Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP)

There's more than one way into uni.

If you don't have an ATAR, haven't completed Year 12 or completed it some time ago, our tailored Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) unlocks a La Trobe Entrance Score and access to our courses, while developing skills to set you on a path to university success.

By completing the TPP, you'll gain:

  • strong foundation skills to prepare you for university study, including an academic skills, learner confidence and decision-making
  • support in understanding your options for future Diploma and Bachelor's level study at La Trobe.

Why complete the Tertiary Preparation Program?

Unlock a La Trobe Entrance Score

Earn an alternative rank to an ATAR as a pathway into your dream course*.

Apply for and start uni with confidence

Your tailored program will develop study fitness, build academic and communication skills and prepare you to overcome study challenges.

100% online, free and flexible

Study online and at your own pace, with access to dedicated tools, services and support whenever you need them.

*A small number of La Trobe courses do not allow you to use the TPP and La Trobe Entrance Score for entry. Check the course page or contact us to confirm.

If you're not quite ready to apply, we'd still love to hear from you.


Depending on your educational background, you'll need to complete three, six or twelve micro-units of study across a broad range of subject areas.

Each micro-unit takes around 50 hours to complete over a six-week La Trobe term and your learning is supported by our academic staff who are with you every step of the way.

Students undertaking the TPP usually study three micro-units per term to meet Centrelink study requirements, but you can study at your own pace and take fewer subjects per term.

If you feel you'd benefit from a longer program than the one you're qualified for, that's fine too – apply for the program that suits you.

TPP study plans

PlanYour previous studyWhat you need to complete in the TPP
Foundation You've completed Year 10, have not studied for many years, completed secondary school in another country, or simply want to access the full program. 12 micro-units: three micro-units per term, over four terms
Intermediate You've completed Year 11, completed secondary school in the last five years, or completed VCAL/VCE Vocational Major (VM). Six micro-units: three micro-units per term, over two terms
Advanced You've completed VCE (including unscored)/HSC less than three years ago or have strong professional experience in writing and critical thinking skills and confident with study. Three micro-units over one term

Depending on the study plan you choose, you'll study a series of micro-units designed to build your learning skills. Topics include:

  • academic culture, writing and presentations
  • thinking mathematically and mathematical communication
  • critical reasoning and inquiry
  • world-changing ideas in science.

For more details on the subjects in each TPP study plan, see the University Handbook:

The TPP is offered in terms and La Trobe's terms vary each year. In 2023, the TPP is offered in Term 2 and Term 4. See below for 2023 term dates or see La Trobe's academic calendar for future years.

Study periodDates
Term 2/Semester 127 February - 7 April 2023
Term 4/Semester 231 July - 08 September 2023

Your grade average will be used to calculate a La Trobe Entrance Score that you can use at La Trobe as an alternative to an ATAR.

You'll also need to meet any other entry requirements such as subject prerequisites* or additional criteria such the completion of the CASPer test for teaching courses.

You'll be able to apply for all undergraduate courses at La Trobe, with the exception of the following courses with special requirements:

  • Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours), (inc. Regional Entry), Bendigo
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical), Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga
  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, Online

*Participating in the TPP satisfies the study score of 25 in VCE English that you will see as a subject prerequisite for many courses. However, courses in other study areas, particularly in science and maths, may require other prerequisites. You can confirm subject prerequisites and other entry requirements on the course's web page or contact us to discuss your options. Please note that meeting minimum prerequisites does not guarantee an offer of a place. Entry into all La Trobe courses is based on competitive selection and there may be limited places available.

At La Trobe, we believe one of the best indicators of how you’ll succeed at uni is how well you do in our programs for secondary school students.

We’ve looked at the performance of students in our pathway programs to calculate a score associated with future performance in degree programs. This is the La Trobe Entrance Score that you can use as an alternative to an ATAR.

Once you receive your La Trobe Entrance Score, you can then access your dream course's Aspire ATAR, giving you a better chance of gaining entry to the course, subject to meeting its other entry requirements.

The Tertiary Preparation Program is taught online, and you can study at your own pace. Our academic staff are with you all the way to answer questions and provide feedback on your work to support your learning. You'll also get access to online orientation, Studiosity and the Learning Hub.

The Tertiary Preparation Program is completely free.

The aim of the TPP is to support your educational pathway into La Trobe. There are some selection guidelines for entry into the program. You must:

  • be over 18 years of age by 31 December in the year prior to commencing in the program, or 17 years of age with a Year 12 completion
  • be a domestic student – a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, a citizen of New Zealand, or a permanent humanitarian visa holder
  • have completed a minimum Year 10 at secondary school studies (or equivalent).

If you did not complete schooling in Australia, United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland you must hold one of the below*:

  • IELTS (Academic or General Training): 6 in each band; or
  • Occupational English Test (OET): B Pass in each band; or
  • Pearson (PTE Academic): overall average of 50 with at least 36 in each band; or
  • TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test): total score of 64, with at least 4 in Listening and Reading, and at least 14 in Writing and Speaking; or
  • Cambridge (CAE): 169 overall average with at least 154 in each band or
  • Cert IV in EAL (Further Study).

You'll need to provide proof of your highest educational attainment and/or English skills if you did not complete schooling in Australia, United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland.

* Applicants should note there may be further language requirements into courses after completion of the TPP for students that did not complete schooling in Australia, United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland. Visit Language requirements for more information.

Applications for the Term 2/Semester 1, 2023 are now closed. Applications for the Term 4/Semester 2, 2023 intake will open early in 2023

How to apply

  1. Read through the Tertiary Preparation Program How to Apply Guide [PDF 2.0 MB] to make sure you are familiar with all requirements for your application
  2. Prepare any supporting documentation, including any proof of your highest educational attainment and/or English skills if you did not complete schooling in Australia, United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland
  3. Once you're familiar with the process and meet all requirements, click the link below and follow the steps in the guide to help you apply.


Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive an outcome shortly after application dates have closed.

If you have any questions, please contact tep@latrobe.edu.au. Please be sure to include your full name and your most recent educational qualification including the year of completion/attempt.

Want to know more?

Contact our Future Students Centre on 1300 135 045