How do I apply for uni as a school student?


Some specialised field of construction like engineering or architecture need you to complete an undergraduate degree, also known as a Bachelor’s degree, at university (uni). An undergraduate degree is the first level of uni education that students pursue after finishing high school. They usually take 3-4 years to complete if studied full-time, although some courses may take longer (for e.g., dual degrees where you receive two qualifications at the end). If you’re interested in a flexible degree, some unis have options to complete your course part-time. You can also defer your uni course and schedule a later start, if you choose to do something else (like travel or work) before you study again.

If uni is the right career pathway for you, the steps below will help you understand how to apply:

1. Research

Start by researching the unis and courses that interest you. Consider factors such as the program’s content, entry requirements, campus facilities, and location.

2. Attend university open days or information sessions

Many universities in Queensland hold open days or information sessions where you can learn more about the courses you’re interested in, campus life, and the admission process. Attending these events can help you make an informed decision about your next steps after school and clarify any questions you have.

3. Understand entry requirements

Read the entry requirements for the courses you’re interested in. These requirements usually include minimum academic results, the subjects you’ll need to do at school, and any other requirements specific to the university or course.

4. Seek guidance from school career counsellor

Make sure you chat to your school’s career counsellor or teachers to discuss your uni plans. They will help you find information on suitable scholarships, grants or programs that you can apply for, and guide you through the application process.

5. Year 12 studies and ATAR

In Queensland, the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is used for applying for uni. Your ATAR is calculated based on your Year 12 results and is provided by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA). Many courses have a minimum ATAR score that you have to achieve before your application will be accepted. It’s important to know the ATAR score you need for the courses you’re interested in.

6. Apply through QTAC

Most Queensland universities use the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) for undergraduate admissions. QTAC is a central application portal for students who wish to apply for multiple courses across different universities in Queensland. By using QTAC, you can submit a single application and select the courses and universities you want to apply for – all in one go! Your school will help you set up a QTAC account and guide you through the application process.

Not all universities in Queensland use QTAC for their admissions – some universities have
separate application processes, so make sure you know how your chosen universities want
you to apply.

Got questions about QTAC?

You can use your Google Home or Alexa device to ask specific questions about QTAC or your ATAR, or call the QTAC customer service number on 1300 467 822.

7. Submit supporting documents

Prepare and submit any required documents along with your application. These documents might include your official school results and ATAR score, proof of identification, personal statement, letters of recommendation from your school, work or other curricular programs, and other specific requirements listed by the university or QTAC. Make sure you submit your applications by the due date.

8. Monitor your application

After submitting your application, regularly check your QTAC account to monitor the progress of your application.

9. Receive offers and respond

If your application is successful, you will receive offers of admission either through QTAC or directly from the universities. Review the offers and make sure you accept or decline them before the due date.

10. Accept offer and enrol

Once you have accepted an offer, follow the instructions provided by the university to secure your place. This typically involves completing enrolment forms, paying any required fees or submitting your HECS-HELP documentation (HECS is an Australian Government loan scheme to pay your uni fees upfront so that you’re not out of pocket.

What is HECS-HELP?

Read more about HECS-HELP and enrolling in classes (‘units’).

Learn more


It’s important to remember that the application requirements may differ between universities and courses, so always refer to the official uni websites or QTAC for up-to-date information.

Applying for uni can lead to an exciting career in the construction industry, from construction management, to engineering or architecture. Check out our list of construction jobs and find out which careers require you to complete a uni degree.