you establish connections with universities such as Swinburne.

The Early Leaders Program is made up of one core certificate and three elective certificates. You need to complete the core certificate and one of the elective certificates to achieve Early Leader status.

There are a number of activities offered on campus, but you can also complete the entire program online. You can complete the Early Leaders Program at your own pace throughout the year as long as you finish it by the final deadline in early October. And of course, we’re here for support whenever you need us.

Core certificate


The research/academic skills certificate encourages you to self-assess and reflect on how well prepared you are for further study, as well as develop strategies for future academic programs. As an Early Leader Program participant, you’ll be introduced to academic writing, have the opportunity to interview a current Swinburne student, and write a report on the topic 'transition to university'.

Elective certificates (choose one)


In the creativity skills certificate, you’ll explore your ability to use creative thinking and innovative problem-solving strategies. You’ll be encouraged to undertake a creative project of your choice, and at the end reflect on the skills you’ve developed.

Community engagement

In the community engagement skills certificate, you’ll explore and grow your connection to the wider community.  You’ll gain recognition for your volunteer work within the community and be encouraged to reflect on the skills you gained from the experience.

Career development

The career development skills certificate encourages you to identify the employability skills that will enhance your job readiness and career development. You’ll participate in a number of career development activities at Swinburne and externally to help assist you in your career exploration and decisions.

Benefits of the program

Completing the Early Leaders Program is a great achievement to include in your applications for jobs and further study to help you stand out.

You will also:

  • develop life skills
  • grow your confidence
  • increase your employability
  • gain recognition for achievements from a leading university
  • get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

The Early Leaders Program gives you the opportunity to develop the skills that will help you successfully transition to tertiary study. You’ll also become part of the Swinburne community.

Workshops and seminars include:

  • Meet a Swinburne student - talk to a student studying a course you’re interested in. (Offered on campus or via Skype or phone)
  • Introduction to academic writing (offered as a webinar)
  • Career planning (offered on campus and as a webinar)

Students who successfully complete the Early Leaders Program will receive additional aggregate points towards their ATAR when they apply to Swinburne. During VTAC assessments, Swinburne will automatically award one aggregate point to students for each completed category with a maximum of two aggregate points per student.

How to apply

 Expressions of interest for a February 2020 start open now!

Got questions? Email us at earlyleader@swinburne.edu.au.

Are you an international student?  *