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Preparing for Success at SCU Program

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Preparing for Success at SCU Program (PSP) is a 12-week program (or part-time equivalent) which assists students to develop the academic skills needed to succeed at university. 

It also provides an alternative Southern Cross University entry pathway. This well-established award-winning higher education preparatory program has no HECS fees charged to students, so the course is fee-free.

The PSP can be studied in a variety of flexible ways to assist those juggling other commitments. The course is available on all three campuses as well as online and runs full-time for one session. It can also be studied up to one year part-time. During the course students learn skills in time management, practical essay writing, research, and numeracy, giving them the confidence to transition into a degree and pursue their academic studies successfully.

The PSP is for an Australian citizen or resident who is 18 years of age or over. It is open to those who may not meet the formal entry requirements for formal university study and want to study at university. English language proficiency is at Year 10 level or equivalent. It is expected that students will have reasonable computer and information technology literacy, and ongoing access to an internet-connected computer capable of communicating with the SCU online environment.

Entry into the course is by direct application to the University with no admission fee and no required formal entry qualifications.

Career opportunities

This program provides an alternative entry path into Southern Cross University. The course is useful for school leavers or TAFE students who have taken the vocational strand of learning but would now like to go to university. The course is also valuable for those who have spent time away from the academic environment for family, career or personal reasons and who wish to revise their skills before undertaking a university degree.

Students who successfully complete the Preparing for Success at SCU Program are guaranteed a place in an SCU course.

Major areas of study

The course comprises four units. Three compulsory units focus on individual and group management skills essential for successful university performance, effective research strategies and written communication, and practical numeracy skills. The fourth unit provides a choice of developing research and writing skills in the arts and business, or the sciences.

Assessment methods

The assessment methods used in this course vary from unit to unit and may include essays, reports, presentations and group work.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based program Blackboard Collaborate delivers advanced on-line learning environments for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces and classrooms. They can share files, presentations, and applications. If the session is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and books of readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed textbooks.

The SCU library provides a wide range of services including librarian assistance, print and electronic resources, a document delivery service, catalogues, databases, ebooks, ereadings, and full-text journal literature.

Each unit of study is specifically designed to build students’ skills throughout the session. The Academic Coordinator and Tutors are available for consultation to give personalised learning support.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents

Admission requirements

Students may be admitted as follows:

  1. To satisfy both general admission and English Language Proficiency Requirements, all applicants must have completed secondary study to the equivalent of the Australian year 10 in Australia or a country listed in Rule 2 Schedule A.
  2. Applicants who already hold a Bachelor’s or higher level qualification (greater than or equal to AQF 7) are not eligible for admission into the program.
  3. Applicants may be required to:
    1. submit a Personal Competencies Statement addressing specific criteria as detailed on the Southern Cross University website; or
  4. Personal Competencies Statements will be assessed by the Academic Course Coordinator of the Preparing for Success Program. In addition, as part of the assessment process, an applicant may also be required to achieve a satisfactory result in one or more of the following:
    1. an interview; and or
    2. sit a Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT); and or
    3. provide results of a test of English proficiency approved by the Director of SCU College; and or
    4. provide any additional documentation requirements as specified by the Director of SCU College.

Course requirements

To achieve satisfactory completion of the Program, a candidate shall successfully complete:

  1. All units listed in Part A of the Schedule of Units attached to these Rules; and
  2. One unit from Part B of the Schedule of Units.


The Chair of the College Board may exclude a student for a maximum of one (1) study period where a student has received Absent Fail Grades for all units attempted in a session of study.

Schedule of units


How to apply

The Preparing for Success at SCU Program is for an Australian citizen or resident who is 18 years of age or over.

You can apply directly to the University by clicking the Apply Online button.

Please note that the application process requires you to submit a Personal Competencies Statement where you address six questions:

  1. What practical steps have you taken to prepare for tertiary study?
  2. Why have you chosen your preferred course?
  3. What have you done that demonstrates you have the capacity for independent study/learning?
  4. What communication and interpersonal skills have you developed and how will these contribute to your ability to study at tertiary level?
  5. What are your major life achievements and experiences, and how may these relate to your future success in tertiary study?
  6. What skills, knowledge and abilities do you bring to tertiary study that you believe will help you succeed in your proposed studies?

The Personal Competencies Statement can be handwritten or word processed (typed). If you handwrite it and have access to a scanner you can scan it and upload it to your online application. If you are word processing your Personal Competencies Statement you can save it to your computer and upload it from there. You can also complete the online application and send the Personal Competencies Statement in later but attaching it to your online application means your application will get assessed faster.

Domestic students

Applications for this course are made directly to SCU via our online application service.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'