Your Guide to UAC Preferences

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Taking the time to understand the University Admissions Centre (UAC) application process can help ease any concerns you have about the steps you need to take to get into university.

UAC allows you to apply with five course preferences from multiple universities in one easy application. The order that you preference your courses will influence which degree offer you could get per offer round.

We’re here support your transition from high school to uni, and this guide will cover the steps you need to take to get the most out of your UAC preferences when applying to UNSW:

Step one to three

Select your dream degree

A great place to start when refining your options is to think about your interests, passions and the careers you might want. UNSW’s Degree Finder will help you find information about each degree and all the details you'll need for your application, such as selection ranks, UAC course codes and additional selection criteria.

Think of your preferences as your wish list. List your degrees in order of preference, and don’t be afraid to think big. Once you've done your research and decided on your dream degree, make sure it's your highest eligible preference in your UAC application.

It's also essential to be on top of any additional entry requirements. Degrees such as Law, Medicine, Aviation and Music have additional selection criteria that you’ll need to meet to be considered for an offer.

Order your preferences

Repeat step 1 to select the rest of your preferences from one to five.

Each preference is considered in the order you've listed them, with offers made based on your highest eligible preference. If you don't receive the ATAR for your first preference, your second preference is then considered and so on.

Don't jeopardise your chance of getting an offer by thinking you won't achieve the mark. You won't be penalised for putting a preference that you don't get into. You'll be matched to your highest eligible offer no matter the preference.

Although you don't need to select five options, it's highly recommended because it'll increase your opportunities to receive an offer.

Revisit and repeat

The reason this step is key is simple: You'll only receive one offer per UAC offer round, so make it count!

You can update your preferences as often as you like*, with no extra cost. Keep an eye on the offer round change of preference dates to make sure your five preferences are in the best shape to receive an offer to the course you want.

After you've submitted your preferences and wait for UAC offer rounds, it's a great time to apply for scholarships, register for Open Days and take advantage of other opportunities that'll prepare you for university life.

What if I don't receive an offer for my dream degree?

If you didn't receive an offer to your dream degree, make sure you keep it as your highest eligible preference – you could still receive an offer in later rounds!

Find the latest key dates for each offer round on the UAC Undergraduate Fact Sheet.

If you receive an offer, even if it's not for your first preference, it's important to accept your place in case you don't receive other offers. You can still receive an offer in later rounds even if you accept an offer in earlier rounds.

If you accept an offer and still want to be considered in later rounds, remove your successful degree (after you’ve accepted it) from your preferences or move it below other preferences. This way, you could still receive additional offers.


Don't forget – You're not what you study!

You're never locked 100% into what you choose now. Follow your passion and the field of interest that drives you. Once you're admitted to UNSW, there are options to transfer through our Internal Program Transfer.

By taking these steps, you'll be confident that you're in the running for your dream degree and on your path towards following your passion at UNSW.


Early bird UAC applications open 1 April 2021.

Submit your UAC preferences before 30 September 2021 to avoid increased application fees.

Submit your application