COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Gain a one-year university qualification while opening up your pathway into many JCU Bachelor degrees. The Diploma of Higher Education is recognised as a stand-alone qualification designed for students who don’t meet the entry requirements of a Bachelor degree.

Study a variety of introductory and first-year degree subjects, designed to help you build on core knowledge and foster skills of academic enquiry. You will enrol in a specific study plan created to suit your chosen major. Benefit from support staff dedicated to students of this degree and the award-winning JCU Learning Centre.

Receive the foundational skills and knowledge to enter your target Bachelor degree course. Graduates who successfully complete JCU’s Diploma of Higher Education meet the entry requirements necessary to enter into many JCU Bachelor degrees.

JCU students may be eligible for advanced standing or credit for some of the subjects completed as part of the diploma.

Career Opportunities

Develop the necessary skills to become a successful university student. Begin your dream career with a recognised qualification and pathway to your preferred bachelor degree.

The JCU Diploma of Higher Education is a pathway into university if you don’t have the academic entry requirements for your preferred undergraduate course. It also provides an example of what university study will be like prior to enrolling in a full degree.

Some subjects completed as part of this diploma may be eligible for credit towards a subsequent JCU undergraduate degree.

Major Structure

Students will be enrolled in set study plans which will allow them to articulate into their target degree. The study plans will allow for flexible enrolment options, involving a mix of core subjects (including CS1022 and CU1022), selected major and elective subjects. Study plans can be discussed with the Pathways team.


MA1022:03 Essential Maths

BM1111:03 Introduction to Health Sciences


Select 12 credit points of subjects from List 1

List 1

  • BM1011:03 Physiological Systems and Processes 1
  • BS1001:03 Introduction to Biological Processes or BZ1005:03 Introductory Ecology
  • BS1007:03 Introduction to Biodiversity or BZ1006:03 Diversity of Life
  • CH1020:03 Preparatory Chemistry
  • CU1010:03 Effective Writing
  • HS1003:03 Lifespan Development for Health A
  • HS1111:03 Communication for Nursing and Midwifery
  • HS1401:03 Health and Health Care in Australia
  • MA1020:03 Preparatory Mathematics
  • PC1004:03 Introduction to Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences 1
  • PH1001:03 Preparatory Physics
  • PY1101:03 Exploring Psychology: from Brain to Practice
  • PY1102:03 Exploring Psychology: from Perception to Reality
  • RH1002:03 Communication Skills for Health Professionals
  • RH1004:03 Foundations of Allied Health Professional Practice
  • SC1022:03 Essential Science
  • SL1001:03 Foundations of Speech Pathology
  • SP1001:03 Science and Practice of Sport and Exercise
  • SP1002:03 Sport and Exercise Nutrition
  • SS1010:03 Australian People: Indigeneity and Multiculturalism
  • WS1005:03 Human Rights and Social Justice

Delivery at Thursday Island will be in mixed attendance mode



Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
A$28,840.00 (US$ 21,424) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

21 February 2022, 25 July 2022


Smithfield Campus

14-88 McGregor Road,



4878, CAIRNS, Australia

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
A$28,840.00 (US$ 21,424) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

21 February 2022, 25 July 2022


James Cook University

Douglas campus,

1 James Cook Drive,



4814, TOWNSVILLE, Australia

Entry requirements

For international students

Students are required to complete academic qualification of Australia grade 12 or equivalent. Entry requirements may vary from country to country.

IELTS - 6.5 (no component lower than 6.0); TOEFL (internet based) - 86 (no component less than 21); Pearson (PTE Academic) - 58 (no component less than 54); C1 Advanced / C2 Proficiency: 176 (no component less than 169).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About James Cook University

James Cook University (JCU) is ranked among the top 2% of universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2020.

  • Ranked in the top 250 of universities in the world
  • Rated as “world-class or better” in 83% areas of research
  • Top 100 universities in the world for UN SDG
  • Rated 5 stars for employment, student support and skills