Many pathways, zero regrets: what to do with an unexpected ATAR

You may feel like you’ve just ran a marathon, but the end of Year 12 is far from the finish line – it signals the beginning of a lifetime of opportunities.

So take a breather and be proud of what you’ve just accomplished, then take some time to assess your options.

If your ATAR wasn’t what you’d hoped for, your goals don’t need to change; you might just need to change your path. There are loads of course pathways that will lead to your dream career.

And in many cases, you can gain (up to a year of) course credits towards a degree when you begin with a TAFE course, or if you choose to change degrees.

Keeping an open mind is key – there are experts on hand to help get you started.

Here are just a few stories of real people who found real success – and happiness – thanks to their education pathways.

Shaneal’s business pathway success

“I’m glad I chose the Diploma of Business (Enterprise) pathway program as it served as a stepping stone directly into the second year of my degree.

“The staff at VU care about your success and they will challenge you in ways you never knew possible. My work placement got my foot in the door and now I’m loving my job as Business Development Manager at Ibis Melbourne Swanston Street.

“I made great friendships and networks at VU. Some of these people - both students and lecturers - will be friends for life.”

Shaneal's business pathway

Diploma of Business (Enterprise) > Bachelor of Business (Tourism & Hospitality Management)

Find more business pathways.

Troy’s pathway to teaching future generations

“After my Year 12 results didn’t quite pan out, I discovered VU’s Diploma of Education Studies, with a course pathway that enabled me to go straight into the second year of an education degree. 

“I also chose VU because of the P-12 option – so I can teach at both primary and secondary level.

“I undertook work placements in five different schools, which was vital in helping me shape my teaching practice. I gained my job thanks to these placements; I’m now working as a teacher and Year 9 coordinator and adviser.”

Troy's teaching pathway

Diploma of Education Studies > Bachelor of Education (P-12)

Find more teaching pathways.

Jihan's legal ambition pays off

“I initially opted for my study pathway because I was unable to complete my final year of high school due to a traumatic event my family experienced. Easing into my studies was so beneficial for me.

“The material covered in the Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice provided the knowledge and practical training that helped me to decide that law was indeed the field I wanted to work in.

“I volunteered at WestJustice and undertook a Magistrates’ Court summer program. I held other positions including assisting the first school lawyer (another VU alumnus, Vincent Shin).

“As a personal injury plaintiff lawyer at Arnold Thomas & Becker, I now have the honour of seeking justice and compensation for innocent people, and ensuring their rights are protected.”

Jihan's law pathway

Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice 22565VIC > Bachelor of Laws

Find more law pathways

Choose your own path today

Chat to an expert and we’ll help you create – and achieve – your goals. We have course pathways into every one of our degrees, so no matter your results or your background, you can pursue your dream career.

Contact us today:

What ATAR & non-ATAR courses are available at VU?

Many of VU's course do not have an ATAR requirement. To help make your decision easier, we've created these handy resources so you can view both ATAR and non-ATAR required courses:

Thinking about a break?

If you decide to take a short break rather than a whole gap year, did you know you can apply to VU in Block 3 and catch up to your classmates by the start of second year?

What is the VU Block Model?

VU's award-winning Block Model has transformed education in Australia, putting you at the centre of the learning experience. You'll study one unit at a time in four-week blocks, rather than juggling several at once – so you're more focused and less stressed.

Classes are smaller and teachers are more available to provide one-on-one support, while you get to know your classmates better. And with a priority on providing practical skills for the workforce, you'll have advantage of real-world experience before you graduate.