NCPS - Frequently Asked Questions


Applying and Enrolling

How do I apply?

To apply, simply complete the online application form and a course advisor will be in touch within 48 hours to finalise your application. For assistance, contact our course advisors at information@ncps.edu.au or 1800 783 661.

If you are a current Year 12 student, please apply through VTAC by listing the NCPS Bachelor of Criminology and Justice as one of your course preferences (VTAC course code 9130191302). Go to www.vtac.edu.au.

When should I apply?

We recommend submitting your application well before the beginning of the trimester to avoid missing out. Applications generally close one week into the start of trimester, but will only be accepted if places are still available. For Year 12 students applying through VTAC, the VTAC system opens at the beginning of August each year. This is where you add the NCPS Bachelor of Criminology and Justice as one of your course preferences. For specific VTAC opening and closing dates go to www.vtac.edu.au/dates.html.

For assistance, contact our course advisors at information@ncps.edu.au or 1800 783 661.

When do classes start?

NCPS classes commence 3 times per year in February, June and September. To view the next available start date go to www.ncps.edu.au/future-student/key-dates/.

I didn't finish Year 12. Can I still apply?

Yes. If you didn't complete Year 12, selection can be based on a range of criteria, including some or all of the following:

  • Any tertiary courses, complete or incomplete (in this case a tertiary course means a diploma level course or above), and the results received in the completed units;
  • The NCPS personal statement. This is made up of three questions designed to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate why you would like to study at NCPS and your understanding of the knowledge and skills needed for the completion of a degree qualification. It will also allow you to demonstrate your writing ability; 
  • Selection can also be based on relevant work and/or life experience.
What are the subject pre-requisites for Year 12 students?

There are no specific subject pre-requisites, however students need to have completed VCE English, Literature or ESL (English Second Language) and obtained a study score of 25 or above. We do recommend choosing VCE Psychology and Legal Studies because these subjects provide a useful foundation for the course and would most likely be enjoyable for students with an interest in Criminology and Justice.

Why don't you use ATAR scores?

ATAR scores are scaled up or down depending on the subjects you complete.  Being a small institution, NCPS are able to take the time to look at each VTAC application on an individual basis.  The selection team at NCPS looks at individual subject scores Year 12 students receive for each subject. However, keep in mind that not having a specific ATAR requirement does not mean every student is eligible for entry - Year 12 students need to achieve a study score of at least 25 in English, ESL (English Second Language) or Literature to be considered for selection.

Can I defer my studies?

Yes. NCPS enrolled students can defer their studies for up to 12 months. If you would like to defer prior to starting the course you must first enrol to secure your place, then complete the appropriate deferral forms found on the Student Portal.

Can I transfer from another institution or university to NCPS?

Yes. A number of students study at NCPS after transferring from other institutions, and in some cases receive credits for the units they've already completed. If you are interested in applying for credit or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), contact our course advisors at information@ncps.edu.au or 1800 783 661.

Courses and Studying

What's involved on Orientation Day?

Orientation Day is usually held on the Thursday of the week prior to classes starting. Although it is not compulsory, all new students are strongly encouraged to attend.

The NCPS orientation is about providing you with useful information and advice to make a smooth transition into tertiary study. On the day you just need to bring a pen and paper, along with some photo ID to have your student card created. For more information go to www.ncps.edu.au/future-student/orientation/.

How many hours of class do I need to attend per week?

The amount of hours you spend in the classroom will depend on the number of units you are enrolled in. Each NCPS unit has 3 contact hours of study per week, either in the classroom or via online delivery. So if you are enrolled in 1 unit you'll have 3 contact hours, 2 units 6 contact hours etc. You will also need to undertake additional study in your own time, with a useful rule of thumb being 2 hours of study for every 1 hour of class time.

How many units do I need to do to complete the degree?

To complete the Bachelor of Criminology and Justice you are required to successfully pass 24 units of study (i.e. subjects).  18 of these units are compulsory and must be completed, while the other 6 are electives which you can choose yourself based on your areas of interest and career direction.

Does NCPS offer Student Placement?

In one of your final trimesters of study you will complete the unit ‘Practicum’. The practicum unit involves 75 hours of work placement, then once back in the classroom it focuses on job readiness, interview skills where you will be required to give a presentation on your experience, as well as submitting a written report. Placements allow you to practise your skills in a work environment, meet professionals working in the industry, build your professional network, and potentially meet referees to add to your resume before you graduate.

Will I be able to work while studying?

Yes. Most of our students are able to study and also be in paid employment. If you choose to work full-time, your best option is the flexibility of online study as most on-campus classes are held during the day. It is also recommended that you study part-time if you choose to work full-time to help manage the load.

NCPS is quite flexible with study loads, meaning that each trimester you can change your study load to best suit your own circumstances. You may find that in some trimesters you have more time and would like to take on a full-time study with 4 units, however if you have a lot going on in your work and personal life you can decrease your study load to 1, 2 or 3 units. You can manage these changes yourself via the student portal. Our Course Coordinator is also available to work with you to help ensure your study/work load is manageable.

