UNSW Gateway Admission Pathway and Program

The UNSW Gateway Admission Pathway and Program (GAPP) aims to make university entry more equitable. It offers under-represented students an alternative pathway into university, recognising that an ATAR is not the only indicator of potential success and preparedness for university. 

The UNSW GAPP runs over three years from Year 10 to Year 12 and aims to prepare students from Gateway partner schools for university.

Click here to see the Theory of Change for the GAPP.

Gateway Summer Program

Year 10

Students are supported to make informed decisions about subject selection, feel prepared for senior study and identify and navigate future pathways and post-school learning goals. Students are also guided to persuasively articulate and communicate future-focused personal narratives utilising dramatic techniques.

Gateway Spring Program

Year 11

Building on lessons learned during the Summer Program, students discover the faculties and degrees available at UNSW through faculty-led interactive sessions. The Gateway Spring Program also supports students’ academic preparation for the HSC and supports students to prepare for their Gateway Admission Pathway application in Year 12.

Gateway Winter Program

Year 12

In the final Gateway engagement, the Gateway Winter Program focuses on HSC preparation, with subject-specific workshops and practice exam feedback from HSC teachers and markers. Students will also be supported to write and submit their Gateway Admission Pathway application to UNSW. 

To see how the Gateway Program fits in with all of the HEPPP Funded Initiatives at UNSW click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Strategic Objective

Access and Equity (Students), Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion lead the Gateway Admission Pathway and Program as the primary means for ensuring an increase in the access of under-represented students to higher education 

All faculties and several divisions are instrumental in supporting and contributing to the GAPP.  

  • Division of DVC – Academic 

  • Division of EDI 

  • PVC – Education Portfolio 

  • Division of External Relations 

  • UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture

  • UNSW Business School 

  • UNSW Engineering 

  • UNSW Law 

  • UNSW Medicine 

  • UNSW Science 

To improve access to higher education and UNSW for students from under-represented backgrounds and to ensure that students are adequately supported throughout their educational journey.  

The strategic aim of the GAPP is to increase the low-SES access rate to UNSW. UNSW strives to provide equitable access to university for students who are under-represented in higher education. We recognise that ATAR is a barrier for students attending our partner schools and experiencing educational disadvantage. We seek to address this through the Gateway Admission Pathway. Our 2025 Strategy Update outlines our commitment to 'develop student access and support activities that position UNSW as a leader, ensuring we nurture students of high potential…’ 

The GAPP is a key initiative of the 2020 Access and Participation Plan, the Access and Equity (Students) 2025 Strategy, and is tied to the new Performance-Based Funding model. 

About the Gateway Admission Pathway

The Gateway Admission Pathway is an early conditional offer to UNSW for Year 12 students that is administered through the UAC Schools Recommendation Scheme. Your application will be assessed on the basis of your personal statement and your schools’ ratings of your aptitudes and performance in relevant areas of study.  If your application is successful, you will receive an early conditional offer with an ATAR entry requirement up to 15 points lower than the advertised Guaranteed Entry rank. Then, if your ATAR result is the same or higher than the requirement set for you in your early conditional offer, you will receive a firm offer to that UNSW degree, if it is your highest eligible preference. 

The Gateway Admission Pathway is now administered through the UAC Schools Recommendation Scheme. You will no longer need to upload a school report and assessment task. Instead, UAC can directly access your Year 11 results as well as your schools’ ratings of your aptitudes and performance in subject areas relevant to your chosen degree. 

You can apply for all undergraduate courses at UNSW Sydney, except:

  • UNSW Prep Program (17-21)
  • Co-Op Programs

Please note:

  • Bachelor of Medical Studes/Doctor of Medicine has different eligibility critiera and a different application process - see Gateway Medicine Entry Scheme for more information
  • B Aviation (Flying) has considerable costs associated and final entry to the program is dependant on additional selection criteria - see Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) for more details
  • B Vision Science/M Clinical Optometry prioritises places for students from regional/remote areas and less than 10 places are available

In 2008, the Bradley Review into Australian Higher Education led to the government committing significant funding for outreach programs. This was to support teaching and learning, improve access and outcomes for students from low socioeconomic status (low-SES) backgrounds, build new links between universities and schools, reward institutions for meeting agreed quality and equity outcomes, improve resourcing for research and invest in world class tertiary education infrastructure.  

As a result of the Bradley review, the Gillard government established significant program funding (HEPPP) to increase the low-SES access rate to 20% in 2020. It provided supplementary funding to universities to build the aspirations and capacity of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds to participate and succeed in higher education. 

The national low-SES access rate at universities is currently sitting at close to 17%. 

