If you’re in the midst of researching courses, you’ve no doubt come across institutions with different application methods. Some may ask that you apply through the local Tertiary Admissions Centre (TAC), while others will specify their own method — a direct application.
If you’re not sure what direct applications are all about, read on as we answer some of the most common questions.
Do I need to submit a direct application?
Generally, students will need to submit a direct application if they’re applying for:
- TAFE or VET courses
- honours courses
- postgraduate courses (both coursework and research)
- courses with a mid-year intake
- courses at a private institution.
But remember, this is only a general rule. You may find that applications for some vocational courses, postgraduate programs (such as graduate teaching courses) and courses with mid-year intake require applications through your state or territory’s TAC. You may also find that some university undergraduate courses are taken by direct application.
To ensure you are submitting your application correctly, always refer to the institution’s website and check their preferred application requirements. Institutions will usually have clear instructions available online, but if you are still unsure it’s best to contact them directly.
How do I apply?
If you’ve reviewed the instructions above and need to submit a direct application, it’s likely that you will be able to do so through the institution website. Make sure you check the application requirements carefully, as submission methods can vary between institutions. Some may prefer you to submit a hard copy (either through the post or by submitting it on campus), while others choose to conduct the entire application process online. If you’re thinking about applying for multiple courses at an institution, check whether you can submit a single application or whether you need to submit an individual application for each course.
Do I need to make any decisions on the spot?
In most cases, you will not be required to make any on-the-spot decisions during the application process, beyond selecting a campus and study mode. You might also need to assign preferences if the institution allows you to submit a single application for multiple courses.
If you’re applying for a research degree, including honours, you will usually be required to submit a brief research proposal stating your research intentions should you be accepted into the program.
What documents will I need to supply?
When you submit a direct application, you must ensure that you have supplied all required documentation to the institution. This includes documentation such as academic transcripts and proof of citizenship or residence; supplementary forms that details things like work experience and motivations; and scholarship applications or information detailing special circumstances — difficult family circumstances, for example.
Carefully read each course outline to ensure that you submit all relevant documentation and meet all requirements. You might find that some courses require that you set up an interview with the institution, submit a portfolio or attend an audition.
If you are uploading documents, such as your academic transcript, ensure that they are in the size and format specified by the institution. You should also ensure that you are providing certified copies, not originals.
When do I need to submit my application?
Remember that opening and closing dates for direct applications will differ to those taken through admissions centres (as a general rule, you’ll find that they close a little later). They will also differ between institutions, so if you are applying for multiple institutions make sure you keep in mind each individual date — perhaps mark them on a calendar.
When will I hear back from the institution?
Most institutions will set a rough date for when you can expect to hear back about an offer — if it’s not available on the website, you can call the student administration team to check.It can take anywhere between a few weeks to a couple of months.
Will I need to pay an application fee?
Generally, you will not be required to pay an application fee if you submit your application on time. Applications received after the due date may incur a fee, although the cost will vary between institutions, so it is best to check if you think you may not meet the deadline. Make sure you research each institution’s application process thoroughly, as you may find that this rule does not apply to each institution you are considering.