Start Uni Now (SUN)

Get a head start on your studies toward your dream career while finishing high school with Start Uni Now (SUN).

SUN is a CQUniversity initiative that provides students completing Year 10, or studying in years 11 and 12 a real university experience by combining your school study with the challenge of university level study. You can choose from a range of units from CQUni's degree courses that will give you an authentic insight into university life and get you started early on achieving your career aspirations.

After successfully completing study in the SUN program you may be eligible for direct entry into your course and credit towards your degree. You can be confident knowing you have a pathway to university that is not just reliant on your ATAR score.

Discover how to get started in the SUN program, important dates and studying your first unit free in the information below. If you’re an international student, please visit our SUN International page.

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If you're graduating high school and have successfully completed study in SUN, you are at an exciting time to start applying direct to CQUni to continue your studies.

Plus, you may be eligible for direct entry into your degree meaning your transition to university is simple and easy.

Find out more about the process to apply direct and receive credit for your completed study.


What to know more?

Do you have questions you’d like answered? Perhaps you’d like to discuss how you can get started with a SUN unit?

Book a conversation and our team will be in touch to help you find the answers to your questions.

You can choose to talk to us by phone, email or on zoom.

Book a Conversation


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.

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 authentic insight into university life which will assist your 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 (e.g. State Certificate of Education such as QCE, WACE, SACE or CQU approved equivalent qualification).
  • 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.

Students have the opportunity to undertake their first Start Uni Now (SUN) unit at zero cost^.
Any subsequent SUN units are offered at $375 per unit, with the exception of AVAT Basic Aeronautical Knowledge which is a double credit unit (12 credits) and will, therefore, incur a fee of $750. This can be almost a third of the cost students pay as an Undergraduate student.

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

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 online study).

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

You can study SUN regardless of where you live. SUN units can be studied either on-campus (internal) or online by online study. 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 online study, 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.

Online Study Students

As an online study 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.

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:

  • 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 Coordinator, Schools Outreach to ensure the applicant meets the entry requirements.

Ready to apply? Find the application process.

CQU provided me with the chance to get in front and start my degree early so when I graduate from high school I'm not facing the big change into university but also spending less time completing my degree.

Lily Moss

Start Uni Now (SUN)