The Rural Access Scheme supports applicants from Australian rural and regional areas by boosting their entry score for a number of programs.

Rural areas of Australia often have restricted or limited access to educational opportunities, resources and health services compared with those available in cities or larger towns.

To help address these challenges, and if eligible, two adjustments will be added onto your entry rank for the following programs:

  • Doctor of Medicine (Provisional Entry)
  • Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (including all related dual programs)
  • Bachelor of Midwifery
  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Bachelor of Nursing / Bachelor of Midwifery
  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours).

Please note that adjustments are not added onto OP scores. Each OP score is converted to an entry rank – and adjustments are added to these.

Students are then assessed based on their new rank.

You still have to meet all entry requirements for each program you apply for.

Who is eligible

To be considered a student from a rural background, you must have lived in a geographic region classified as –

  • Remoteness Area 2 (RA2)
  • Remoteness Area 3 (RA3)
  • Remoteness Area 4 (RA4)
  • Remoteness Area 5 (RA5) –

for at least five consecutive years, or for 10 years cumulatively.

Remoteness Areas are defined by the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) system.

There is a searchable map of Australia that allows you to view the ASGC Remoteness Area classification of the region where you live. 

It doesn't matter when you lived in one of these areas – you are eligible for any period of your life (i.e. from birth on).

A rural residential property must have been your principal home address. Holiday homes, secondary residences and investment properties don't qualify.

Students who attended boarding school are allowed to use their family's primary residence as their qualifying address.

Documentation required

You will need to provide documentary evidence that proves your rural background.

Acceptable supporting evidence might include:

  • School reports that show your residential address.
  • University transcripts that show your residential address.
  • Signed official letters on original letterhead from a school, university or workplace that show your residential address.
  • Other documents that prove the duration of your residency, such as utility invoices, rates notices, or bank statements that show your address at the time of issue. These proof of residency documents can be in your parents' names.

How to apply

Applications for the Rural Access Scheme are administered by QTAC.

When you list a relevant program as a preference on your QTAC application, QTAC will contact you about applying for the Rural Access Scheme.

QTAC will ask you to check your eligibility and your ASGC Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA) category. You will then have to submit a cover sheet and your supporting documentation.

If approved, adjustment factors will be automatically applied to all relevant UQ preferences. Contact QTAC for more information.

Additional information for Doctor of Medicine (Provisional Entry) applicants

If you're applying for the Doctor of Medicine as a provisional entry applicant, you are also eligible for the Rural Background Sub-quota, along with the Rural Access Scheme.

Each year, 28 per cent of domestic places in the MD are allocated to applicants from an Australian rural background.

This means that rural applicants compete against other rural applicants for a place in the MD – rather than against students from major cities.

For more information, see the Rural Background Sub-quota page.

Graduation hat icon

Learn to see the potential of the world. Gain the knowledge to make it better.

Need help button