Take a moment – you just got through one of the toughest challenges a young person can face. Year. 12. Is. Done!

So once you get your ATAR, what’s next? If you’re thinking of changing your preferences, the process and language can seem a little daunting.

We’ve broken it down to the essentials you need to know for the change of preference (CoP) period and beyond.

Key terms

Between 12 December (when you receive your ATAR result) and 14 December, you have the opportunity to change your preference list in VTAC. This is known as the change of preference period.

The Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) is responsible for processing your application for university courses and supplying it to the university that you have nominated. The university then considers your offer and offers you a place based on the selection criteria for your course.

Most VU courses are available for application via VTAC. Using VTAC for your university application allows you to list up to eight preferences in the order of your most preferred to least preferred course and institution. VTAC takes care of all the hard work so you only fill in one application for multiple courses at multiple institutions. Our website contains more information on how to apply.

We call the connections between our courses pathways. These are designed help you to attain the entry requirements for higher-level courses.

As one of the few universities in Australia to offer both vocational training (TAFE, at Victoria University Polytechnic) and higher education (VU bachelor degrees), we provide connections between courses at all levels.

Pathways make it possible for your dream course and job to be within reach, regardless of your study background, prior experience, your ATAR score, or your level of academic achievement.

The Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) is for applicants who have experienced educational barriers and/or difficult life circumstances that may prevent or deter you from studying. VU can help you get into your course with our special admission programs, so that you can reach your true potential.

Most domestic students will be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP).

If you are eligible for CSP, you have a couple of options for paying your fees.

You can:

  • pay your student fees up-front
  • defer your student contribution via HECS-HELP – a government loan.

When you take the HECS-HELP option, you'll repay the loan through the tax system once you start earning above the minimum repayment threshold. Voluntary repayments can be made at any time directly to the ATO, regardless of income.

Along with your HECS-HELP assistance, VU offers more than 300 scholarships every year, at all levels and fields of study.

Scholarships give you financial and practical assistance, and a head start with a way to showcase your abilities and achievements.

The VU Block Model puts our students’ needs first. It provides an easy transition to university, and the skills and knowledge that helps you become a confident, independent learner. The VU Block Model is an Australian-first, innovative approach to higher education. 

  • a single focus, rather than juggling multiple units with competing demands and deadlines
  • the chance to immerse yourself in each unit, learning through discussion and group interaction
  • strong and lasting peer connections formed through close contact with one group at a time
  • getting to know and be known by your educators
  • timely support from a multidimensional team
  • timely feedback
  • early success to build your confidence and motivation.

For more information, visit our VU Block Model web page.

Key diary dates

On Thursday 12 December, VCE results and ATARs are released. December round offers will be released at 2pm, 18 December.

You can change your preferences up until Saturday 14 December at 2pm.

Now you have your VCE and ATAR results, you can review your current preference list, gather information and make an informed decision about how, or whether, you want to re-order your preferences.

If you have not paid your VTAC application-processing fee in full, you will be unable to change your preferences.

Bookings open from 3 December to book for a one-on-one chat with a course expert between 12 and 20 December. Book your session today.

At Victoria University, we have several intake periods throughout the year. You can start your course during the following periods:

  • January –Summer Block 1 (optional, if you want to fast-track your studies)
  • March – Block 1
  • April – Block 3
  • July – mid year
  • November – Trimester 3.

For study dates visit the VU calendar. Find out how you can fast-track your studies with summer and winter study blocks.

From 2 December to 15 December our friendly staff from VU and VU Polytechnic (TAFE) will be at Highpoint Shopping Centre to help you navigate any course decisions you’re making for 2020.

Find us on Level 2, near Hairhouse Warehouse.

Other tricky questions

VU has a number of courses where the number of applicants exceeds the number of available places. For these courses, an ATAR is used as the primary selection tool but is not the only consideration.

Admissions requirements for all VU courses are listed on the VU website

If your ATAR score was significantly lower than you expected, or your final year of secondary school was challenging and you weren't able to finish VCE, we have suitable supportive courses that can build your study skills.

Foundations at VU has been specifically developed to help improve the language, writing, study and numeracy skills of young people and students with particular study needs who still want to pursue their dream of further education. With the successful completion of this free 13-week course, you can quickly get your higher education plans back on track.

Another option is the Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation. You are able to book a one-on-one appointment with a course adviser to explore these options.

Yes, you can add new courses to your preference list during the Change of Preference period. Make sure you check the course prerequisite subjects and extra requirements; you will need to meet these to be eligible for the course.

Yes. Ensure you list your preferences in order of what you want to study, as you will receive an offer for the highest-listed course you are eligible for.

Visit our FAQs about preference CoP, the application process and more, on our CoP website.

We're here to help – you can book a consultation (below) or call us to chat.

Get in touch

If you need help figuring it all out, please contact our course experts – it’s what we do!

Contact a course adviser today:

Call us on 1300 VIC UNI

Visit us at Highpoint Shopping Centre

Live chat online with a course adviser


Book a one-on-one consultation