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Start Uni Now (SUN)

Start Uni Now (SUN) is a CQUniversity initiative that allows students in Year  10*, 11 and 12 to study CQUniversity units whilst still in high school. A 'unit' is the word used to describe something similar to your school subjects.

As of Term 1 2018, high school students from across Australia will have the opportunity to undertake their first Start Uni Now (SUN) unit at zero cost^

You can enrol in a range of CQUniversity units, either on-campus (face-to-face) or by distance education (online), and combine them with your regular high school work.

*Year 10 students are eligible for Term 3 (November) intake only.

^ First unit free initiative applies to new students only. Unit resource costs such as textbooks still apply.

Why Study SUN?

If you are a high performing student who wants to take on the challenge of tertiary level study, then SUN could be for you! Some of the benefits of starting university early with SUN include:

  • Sneak peek: With SUN you will get an insight into university life and will be better prepared for the transition from high school to university;
  • Direct Entry: You may be eligible to apply for direct entry into an undergraduate degree at CQUniversity (excluding quota managed courses), meaning you will not need to apply and wait for an offer to university through a tertiary admissions centre, eg. QTAC. To be eligible for direct entry, you must:        
    • Pass at least one SUN unit from the undergraduate degree you are applying for,
    • Meet all the prerequisites of the undergraduate degree you are applying for, and
    • Show evidence of Year 12 completion (QCE).
  • QCE Credit: Each SUN unit you successfully complete can be credited towards your Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). 2 QCE credit points are granted for each 6 credit point unit passed.
  • Affordable: The SUN units are offered at a reduced price which is less than a third of the cost a regular university student pays. As a SUN student you can save anywhere between $900 – $2752 per unit.
  • Credit Transfers: If you enrol as a CQUniversity student after Year 12, you will be eligible to receive a credit transfer for each SUN unit you have passed (providing these SUN units are part of your degree). This means that this unit will count towards your degree, reducing the number of units you need to study when you enter university.
How much does SUN cost?

SUN units are offered at $375 per unit.  This can be almost a third of the cost students pay as an Undergraduate student. Aviation (AVAT) units are $750 per unit.

As of Term 1 2018, high school students from across Australia will have the opportunity to undertake their first Start Uni Now (SUN) unit at zero cost^

Fees are payable within 4 weeks of each term commencing.

In addition to the unit fee, students may also be required to purchase unit specific resources such as textbooks, uniforms, software, residential school attendance.

It is important that these costs are considered when applying for a SUN unit.

^ First unit free initiative applies to new students only. Unit resource costs such as textbooks still apply

What SUN Courses can I study?

Students within SUN, study actual CQUniversity units. These units are from a variety of subject areas and are offered in specific terms, at specific campuses. When selecting the unit you wish to apply for it is important you check the unit is available in the term you hope to study and also on your desired campus (or by distance education).

To view the full list of units available to SUN students please visit the "SUN unit offerings" section of this page.

Where can I study SUN?

You can study SUN regardless of where you live. SUN units can be studied either on-campus (internal) or online by distance education. You can choose a way of studying that suits you best.

If you are interested in studying your SUN unit on-campus, you may have the opportunity to do so at one of CQUniversity's many campus locations.

Prior to applying for SUN you should determine the availability of your chosen unit by following the link at the 'What SUN units can I study' section of this website.

As a SUN student studying either on-campus or by distance education, you will require regular access to the internet and it is strongly recommended that you have internet access available at home.

On-campus Students

As a student studying on-campus, you will be expected to attend lectures and tutorials which may occur during school hours. You will also need access to the internet as all of your unit materials and resources will be available online.

Distance Education Students

As a distance education student, you will be required to access unit resources and materials online and you may require extra assistance from a teacher or staff member at your school during the unit. Our online teaching resources are designed to provide you with direct access to lecturers and other students for study support.

Residential Schools

Some external units may require compulsory residential school attendance. Residential schools require you to attend a designated campus for three to five days to undertake the practical components of your study. Details of residential school attendance can be found in the course profiles or published in the CQUniversity Student Handbook .

When can I study SUN?

SUN is offered over three university terms; however, not all units are offered in all terms. Prior to applying for SUN, you should determine the availability of your chosen unit by following the link at the 'What SUN units can I study' section of this website.

Each term is 12 weeks in duration followed by an examination period.

University terms generally do not run at the same time as your school terms. In some cases SUN students will be studying through school holidays (e.g. September holidays and Christmas holidays). For more information on term dates you can visit the CQUniversity Academic Calendar.

Am I eligible for SUN?

Please ensure that the student, their parents/guardian and school nominee read the SUN Guidelines before submitting an application.

To be eligible to apply for SUN you must be:

  • An Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent resident of Australia or the holder of a Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • Enrolled in Year 10, 11 or 12 (Year 10 students are eligible for Term 3 enrolment only)
  • Achieving an average B (HA) grade as per your most recent report card (a B in English is highly recommended). Students must be passing all subjects.

You will also require permission from your principal/school nominee and parent/guardian.

Students not achieving this standard will be assessed on a case by case basis on application. Each application will be assessed by the Manager, Widening Participation to ensure the applicant meets the entry requirements.

Wondering if you are ready for sun? Try our "Is SUN right for you" test to find out!

Important Dates


Term Dates

SUN App Due Date

SUN Fee Due Date*

Term 1, 2017       6 March 2017 - 2 June 2017 17 February 2017 28 March 2017
Term 2, 2017 10 July 2017 - 6 October 2017 23 June 20171 August 2017
Term 3, 20176 November 2017 - 9 February 2018       20 October 2017 28 November 2017

*Census Date is the last date to withdraw without financial penalty and also the last day to pay your SUN tuition fee.

How to apply

To apply for entry into SUN, please follow the steps below.

  1. Organise a meeting with your school contact (ie Careers Officer, Year Level Co-ordinator, Guidance Officer) and your parent/guardian to discuss your interest in SUN.
  2. Read through the SUN Guidelines to ensure you are clear on the requirements.
  3. Choose a course from the Unit Offerings section of the SUN website.Click here for unit offerings.
  4. Complete and submit a SUN Application form, with a copy of your most recent report card.

Applications can be emailed to and must be received at least two weeks prior to each term commencing. Click here for Term dates.

If you do not meet the entry requirements we will contact you to discuss your options.

For more information, please contact the SUN Team by calling 13 27 86 or via email to