Eligibility

You are eligible if you are in Year 12 and receiving an ATAR and either:

  • attending one of our 370 Gateway schools or
  • are identified by UAC as eligible for the Educational Access Scheme based on SEIFA criteria. For more information about what this means you can download a fact sheet from UAC.

The socio-economic status (SES) of a student is determined using the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) Index of Education and Occupation for SA1 areas. 

The low-SES access rate is the percentage of students who are identified as low-SES, commencing university each year, as a proportion of the total number of commencing undergraduate students. The access rate data is reported to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Higher Education Student Data Collection (HEIMS). 

Gateway schools are identified by taking the three-year average of Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) for schools across NSW or the three-year average of the proportion of students in the bottom SEA quartile. The ICSEA and proportion of students in the bottom SEA quartile of a school can be found on the My School website. 

GAPP is available to all students enrolled in the identified schools because we recognise the impact of educational disadvantage as well as socio-economic status. The cohort effect will build our targeted student numbers through the power of peer influence, meaning our commencing students will establish an early sense of belonging at UNSW with peers from their same school. This is an important factor in first-year success at uni. 

No, unfortunately only domestic students can be considered through the Gateway Admission Pathway. 

No, there is a separate entry scheme for elite athletes (see here). Unfortunately, you cannot combine schemes. 

Gateway Admission Pathway Applications

Applications close on the 19th of September 2021 at midnight. 

The following four components are considered when assessing your application and will determine whether you receive an early conditional offer: 

  1. Your personal statement: In your personal statement you provide 200-250 word answers to each of the following three questions: 

  • Why are you interested in the course you are applying for? Tell us how this degree relates to your passions and goals. 

  • What are your learning strengths? How have you applied them to overcome challenges in school or other aspects of your life? 

  • Thinking about your future self at university, what do you identify as the key challenges for you and how do you plan to manage these? 

  1. For some degrees, a portfolio of creative work: Only the below listed degrees in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture require a portfolio to be uploaded alongside your personal statement.  

  • School of Art & Design 

  • B Design 

  • B Design/B Media (PR&Ad) 

  • B Fine Arts 

  • B Fine Arts/B Arts 

  • B Media Arts 

  • School of Built Environment 

  • B Architectural Studies 

  • B Computational Design 

  • B Industrial Design 

  • B Interior Architecture (Hons) 

  • B Landscape Architecture (Hons) 

  1. Your Year 11 results: UAC will be able to automatically access your Year 11 results. You do not need to upload any Year 11 results.  

  1. Your schools’ ratings of your aptitudes and performance in relevant subject areas. 

Then, if you receive an early conditional offer, your ATAR will be considered to determine whether your early conditional offer is converted into a firm offer. However, your ATAR requirement will be lower than the Lowest Selection Rank published on the UNSW Degree Finder website. See here for all adjusted ATARs for the Gateway Admission Pathway 

If you are eligible for UACs Educational Access Scheme based on SEIFA criteria, then you are eligible to apply through the Gateway Admission Pathway. However, this will not be considered when assessing the applications and you will not receive additional adjustment factors. 

However, if you meet SEIFA criteria you will be prioritised for an Equity Scholarship at UNSW. You don’t need to apply separately for this opportunity, you will automatically be considered and notified when you receive your firm offer.   

Your personal statement is a very important part of how we assess your application. Here are the key qualities we are looking for in your personal statement: 

  • A high degree of clarity 

  • Address all aspects of the questions 

  • Reference relevant concrete examples to illustrate sophisticated links between personal interests and chosen discipline 

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of your chosen degree and its requirements 

  • Extensive and detailed evidence of reflective thinking and analysis of own learning strengths 

  • Thoughtfully describe potential challenges and solutions for your projected future self 

  • A well-integrated, complex and thoughtfully structured paragraph 

  • Sophisticated use of persuasive written language 

 

We have plenty of resources available to help you write a great personal statement! Make sure you check out the recording of the Go Write Ahead live session on Open Learning and the example personal statements posted to the Go Write Ahead page. Also, make sure to check out our web app Nail It! designed specifically to help you write. 

If you have done work experience relevant to your chosen degree then this is a great thing to talk about in your personal statement to demonstrate your interest in the area and that you know what it involves. However, if you haven’t done any relevant work experience, don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways to demonstrate your aptitudes, interests, passions and goals such as volunteering, extra-curricular activities, talking to a person in the field etc. 

Yes, you can resubmit your institutional documents (your personal statement and portfolio, if required) if necessary. However, we strongly encourage you to finalise your documents before submitting and avoid submitting multiple if possible 

For most degrees you will only need to upload one document – your personal statement. For the degrees in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture listed below, you will also need to upload a portfolio of work in addition to your personal statement. All other factors considered in your application will be automatically accessed via UAC or your school. 

