Experience university while you're still in school with our Start Uni Now (SUN) high school program. You can complete units from your chosen degree giving you a head start on your studies.

Study university while you're in school

If you're completing Year 10 or studying in Years 11 and 12, SUN gives you the opportunity to combine your senior school study with university-level study. Choose from a range of units from our bachelor degrees, gain an authentic insight into university life, and start university early.

Gain credit toward a future degree

You could be eligible for direct entry into your chosen course and credit towards your degree after completing your SUN units. This saves you some of the stress of relying heavily on your ATAR score.

To be eligible for credit towards the degree you're interested in studying, the CQU SUN unit(s) that you complete must sit within that degree.

Explore SUN units

With 85+ units available to study in the SUN program, you'll find just the right option to experience university study and get to know CQU. 

When deciding what SUN unit to study, remember to choose a unit that forms part of your course of interest, as this will help if you are applying for credit after completing your SUN unit(s). 

Explore the SUN unit options.

Studying more than one SUN Unit

In your senior school years, you can study a maximum of 24 credit points (four units) within the SUN program. We want you to enjoy your senior years and get the most out of SUN, so we recommend you study at most one SUN unit per CQU term. 

After you've completed your first SUN unit, if you decide you'd like to study more, there's no need to reapply for SUN each term or year. You can either:

Term 1 2024

Term date: Monday, 4 March 2024 – Friday, 31 May 2024

SUN application due date: Monday, 12 February 2024

Term 2 2024

Term date: Monday, 8 July 2024 – Friday, 4 October 2024

SUN application due date: Monday, 17 June 2024

Term 3 2024

Term date: Monday, 4 November 2024 – Friday, 7 February 2025

SUN application due date: Monday, 14 October 2024

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)
  • Passing all subjects and achieving an average B (HA) grade as per your most recent semester (or term) report card (a B in English is highly recommended). 

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

SUN Guidelines

Please ensure that you, your parents/guardian and school nominee read the SUN Guidelines before applying.

Reach out to our team with any enquiries about our SUN program.

Phone: 13 27 86
Email: sun@cqu.edu.au

Applying for SUN

Ready to get started and apply for our Start Uni Now high school program? Check out our How and When to Apply for SUN webpage and learn more about:

  • Steps to prepare you for SUN
  • What you need for your application
  • Application dates
  • How to apply. 
  • Christian Lane-Krebs outside on campus
    The best thing about my SUN experience as a total was just really understanding and getting a taste of that university life and getting to see the lecturers the sort of tutorials and the assignment pieces and getting a full experience of what it would be like to be a university student.

    Christian Lane-Krebs

Get a head start on your studies while finishing high school with Start Uni Now (SUN). Choose from a range of units from our degree courses that will give you an authentic insight into university life and get you started early on achieving your career aspirations.


I chose to study SUN at CQUni. Because there is a local campus that was CQU and it would provide me direct entry.

Studying SUN helped me with transitioning to Uni. It was a much more smooth transition because I already knew what to expect, as well as it allowed me to decrease my workload when I started full time study.

I think the biggest difference between university and high school study is the degree of responsibility and the self-directed learning. So, in high school, it's very much your teachers are there to prompt you and ensure that you're on track, but you are given a lot more accountability when you study through university.

To students considering studying SUN my advice would be to give it a go and try it because it may be something that you definitely do want to study further in. But otherwise it will help you to know whether or not that's the case.

Well, it was offered to me as a thing I could do outside of school to get into uni and see what it's like.

Well, I love the fact that you could do it when you want it, so you could do all I can do at this day. I'll do it tomorrow because I've got this on. I also like the fact that it's online.

The other thing is, it's also good, because if you want to get into that industry. It's really nice to be able to just get direct entry and not have to worry about the ATAR so you’re not as stressed.

So the benefit of me studying over semester three was that I got to be able to do it when there wasn't as much schoolwork on.

I would say definitely do it, especially if it's a field you're interested in.

I chose to study SUN at CQUni because it helped benefit me in choosing what I wanted to do for my future and as a career. One of the big benefits about the Sun was definitely how much cheaper it is compared to the university units.

It gives you a real taste of how university works, so understand how their websites work, what lecturers are like in a university and how assessment should be done, University standard wise.

Another thing that I really liked about the Sun program was it was a direct entry into the course anyway, so that was really beneficial for me.

When I was younger, I was still very deciding on what I wanted to do as a future for my career. But during when I did do SUN during high school, it was I realized how much of a benefit it was for me because it was something that I did want to do after school. And it just helps because now I don't have to do as much work as I would have if I first came out of school and did uni.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

You can study your first Start Uni Now (SUN) unit at zero cost^
Any subsequent SUN units are offered at $375 per unit, this can be almost a third of the cost you will pay as an undergraduate student.

Fees are payable within four weeks of each term commencing.

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

It is important to consider these costs when applying for a SUN unit.

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


You will study actual units from our undergraduate degrees. 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).

Download our SUN Brochure to view the full list of units.

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 our 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 you, your 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.

Visit the "How do I apply for SUN" section of this website for details regarding the application process. If you have any queries, please contact the SUN team on 13CQUni (13 27 86) or email sun@cqu.edu.au.

You may be able to study either internally or by online study, subject to unit availability. There may be some units which are only available via online study, which means that you will not be required to attend a campus for classes and will view all unit materials via online resources. Some online study units may have a residential school component.  A residential school is where you are required to attend a CQUniversity campus for a short period of time to undertake practical based tasks related to your course of study.

To see the availability of units (that is, what term they are offered, where they are offered and whether they are offered internally or via online study) click on the name of the unit under "What can I study?" section of the SUN website.

As per the SUN guidelines, we recommend you study no more than one SUN unit per term.

Yes. Students are strongly encouraged to remain ATAR-eligible (please discuss with your school nominee in regards to your ATAR eligibility). This is particularly important as it will provide you with more opportunities should you change your mind about your career choice in the future.

While you are still in high school, you are welcome to study in any term, subject to unit availability. Visit the "When Can I study SUN?" section of this website. Please note, you need to pass one unit to be eligible to enrol in another.

Students can access an academic transcript from CQUniversity as proof of their enrolment, specifying results achieved.

Yes. SUN units are university units and as such they demand a lot of time. You need to have excellent time management skills in order to keep a balance between your school studies, SUN unit, part-time job and other commitments. SUN students are expected to continue doing well with school studies.

Regardless of whether you are studying internally or externally, SUN students (like all university students) must have access to computer and internet. It is strongly recommended that all students have access to a computer and internet at home. All unit resources and materials will be online and studying can be extremely challenging if you do not have immediate access to internet.

This is a matter that deserves careful consideration. You will be expected to catch up with any work you have missed (for both school and university) and you will have to remain extremely organised throughout the term in order to do this successfully.

Yes! A SUN student is a CQUniversity student. SUN students are 'non-award' students. You will be enrolled in a unit from a degree, but not the degree itself. As a student you have access to student facilities such as the CQUniversity library and computer labs. You will be provided with a CQUniversity student ID card for university purposes.

Yes. However, please be advised that students are required to withdraw before CENSUS Date to avoid a financial penalty. Usually, students who withdraw after CENSUS Date will receive both an academic and a financial penalty. SUN students, however, do not receive an academic penalty, so it is the financial penalty about which you need to be concerned. If you are experiencing an extenuating and unexpected circumstance such as illness you may be eligible for withdrawal without financial penalty.

A university student should devote approximately 10 to 12 hours of study per week, per unit.

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