Top Universities in Australia Accepting Backlogs in 2024


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Anand Patinge

Lead, Brand

You want to study in Australia. But you’re also worried that your academic performance is going to get in the way of that. Luckily, there are many Australian universities accepting backlogs.

Before we proceed, here’s a gist of what you’re going to learn through this article:

  • What are backlogs?
  • Which Australian universities accept backlogs?
  • How many backlogs does each university accept?
  • What is a backlog certificate?
  • What does a backlog certificate entail?
  • Do backlogs affect your chances of getting your visa approved?
  • What are some tips to clear backlogs?
  • Which other countries accept backlogs?

So, what’s a backlog? Which are the Australian universities accepting backlogs?

Just for explanation’s sake, a backlog is created when you’re not able to clear an exam on the first attempt. Before we dive into the list of Australian universities accepting backlogs, let’s check out the following pointers about backlogs:

  • Most countries, except Australia and Germany, calculate backlogs depending on the number of subjects you’ve failed.
  • In Australia and Germany, backlogs are calculated based on the number of attempts you have taken to crack an exam. So if you cleared your math exam on the 4th attempt, then you have 4 backlogs and not 1.
  • Upon course completion, you’ll have to get in touch with your university authorities to give you a backlog certificate. This certificate would mention the number of backlogs you’ve got.

But, is a backlog certificate necessary for masters in Australia? Find out below.

So, what’s a backlog? Which are the Australian universities accepting backlogs

Not all universities ask for a backlog certificate

Is a backlog certificate necessary for masters in Australia? Not every university asks for it. But many prestigious universities do prefer accepting students with a clear academic record.

So what is a backlog certificate? This certificate states details of the applicant’s backlogs and is issued by the applicant’s university. It is the same college that has prepared your academic transcripts that must also issue a backlog certificate. The certificate would include details such as: 

  • Name of subjects
  • Number of backlogs
  • Semester information
  • Number of attempts
  • Exams conducted dates
  • Exams cleared on dates

Do note that no university can accept a student who has active backlogs.

18 Australian universities accepting backlogs

18 Australian universities accepting backlogs

Here are the following Australian universities accepting backlogs, along with the number of backlogs they accept.

Name of University No. of backlogs
Queensland University 0-5 backlogs
Edith Cowan University 10–15 backlogs
Monash University 0-5 backlogs
University of Melbourne 0-5 backlogs
Murdoch University 15+ backlogs
University of Sydney 0-5 backlogs
Curtin University 5-10 backlogs
Central Queensland 15+ backlogs
La Trobe University 10–15 backlogs
University of Southern Queensland 15+ backlogs
University of Wollongong 15+ backlogs
Flinders University 5-10 backlogs
Federation University 15+ backlogs
University of Technology Sydney 10–15 backlogs
Charles Sturt University 15+ backlogs
University of Newcastle 15+ backlogs
James Cook University 15+ backlogs
University of South Australia 15+ backlogs

Suggested Read: Do backlogs and gap years affect your college application?

Backlogs and visa

Now that you know of the Australian universities accepting backlogs, let’s see whether backlogs affect the chances of your visa getting approved.

Although your backlog may not directly impact visa approval, it may indirectly influence it. How?

Having a backlog could affect your chances of getting accepted into a particular university. And your visa will be granted only after receiving university admission. Apart from this letter of acceptance, you would of course also have to show proof of financial capability. 

Suggested Read: Step-by-step guide to visa and entry requirements.

If you’re skeptical about being able to manage finances when you’re abroad, rest assured knowing that FundRight  can help you find the ‘right’ loan.
Backlogs and visa

Tips to clear backlogs

Clearing a backlog can lead students into panic mode. With these tips, you could clear your backlog with ease.

