Deakin Accelerate

Deakin Accelerate is a distinctive VCE extension studies program. If you’re a high achieving VCE student, you’ll complete two first-year university units alongside your Year 12 studies. Accelerate gives you a head start into your future university studies and a potential boost to your ATAR.

Benefits of Deakin Accelerate

If you are considering completing a fifth or sixth subject in Year 12, why not make it a Deakin Accelerate unit. You get all the same benefits of a fifth or sixth subject contributing to your ATAR, but you can also gain university credit, and reduce the cost of your future degree.

Boost your ATAR

Successful completion of the two Accelerate units can contribute as a fifth or sixth subject in the calculation of your ATAR. You can achieve between 3 and 5 increment points, which will be added onto your ATAR aggregate.

Average mark for Accelerate unitsATAR aggregate contributionEquivalent VCE study score
90 or more5.0 points50
80-894.5 points45
70-794.0 points40
60-693.5 points35
50-593.0 points30

Study on campus or online

Attending a class on campus may not be convenient for you, or may not fit in with your VCE timetable. We get that, and that’s why you can choose to study either on campus, online or a blend of both.

Studying on campus is a great way to immerse yourself in university life. Whether you choose to study at Melbourne Burwood Campus, Geelong Waterfront Campus or Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, you will attend seminars and tutorials in person during the day with other first-year university students. You can visit the library for some quiet study time, or catch up with your fellow students at one of the many on-campus cafes.

If you choose to study online, your classes, seminars and assignments will be delivered to you via Deakin's Cloud Campus – the University’s innovative and interactive learning environment. Not only will all your resources be instantly accessible, but you’ll also communicate and collaborate with your academics and other students online in real time.

Earn university credit

If your Accelerate units are related to the Deakin course you enrol in after you graduate secondary school, you’ll gain credit. That’s two units ticked off your degree.

Even if your Deakin course is unrelated to your Accelerate units, in many cases you’ll still be able to gain credit by using those units as electives. This means you can lighten your first-year study load or fast-track your degree by going straight into second-year units.

If you enrol at another university you may still be eligible for credit, but this is subject to the requirements of the institution and its courses.

Study for free

You won’t have to pay any tuition fees as part of the Accelerate program. That means you’ll complete two university units for free, so your future degree will cost you less.

The only cost you may incur is if you need textbooks for your particular study area.

Ease your transition to university

Being part of the Accelerate program introduces you to university life. Taking on university units while still at school gives you an exceptional opportunity to experience university ahead of your peers.

Whether you decide to study on campus, or online, you'll become familiar with university teaching and learning styles, so when it comes to being a full-time student, you'll already know how you learn best.

Stand out from the crowd

As a high-achieving student in a rewarding and challenging program, your resume will have a distinctive edge over others.

Listing this achievement highlights your commitment to success and differentiates you from your VCE peers. It demonstrates your eagerness to learn and ability to commit yourself to a program that demands advanced time management and maturity.

About Deakin Accelerate

Fitting in with your VCE

You will study two first-year university units, one in Trimester 1 (March–June) and one in Trimester 2 (July–October). We know you'll have begun your VCE studies before starting your university units, and that’s why you can choose to study on campus, or online, whichever suits you best.

If you choose to study on campus, you'll attend seminars and tutorials during the day and we'll do our best to offer you a timetable that fits around your VCE classes. If studying online is more your thing, then you can access online seminars and participate in online discussions and activities in your free classes at school, or after hours.

When it comes to university exam periods, you'll find these don’t typically overlap with your VCE exams, so you should have plenty to time to study for both.

An example of Deakin Trimesters vs School Terms:


The Accelerate program is for students who are:

  • high-achievers with above-average Year 11 results
  • self-starters who can work independently
  • motivated to achieve a higher ATAR score
  • keen to make a head-start on their university degree.

To be considered for the program, you'll need to submit your completed application by the application closing date. Your application must include:

  • your Year 11 VASS statement (your school can provide this)
  • a recommendation from your school
  • approval from your school principal
  • permission from a parent or guardian
  • a personal statement outlining your motivation to participate in the program.

An application pack including an application template and guide will be available when applications open.


Some Accelerate units will require you to complete particular VCE Units 3 and 4 to be eligible for the program. For units with prerequisite units, you must be completing these prerequisites while you are in Year 11, or you may complete them in Year 12 concurrently, while studying your Accelerate units. Not all units have prerequisites, but the ones that do will be directly related to your Accelerate study area.

Prerequisite units are listed for each study area in the Available Study Areas.


You won’t have to pay any tuition fees as part of this program. The only cost you may incur is if you need textbooks. Generally materials are provided online via Deakin's Cloud Campus, so you can access lectures and other materials via the web, even if you're studying on campus.

Unit textbook requirements are available once you are enrolled in the program.

Selection and enrolment

Selection for the Accelerate program is undertaken from late December to early January and is conducted by the Deakin Student Admissions (DSA) team in conjunction with academic staff.

