Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS)

Build your confidence and succeed in your chosen degree with our enabling course STEPS. This free, Centrelink-approved course is designed to help if you’re returning to study after some time away or need to meet entry requirements for your desired degree.

Enjoy the support of an Access Coordinator and dedicated STEPS team who will guide you through this bridging course. Plus, if you're an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander student, you'll benefit from the outstanding support of our Indigenous Student Support Team as well as the option to choose specialist units on First Nations culture, education and health.

  • katelyn-magill.jpg
    The best thing about studying STEPS is it really provided me all the key skills that I needed to get through my bachelor degree. It really prepared me for my time management, even essay writing.

    Katie Magill

    STEPS, Bachelor of Paramedic Science

Explore the Details

Application dates

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year, meaning you can apply anytime. Applications close in the lead up to each term, so you'll need to submit your application prior to the closing date for the term you wish to commence in.

Term 1 2024 closing date: Monday, 19 February

Term 2 2024 closing date: Monday, 10 June

Term 3 2024 closing date: Monday, 7 October

Online Information Session dates

  • Wednesday, 31 January, 12 - 1 pm AEST
  • Wednesday, 1 May, 12 - 1 pm AEST
  • Wednesday, 5 June, 12 - 1 pm AEST
  • Wednesday, 2 October, 12 - 1 pm AEST

Register for an upcoming session. 

Term dates

Term 1 2024: 4 March - 31 May

Term 2 2024: 10 July - 6 October

Term 3 2024: 6 November - 9 February (2024)

Orientation dates

Term 1 2024: Wednesday, 21 February (On-campus), Continuous (Online)

Term 2 2024:  Wednesday, 26 June (On-campus), Continuous (Online)

Term 3 2024: Wednesday, 30 October (On-campus), Continuous (Online)

Census date

Census date refers to the last date that you can withdraw from your studies without academic penalty. 

Term 1 2024: 26 March

Term 2 2024: 1 August

Term 3 2024: 28 November

To be eligible for STEPS, you must:

  • be 18 years of age or older in the year of enrolment*
  • be an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, a permanent resident, or a holder of a humanitarian visa; and
  • reside in Australia.

*You can apply at 17 years of age, but you must turn 18 years of age within an academic year of enrolment. 

To apply, follow these steps:

1. Start and submit your online application.

2. Book an appointment with a STEPS Access Coordinator, who will set up a study plan to help you achieve your goals. 

Our team is here to help you every step of the way, from enquiry through to completing the course. For more information, email at, call 13 27 86, or Book a Conversation

STEPS students are required to complete one core unit and several electives. The electives you will take will depend on your individual circumstances and the course you want to study after completing STEPS.

Most students complete between two and five electives. The STEPS course takes between one and six terms to complete with two terms being average.

Core unit

SKIL40025Preparation Skills for University 

Elective units

LNGE40049Essay Writing for University
MATH40237Fundamental Mathematics for University
MATH40228Intermediate Mathematics for University
MATH40252Technical Mathematics for University
COIT40206Computing Skills for University
PHYS40110Introductory Physics
BIOL40108Introductory Biology
CHEM40079Introductory Chemistry
EDED40351Culture and Learning
INDG40015Indigenous Australians and Education
INDG40016Indigenous Australians and Health

Learn about First Nations history, culture, education and health needs with our dedicated First Nations STEPS units.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

If you are currently undertaking a coursework degree you can also enrol in STEPS units to upskill in certain areas. Enrolment is established on the outcome of close collaboration between you, your undergraduate unit lecturer(s), the relevant STEPS access coordinator and, in some instances, the student counsellor. Your current or planned unit load as well as your 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, refer to the drop downs above.

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 the Centrelink website.

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.

Want a personal chat about STEPS?

Get your questions answered with a one-on-one conversation. Choose a time to connect with us via a phone or video call, email or via social media such as Facebook Messenger.