Undergraduate FAQs

What is the difference between a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and a Domestic Fee-Paying Place (DFEE)?

In 2008 the Australian Government abolished the Domestic Fee-Paying places program therefore all undergraduate places offered at Macquarie University will be Commonwealth Supported Places. This means that the Australian Government makes a contribution to the provider towards the cost of your higher education. The HECS-Help program is available to assist you with paying for your portion of your university fees.

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Do degrees have pre-requisites?

Most degrees at Macquarie University do not have pre-requisites however there are a small number that do. This information can be found in the UAC guide each year. Whilst the majority of degrees do not have pre-requisites, some units within the degrees require a certain level of assumed knowledge and some units have pre-requisites. The prerequisites can be met at the university and may involve the student completing certain units to gain entry into other units. This may affect the students ability to complete their degree in the minimum time allowed. For example, students who have not completed the required level of mathematics at HSC level may be required to take some first year level math units before gaining entry into certain economics and science units.

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What are double degrees?

Double degrees are where you study two degrees in a relatively short period of time. Most double degrees take 4 to 5 years to complete compared to 3 years for a single degree. The reason for only one additional year is due to the structured nature of the degree. Double degrees consist predominantly of core units as opposed to a combination of core and elective units for most single degrees.

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How and when do I enrol?

Information about how and when to enrol can be found on Macquarie's Enrolment website. New undergraduate students must to complete the "accept your offer and prepare to enrol' process. 

Can I defer my degree?

If you have received an offer of study at Macquarie University through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) you may elect to defer your place for one year. It may be possible to extend for an additional year under special circumstances.  Further information can be found on Macquarie's Deferment web page.

"Deferment" at Macquarie University is used ONLY in relation to people who have received an offer of a place at Macquarie through UAC, but choose to postpone commencing studies for 1 year. Deferment in a course will only be granted once. 

If you defer your place at Macquarie University, your place in the specific degree for which you have received an offer is guaranteed to be held for one year. However, if during that year you undertake tertiary study (other than secretarial studies or courses which are not recognised by Macquarie University for selection purposes), this deferment will lapse and your application for admission will be reassessed in light of your complete education record.

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Can I get recognition for prior learning (RPL)?

Macquarie University acknowledges that learning can take place outside of the formal education system, and that recognising formal, informal and non-formal learning supports an individual's lifelong learning goals.  When granted, RPL may count towards the credit point requirement for your degree. 

Read more about recognition for prior learning and how to apply.

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I am a mature age student. How do I apply?

Mature age students apply through the University Admissions Centre (UAC) and all previous academic results are taken into consideration. If an applicant has not commenced any university study before, they can also apply through the Jubilee (mature age) entry scheme. Students applying on the Jubilee entry scheme apply directly to Macquarie University.

You can apply for the Jubilee entry scheme if:

  • you will be 21 years of age or over on 1 March 2014;
  • you wish to study on-campus at Macquarie University; and
  • you have not previously been enrolled in a University degree.

Preference will be given to applicants who do not have the necessary academic qualifications for entry to University. You should be aware that quota restrictions will apply.

For more information, visit the Mature Age Jubilee Scheme web page.

If you have successfully completed part or all of a degree program at university, you are not eligible for admission through the Mature Age Jubilee Scheme.

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How do I transfer to Macquarie University from another institution?

After at least one semester of studying at university you can apply through UAC to enter a degree program at Macquarie University. For students who have completed one year or more of tertiary study, UAC will take into account both their academic record at tertiary level as well as their ATAR.

For students who have only completed up to six months of tertiary study and seek to reapply through UAC, they will be selected based on the best of their tertiary study or their ATAR, whichever is higher.

Visit UAC website. 

Read more about how to gain recognition for prior learning and how to apply.

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Can I transfer internally at Macquarie University to another degree?

Macquarie University offers Undergraduate students the opportunity to transfer into some degrees internally if you satisfy certain requirements. 
Course transfer is the process used to:

  • Change from your current degree to a different degree - e.g. from Bachelor of Arts to Bachelor of Commerce
  • Change to the newest curriculum for you current degree - e.g. from Bachelor of Medical Science 2013 curriculum to Bachelor of Medical Science 2015 curriculum
  • Change the qualifying major in your current degree to a major in a different faculty - e.g. from BA majoring in Modern History (Faculty of Arts) to BA majoring in Economics (Faculty of Business and Economics)

Read more information about course transfer, change of major and change of location. 



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Who calculates and releases the ATAR?

Universities do not determine students ATARs. ATARs are calculated on behalf of the universities in NSW by the Technical Committee on Scaling - a committee set up by the NSW Vice Chancellors Committee. The ATARs are confidential and released by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) to:

  • Students who have requested an ATAR; and
  • Universities to which the students have applied.

ATARs are not provided to the Board of Studies or individual schools.

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How is the ATAR determined?

To be eligible for an ATAR a student must satisfactorily complete at least 10 units (including at least two units of English) of Board Developed courses for which there are formal examinations conducted by the Board of Studies. These courses are referred to as ATAR courses (and are categorised as either Category A or Category B courses). The ATAR courses must include at least three courses of two units or greater, and at least four subjects. The ATAR is based on an aggregate of scaled marks in ten units of ATAR courses comprising the best two units of English and the best eight units from the remaining units. No more than two units of Category B courses can be included.

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What are the ATAR cut offs?

Cut-offs are determined by the interaction of three factors:

  1. the number of places available in the course
  2. the number of applicants listing the course as a preference and
  3. the quality of those applicants.

Due to these factors, cut-offs vary from year to year and are impossible to predict before applicants are selected for a particular course in a particular year. The cut-offs for any course may rise, fall or remain the same from year to year.

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I do not have an ATAR

If you do not have an ATAR and wish to apply through the Universities Admissions Centre you must include evidence of any further study you have completed at TAFE or other recognised educational institution. Your selection rank will be worked out on the basis of this additional study.

If you have not completed any further study since high school you will need to consider an alternative entry pathway before you apply to study at Macquarie University. For more information on Pathways into Macquarie University please refer to Alternative Pathways.

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What happens if I don't get the ATAR?

There are some options available. You could consider another degree with a lower ATAR and seek to apply for a course transfer. 
Other pathway options include: Next Step, Sydney Institute of Business and Technology and Macquarie Foundation Program.  

For more information on Pathways into Macquarie University please refer to Alternative Pathways.

Where can I go for help and support?

There are a variety of services available to students. Macquarie has a counselling and support service. There is also a numeracy centre for students who may be grappling with some mathematical concepts. In addition, the University runs workshops in study skills, time management, computer applications, essay writing etc.

Find more information on the Numeracy Website.

The Macquarie University transition program is designed to assist students through their first year of study. Students are paired up with volunteer student mentors who are studying similar programs to themselves. Participation in this program is voluntary.

Find more information on our Transition Program.

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