Some study areas do have caps on the number of places available each year. These caps are defined by each faculty, however there are usually between 25 and 30 places available in each study area. If applications for a study area exceed the cap, then applicants will be ranked based on the information provided in your application. To give you the best opportunity to be part of the program, you can select up to three study areas in order of preference. This means if you are not offered your first preference, you may be offered your second or third preference.

If you are successful in receiving an offer, you will be sent an email with a letter of offer and enrolment information to the email address you supplied in your application. You will receive this while on school holidays in January, so please make sure you have access to your email account during the break.

You will be required to accept your offer and enrol online usually within one week of receiving your offer. You can access the Deakin site to accept your offer and enrol from anywhere in the world. Once enrolled, you will then be invited to attend the Accelerate Orientation, held in late February, to prepare you for your university studies.


We want you to succeed in your VCE and Accelerate units.

To help you do this we have a dedicated team available to support you, and our single point of contact makes it quick and easy for you to get advice and guidance.

We understand studying at university is quite different to studying in secondary school, so all Accelerate students have full access to Deakin’s study support services, where you can improve your general study skills or get help on a tricky assignment, including referencing. Plus, you’ll have full access to the Deakin library, both on campus and online, which can help you with your university and VCE studies.

There may be times when your VCE studies and your Accelerate studies have assignments or exams that clash. Your VCE always takes priority, so if you find yourself with competing deadlines, make sure you talk to us as soon as you are aware of an issue, because we can help.

As an Accelerate student, you will get to attend an Orientation specifically for Accelerate students, to familiarise you with your university studies, and introduce you to the teaching academics. It’s a great day on campus, and the ideal way to begin your time at university.

Available study areas

Deakin offers a selection of VCE higher education subjects that have been approved by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to offer to VCE students:

  • accounting
  • business analytics
  • criminology
  • disability, diversity and inclusion
  • economics
  • health practice and research
  • journalism
  • law
  • management
  • marketing
  • psychological science
  • robotics and data science

Student testimonials

Anabelle Weinberg

2016 Accelerate Student – Criminology
Current Deakin Student – Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Laws

“I was able to study two units of Criminology under the Accelerate Program. This was flexible and easy to manage with the demands of Year 12 due to the accessibility of studying online. I was able to complete tasks, listen to lectures and be involved in seminars at times that suited my schedule. Such an experience has given me numerous skills that have benefitted my transition to full-time university studies! This includes academic writing and even how to reference my work correctly. By being exposed to university life, I feel as though I was more prepared than other students and able to make a sound decision on what course I wanted to pursue. I have also been able to continue my studies in Criminology. The Accelerate Program has made me a better student and allowed me to push my academic limits!”

Jaala Davis

2016 Deakin Accelerate Student – Psychology
Current Deakin Student – Bachelor of Forensic Science

“I absolutely loved being a part of the Accelerate program, and actually found it much more enjoyable than Year 12. You are seen as a fully independent student once you enter university and having that experience made me a more independent learner in my Year 12 subjects as well, which also helped my study habits come end of year exams. I think the most important thing for me was at the Deakin Accelerate Graduation, standing there with my certificate, remembering how well I did in my units. I knew in that moment that I was ready to be a full time university student at Deakin and that I had proven to myself I was capable of doing well in university. To this day it is a reminder to study hard and do well in my Forensic Science degree, because I know I have the ability to do it.”

Daimon Smith

2016 Accelerate Student – Criminology
Current Deakin Student – Bachelor of Information Systems

“Accelerate helped me develop my critical thinking skills and gave me access to a multitude of resources that actually benefited my VCE subjects too. As I studied on campus, it helped me navigate my way around uni life and prepared me for my first year of university in a way that nothing else can.”

Chloe Potter

2016 Accelerate Student – Health Practice and Research
Current Deakin Student – Bachelor of Biomedical Science

“I completed the accelerate program in Year 12 because I wanted to put myself ahead of others and gain experience that others wouldn't have. Through completing the accelerate program, it showed an insight to Deakin and what life here is like. I studied mainly online, which is different to coming on campus, however I did find my unit chairs to be helpful, as they provided many different opportunities to be able to understand the content for online students. I benefitted from the program by gaining university experience at a high school level, which helped me understand the difference between studying in secondary school and university, whilst also preparing me to be a full-time university student.”

Accelerate information evening

Attend one of our information evenings to find out more about Accelerate, meet the teaching academics and hear from current students in the program.

Register here

Warrnambool CampusGeelong Waurn Ponds CampusMelbourne Burwood Campus
Tuesday 12 September
Tuesday 19 September
Thursday 21 September

How to apply

All applications must be submitted via the online application portal.

Apply online

Applications for 2018 will open on 1 August 2017.

An application pack to guide you through completing your application will be available at this time.

Contact us

For more information about Deakin Accelerate, please get in touch using our online enquiry form.

Submit an enquiry