Principal's Recommendation Scheme

At CQUniversity, we believe senior schooling results are an important factor leading to student success. We also recognise that other factors and attributes, such as motivation, talent, and passion, have a key role to play as well.

Our Principal’s Recommendation Scheme (PRS) provides a pathway for Year 12 students to apply to an undergraduate CQU course based on their high school principal's recommendation rather than ATAR. Students can receive an offer within 48 hours of submitting their application - without waiting for their Year 12 results.

Open to all Year 12 students; the Scheme is designed to assist capable students to access entry to CQUniversity; it in no way provides relaxation of the quality and academic standards that students must meet to complete their degree successfully.

Applications are open: apply by 1 December 2024 for Term 1, 2025. 

Find Out More

The Principal's Recommendation Scheme is open to domestic and international students.

To apply for a CQUniversity course via the Principal’s Recommendation Scheme, you must meet the following criteria. You must:

  • Be studying Year 12 in an Australian school at the time of application and complete Year 12 prior to commencing study with CQUniversity.
  • Have your Principal’s recommendation in writing - refer to the recommendation checklist in the section below to see what must be included in the recommendation letter.

CL91 - Bachelor of Nursing

If you are applying for the Bachelor of Nursing, you will need to complete an additional declaration in relation to English language requirements and upload with your application.

CC14 - Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood); CC12 - Bachelor of Education (Primary); CC13 - Bachelor of Education (Secondary)

If you are applying for any of our Bachelor of Education degrees, you will also need to meet pre-requisite requirements and non-academic entry requirements. These additional requirements include demonstrating that you have key competencies as outlined by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) as those attributes, and motivations common to effective teachers. Due to these additional entry requirements, conditional offers only can be made for these courses.

CC41 - Diploma of Music; CG51 - Bachelor of Music; CG72 - Bachelor of Theatre

If you are applying for the Diploma of Music, the Bachelor of Music, or the Bachelor of Theatre you will also need to meet non-academic entry requirements and complete an audition. Once you have submitted your application, please register for an audition. Due to these additional entry requirements, conditional offers only can be made for these courses.

English language proficiency

If you are an international student, for the majority of our courses, your English language proficiency will be met based on your Principal’s recommendation. However, there are some courses that still require an approved English Proficiency Test results to be submitted, refer to the courses listed below. Our International Admissions team will also look at marks in your English subjects in Year 11 and Year 12 results (if results are available for Year 12).

  • CL29 - Bachelor of Aviation (Commercial Pilot)
  • CC14 - Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)
  • CC12 - Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • CC13 - Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  • CG85 - Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences
  • CL91 - Bachelor of Nursing
  • CB84 - Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
  • CB86 - Bachelor of Podiatry Practice (Honours)
  • CQ26 - Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety
  • CB77 - Bachelor of Science (Chiropractic)
  • CB87 - Bachelor of Speech Pathology

Courses that are excluded and therefore not open for application via the Principal's Recommendation Scheme are listed below. If you are interested in applying for these courses and think you may not meet the course entry requirements, please contact us for information about alternative entry pathways. We can provide you with information on entry pathways to these courses such as Skills for Tertiary Education and Preparatory Studies (STEPS).

  • Diploma of Nursing (HLT54121)
  • Bachelor of Echocardiography and Cardiac Physiology / Graduate Diploma of Echocardiography (CV69)
  • Bachelor of Medical Imaging (CG92)
  • Bachelor of Medical Science (Pathway to Medicine) (CM17)
  • Bachelor of Medical Sonography / Graduate Diploma of Medical Sonography (CG91)
  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) (CB84)
  • Bachelor of Oral Health (CB29)
  • Bachelor of Paramedic Science (CG95)
  • Bachelor of Paramedic Science/Graduate Certificate in Emergency and Disaster Management (CM40)
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) (CB85)

Graduate Entry Courses
These courses require you to have completed a degree to gain entry and therefore are not eligible under the Principal's Recommendation Scheme.

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (CA44)
  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management (CB69)
  • Bachelor of Midwifery (Graduate Entry) (CM16)
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) (CG84)
  • Bachelor of Science (Psychology) (CF59 (Note, students can still apply for CC43 Bachelor of Psychological Science via the PRS)

To be accepted, the Principal’s recommendation letter that you provide with your application must:

  • be on your School Letterhead
  • be signed and dated by your Principal
  • list your full name
  • list the name of the course that you are applying for.

View an example recommendation letter.

Apply directly to CQUniversity

Australian or New Zealand Citizens, Permanent Residents or Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders

To apply via the Principal's Recommendation Scheme, you will need to apply for the course you are interested in directly with CQUniversity via our online application portal.