  1. Remain calm: It’s natural to want to beat yourself up for not clearing an exam. However, you’re only going to exhaust yourself this way mentally. Stay focused on the present situation, tell yourself that you can do this, take a few deep breaths, and take control of your mind.
  2. Create a study schedule: By this, we mean a realistic one. Sometimes you might get ahead of yourself and bite off more than you can chew. Ensure you set realistic goals so that you can achieve them. We recommend taking short breaks between study sessions so you don’t burn yourself out. Schedule your sessions so that you don’t study longer than 2 hours at a stretch.
  3. Stay organized: Your surroundings often reflect your state of mind and vice versa. If you create a more organized environment for yourself, you genuinely feel like studying as well. Keep every study material in one place so you don’t waste time looking for them when you should be studying.
  4. Reach out to your teacher: Your teacher could give you some pointers and tips so you can ace your test. There’s no shame in reaching out for help when you really need it!
  5. Find a quiet study space: Look for a distraction-free study environment. It’s easy to get caught up with other things when you’re studying a subject you’re not interested in. But we know this could really get in the way of you clearing your backlog.
  6. Keep your future in mind while studying: Although many Australian universities accept backlogs, what if your dream university hesitates to accept you because of your academic record? Keep this in mind so you can clear your exam on the second attempt.
    SelectRight can help you find the right university.
    Tips to clear backlogs
  1. Figure out how you learn best: Some learn best visually, while some find it helpful to ‘listen’ to their notes. You could create diagrams or notecards, read directly from a book, or listen via audio files; whatever works for you!
  2. Remain motivated: You might get overwhelmed when you study so much. And with the pressure of clearing a backlog, you might find it challenging to stay motivated. Do whatever you can to keep up the good spirit. You could get a tutor, study as a group, and exercise to improve your mood.

Other countries that accept backlogs

Now that you know of some Australian universities accepting backlogs, and have your answers to questions like “Is a backlog certificate necessary for masters in Australia?”, let’s look at a few more countries that accept backlogs.

Before we dive in, relax, and know that despite your backlogs, you can still get accepted into universities belonging to other countries apart from Australia as well.

  1. Canada

In Canada, you can find universities accepting at least 5 backlogs along with an average of at least 70% in your previous study examinations.

If you’re applying for PG degree programs, universities may accept 7-8 backlogs, along with an average of at least 65% in your bachelors degree. If you have more than 12 backlogs, you could apply for PG diploma programs instead.

  1. New Zealand

New Zealand’s universities usually accept a maximum of 5 backlogs. Although, some universities may accept students with more than 10-15 backlogs as well. To compensate for your backlogs, you could score well in your IELTS and show proof of extracurricular activities you’ve participated in.

  1. The US

The universities in the US tend to be more strict. They usually prefer students who don’t have any backlogs. However, they do make exceptions sometimes and may accept it if you have a maximum of 5 backlogs. But this alone won’t do. You must also have a really good GRE score that ranges between 315-325 to compensate.

  1. The UK

You’ll be happy to know that UK universities are absolutely fine accepting students with even 15 backlogs. But, an overall band of 6 in your IELTS exam is essential.

  1. Ireland

Ireland’s universities tend to be strict about these things. They usually accept students with a maximum of 4-5 backlogs, and some may even just accept 2-3 backlogs.

You don’t have to worry about your visa getting rejected on these grounds. As long as your university has accepted you, you can go ahead and continue with your university application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: How do you explain a backlog in your Statement of Purpose?

Answer: Firstly, make sure you’re honest. Explain why the backlog happened and how you worked to clear it. Then, highlight your active participation in extracurricular activities, along with projects you’ve performed well at. End your SOP by explaining how serious you are about your academic goals.

Question 2: Is absenteeism considered to be a backlog?

Answer: No, it isn’t. However, make sure your institute has marked an ‘Absent’ in the score column next to the exam you were absent for. If they mark a ‘Zero’ instead, that would be considered a backlog.

Question 3: Do backlogs affect placements?

Answer: Not at all. Backlogs are common, but if the interviewing companies intimidate you and ask you questions particularly revolving around backlogs, be confident in your answer and state all the qualities that make you the unique, hard-working person you are.

Question 4: How do I get a backlog certificate from my university?

Answer: It’s not a long process. You might just have to submit a written letter requesting your institute for the certificate.

Question 5: Which countries accept most backlogs?

Answer: Although there are many Australian universities accepting backlogs, universities in the UK and New Zealand are seen to be more lenient with students who have backlogs.

Picture of Anand Patinge

Anand Patinge

A master storyteller, Anand has enriched multiple entities with captivating designs, compelling messaging, and impactful media campaigns. Beyond work, you can find him feeding stray dogs, exploring art, and watching insiprational documentaries.

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