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Admissions Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) To ensure a high quality admissions service to prospective and continuing students, admissions to Charles Sturt University (the University) will be:

  1. fair, equitable and transparent;
  2. inclusive;
  3. applicant-centred;
  4. coordinated across the admissions system;
  5. prompt; and
  6. quality controlled.

A. Fair, equitable and transparent

(2) The admissions system will treat applicants fairly and equitably. Clear selection criteria will be published to applicants and applied without fear or favour. 

B. Inclusive

(3) The University will ensure that all people have equal access to participate and succeed in study regardless of disadvantage or background. Admissions will provide flexibility to admit applicants from groups, or individuals, who have been disadvantaged in education, where the University is satisfied they have a reasonable prospect of success in their studies.

C. Applicant-centred

(4) The admissions system will meet all applicants’ reasonable demands, so that it is perceived by staff and applicants as facilitating entry rather than presenting a series of hurdles. The admissions process will be user-friendly and as uncomplicated as possible.

D. Coordinated across the admissions system

(5) All staff involved in admissions must understand the whole admissions system and its relationship with other related university activities. They must understand their part in admissions and how others depend on their efficient, effective action. This includes staff whose activities prepare for or follow on from admissions.

E. Prompt

(6) Responses to applicants will be prompt, meeting their expectations of service in an electronic age and ensuring the University is competitive in the recruitment market.

F. Quality controlled

(7) Central, divisional and faculty managers responsible for admissions activity will monitor processes and outcomes of the admissions system to ensure it achieves the other objectives above and is continually improved.

Higher Education Standards Framework

(8) This policy is intended to ensure that the University meets all standards of the Higher Education Standards Framework relevant to admissions, and in particular section 1.1 Admissions.


(9) Where supporting documents are named in this policy, they will be listed in the associated information tab.


(10) This policy applies to prospective students, students, staff and decision-making bodies of the University, agents and partners of the University.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(11) For the purposes of this policy the following terms have the definitions stated:

  1. Admissions – the activity of application, assessment, decision and the criteria to decide whether people applying to study can become students. 
  2. Admissions selection rank – an applicant’s Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR), other equivalent score considered for entry, or rank on the basis of performance in a task or creative folio required for admission. An applicant’s original rank may be adjusted by the University on the basis of factors relevant to the selection decision.
  3. Admissions system - comprises the staff who make admission decisions, and the staff and systems that support admissions applications and decisions. 
  4. Coursework course – a course with no research component or with a research component weighted at less than 66% of the total credit points required to complete the course.
  5. Cross-institutional study - where a student of another tertiary institution enrols in subjects at the University under an agreement with the other institution, for credit towards the student’s course at their home institution.
  6. Domestic student – a student who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, New Zealand citizen, or holds an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.
  7. Elite athlete or performer – includes anyone who has been registered by the University as an elite athlete, pre-elite athlete, elite sports support person or elite performer, which are defined as follows:
    1. Elite athlete – a person competing at the highest level of their sport, either as a national representative or as a professional sportsperson. To be considered an elite athlete, a person will normally have been recognised as such by a national sporting body or professional sports organisation.
    2. Pre-elite athlete – a person who has been recognised by a regional academy or state or national sporting organisation for their potential to attain high honours in their sport, and has been placed in the academy’s or organisation’s program to develop this potential.
    3. Elite sports support person – a referee, coach, official or someone in another support role, working at the national representative level of a sport or in a professional sports organisation, with travel and training commitments similar to those of an elite athlete.
    4. Elite performer – someone who has performed in extensive or significant productions or performances at a state, national or international level.
  8. Higher degree by research course – a course in which a research component makes up 66% or more of the course volume of learning.
  9. Inherent requirements – the academic and other requirements of a course that all students must meet to achieve the course learning outcomes, and the knowledge, abilities, skills and qualities students will need to have in order to achieve them. Reasonable adjustments for a student with a disability cannot remove the need to meet these requirements.
  10. International student – a student who is not a domestic student at the time of the relevant study; includes applicants who will be studying in Australia on a student visa or other temporary visa, and applicants for study outside Australia who would not be domestic students if studying in Australia.
  11. National sporting organisation – an organisation recognised by government and most participants in a sport as the national body to represent the sport.
  12. Open entry - where there are no admission requirements and all applicants are eligible for admission.
  13. Quota – a limit on the number of student places a course can offer in an admission intake.
  14. Regional Australia - areas that are classified by the Commonwealth Government as regional or rural.
  15. Research component – one or more subjects for a higher degree by research course, a master by coursework and dissertation, or a bachelor (honours) course, in which students undertake a substantial piece of research involving a thesis, dissertation, portfolio or project.
  16. Single subject - a credit-bearing subject in which students enrol without admission to a course leading to a qualification.
  17. StudyLink subject - a non–credit-bearing subject to enable students to bridge gaps in knowledge needed for their studies, typically completed as a single subject alongside the student’s enrolment in their course.
  18. Teaching period – each formal period of study during which a subject is delivered to students who are enrolled with the University. There are several different types of teaching periods at this University, including: Sessions, Terms, Micro-sessions, Year-long periods, and ADPP periods.
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Section 3 - Policy