Make sure you upload your school Principal’s recommendation letter with your application, as it cannot progress without it.

If you need help figuring out where to start or need help along the way, view our instructions on applying.

International Students

To apply via the Principal's Recommendation Scheme, you will need to apply for the course you are interested in directly with CQUniversity via our iStart International online application portal.

Make sure you upload your school Principal’s recommendation letter with your application, as it cannot progress without it.

Application Timelines

Term 1, 2024: PRS applications are closed. 

Term 1, 2025: PRS applications are open - apply by 1 December 2024. 

Once you have completed and submitted your application, we will review your application, your Principal's recommendation, and any other supporting information if your course has additional requirements. Our admissions team will be in touch with you within 48 hours. If you meet the eligibility requirements and your application is complete, you will be sent an offer from CQUniversity with all the information you need to enrol.

PRS applications are only accepted for a Term 1 (March) commencement at CQU, so if you're interested in applying to CQU to start in a later term, such as Term 2 (July) or Term 3 (November), check out the how to apply information on the relevant course webpage for details about the best way to apply. 

Frequently Asked Questions

No registration is required for schools to participate. We will accept applications from year 12 students from all schools.

To meet the criteria of the Principal’s Recommendation Scheme, recommendation letters can only be signed by the secondary school Principal.

There is no limit on the number of places in the Scheme or the number of students that a Principal can recommend. It is up to each school Principal as to how many students they would like to recommend.

There is no cost to apply, applications for the scheme are made directly through CQUniversity.  You do not need to also apply through QTAC (for a place at CQUniversity).

The Scheme allows a High School Principal to recommend their students for entry into a CQUniversity course based on other factors such as academic performance, motivation, ability, passion and likelihood to succeed at university. Your Principal should be recommending students who they believe are capable and likely to succeed at university, and the students who they recommend will receive an unconditional offer from CQUniversity.

The Principal’s Recommendation Scheme is a national early entry program, open to students from all states in Australia.

So, if you are a Year 12 student studying at an Australian school you are eligible to apply via the scheme, no matter your postcode, and you can apply to study at any of our campuses across Australia.

If you don’t meet the prerequisites needed for your course, you are still eligible to receive an offer under the Scheme for most courses. Check the Courses with Additional Requirements section above for courses that specify any English or pre requisite requirements.

Your Principal’s recommendation should be based on your capability and likelihood to succeed at university, and should consider your preparedness for successfully completing units of study embedded in your course.

If you have not studied subjects at high school that are prerequisite requirements for your university course, and you aren’t feeling confident commencing university study yet, you may wish to consider undertaking our STEPS program to gain entry to and excel in your university course.

No, you do not need to be ATAR eligible to apply through the Scheme.

To be eligible for the Principal’s Recommendation Scheme, you need to be studying Year 12 in an Australian school at time of application and complete year 12 prior to commencing study with CQUniversity. Additionally, you will need to attach your Principal’s recommendation in writing to your application.

No, you will not need to upload a copy of your latest school reports as part of your application.

You only need to supply your letter of recommendation from your Principal. Please note that for some courses you may also need to meet other additional requirements, and this is outlined in the Courses with Additional Requirements section.

Only one offer will be made per student via the Principal's Recommendation Scheme, so make sure you choose your most preferred course when you apply via this Scheme.

If you have applied for a course via the Principal’s Recommendation, there is no need to apply for that same course via a Tertiary Admission Centre (TAC) such as QTAC, UAC or VTAC. We’ll process your application and send you an offer.

If, however, you would like to apply for a course that is excluded from the Scheme, such as a quota-based course, then you will need to apply for that course via the relevant TAC.

If you decide to apply via a TAC for a quota-based course, and you would like to consider another course option to have certainty around receiving an offer you can also apply via the Scheme for a different course. You’ll then just need to decide which option you would like to pursue when the time comes.

If you are in Year 12 applications will close 1 December of the same year you are completing Year 12.

When submitting your application, you will need to upload the letter of recommendation in the ‘Supporting Documents’ area. Check out our application instructions for details.

No, you must accept your offer and enrol for the term that you have applied for. If you decide not to accept your offer, you are invited to apply for admission at a later date through the usual channels.

You can enjoy outstanding study support at CQUniversity. We offer a range of support services to help you along your journey. Services include Orientation to assist your transition to university life, assignment and exam preparation and support evenings, ongoing assistance through the Student Mentor Program, counselling services, course advice, career planning services, support for students with disability or medical conditions, Indigenous student support, financial support options and more.

In addition to the support and encouragement provided by CQUniversity staff and academics, we are also expecting to include your school and parents in your transition journey, more information will be provided on this in your offer letter.

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