Before you submit a SATAC application there are a few things it will help to be familiar with as you work through the process.

What is postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study usually refers to awards such as Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas, Masters degrees and doctoral studies. It can also refer to graduate entry to Bachelor degrees.

A postgraduate is normally someone who has completed a university degree or diploma and is studying for a higher-level qualification.

Equal consideration

Equal consideration is an important principle of the SATAC application process. It means that all applicants who have the same selection rank for a course, and are applying on the basis of like qualifications, will be treated equally in the selection process.

Equal consideration is important because it allows you to apply for more than one course in a single application and be confident that your application will be treated fairly.

Your entitlement to equal consideration can be affected by a number of factors. If you apply by the relevant dates, pay the appropriate SATAC fees, and comply with all the application requirements, SATAC will guarantee you equal consideration in the selection process.

If you do not apply in a timely manner, have outstanding fees, or otherwise do not comply with the requirements of the application, you will not be guaranteed equal consideration.

Find out more about your responsibilities as an applicant

When to apply

Applications for courses starting in 2020 opened on 5 August 2019. In your application you can apply for courses that start in semester 1 (usually in February), semester 2 or midyear (usually in July), summer semester (usually in November) or other teaching periods throughout the year. Your application remains valid for the whole admissions period.

Closing dates for postgraduate courses are course specific, and you can find information about the relevant closing date for each course using the postgraduate course search.

If you submit an application for a postgraduate course after the relevant closing date you may be affected in one or more of the following ways:

  • you may not be given equal consideration
  • your application may not be considered at all.

Submitting a late application

If you wish to apply after the relevant closing date, you should contact either SATAC or the Admissions Office at the institution concerned (or, in the case of the University of South Australia, the Future Student Enquiries office) before doing so. Some courses may decide closer to the time to extend their published closing date, and updated information will be available in the relevant course entry.

Choosing your courses

One of the benefits of the SATAC system is that you have the opportunity to apply for more than one university course at the same time. This means that you only complete a single application and supply supporting information once. You can list up to six courses as preferences in your application. 

When processing your preferences

SATAC will treat each preference as a discrete application. Your eligibility and the rank on which you will compete will be determined separately for each course. Because the universities have varying selection rules, your eligibility and rank may vary for each course. This variation will depend upon how your qualifications or other information relevant to your application (e.g. audition score, evidence of relevant work experience) relate to the selection rules for that course. 

It's important to remember that a lower preference is not a lesser preference. The order of your preferences is an indicator of the order in which you'd like to be considered for those courses. It is not used to make judgements about your level of interest in a course and does not affect your selection rank.

When making offers on behalf of the universities

SATAC will always offer you the highest preference for which you are eligible and, if necessary, suitably competitive.

If you are not successful in gaining entry to your first preference, you will be considered for a place in each of your other preferences in turn on the basis of your eligibility and rank for these courses, regardless of where in your order of preference you or the other applicants have placed them.

SATAC fees

SATAC charges a fee to cover the cost of processing and assessing your application.

It is important to check the fees and charges that may be payable before you submit your application, as SATAC does not waive or refund fees.

Paying fees to SATAC does not guarantee you an offer of a place in a course, however you may not be eligible to receive an offer if you have fees owing.

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