What is the Tertiary Orientation Program?

The Tertiary Orientation Program is an advanced course that runs over five weeks. It helps you strengthen your English language and communication skills while learning more about the Australian university experience ahead of you.  

Created specifically for students with a full offer to UNSW or with an IELTS of 6.5, this program gives you an early taste of what university life is like in Sydney. 

In addition to practical skills such as using academic search tools and the UNSW portal, you’ll learn all about life at university, meeting fellow students and finding out more about clubs and societies. 


January, April, August


5 weeks


First Year of your chosen UNSW degree

Delivery mode




Who is this program for?

Our Tertiary Orientation Program has been designed specifically for international students who have received a full offer from UNSW Sydney or hold a minimum 6.5 IELTS score.  

The program provides the support you need to improve your confidence and familiarise yourself with UNSW and future faculty before you start at UNSW. You’ll become more familiar with the UNSW Sydney community, meet fellow students and work in groups, learn about how to use and reference research sources, and gain a better understanding of different types of assignments, including essays and presentations. At the end, you’ll be better prepared to start your UNSW degree. 

The course concludes with participation in O week just before your first Term at UNSW begins. 

Why study with UNSW College?

A faster way to improve

The Tertiary Orientation Program is only 5 weeks long. That means you’ll be ready to continue your learning journey at UNSW College and beyond in less than three months.

Specially designed prepare you for what’s next

The Tertiary Orientation Program course is built to prepare you for the next step in your journey to university. You’ll be taught by highly qualified and experienced teachers who know the keys to success, in small classes so you get the support you need.

Your future at UNSW

The Tertiary Orientation Program is designed to help support you in your first semester at UNSW. UNSW Sydney is a top 20 university with the best resources available to help you build a great career and a bright future.

This five-week program leads right up to starting your First Year at UNSW and provides a great head start on your learning journey. Less than two weeks after you finish your program, you will start your degree.

  • Top 20

    QS World University Rankings, 2024.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

What you'll learn

The Tertiary Orientation Program helps you build upon your advanced English skills while you get comfortable with living and learning at UNSW Sydney. Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll have the practical tools you need to get the most out of your academic life inside and outside the classroom. 

This course aims to help you: 

  • Gain a better understanding of learning in an Australia university 
  • Connect and collaborate with your peers 
  • Use and reference research resources appropriately 
  • Develop critical evaluation skills 
  • Understand the features and structure of effective essays and presentations 
  • Understand what lecturers expect from you 

You’ll learn from experienced teachers who will help prepare you for the learning journey ahead. By the end of this program, you’ll be able to participate in all aspects of the Australian academic environment confidently and effectively. 

Entry requirements

The Tertiary Orientation Program is designed for international students who have received a full offer from UNSW Sydney or have an IELTS of at least 6.5.  

You will be placed in an appropriate class based on a test score under the following conditions: 

  1. IELTS, TOEFL and PTE tests must have been taken within 12 months of the enrolment date. 
  2. If you have variations in test subscores, you may be assessed individually for placement and may require additional weeks of study. 
  3. UNSW College reserves the right to require you to undertake our placement test to confirm appropriate course placement. 
  4. UNSW College reserves the right to make changes to this course placement guide without notice. 
  5. Progression into the next Academic English Program depends on your achievement in course assessments. You may progress more quickly or slowly than the indication in weeks provided in this table. 
  6. UNSW College also accepts Cambridge Advanced English (CAE). 

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.

Tertiary Orienation Program fees

2023 tuition fees

A$610 per week

2024 tuition fees

A$630 per week

Weeks 2023 tuition fees 2024 tuition fees
5 weeks A$3,050 A$3,150

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?

At UNSW College, every application we receive is carefully considered. When you are ready to join us, click the button below – or visit how to apply for a step-by-step guide.

Why study with UNSW College?

  • Prepare to thrive at a global top 20 university

    The Tertiary Orientation Program gives you solid foundations to start your degree at UNSW Sydney.

  • Support as you learn

    Designed for international students like you, you can reinforce your already advanced skills to take the next step with confidence.

  • Directly connected to UNSW

    The program is accredited by UNSW Sydney and provides full access to UNSW’s world-class libraries, clubs and societies.

Yin Ziqi UEEC student from China
By doing this English Language Course I have learnt the skills needed for success in my future studies, such as writing English essays, emails, letters and preparing presentations.

Yin Ziqi

UNSW College student

Diploma & Foundation Studies
UNSW Global Pty Limited ABN 62 086 418 582 trading as UNSW College™ currently delivers Diplomas and Foundation Studies on behalf of UNSW Sydney - CRICOS Provider Code 00098G; UNSW Sydney TEQSA Provider ID: PRV12055 (Australian University).

From 6 May 2024 and 3 June 2024 respectively, UNSW College™ will commence delivery of Diplomas and Foundation Studies under its own CRICOS Provider Code - 01020K and TEQSA Provider ID: PRV13020 (Institute of Higher Education).

From 15 January 2024, UNSW College™ will commence delivery of the Pre-Masters Program under CRICOS Provider Code 01020K and TEQSA Provider ID: PRV13020 (Institute of Higher Education).

Academic English
UNSW College™ delivers Academic English under CRICOS Provider code 01020K. See unswcollege.edu.au/esos for more information. © 2023 UNSW Global Pty Limited

ABN: 62 086 418 582