What is UNSW Transition Program Online?

The UNSW Transition Program Online is an accelerated university preparation program, delivered in partnership with OpenLearning. Designed for digital, this four-month, online program provides a direct pathway to UNSW Sydney, plus other universities in Australia, the UK and New Zealand.

With a choice of streams – Commerce, Actuarial Studies, Design and Architecture, Life Science, and Physical Science – you are preparing for future success at university. 


February, March, July, August, November


4 months (16 weeks)


First Year, bachelor’s degree at university in Australia, New Zealand, UK

Delivery mode


Who is this program for?

Transition Program Online is for students who narrowly missed the academic requirements for direct entry into their chosen bachelor’s degree. Being online, it’s perfect for people who aren’t ready to leave home yet or need to gain confidence before starting university – you will progress toward university, with entry guaranteed once you pass the program. If you need more help with English, our online Academic English Programs can help you.  

Why study at UNSW Global?

In this supportive, connected experience, you will study in small groups, with lots of interaction between students and teachers. And the course material is equivalent to what you would learn in a physical classroom – but specially designed to be delivered online. 

Watch your online portfolio grow automatically as you learn. Participate in independent activities to develop the skills required for future learning at university. You’re assessed on the strength of all your work and activities throughout the course – not just one exam. 

To help you choose the best stream, and match it to your planned university degree, please read through the Program Structure. 

Pathways to an international university

This specially designed program provides a pathway to a range of universities in Australia and across the world. Learn more about them below. When you successfully complete the Transition Program Online, and meet the grade point average (GPA) and English language requirements, you will be eligible for entry to a bachelor’s degree at UNSW Sydney or one of our partner institutions.

Australian universities 

  • One of Australia’s best universities and in the top 50 universities worldwide, UNSW is a world-leading teaching and research powerhouse. Thanks to a truly hands-on and career-focused educational focus, the uni is ranked 27th in the world for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020) and has six subjects ranked in the top 20 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021). 

    If you do not meet the GPA required to enter First Year at UNSW, you may have the option to complete a Diploma Program before progressing to Second Year at UNSW. 

    Learn more about UNSW Sydney

  • Ranked in the top two per cent of universities globally (THE World University Rankings), and with a number of campuses to choose from, Western Sydney University offers great public transport access, modern learning facilities and innovative technologies so you'll thrive in your chosen field. 

    Western is ranked sixth in Australia for universities under 50 years old (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020), and known for Ecology (13th internationally, Shanghai Ranking 2021), Nursing and Sociology (Top 100 internationally, QS Rankings 2021).

    At Western, all students are automatically assessed for scholarships, with no separate application required.  

    Learn more about Western Sydney University

New Zealand universities 

  • The highest ranked New Zealand university for 2022 in THE and QS rankings – and a top 100 global university (2022 QS Rankings) – is located in the most liveable city in the world. The University of Auckland is the highest-ranked NZ university for graduate employability, too. 

    What are they known for? Anthropology, Archaeology, Education, Engineering – Civil and Structural, English Language and Literature, Geography, Nursing, Performing Arts, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, and sports-related subjects (Top 50 QS World Rankings by Subject 2021). 

    Learn more about the University of Auckland

  • Founded in 1897 and based in the picture-perfect capital of New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington is the nation’s top-ranked university for research intensity (New Zealand Government PBRF). It’s home to more than 40 research institutes, and has 19 subject areas in the top one per cent worldwide (QS Ranking 2020). 

    A world leader in climate science research, the campus is moving towards net-zero carbon by 2030. They’re also known for Business (Triple Crows Accreditation) and Law (65th internationally, QS Rankings 2021). 

    Learn more about Victoria University of Wellington

United Kingdom universities

  • Aberystwyth University is ranked first in the UK for Teaching Quality​ & Student Experience (The Times & Sunday Times, Good University Guide 2021), the Best in University in Wales and top 10 in the UK for Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2021).

    Plus there are free accommodation options for international students, while you’re surrounded by the sea, beaches and mountains in a vibrant, historic and cosmopolitan town. 

    Aberystwyth University is known for Accounting and Finance (top 5 in the UK – The Guardian League Table 2022); and Politics, Agriculture and Forestry (top 150 in the world – QS World University Rankings 2020). 

    Learn more about Aberystwyth University

  • A leading university for the creative industries, Arts University Bournemouth focuses on arts, design, performance and media. It is the UK’s top specialist Art and Design University (Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021). 

    Two hours from London, Bournemouth offers beauty, tranquillity, a UNESCO World Heritage listed coastline and a great lifestyle. And when you graduate, this university is known for turning creativity into careers, with a 97 per cent employment rate. 

    Learn more about Arts University Bournemouth

  • The Engineering & Design Institute London (TEDI London) was co-founded by three top research universities: Arizona State University, King’s College London and UNSW. The campus is only two Underground stops from London Bridge.  