Admissions information for applicants

(12) The University will ensure that:

  1. prospective students are informed of requirements for entry to courses and any quota, so they can understand their likelihood of being admitted;
  2. applicants to study in Australia on a student visa are informed of all matters they need to be aware of, to help them meet visa requirements and make a successful transition to study here;
  3. prospective students are informed of course costs such as the need to travel for workplace learning; and
  4. prospective students are informed of course inherent requirements.

(13) The requirements for course information are stated in the Course and Subject Policy.

Admission requirements

(14) Admission requirements are designed to confirm that applicants can undertake the relevant course with a reasonable prospect of success.

(15) To be eligible for admission to courses, applicants must meet the course admission requirements published in the online course brochure. These comprise:

  1. citizenship requirements: students must not be from a sanctioned country unless an exception is approved;
  2. minimum age requirements;
  3. university academic, professional and English proficiency requirements for the type of course; and
  4. any additional or higher course-specific admission requirements approved as part of course approval.

(16) Applicants applying to study within Australia on a student visa must also meet the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirements and satisfy the University that they have taken adequate steps to prepare themselves for study in Australia. Further information about the GTE assessment process is stated in the Admissions Procedure.

(17) Applicants who are already studying in Australia on a student visa with another education provider, and who are in the first six months of their study for that course, will only be considered for admission if they provide with their application a letter of release from the other provider.

Australian Government sanctions

(18) Applicants who are citizens of a country to which the Australian Government is applying sanctions on education or research training will not be admitted to a course unless they are applying for higher degree by research (HDR) candidature and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) approves the admission.

(19) The Admissions Procedure states the processes for:

  1. assessing whether applicants for admission are subject to sanctions; and
  2. where it is confirmed that an HDR applicant’s proposed research will not breach sanctions, seeking approval for the admission.

Age requirements

(20) Applicants intending to study in Australia on a student visa must be old enough that they will be at least 18 years old by their course start-date.

(21) Domestic Australian applicants who will be aged under 18 by their intended study start-date may be admitted if the following requirements are met:

  1. If the applicant will be aged 17 years at the course start date, the relevant Head of School must ensure that arrangements are in place for the applicant’s safety as a student.
  2. If the applicant will be aged under 17 years at the start date of study, the relevant Head of School may approve their admission either to a course if their studies will be entirely online, or to single subjects only, if:
    1. they are satisfied that the applicant is exceptionally gifted and that their welfare and safety can be ensured; and
    2. the applicant’s parent or guardian gives written consent to their enrolment as a student.

(22) Where an under-aged applicant is made an offer of admission, the Admissions Office will inform the Division of Student Success (DSS), so that the DSS can coordinate arrangements for the student’s welfare and safety.

(23) Faculties may specify a higher minimum age requirement for courses to meet a legislative requirement of training for or admission to a profession.

University academic requirements for entry 

(24) Applicants must meet at least the following minimum academic requirements for entry to types of course. The Admissions - Entry Requirements (Coursework) Procedure and Admissions - Entry Requirements (Higher Degrees by Research) Procedure give more detail on these requirements and state other qualifications that are considered their equivalents.

Type of course Minimum entry requirement
Undergraduate diploma Completion of New South Wales Record of School Achievement, or equivalent
Bachelor degree and four-year integrated bachelor (honours) degree New South Wales Higher School Certificate with an ATAR, or equivalent
One-year bachelor (honours) degree A bachelor degree specialising in the same discipline or a closely related discipline; or equivalent
Graduate certificate and graduate diploma A bachelor degree; or a diploma and work experience relevant to the course to which admission is sought; or equivalent
Master by coursework A bachelor degree or equivalent
Master by research, doctor of philosophy or professional doctorate A bachelor degree of at least four years full-time duration, specialising in the same discipline or a closely related discipline, with at least class 2(1) honours; or equivalent
Higher doctorate A bachelor degree and at least ten years continuous work in the relevant field since graduation, at a standard surpassing the standard required for a doctor of philosophy award

Professional experience requirements

(25) A professional doctorate may state additional entry requirements of a specified period of relevant professional experience and/or current professional employment.

