How to get into uni: Michael’s story

How to get into uni with CSU

There are always opportunities. At Charles Sturt University (CSU), we want to make sure that you know how to get into uni so you can study your dream course. Whether you’re completing high school this year or you’ve been out in the workforce for a while and want to get your first qualification, once you’ve made the decision to come, there’s likely to be an admission pathway to university to suit you.

One of the admission pathways we offer is the Diploma of General Studies. It gets you prepared for uni study, and can provide a path to your ideal degree if you didn’t get the marks first time around.

The course is offered in partnership with TAFE NSW campuses and consists of eight subjects studied over two 17-week sessions during one year. You study four TAFE subjects at a TAFE NSW campus, then four bachelor’s level subjects at a CSU campus. So you’ll be ready and confident to take the next step on your study path.

Currently, you can do the university parts of the course at one of five campuses:

  • Albury-Wodonga
  • Bathurst
  • Dubbo
  • Port Macquarie
  • Wagga Wagga.

Plus, the Diploma of General Studies gives you guaranteed entry into most CSU undergraduate degrees and, in some cases, credit for up to four CSU subjects in your subsequent course.

How to get into uni – and get where you want to go

So, if you know the degree you want to do and need an extra stepping stone to get you there, the Diploma of General Studies could be just the ticket.

Michael Murray CSU path to uniIt certainly was for Michael Murray when he decided it was time to do something more meaningful to him.

“During my school days, I had no idea what I wanted to do after leaving school, and this led to a HSC result which was quite average. After finishing my HSC I became an apprentice technician in a car dealership. Over the next few years I worked my way up through the ranks to become a master technician, did some travelling overseas and ticked a few other items off my ‘bucket list’.

“But then I started to question my career choice. I guess my boyhood passion for cars had deteriorated and the job was becoming stale. It was at this point I decided on a career change to something where I could truly help people and align my values with my job.

“I applied for the Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science but was soon knocked back due to not having an acceptable qualification for university entrance. This is when I started looking for another means to enter university.”

How do you start on your path to university?

Michael soon discovered that the diploma could offer an admission pathway to university that would position him well for transitioning to his next course.

“I found the Diploma of General Studies on the CSU website. Because the degree course I wanted to enter was competitively ranked, I liked the idea of receiving two qualifications in the one year [you graduate with the diploma and a Certificate IV]. I was told by the university that if I finish the diploma with good grades, then I would almost certainly be successful in joining my desired degree. Shortly after, I applied for the diploma and within two or three days was accepted.

The diploma saw us doing two TAFE subjects and then two first-year bachelor’s subjects. The TAFE subjects were delivered in a more directed fashion with a teacher guiding the class through assessments. The bachelor’s subjects were a little less directed, and they allowed a little more autonomy. This ended up being my preferred delivery style, and self-directed learning skills have been very important in my degree this year. Saying that, however, the lecturers were always available to students who wanted a little more direction or help.”

How can the Diploma of General Studies set you up for success?

For Michael, taking the diploma wasn’t just about getting into his dream course; it also helped him prepare for study at university.

“Coming from a full-time job meant that I had not studied for several years. I was unsure if my life was still compatible with full-time study. Or whether I could even keep up with a university-level course. But during my year of doing the diploma, I was able to perfect my essay and report-writing skills. As I know now, this is very important for gaining good marks in a degree. The diploma was especially good for developing these skills, as the teachers and lecturers would always check drafts and offer great advice along the way to help you develop good academic writing. This included learning the art of proper referencing, which is also very important.

“The diploma also helped me brush up on my mathematics skills which are very important in physics-based degrees such as the Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science. I was also able to build excellent time management skills throughout the diploma, which transferred directly to my degree course. Becoming comfortable asking what sometimes seemed like silly questions was also something I took from the diploma.

“Entering my degree course after studying the diploma the year before really was just like walking into another year of the diploma. Most (if not all) students in my degree course were extremely nervous about beginning the degree. But I knew what to expect, and already had a ‘gameplan’ in place.”

Do you want to start on your path to university?

Michael’s story shows what is possible when you set your heart on something.

“Going into the diploma, I had one goal in mind: to finish the diploma and receive entrance into my degree. I worked extremely hard in the diploma to make sure this goal was achieved. The diploma delivered on this goal; however, it wouldn’t be fair to say this is the only thing I took from the diploma. Everything I did in the diploma has transferred to my degree course in one way or another.”

So wherever you are on your journey to uni, we can help you make the next step.

Contact us to find out more about how to get into uni.