    The Global Design Engineering focus at TEDI London is on innovative and non-traditional methods of teaching Engineering. This means project-based learning with industry partners, in an environment where students are treated as professionals with excellent employability opportunities.

    Learn more about TEDI London

  • Located in the UK’s most entrepreneurial city (Instant Offices 2020) with access to beaches, green space, great nightlife and artistic hotspots, the University of Portsmouth is known for Forensic Science, Property Development and International Relations. 

    It’s one of the top 150 Young Universities in the World (Times Higher Education 2020) and has five stars for teaching, employability, internationalisation, inclusiveness, and arts and culture (QS World University rankings 2021). In addition, you can expect career support for up to five years after graduation. 

    Learn more about University of Portsmouth

Note: International students studying the UNSW Transition Program Online are not eligible for a student visa. International students can apply for a student visa once they progress to their next qualification onshore in their preferred country of study.

Program structure

This pre-university program prepares you for undergraduate study. It is based on assessments, not exams, and 100 per cent online, so you can study wherever you are, in your own time zone. You will improve your academic and English language skills, while the stream you choose will prepare you specifically for your preferred degree.  

The added support you’ll receive here will give you the skills to be prepared for your next step as an undergraduate student at UNSW Sydney or one of our partner universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  

For more information on each stream, see below. If you would like to study a stream not mentioned here, for example Arts and Social Science, please contact us for more information. 

  • Commerce or Actuarial Studies stream

    Make it your business to be the best. The Commerce stream is designed for students planning on studying a degree in Business, Accounting, Economics and Arts. The Actuarial Studies stream is for students with higher mathematical ability and intending to progress to a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies.

    Commerce or Actuarial Studies courses

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Transition Program Online:

    • Academic English
    • Accounting
    • Business Law
    • Computing for Business
    • Economics
    • Management
    • Mathematics for Commerce
    • Mathematics for Science
  • Design & Architecture stream

    Create a world the way you see it. The Design & Architecture stream is designed for students planning on studying a degree within Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture. This stream can lead you to a range of degrees including Architectural Studies, Interior or Landscape Architecture, Industrial Design, Design, Art Theory, Fine Arts, Planning, Construction Management and more.

    Design & Architecture courses

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Transition Program Online:

    • Academic English
    • Computing for Design
    • Design
    • Management
  • Physical or Life Science stream

    Feed your curiosity and change the world. Offering two paths, the Physical Science stream is designed for students wishing to undertake an Engineering or Science degree, while the Life Science stream is designed for those wanting to progress to a Biological or Health Science degree. This stream is for students with a higher mathematical ability and can take you to a broad range of degrees, including Engineering, Medicine, Aviation, Medical Science, Health & Exercise Science, Psychology and more.

    Physical or Life Science courses

    View an example of the courses you will be studying in your Transition Program Online:

    • Academic English
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing for Science
    • Mathematics for Science
    • Physics

Entry requirements

This program is recommended for those with strong English language proficiency and a mature and independent approach to learning.

For more information on the specific program entry requirements, view the Transition program entry requirements.


In addition to academic and English language requirements, Transition Program Online may require specific subject minimum grade requirements or assumed knowledge depending on your intended stream.

Commerce Stream

Assumed knowledge – Mathematics

Commerce Actuarial Stream

Minimum grade required in – Mathematics

Life Science Stream/Physical Science Stream

Assumed knowledge – Relevant Sciences

You can find out more information about Streams under the Program structure tab.

Academic calendars

The academic calendar consists of important dates throughout your study period such as Orientation, census dates, study weeks, exam weeks and breaks for your program or course of study.

Transition Program Online fees

2022 tuition fees


Note: The tuition fee that you will pay depends on the calendar year in which you undertake your study in the course. Fees are reviewed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed, so it’s important to remember that indicative tuition fees shown above are not guaranteed. Any update to fees is effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are for tuition only – other fees and charges are not included.

Ready to apply?

To apply for the Transition Program Online, click the link below. 

Unsure of what you need to apply? Visit our How to apply page for a step-by-step guide.

TPO student - Divyanch from India
OpenLearning is a unique platform where I can connect, interact and consult my teachers, study coaches and my classmates and group members. My teachers and study coaches gives me a feeling of home, and care about my requirements, and this is very unique from other online learning platforms.

Divyansh Shekhar, India

UNSW Transition Program Online

Note: Open Learning Global Pty Ltd (trading as OpenLearning) proudly delivers the UNSW Transition Program Online under licence from UNSW and UNSW Global Pty Limited. The UNSW and UNSW Global trademarks are owned by UNSW and are used by OpenLearning under limited licence.

Only non-student visa holders are eligible for the program. International students studying the UNSW Transition Program Online are not eligible for student visas. International students can apply for a student visa once they progress to their next qualification in their chosen study destination.