Is your child looking for a Headstart? - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Is your child looking for a Headstart?

5 Feb 2019

Did you know your child can start uni even while they are still at school? USC’s Headstart program gives students the opportunity to get a taste of university and get possible credit towards a future degree, all while completing Year 11 or 12.

What is Headstart?

Headstart is a program that allows Year 11 and 12 students to study subjects at USC while still completing high school. The program gives high-achieving students an opportunity to challenge themselves and get a taste of university life. Headstart is offered at all USC campuses.

Students can select Headstart courses from a wide range of study areas, including engineering, song writing, game design, languages, psychology and law. It’s a great way for your child to try out the degree they’re considering, or to study an area of interest that isn’t offered by their school.

What are the benefits of my child completing Headstart?

Headstart students study on campus, in the same classes as current undergraduate students, and complete the same coursework, assignments and exams. They may also get credit for these Headstart subjects when they come to start their undergraduate degree, which can reduce their study load.

Headstart can also reduce the overall cost of your child’s degree. Because USC subsidises the cost of Headstart courses, the first course is free and the second course on only $400. (Scholarships are available to eligible applicants to cover this tuition fee).

Completed Headstart courses do not count towards your child’s OP or ATAR, but can contribute toward their QCE: one course (with a required standard of achievement of grade of 4 on a 7-point scale, or a Pass grade) counts for two QCE credits.

Students not OP or ATAR eligible can also use their two completed Headstart courses to gain entry into their preferred degree — A student’s results in their Headstart courses can be converted to an selection rank to meet the minimum selection threshold for entry into a degree (students still need to meet all perquisite study for their preferred degree).

What is Headstart like?

Year 12 student, Kelsey Hyra has always known that she would like to become a school teacher. Kelsey has completed two courses through Headstart and so now has two less to complete when she commences her education degree next year.

“I chose USC because it offered the course I was interested in and is close to home,“ said Kelsey. “My first semester was nerve racking but exciting, and I am proud that I got a high distinction in my first Headstart course, while still in Year 11.”

“Headstart is a great opportunity to see if university is something you want to consider doing even if you are not sure,” said Kelsey. “There are lots of different classes and my favourite thing about USC is how many helpful resources I have access to.”

How does my child apply?

To apply for Headstart, your child will need to be doing well at school (achieving at least a B-grade average) and have the skills and motivation to manage additional study alongside their schoolwork and other commitments. They will also need to get the support of their school’s Headstart coordinator, who can help them understand what to expect.

For advice on how to choose a Headstart course and what to expect, register for USC’s Headstart Information evenings on Thursday 21 March at USC Sunshine Coast and USC Fraser Coast, and on Tuesday 19 March at USC Caboolture. You and your child can listen to the experiences of a Headstart student and learn about the process and key dates for applying.

Kelsey Hyra

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