The USC Partner's Pathway is an opportunity to secure a conditional offer at the University of Adelaide on the basis of academic achievement within the school and the demonstration of behaviours and attitudes that support success in tertiary studies before the final examination period in Year 12.

Students who follow the Partner's Pathway are expected to complete SACE and secure a competitive ATAR, but a course of study at the University of Adelaide is based upon a recommendation from the school Principal to the Vice Chancellor. The recommendation is made on the basis of a number of factors including:

  • Strong academic progress in a program of study leading to SACE
  • The study of five Stage 2 subjects apart from the Research Project
  • An appropriate choice of subjects for a given tertiary pathway
  • A positive attitude to learning
  • The development of those qualities required of an independent learner
  • Punctuality, organisation and participation.

Neither University Senior College nor the University of Adelaide expects 'perfection'. What is expected is that individuals prioritise their studies and they demonstrate the capacity to make positive changes to manage their learning. The assessment process is conducted during the first semester of Year 12 and a final recommendation is made after the school's midyear exams in July. On the basis of the school recommendation the University of Adelaide provides USC students with a place for the following year.

Our flexible timetable allows for students to undertake study at both Year 11 and 12. Students who may have been accelerated in their previous schools may be able to undertake study at the Year 12 level while in Year 11. For example, a number of students have taken Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics, Biology and English during their Year 11.

The University of Adelaide offers access to some of its first year courses to students who have completed some Year 12 subjects through its Accelerated Headstart Program. Under this program, students undertake university subjects and subsequently, if they enrol in a relevant course at the University, will be given credit towards their degree.

USC is ideally situated to take advantage of the Headstart program, with students already on campus and operating on the same timetable. Currently, we have students undertaking study of first year Mathematics, Biology and English. The Headstart program has been extended to the Headstart Studies Program, in which students can access certain courses and count them towards their ATAR.