Next Step pathway

Next Step pathway

Your next step to success

What is it?

Our Next Step pathway is the perfect solution if you don't meet the entry requirements to a Macquarie bachelors degree.

You'll study four units part-time, on campus, alongside current Macquarie students as you would in an undergraduate course. Once successfully completed, you'll secure your place in one of 18 Macquarie degrees (see "Which degrees will I be eligible for?" expandable section below for the full list). 

Who is eligible?

  • You're an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of Australia* and;
  • you're a current Higher School Certificate (HSC) student (or studying the equivalent) and are not confident of achieving the necessary ATAR for entry into your dream Macquarie degree or;
  • you're a non-school applicant (HSC or equivalent completed more than two years ago or over 21 years of age) without the required qualifications for direct entry into a bachelors degree.

Each Next Step unit has an ATAR (50, 55, or 60 ) entry requirement that applies if you completed the HSC (or equivalent) within the last two years. These ATAR restrictions do not apply to non school applicants. See the "Which degrees will I be eligible for?" expandable section below.

*If you do not fall into either of these categories contact Student Connect to discuss possible eligibility.

How can I apply?

Submit an online application. Once your application has been assessed you will be contacted via your nominated email address.

Next Step is an upfront, tuition fee paying program and is not available for HECS or FEE-HELP. Tuition fees must be paid in full, prior to the commencement of the Session in which you enrolled. You will be eligible to apply for HECS once you have articulated into a degree program. 

You have one academic year from time of admission to complete the pathway program. If your studies are carried across more than one academic year, a new application must be lodged, including the application fee of $75.

How can Next Step help me secure a place in a bachelor degree?

To secure a guaranteed place in a bachelor degree, you are required to:

  1. successfully complete four units and receive an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of either 4.0, 4.25, or 4.5 (out of 7.0) as required; and
  2. complete specific units outlined by the faculty offering the degree (if required); and
  3. complete and academic communications unit* in the first session of study. 

*See the "Recommended units" expandable section below.

Which degrees will I be eligible for?

For recent high school leavers who completed their HSC (or equivalent) within the past two years, a minimum ATAR of 50 is required, selected units require a higher ATAR of 55, 60 or 65 for enrolment. The ATAR restriction does not apply to non-school applicants.

Degrees Specific Unit RequirementGPA Requirement for articulating into Bachelor degree (Standard Articulation)

Bachelor of Arts

 Completion of 4 Next Step units

Bachelor of Media*

MAS104, MAS105,
MAS110, MMCS115

Bachelor of Arts – Psychology 


Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservation 


Bachelor of Business Administration* 

ACBE100 and three units from:
ACST101, ACCG106, BBA102, MKTG101, ECON111

Bachelor of Commerce* 

ACBE100, ECON111 plus:
ACCG106 or ACCG100 or ACST101
MKTG101 or BBA102

Bachelor of Engineering* 

MATH135 or MATH130
and PHYS140 and ENGG100

Bachelor of Environment 


Bachelor of Human Sciences 


Bachelor of Information Technology 


Bachelor of Information Technology – Games Design and Development 


Bachelor of International Studies 

(not available for mid-year intake)


Bachelor of Science 


Bachelor of Science – Psychology 


Bachelor of Security Studies*

PICT110, PICT111,
PICT112, PICT113
Completion of the 4 PICT units

Bachelor of Social Science

Bachelor of Speech, Hearing and Language Sciences 4.5

Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)* 

Diploma of Children's Services Cohort:
ACSH100, ABST100, ECHE118 and a People or Planet unit

For all other applicants:
ACSH100 and ECHE120 and choose two from:
ECH131, ECHE118, ABST100

To secure a place into a bachelor degree you must receive an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) as required. 

*To be eligible to apply for these specific degrees, you must successfully complete specific units identified by the relevant department offering the degree.

Are you a high achiever? GPA of ≥ 5.0

If you complete your first 2 units with a GPA of 5.0 (credit average) or higher your hard work will be recognised and rewarded. You can articulate into your chosen pathway degree sooner - after just one session of part-time study in the Next Step program. You will automatically be assessed for acceleration eligibility upon release of your examination result*. If you are eligible for articulation, you will be invited to complete the online application via email

If you are successful in transferring to a Macquarie degree, you will start with a new GPA of zero. However, the credit points for the units undertaken in the Next Step program will count towards your bachelor degree.

*If the bachelor degree you are planning to articulate into has specific unit requirements, then you must have completed two of these units in your first session of study in order to be eligible for accelerated articulation into the bachelor degree.

Recommended units

Academic Communications unit

You are recommended to undertake an Academic Communications unit* as part of your study plan if you are an enrolled Next Step student. These units are specifically designed to prepare you for academic requirements at a tertiary level and focus on developing critical and analytical skills in communication through reading, writing and the discussion of issues in your related area of study.

Full detail of the unit description can be found below:

  • ACBE100 - Academic Communication in Business and Economics
  • ACSC100 - Academic Communication in Science
  • ACSH100 - Academic Communication in the Social Sciences and Humanities

*If you have achieved an HSC performance Band 4 or higher in English, you are exempted from this requirement. However if the faculty of the degree you want to articulate into specifies an Academic Communications unit as part of the Next Step study plan, then you will still need to undertake the Academic Communications unit.


Alisha completed her NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) in 2017, achieved an overall ATAR of 58, and would like to study a Bachelor of Science. She also achieved an HSC Performance band 3 in English. The ATAR required to study science units (subjects) is 60, so she will not be able to study any science units whilst in the Next Step program. She then selects to study units indicated in the Next Step unit list in which she qualifies and has interest in. As she scored a band 3, she is also required to undertake an Academic Communications unit (preferably the unit relating to science, ACSC100, as that will be most beneficial for her).

Her enrolment may look like this:  

Session 1, 2018
ACSC100 - Academic Communications in Science - she must undertake this unit in her first session of study as she did not achieve Band 4 in HSC English.
ANTH106 - Drugs Across Cultures

Session 2, 2018
PHL 131 - Mind, Meaning and Metaphysics
ANTH151 - Human Evolution and Diversity

If Alisha achieves 4 passes, which equates to an overall GPA of 2.0, she can then articulate into her degree of a Bachelor of Science in Session 1, 2019.

If Alisha achieves 2 credits after Session 1, she will be eligible for accelerated articulation and can start her Bachelor of Science in Session 2, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bonus points included in the minimum ATAR requirement? 

Bonus points are not considered for acceptance into the Next Step program, your ATAR without bonus points will be the criteria used for all application assessment purposes including choosing relevant units to study in the Next Step program.

I studied at another institution can I apply for Recognition of Prior Learning? 

You cannot apply for Recognition of Prior Learning until you are admitted into a bachelor degree at Macquarie University. 

Can I defer my Next Step offer?

Yes you can defer your studies, however your application is valid for only 12 months. If you defer for longer than 12 months you will have to re-apply and pay the application fee.

I am a current Next Step student. How can I swap or add units? 

Simply complete the Next Step Change of Enrolment form.

Please note: if your studies are carried across more than one academic year, a new application must be lodged, including the application fee of $75.

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