Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS)

Duration0.5 years full-time, 1 year part-time
Online and
Next start termTerm 3, 2023
Study modeOn Campus, Online
Course codeCL03
Katelyn Magill smiling holding hands in her pockets


Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) is an enabling course that provides a pathway for people wishing to gain entry to and succeed in higher education.

STEPS is suitable for you if you want to undertake tertiary study and may:

  • be returning to study or work after some time away
  • need to meet prerequisite subjects for your desired diploma or degree
  • want additional support to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to enter and undertake further study successfully.

After successfully completing STEPS, you can apply for entry to a CQUniversity diploma or degree through the CQUniversity direct entry process (for those courses where direct entry is available). View the Requirements for Direct Entry. Alternatively, you can apply through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) or other state-based university admissions centres for courses at CQUniversity or other institutions.

Register your interest

If you are interested in keeping informed about timelines and information sessions for our STEPS course, please register your interest in an upcoming STEPS information session.

Study experience

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of STEPS, students can apply for direct entry to a CQUniversity undergraduate course where direct entry is available. Alternatively, students may choose to apply for admission to other institutions that recognise STEPS.

Structure & Availability

The course takes between one and six terms to complete, with two terms being average. Each term is approximately four months in duration. Completion time depends on the results of your diagnostic entrance assessment, the time you have available for study, and the requirements of the undergraduate course you wish to enter.

On-Campus Availability

Term 3, 2023Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Term 1, 2024Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Term 2, 2024Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Term 3, 2024Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville

Online Availability

Term 3, 2023Available Online
Term 1, 2024Available Online
Term 2, 2024Available Online
Term 3, 2024Available Online

On-Campus and Online Study Options

STEPS can be studied online or on campus

On-campus locations where you can study STEPS include:

  • CQUniversity Brisbane, 160 Ann Street, Brisbane
  • CQUniversity Bundaberg, University Drive, Bundaberg
  • CQUniversity Cairns, Cairns Square, Corner Abbott and Shields Street, Cairns^
  • CQUniversity Gladstone, Bryan Jordan Drive, Gladstone
  • CQUniversity Mackay, Boundary Road, Mackay
  • CQUniversity Rockhampton, Bruce Highway, Rockhampton
  • CQUniversity Townsville, 538 Flinders Street, Townsville
  • Geraldton Universities Centre, 33 Onslow Street, Geraldton

Available Intakes

  • Term 1 (on-campus, online study)
  • Term 2 (on-campus, online study)
  • Term 3 (online study ONLY)

View the STEPS webpage for specific term dates. 

Majors and minors are not applicable to this course.

This course has no residential schools.


Recommended study


STEPS is designed for students who do not already hold an undergraduate qualification. If you already hold an undergraduate qualification, please contact the STEPS admin team, who can advise you on possible study options.

If you were not born in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, South Africa or the USA, please note that STEPS does not meet the English Language Proficiency requirements for CQUniversity undergraduate courses. You will be required to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements set by the University prior to admission to an undergraduate course.

To be eligible for admission to STEPS, you must:

  • be at least 18 within an academic year of enrolment
  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or holder of a humanitarian visa
  • reside in Australia.

Prior to enrolment, you are required to:

  • complete a diagnostic entrance test covering your personal circumstances, computing competence, numeracy and literacy
  • participate in an individual interview.
The results of the diagnostic entrance test guide the planning of a personalised study plan to meet the entry requirements for your CQUniversity undergraduate course of choice.



You will have to meet this course's inherent requirements by demonstrating essential skills and attributes.

Fees & Scholarships

This course is free of tuition fees; however, there are minimal costs associated with textbooks, stationery, photocopying and printing.

At CQUniversity, we believe higher education should be for everyone. No matter your situation, we know that everyone needs a helping hand from time to time, and we are proud to offer a wide range of scholarships, bursaries and stipends.
Our scholarships could help you pay for things like relocation, living on campus, laptops and technology, childcare, study and living expenses, travel and more. 

How to apply

To apply, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Click on the Apply Direct button below. Once we receive your application, we will send you information about how to complete the STEPS diagnostic testing.
  2. Complete the STEPS diagnostic testing for literacy, numeracy and computing competence and book a one-on-one interview with your STEPS Access Coordinator.

If your application is successful, we will use the results and personal information from the STEPS diagnostic testing and interview, along with information about what you would like to study after STEPS, to plan an individual course of study just for you.

For more information, contact our Frontline Services team by calling 13 27 86 or email us at