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Tertiary Preparation Program

Tertiary Preparation Program (ACEQ)

Entry requirements
Study mode
  • On-campus
  • Online
  • Ipswich
  • Springfield
  • Toowoomba
  • 3-4 semesters (maximum)
Start date
  • February
  • July
  • November
Note: International students may only undertake this program via online study.


  • Ready to start a new career, or perhaps you didn't finish high school, and think that university is out of your reach? If you have not completed year 12 or it has been some time since you studied, USQ’s Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) is your free pathway to Uni.
  • Get a taste of university and study courses (subjects) to develop your reading, writing, maths, and study skills. Learn how to do academic assignments and build your confidence for further studies. You can also study some specialised courses to prepare you for the degree you wish to study.
  • Do you feel you have the right levels of skills in Maths and English to enter your degree but want to make sure? TPP includes helpful placement tests in both. If you need to freshen up Maths and English, or need more Science before you start, then TPP is the program for you.
  • No matter where you are in the world, TPP aims to prepare you for entry to Uni. Successfully completing TPP gets you ready to apply for a range of USQ undergraduate degrees.
  • TPP is a flexible program that is offered in all three semesters, and usually studied over two semesters. However, you may be able to fast-track your learning and complete your courses in one semester, or you may prefer to study part-time and take a little longer.
  • All our courses are offered online which will enable you to balance work, life and family commitments.
  • We’ve been offering our TPP for over 30 years, and have the experience to provide a helping hand on the journey to university study. With access to great teaching and support in a friendly caring environment, this program is available to everyone (as long as you are at least 18 in the year you begin your studies and meet the citizenship and residency requirements).
  • It is best to have a chat to us before finalising your decision on courses, as your choice may have an impact later on your future studies.

Further study

What if you’re not quite ready for a bachelor degree, or want a qualification sooner? Our Certificate of University Studies (4 courses) or Diploma of University Studies (8 courses) are the perfect next steps on your university journey.

Career outcomes

  • As part of this program you'll enhance your core academic skills to think critically and write academically, providing you with everything you need to succeed at university, and the confidence to follow your dream career.
  • As a stepping stone to further university study, successfully complete TPP and be ready to apply for a range of USQ undergraduate degrees, with endless career opportunities.
  • Preparing you for a future full of possibilities, our TPP program provides you with the opportunity to receive personalised career advice from one of our own Career Development Practitioners. You’ll get help in working out what your career dreams are for the future as well as setting goals to achieve them. 

Entry requirements

  • 18 years or older

To assist staff in determining your existing skill in reading comprehension, written expression and mathematical understanding, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete placement tests in mathematics and Academic Literacy Levels (ALL). You will then be directed into the most appropriate available starting level within the Tertiary Preparation Program.

While these tests are not compulsory (please note, for students who did not complete schooling in Australia these tests are mandatory), if you would like to be considered for the fast-track pathway, you will need to submit these tests as part of your application.

English language requirements

Students need to satisfy English Language requirements. This program normally requires a minimum of IELTS 5.5. or equivalent through study or employment. In exceptional circumstances, based on results of the communication skills tests, alternative entry approval may be given.

Other pathway options

At USQ, we understand the path to University is different for everyone. There are many pathways programs available to fast-track your way to a USQ degree, and gain the confidence to study along the way.

Need help deciding which pathway is right for you? Contact our friendly team who can assist with any questions you might have.

Degree structure

The program consists of a compulsory component and a chosen specialisation course.

Courses to be studied Units
Core courses
Specialisation courses at least 1
Total 4-8 (maximum)

USQ requires successful completion of particular courses of specialisation as a condition for entry to particular undergraduate programs. Please consult the USQ Handbook for courses to be studied, recommended enrolment patterns, and the program articulation map to identify which courses you will need to study in order to enter your chosen degree.

USQ undergraduate degree entry requirements

At USQ, most undergraduate programs have an OP/Rank and entry requirements, such as subject pre-requisites. The Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) can help you get a rank and meet subject pre-requisites, so you can start in your dream degree!

I don’t have an OP or rank.
If you complete 2 or more TPP courses you will get a rank. The higher your grades, the higher your rank.

I don’t have an OP/rank or meet any subject pre-requisites.

Follow the full TPP Program articulation map, relevant to the program you want to study, to make sure you can apply for your degree. You will need to successfully complete 3 compulsory courses and 1 elective course to be ready to apply to the degree.

What if I meet some of the entry requirements for an undergraduate program but need TPP to help me meet others?
Below are the TPP courses you need to complete for each of the subject pre-requisites you’re missing.

  • English (4, SA) pre-requisite for all programs: TPP7122 and TPP7123
  • Science (4, SA) pre-requisite for Education programs: TPP7155 or TPP7160
  • Maths A (4, SA) pre-requisite for all programs (except Engineering and Construction): TPP7181
  • Maths A (4, SA) pre-requisite for Engineering and Construction programs: TPP7182
  • Maths B (4, SA) pre-requisite for all programs: TPP7183

Fees and scholarships

Your actual fees may vary depending on the courses you select. We review our fees annually so these may be subject to change.

If you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen (resident in Australia), holder of either Australian Permanent Residency or Australian Permanent Humanitarian visas, you have access to fee-free places in this program.

Fee-free places are granted for a period of three semesters. As a fee-free student, if you wish to continue your studies beyond three semesters you will need to complete a new application form.

If you do not meet the citizenship or residency requirements, you will be required to pay a fee. For international students the approximate fee per unit for this program is AUD 1160.1

1 These are indicative annual fees for 2020. 

How to apply

Complete your online application directly to USQ.

Note: Students can only commence study in semester 3 at USQ Toowoomba or via online study.

The closing dates for applying directly to USQ are:

  • Semester 3, 2020 - applications close Friday 20 November, with semester 3 commencing on Monday 16 November, 2020.
  • Semester 1, 2021 - applications close Monday 22 February, with semester 1 commencing on Monday 22 February, 2021.
  • Semester 2, 2021 - applications close Monday 12 July, with semester 2 commencing on Monday 12 July, 2021.
  • Semester 3, 2021 - applications close Monday 15 November, with semester 3 commencing on Monday 15 November, 2021.

More information on applying key dates is available.

Further information

Discover further information on applying to study at USQ that is relevant to you.

Got questions?


Begin your study journey today with Australia’s #1 University for graduate starting salary* and start the degree that’s right for you.

*(Good Universities Guide, 2020.)

Talk to our degree advisors