Degrees requiring a portfolio in addition to a personal statement: 

  • School of Art & Design 

  • B Design 

  • B Design/B Media (PR&Ad) 

  • B Fine Arts 

  • B Fine Arts/B Arts 

  • B Media Arts 

  • School of Built Environment 

  • B Architectural Studies 

  • B Computational Design 

  • B Industrial Design 

  • B Interior Architecture (Hons) 

  • B Landscape Architecture (Hons) 

Courses that require a portfolio are as follows:  

School of Art & Design 

  • B Design 

  • B Design/B Media (PR&Ad) 

  • B Fine Arts 

  • B Fine Arts/B Arts 

  • B Media Arts 

School of Built Environment 

  • B Architectural Studies 

  • B Computational Design 

  • B Industrial Design 

  • B Interior Architecture (Hons) 

  • B Landscape Architecture (Hons)

No, we won’t have access to information about special provisions and won’t consider it as part of the application process.  

ATAR Adjustment

ATAR adjustments take into account additional factors when considering a students’ capability to succeed at university. As part of UNSW GAPP, we consider the academic course requirements and the demonstrated academic standard of applicants through the assessment of a student's personal statement, their schools' ratings of their aptitudes and performance in relevant subjects and, for some courses, their portfolio. We then consider the Guaranteed Entry rank and determine a reasonable adjustment for each degree. 

While the adjusted ATAR for the majority of degrees offered through the Gateway Admission Pathway are 15 points below the Lowest Selection Rank, some are less than 15 points below. This depends on a number of factors, including demand for the course. 

For the adjusted ATARs for all degrees, see here. 

Through the Gateway Admissions Pathway, there are several degrees that have an adjusted ATAR of 65. See here for a list of all adjusted ATARs.  

There are no implications. Your ATAR is only one indicator of your capacity to succeed at university, which is why we are considering other factors when assessing your application. You won’t be at a disadvantage compared to your peers. 

If you do not meet the ATAR requirement for your chosen degree, your early conditional offer through the Gateway Admission Pathway will not be converted into a firm offer. You could consider one of the following: 

  1. You could change your UAC preferences in order to be considered for a degree with a lower Lowest Selection Rank 

  1. You could apply for the UNSW Preparation Program (UNSW Prep 17-19). Please see here for more information and for eligibility criteria.  

Gateway Admission Pathway Offers

No, you will need to decide which one degree you wish to be considered for through the Gateway Admission Pathway. We will take your first UNSW preference on your UAC application as the degree you would like to be considered for through the pathway. So, remember to make sure the degree you talk about in your personal statement matches the degree that is your first UNSW preference on UAC.  

Your highest UNSW preference on your UAC application will be the degree we will consider you for through the Gateway Admission Pathway. If you are successful in receiving an early conditional offer and you would like to receive a firm offer from us once your ATAR is released, then make sure that degree is your highest UAC preference. 

If you received a Gateway early conditional offer and you are still happy with your degree choice then no, you do not need to do anything this year except focus on achieving the adjusted ATAR for your degree! You do not need to apply again through the UAC Schools Recommendation Scheme. 

However, if you do wish to change your degree you will need to submit a new application through the UAC Schools Recommendation Scheme. If your new application is successful, your previous early conditional offer will no longer be valid. 

Yes, you can transfer in the same way as any student at UNSW can transfer degrees. Make sure you read all the information here to ensure you will be eligible to transfer.  

Degree-Specific

No, the LAT is not required for any degree through the Gateway Admission Pathway. 

No, the UCAT is not required for admission to the Bachelor of Medical Science. However, it is required for admission to the Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine (and you will need to apply through a different portal and note differing eligibility criteria – for more information see here). 

The Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine (often referred to simply as ‘Medicine’) is run through the Faculty of Medicine and Health as has an adjusted ATAR of 91, as well as additional selection and eligibility criteria and a different application process (see here for details). Access to this degree is very competitive and less than 10 places will be offered through the Gateway pathway. 

The Bachelor of Medical Science is run through the Faculty of Science and has an adjusted ATAR of 78 through the Gateway Admission Pathway.  

If you receive an offer to study Law at UNSW through the Gateway Admission Pathway you do not need to sit the LAT. Your UAC application will ask you to provide a LAT number, but you can skip that step. You will see a warning message and you will need to click ‘Acknowledge Warning’ (see picture below) and then you can proceed to the next step. Don’t worry, if you have come through the Gateway Admission Pathway, we will know that you don’t need a LAT number.