The Foundation Year (FY) is an alternative entry pathway to undergraduate studies at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus. The Foundation Year is an enabling course designed specifically for students who have not met the minimum entry requirements for undergraduate study. FY is especially recommended for those who have experienced educational disadvantage or disruption. Educational disadvantage or disruption may be the result of economic, cultural, social, health or emotional factors. The Foundation Year is an innovative course that offers students: the opportunity to apply for entry into undergraduate studies upon completion; a study environment that is challenging, yet achievable; a course that provides ongoing support; coursework that is contemporary and engaging; an excellent foundation for lifelong learning. After successful completion of the FY, dependent upon their results, students may gain entry to undergraduate studies in Arts and Sciences, Business, and Nursing.

Entry Requirements:

The FY is available to students who: did not achieve the ATAR/HSC result expected; or can demonstrate educational disadvantage which impacted on their academic success; or can demonstrate academic ability which is not reflected by their current results; and/or have been away from study for some years and are keen to undertake undergraduate studies


The Foundation Year is designed to introduce students to the demands of academic study. It covers fundamental topics such as research, critical thinking, mathematics, academic writing and learning skills. The units offered in semester two are derived from different academic disciplines. Completion of a particular Foundation Year course however, will not restrict a student's choice of undergraduate study: Arts and Sciences, Business, or Nursing may be applied for on completion of any FY course. The first semester of the FY is focussed on academic literacy and core skills needed for success in undergraduate studies. In the second semester, students undertake undergraduate units from their anticipated future course, plus a support unit. This makes students eligible, upon successful completion of the FY course, to apply for Advanced Standing towards a relevant undergraduate degree.

Subjects you can Study:

Arts and sciences; Business; Education; Nursing

Study Pathways:

In order to be admitted into the first year of undergraduate studies at The University of Notre Dame, Australia, students must achieve the approved University benchmark in each unit. Successful completion of the Foundation Year may not necessarily guarantee automatic entry into undergraduate studies at The University of Notre Dame. Entrance into some Schools is highly competitive and places available in individual undergraduate courses vary.

Further information:

The course runs for a full year over two semesters. There is a mid-year intake for the Foundation Year, so students may enrol in either Semester 1, which commences in February, or Semester 2, which commences in July.

Accepts International Students:


Provider CRICOS: 01032F

Campus ATAR/OP Mid Year Intake Study Mode Duration
Sydney No info No Full time 1 year

The University of Notre Dame Australia (est. 1989) is a distinctive national Catholic university with more than 11,000 students on its campuses in Fremantle, Broome and Sydney. Notre Dame excels in a number of key university indicators including: Graduate Employment Rate, Teaching Quality, Overall Satisfaction and Skills Development ( 

Students are the heart of Notre Dame’s mission and are supported to develop their personal and professional goals. Central to the experience of study at Notre Dame is the Core Curriculum, which encourages students to explore life’s bigger and deeper questions within an ethical framework. 

Notre Dame’s unique admissions process considers the whole person taking personal qualities, motivation to study and community service into consideration, in addition to the ATAR score. Students apply directly to the University. 

Why Choose Notre Dame? 

You’re a person, not a number
Underpinned by a commitment to pastoral care, Notre Dame offers a personalised educational experience in a learning environment designed to help students grow personally and professionally. 

Students love Notre Dame
Notre Dame is the top university in WA and NSW for ‘Overall Quality of Educational Experience’, ‘Teaching Quality’ and ‘Student Support’ according to the Federal Government’s Quality Indicators for Teaching and Learning ( 

Our graduates get jobs
Ninety-four per cent of Notre Dame graduates secure employment shortly after leaving university – the highest rating in Australia ( 

Real, practical training
Students learn from academics who are leaders in their fields and benefit from the latest industry insights. Combined with high levels of practical experience, students graduate well-equipped for their profession.

Personalised approach to admission
Notre Dame’s unique admissions process considers the whole person. Entry to the University is based not only on a student’s academic record. Personal qualities, motivation to study, contribution to school and community and an interview with an academic staff member, are also key considerations. 

Our vibrant university Campuses

In the tradition of European university towns, students walk past cafés, shops and restaurants to get to their lectures and tutorials. Our beautiful, historic campus buildings and courtyards are situated in Fremantle's historic West End and the Sydney university precinct. This lends a distinctive character to Notre Dame as a university where students are truly be part of the vibrant, bustling neighbouring communities.  

Hear from our students and graduates - 


At Notre Dame, students receive an excellent education for their future professions grounded in high levels of on-the-job and practical experience. The University offers a range of undergraduate, postgraduate, research, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and pathway courses taught by leaders in their fields. 

Courses are offered in the following areas:

  • Arts & Sciences: archaeology, behavioural sciences, communications and media, counselling, English literature, film and screen, history, journalism, politics, science, social justice, theatre students 
  • Business: accounting, economics, finance, marketing, public relations, sport and recreation management 
  • Education: early childhood, primary and secondary 
  • Health Sciences (Fremantle Campus only): outdoor recreation, health promotion, exercise and sport science, health and physical education, biomedical science
  • Law
  • Medicine (Postgraduate only): Pre-Medicine Certificate available at the Fremantle Campus
  • Nursing & Midwifery
  • Philosophy & Theology
  • Physiotherapy (Fremantle Campus only): Postgraduate courses available in Burn and Trauma Rehabilitation (online)
  • Pathways: alternative entry and academic enabling programs are also available 
  • VET courses (Broome Campus only): – nursing, education, health and community services 

Notre Dame’s courses in the areas of accounting, counselling, education, human resource management, law, management, medicine, nursing and midwifery, and physiotherapy all meet accreditation requirements of the relevant state, national and/or professional bodies. 

The University is also home to three research institutes:

Core Curriculum

The University’s Core Curriculum introduces students to philosophy, ethics and theology within the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Philosophy and theology are essential resources for a critical mind. Students develop their capacity to think critically, justify their views and respond to some of the greatest arguments ever offered on the most important questions ever asked. Combined with excellent academic and practical skills, students graduate with a heightened ability to think and reason – all with a sound ethical grounding.

Work Integrated Learning

Notre Dame empowers students to thrive in a competitive job market by equipping them with the skills employers require. Opportunities available for students through Notre Dame’s degree programs include internship and practicum placements, mentoring, industry-led workshops, volunteering and overseas immersion opportunities through the Study Abroad and In the World and For the World programs. 


Each year Notre Dame offers a range of scholarships for current students, thanks to the generosity of the University’s key benefactors. The scholarships reward the academic achievements of applicants studying at Notre Dame and provide them with financial support for their future studies.

How to apply

The University seeks to enrol students who wish to make a special contribution to society. Notre Dame’s admissions process considers every applicant on an individual basis. Students apply directly to the University. Entry to Notre Dame is based on: 

  • Personal qualities, motivation to study and academic potential
  • Contribution to school, church or community life
  • Academic record
  • An interview with a member of the university’s academic staff


Notre Dame offers both full-fee places and Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs). CSPs can be expected by most commencing students enrolling in biomedical science, education, health and physical education, medicine, nursing and physiotherapy courses. Domestic students may be able to defer their tuition fees through the federal government’s HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP loan schemes.

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