My google-fu has failed: Which Australian university courses are the hardest to get into?
August 28, 2008 4:49 AM   Subscribe

My Google-fu has failed me. Where can I find a sequenced list of the admission requirements for Australian university courses? Ideally, I'm looking for something like "Top 50 most difficult-to-get-into courses in Australia".

I'm interested in the individual programs - for example, "Arts-Law at Sydney University" or "Medicine the University of Tasmania", rather than a ranking of the universities themselves. Australian university admissions and school-leaver rankings are determined state by state, and I've been struggling to find a complete, national list.

Oh, and I'm not actually planning to apply to any of them, so I won't be needing any admissions advice myself!
posted by [ixia] to Education (9 answers total)
Hmm..I would be very surprised if there is a national list. Even though the ENTER exists, Queensland still uses the OP system and WA uses the TEE. Also, entry requirements to most courses are demand-based, and so depend on who applies to what each year.

Why do you want to know this? There might be some other way of putting the information together.
posted by jacalata at 5:56 AM on August 28, 2008

Response by poster: I understand that the rankings may move significantly each year in line with student demand - data that's a year or two old would be just fine. But you're right, the fact that it isn't a federal issue means that a national list may be difficult to come by. Even if I could get my head around UAIs, TEEs and OPs, I'm not sure how one would compare rankings between states. At this point, I'd even settle for magazine-style lists of "most prestigious" courses.

I'm working on a story about tertiary admissions. Entrance requirements aren't my only focus, but I'll need supporting information about which courses are the most difficult to get into. I'd prefer to base my statements on data rather than assumptions (even though I'm pretty sure Medicine at Sydney and Law at Melbourne will be somewhere near the top).

Could you explain what ENTER is?
posted by [ixia] at 6:34 AM on August 28, 2008

Best answer: The ENTER is how you are supposed to be able to compare rankings between states: an Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank. Here is a page from the University of Queensland giving some rough comparisons (for most states, the systems work out the same: UAI == TEE == TER).

I'd say your best bet is to find a comparison within each state for a particular year, say 2007, and then compare across states the published ENTER required for the top courses in each state. This page allows you to search NSW/ACT courses by required ENTER, there's probably equivalents at QTAC (Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre), VTAC, etc (all linked to from this page).
posted by jacalata at 6:50 AM on August 28, 2008

UAC is apparently just for NSW & ACT, but I'd start there.

Isn't it just an equation of Entrance Score + Extra Pre-reqs + places available?
posted by kaydo at 6:53 AM on August 28, 2008

Well, actually I'm not sure it will be that easy: for medicine they also take into account UMAT scores and to a varying degree interview performance (searching the UAC site for medicine just gives you 'additional criteria used' and no indication of the entrance score required in most cases, including for Sydney Uni). Vet Science is traditionally very hard to get into because it's such a small cohort usually. And you haven't even begun to deal with courses like Drama/Music/etc which don't even ask for an ENTER in some cases.
posted by jacalata at 7:04 AM on August 28, 2008

Yeah thats what I mean by extra pre-reqs. I know Newcastle used to have an ethics test for med students for example
posted by kaydo at 7:37 AM on August 28, 2008

Best answer: jacalata: Sydney Uni Medicine is more or less graduate only, which explains the lack of UAC data. Melbourne's about to switch to the same model.

There's more on recent developments in medicine course admission requirements here.
posted by zamboni at 8:08 AM on August 28, 2008

I guess you could download prospectus (prospectuses?) from various unis and compare the required ENTER scores, but I don't think there's a definite list. I remember having to do this manually when applying to unis a few years ago.

But yeah, ENTER scores vary from year to year ... not very much, I don't think, but they probably do enough to affect a ranking.
posted by Xany at 9:37 AM on August 28, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks so much for your help, everyone. I'll get to digging through those lists.
posted by [ixia] at 8:17 PM on August 31, 2008

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