Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS)

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

Upon successful completion of STEPS, you can apply for direct entry to most of CQUniversity's undergraduate courses.

STEPS has been an integral course at CQUniversity for over 35 years and is one of our most transformative and empowering courses. Through a supportive and personalised approach to learning, STEPS has the power to change people’s lives by breaking down barriers and opening doors to endless opportunities.

Why Choose STEPS?

STEPS graduates have gained the skills necessary to manage their undergraduate study, even prior to enrolling. STEPS helps students become self-directed, active and confident learners who are familiar with all aspects of student life – from study habits, academic writing, and goal-setting to navigating University systems and support services.

Still have more questions?

If you are interested in learning more about the STEPS course and want to hear from a lecturer, join us for our next information session.

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CQUniversity STEPS - Jessica Birt Transcript


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 some additional support to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully enter and undertake further 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.

View the STEPS brochure.

Upon successful completion of STEPS, you can apply for entry to a CQUniversity diploma or degree course 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.

CQUniversity students who are currently undertaking coursework degrees can also enrol in STEPS units to upskill in certain areas. Enrolment is established on the outcome of close collaboration between the student, the student's undergraduate unit lecturer(s), the relevant STEPS access coordinator and, in some instances, the student counsellor. The student's current or planned unit load as well as the student's particular upskilling needs will be taken into consideration when establishing an individual study plan.

STEPS can be studied at:

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

STEPS can also be studied by online study.

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

For specific term dates, please see our Events and Key Dates

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.

The STEPS course is FREE of tuition fees, however, there are minimal costs associated with textbooks, stationery, photocopying and printing.

STEPS is a Centrelink approved course. You may be eligible for various forms of financial support while undertaking the course. For more information visit their website (current link correct).

As a STEPS graduate you can apply for scholarships to assist with the financial cost of study. Find out more about CQUniversity’s scholarships.

The STEPS course aims to provide you with the confidence, knowledge and skills needed to begin a university degree. If you do need extra support while studying STEPS, your lecturers are available to offer assistance.

You also have the support of an access coordinator and a committed team of STEPS staff who will guide you through the course. You will learn to access CQUniversity's internet-based learning systems and make contact with other STEPS students, giving you the opportunity to discuss issues and make new friends. The Indigenous Student Engagement team also offers support to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students at CQUniversity.

Find out more about CQUniversity's full range of student support.

Enrolling in the STEPS program made such a big difference. I wasn’t overwhelmed by anything because I was given the foundation I needed to write essays and reports.

Hayley Van Den Berg

Bachelor of Podiatry Practice (Honours)



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