If you just got through Year 12 – take a moment. You just completed one of the toughest challenges a young person can face – and you did it during a pandemic? Huge respect!

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 16 December (when you receive your ATAR result) and 20 December (4pm), 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 16 December, VCE results and ATARs are released. January round offers will be released at 2pm on 14 January.

You can change your preferences in VTAC from 16 December (the day results come out) up until 4pm on 20 December.

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.

During the Change of Preference period, we’re holding a series of exciting events and tours to give you a taste of life at VU. As always, we’re here for you with all the tailored advice to help you make the best study decisions. Register and attend for your chance to win a great prize*!

Campus tours

In an engaging group tour with current students, you can:

  • explore our state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, gymnasiums, classrooms and tech innovations
  • check out the campus cafés, libraries, and shared spaces
  • learn all about studying one subject at a time with the VU Block Model; and, at VU Polytechnic, with our hands-on, award-winning interactive e-Learning model.

Virtual event

If you can’t make it to campus, join our exclusive virtual event on 17 December. Chat online with VU students, teachers and advisers, immerse yourself in our interactive 360-degree virtual tours and watch live panel sessions. Find out how great careers begin with VU’s courses and pathways.

Register and you could win!

Register and attend any of our online or in-person events during Change of Preference, and you could win a $250 digital Flexi eGift Card, with more than 60 stores to shop with. Registration will open on 8 November.

*Competition terms and conditions

Bookings are open now to book for a one-on-one chat with a course expert between 16–20 December and 3–4 January. 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 only for VU Guaranteed students)
  • March – Block 1 (this is the regular university start date)
  • April – Block 3
  • July – mid year (Block 5)
  • October – Block 7.

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

Other tricky questions

For the majority of our courses at VU, your ATAR is not considered in our admissions process.

VU has some courses for which 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.

We've created two handy resources so you can check out VU's courses with ATARs, and those without:

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 22582VIC. You are able to book a one-on-one appointment with a course adviser to explore these options.

Are you the first in your family to go to university? Join our VU Kick Start program, designed to help familiarise you with university life and undergraduate study, and build a strong support network from the moment you start at VU.

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 Change of 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 us today:

Find out more and save the date for our Change of Preference virtual event:

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