English proficiency requirements

(26) Applicants must meet the following minimum English proficiency requirements for entry to the types of course listed.

(27) Admissions - Entry Requirements (Coursework) Procedure and Admissions - Entry Requirements (Higher Degrees by Research) Procedure state these requirements in more detail and state what are considered their equivalents.

Coursework courses
Applicants must have:
  1. been born in an English-speaking country, have completed at least one qualification in an English-speaking country, and English must have been the language in which they undertook the qualification;
  2. completed the equivalent of the New South Wales Higher School Certificate or a tertiary course of at least one year’s duration, in English; or
  3. gained a recent score of 6.0 in the International English Language Test System (IELTS) academic test, with no less than 5.5 in any band, or equivalent.
Higher degree by research courses
Applicants must have:
  1. completed their prerequisite academic qualification in English; or
  2. gained a recent score at least 6.5 in the IELTS academic test, with no less than 6.0 in any band, or equivalent.

(28) The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) approves the English proficiency equivalents in the Admissions - Entry Requirements (Coursework) Procedure.

(29) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) approves the English proficiency equivalents in the Admissions - Entry Requirements (Higher Degrees by Research) Procedure.

(30) The International and Partnerships Committee approves the following information for publication on the University’s website:

  1. the list of countries considered English speaking for assessment of applicants’ English proficiency; and
  2. English language proficiency tests and test providers as acceptable for meeting English language proficiency requirements for admission.

(31) Through course approval processes, additional or higher academic, English proficiency or other admission requirements may be approved for specific courses, to:

  1. ensure students have a reasonable prospect of success; and/or
  2. meet professional accreditation or professional registration requirements.

Single subjects

(32) An applicant may be eligible to enrol in an undergraduate single subject if the applicant meets the following requirements:

  1. the minimum age requirements stated above; 
  2. the English language proficiency requirements for entry to undergraduate courses stated above;
  3. any specific prerequisites of the subjects; and
  4. there are no indications they are unlikely to succeed, such as failures in similar recent study, or insufficient evidence of relevant knowledge and skills.

(33) An applicant may be eligible to enrol in a postgraduate single subject if the applicant:

  1. has completed at least some undergraduate study; and either
  2. meets any specific prerequisites for each single subject; or
  3. demonstrates that they have enough relevant knowledge and skills to undertake the subjects.

(34) Applicants cannot defer single subject study enrolments; they must re-apply.

(35) The Admissions Procedure states the application and decision process for single subject enrolments.

Charles Sturt University Pathway

(36) To be eligible for admission to the Charles Sturt University Pathway non-award program, applicants must have completed the New South Wales Year 10 Record of School Achievement or equivalent.

StudyLink subjects

(37) StudyLink subjects are open entry.

Admission to concurrent study

(38) If a student wishes to study concurrently (at the same time) in a second course, they must apply for admission to it.

(39) The Admissions Procedure states the eligibility requirements and the application and assessment process for concurrent enrolments.

Authority to admit

(40) The authority to admit applicants to study at Charles Sturt University in accordance with approved entry requirements is specified in the Delegation Schedule E - Academic and Research.

Conditional offers

(41) An offer of admission may be made with a condition that the applicant must meet one or more entry requirement (for example where the applicant is currently undertaking a pathway course), and may be withdrawn if the applicant does not meet the condition(s) stated in the offer.

Conflicts of interest

(42) Staff involved in the admissions system must declare any potential conflict of interest.

(43) This includes situations where a staff member’s partner, member of their family or close friend is applying for admission to the University whether directly, through a tertiary admissions centre or through a partner organisation, and the staff member may be involved in the admission decision or have access to the person’s application.

(44) In these cases staff must notify their manager of the potential conflict of interest.

Intake quotas and course viability

(45) The University may:

  1. set a quota for an intake to any course;
  2. decline to admit applicants where there are too few applications for a course to be viable; and/or
  3. cancel an intake to a course and any offers of admission made if too few applicants accept an offer of a place in the course for it to be viable.

(46) An Executive Dean must seek the approval of the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to withdraw a course from participation in an intake.

(47) Where a course has an intake quota and more applicants apply, offers will be made to eligible applicants whose applications the University received earliest. Once the quota has been filled, other eligible applicants may be declined admission. The Executive Dean of the teaching faculty may, however, approve as an exception that a course may pool and rank applications for an eventual decision.


(48) To have their application considered by the University, applicants must follow the relevant application and offer acceptance process stated in the Admissions Procedure.

Refund of fees

(49) Commencing domestic students who have enrolled in subjects will not incur fees for these if they withdraw from them by midnight of the census date in their first teaching period.

(50) Where an undergraduate student commencing study in a Commonwealth-supported place (CSP) does not engage in their studies by census date in their first teaching period, Student Administration may remove their subject enrolments to avoid the student incurring a Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) debt. 

(51) Because of the considerable cost of recruiting international students, the University will withhold an administration fee from refunds for commencing international students who withdraw from or fail to take up their place in their course by choice. The administration fee will vary depending on the circumstances involved and how early the student notifies the University of their intention to withdraw from the course. See the International Student Fee Refund Procedure for details on the refund amounts that are payable to international students in different circumstances.

(52) The University may waive the administration fee for withdrawal of a commencing international student where the student is prevented from commencing their studies by:

  1. exceptional circumstances outside their control; or
  2. decisions of the University itself.

(53) Where an international student withdraws to transfer to another education provider in the first six months of their studies in their primary course, without a letter of release from the University, the University will not refund their fees for their first teaching period of study.

(54) Where any student remains enrolled in a subject after the census date, the University will not refund their fees, unless the student demonstrates that exceptional circumstances outside their control prevented them from continuing their studies. The student services and amenities fee (SSAF), however, will not be refunded under any circumstances if the student has withdrawn from their subjects after census date.

(55) The Enrolment Policy states detailed requirements and processes for fee refunds to domestic students.

(56) The International Student Fee Refund Procedure states all requirements and processes for fee refunds to international students.


(57) Students who have graduated from, withdrawn from or been excluded from a course at the University, and wish to resume studies at the University must apply for, and will be considered for, admission in the same way as any other applicant. Their readmission is not automatic.

(58) The Admissions Procedure states:

  1. the requirements and processes for readmission of students who have been excluded from courses of the University for unsatisfactory academic progress; and
  2. the conditions on which students may be readmitted to a course or specialisation after intakes to it have ceased.

(59) Students granted leave of absence from a course are not required to reapply for admission, provided they return to resume their studies at the end of the approved period of leave.

Readmission by reinstating enrolment

(60) A student may have their course enrolment reinstated if all the following conditions are met:

  1. They withdrew from their course enrolment within 12 months before the start date of the teaching period in which they wish to resume study.
  2. The course:
    1. has not changed its entry requirements since they withdrew;
    2. has not suspended intakes;
    3. is not full; and
    4. does not require competitive assessment of admission applications.
  3. If the student was not making satisfactory academic progress, or the course requirements have changed, the relevant Course Director has approved the reinstatement.

(61) In addition to the conditions stated above, if the reinstatement will mean that the student will exceed the normal limit on total sessions of leave of absence stated in the Enrolment Policy (because the sessions when they have not been enrolled will count as leave of absence), the reinstatement can only occur if the Deputy Dean of the teaching faculty approves it. 

(62) The Admissions Procedure states the process for applications for reinstatement of enrolment.

Transfer between courses

Transfer to coursework courses

(63) The following requirements apply to students applying for transfer:

  1. between two coursework courses; or
  2. from a higher degree by research program to a coursework course.

(64) Students enrolled in one course who apply to transfer to another course must meet the same admission requirements as any other applicant, and will only be admitted to the new course if a place is available.

(65) When transferring between courses, all students must provide their Unique Student Identifier (USI) to the University before the first census date of enrolment in their new course. See the Admissions Procedure for more information about the USI.

(66) Students studying in Australia on a student visa are not eligible for course transfer: they must apply for admission to the other course. The only exception to this rule is where the student is applying for the honours stream of an integrated honours course.

(67) The Admissions Procedure states the process for course transfer applications and the conditions on which students may transfer to a different course.

Transfer between higher degree by research programs

(68) Candidates in a higher degree by research course may apply to transfer to another higher degree by research course. Candidates for a doctor of philosophy, whose candidature is by prior publication, however, cannot transfer to another course.

(69) The Dean, Graduate Studies decides these applications on the recommendation of the relevant Sub Dean (Graduate Studies).

(70) Transfer may be approved with or without remission of time.

(71) The Admissions Procedure states the process and other requirements for applications for these transfers.

Higher degree by research students – full-time and part-time study

(72) The Higher Degrees by Research Policy states requirements for higher degree by research students in relation to:

  1. full-time and part-time candidature; and
  2. the process for transferring between these modes of candidature.

Applications with false, misleading or withheld information

(73) Allegations of misconduct involving information provided by students in their admissions applications will be investigated in line with the Student Misconduct Rule 2020.

(74) The Executive Director, Students may cancel an application for admission, or withdraw an offer of admission, where the applicant is found to have:

  1. provided false or misleading information in their application; or
  2. withheld information relevant to their application.

(75) Where an applicant to study in Australia on a student visa is found to have provided false or misleading information in their application, the University will report this to the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs.

(76) Where misconduct is found to have occurred in these cases, the recommended penalty is exclusion from the University.

Applicants with failed results

(77) Applicants must normally wait 12 months from the end-date of the most recent failed subject before their application will be considered if they have:

  1. failed half or more of the subjects (measured by the credit points weighting of the subjects) that they have taken at another tertiary institution; or
  2. been excluded from another tertiary institution for unsatisfactory academic progress.

(78) To be eligible for readmission, they must demonstrate they have addressed the reasons they failed subjects previously and now have a better prospect of success in their studies.

Admission or enrolment of academic staff

(79) A member of the University’s academic staff will be declined admission to a course, or declined enrolment in a subject, where this is a conflict of interest.

(80) The Admissions Procedure lists situations where admission or enrolment of academic staff would be a conflict of interest and states the process to ensure these admissions/enrolments do not occur.


(81) The University may, for admission to undergraduate courses:

  1. make offers of admission to applicants from groups disadvantaged in education, or using other measures of applicants’ aptitude for study, before their academic results are known (‘guaranteed offer schemes’);
  2. give special consideration for admission to applicants from groups disadvantaged in education or applicants who have been disadvantaged in education as individuals; or
  3. admit present or past members of the Australian Defence Forces or of another country’s defence force on the basis of extensive defence service experience and any defence force training to prepare them for employment.

(82) The University may also make guaranteed offers to people completing pathway programs with the University or one of its partners.

(83) The Admissions Procedure states the University’s guaranteed offer schemes, their eligibility requirements and the application process for each.

(84) The University provides special admission consideration in the form of adjustments to applicants’ admissions selection rank.

(85) The Admissions Procedure states the application processes, eligibility requirements and adjustment points per group or type of disadvantage.

Location adjustment

(86) Applicants attending high schools or TAFE colleges in regional Australia, and non-Year 12 applicants who live in regional Australia, receive an adjustment to their academic scores for the purpose of admission decisions. The Admissions Procedure states the adjustment and process for it.

Maximum total adjustment

(87) No applicant will be given more than a total of 12 ATAR point adjustments or equivalent in other types of ranking, for any combination of special admissions consideration, location and/or subject adjustments.

Elite athletes and performers

(88) The University recognises that elite athletes and elite performers may have been disadvantaged in education by their sporting or practice and performance commitments.

(89) People who are in training to become elite athletes or elite performers, and other elite sports personnel, may have been similarly disadvantaged.

(90) Accordingly the University:

  1. provides special consideration in admission to these groups; and
  2. where possible, permits members of these groups to defer their place where this is necessary to meet their sporting or performance commitments.

(91) The Admissions Procedure states eligibility criteria, adjustments to academic scores and the process for assigning these.

Cross-institutional study

(92) A student of another tertiary institution can apply to enrol in subjects at Charles Sturt University and may be able to have the subjects recognised as part of their course at that institution. Further information and instructions are published on the cross-institutional learning website.

Deferred admission

(93) Domestic Australian applicants who are offered a place as a full-time on-campus or online learning student may apply to defer starting the course, except where:

  1. the relevant Executive Dean has decided the course will not allow deferment;
  2. the course will not be available in the later intake; or
  3. the course admission requirements will have changed by the later intake, so that the applicant will no longer be eligible.

(94) Applicants can defer an offer of a place in one course for up to 12 months. If an applicant’s request to defer an offer to a later teaching period is approved, they cannot apply to defer the offer for a second time.

(95) Applicants to study in Australia on a student visa cannot defer their offer, but can reapply for admission at the later date.

(96) The Admissions Procedure states the process for applications for deferment and their approval.


(97) See the University Student Appeals Policy and University Student Appeals Procedure.

The University Student Appeals Policy will take effect on 1 June 2021. Students wishing for a review or to appeal a decision before this time should contact the Admissions and Conversion Manager at
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Section 4 - Procedure

(98) The following procedures support this policy and should be read alongside it:

  1. Admissions Procedure
  2. International Student Fee Refund Procedure.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(99) Nil.