What's involved in online study?

At NCPS, you can study on campus, online or both (mixed-mode). Regardless of the mode of delivery, our units and modules use the same curriculum and trimester structure. For online students, the online class space allows students to study when and where it is convenient to them.  The class space is where students connect with each other and their teacher through tools such as discussion forums and virtual classrooms.  All materials are available in the online class space including readings and written content, lecture recordings, activities and instructions. For further information regarding online learning go to www.ncps.edu.au/future-student/online-study.

When will I have access to my online class space?

As soon as you are enrolled you can access the Information and Resources page of the Student Portal to view NCPS policies, how-to guides and general learning resources. You will be able to access your online class space for each individual unit on the Thursday before classes start. In this space you will be able to see:

  • The classes you are enrolled in
  • The unit guides which contain information on what you will learn in the unit and how you will be assessed
  • Details about the first week of classes (as provided by some teachers)
What will I need to be able to study online?

To be able to study online, there is some equipment you need to ensure you achieve the best learning experience. You will need a strong internet connection capable of streaming videos and lecture recordings, and to participate in the virtual classroom you will need a headset (microphone and headphones). A web camera is not essential but it can enhance your learning experience.

How do I graduate?

The College holds a graduation ceremony once a year in May. Applications to graduate are open between December and February of each year and all students must complete this online application form in order to be deemed eligible to graduate. Once you have been deemed eligible to graduate you will then be invited to attend the ceremony.

Career Outcomes

What job opportunities are there in the current job market?

Job opportunities will depend on your chosen course of study and the industry you intend to work in. Detailed information on different sectors is available on the Government’s Job Outlook website.

The NCPS degree is designed to prepare you for the workforce with a strong practical focus, work placement to help you build industry skills and contacts, and teachers who are practitioners. Our alumni are employed in a wide range of jobs and industries. However a qualification is not a guarantee of a job, and networking and proactive job search is required.

What jobs can I apply for once I have completed my degree?

You can gain employment in a range of occupations and develop careers in areas such as policing and law enforcement, investigations, customs, para-legal work, court administration, youth justice, community services, corrections and much more. The NCPS degree is widely recognised by professional agencies and major employers within the justice and criminology industry.

Our Bachelor of Criminology and Justice may also be used to transition into other university courses such as law, forensics, counter terrorism, criminology and psychology - in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. You may even be able to receive credit for various units you have completed with NCPS, allowing you to significantly reduce time taken to complete subsequent degrees.

What salary will I get when I graduate?

This will depend on your work experience, qualifications, and the position and level of the job. You can find more detailed information on salaries on the Government’s Job Outlook website. Salaries for new graduates within the justice and criminology industry usually range anywhere from $40,000 to $55,000 per annum.

What qualification do I get on completion?

After completion of the NCPS degree you will hold a Bachelor of Criminology and Justice.

A bachelor degree, also referred to as an undergraduate degree, is the first university level qualification students receive. As the job market becomes more competitive, having a recognised tertiary qualification will help you stand out as an attractive candidate to potential employers.

Does this help me get into the police force?

Although it is not a requirement for students to gain any post secondary education to enter the police force, a Bachelor degree will help you stand out from other applicants and gives you skills and knowledge that will be invaluable through the recruitment and initial training period. NCPS has a great relationship with Victoria Police, with a Senior Sergeant on our teaching staff and many of our students undertaking their work placement with the Victoria Police. NCPS are also involved in a program in conjunction with Victoria Police where  students do volunteer work at the Police Academy by playing the role of offenders in training scenarios with new recruits. This gives our students valuable insight into police training and is a great opportunity to start making industry contacts. Once in the Police force, having a Bachelor degree will also make you an excellent candidate for promotion and progression through the ranks.  Students can find out more about the police recruitment process at www.policecareer.vic.gov.au/

I want to be in customs and border patrol. Can this course help me get into that area?

Australian Customs and Border Protection is extremely competitive to get into, so having an NCPS Bachelor of Criminology and Justice will help you stand out from other candidates. At NCPS we teach a range of units related to Customs and Border Security, including;

  • Transnational Crime - considers organised crime, illegal trades and trafficking such as drugs, arms, and people
  • Federal Criminal Law - examines federal level laws and policies and the functions of national agencies including Customs and Border Protection
  • Drugs and Crime - covers issues relating to illicit drugs in society on a domestic and international level
  • Terrorism and Society - analyses terrorism and its related issues that impact both domestically and globally
  • These units are most closely linked with the work undertaken within customs, however all NCPS units will give you the knowledge to prepare you for work in the Criminal Justice sector. 
  • For example:
  • Working in a law enforcement agency such as customs will require you to have sound knowledge of the law to know when it is being broken, so law units are essential. 
  • Working within the community requires good judgement and sound decision making, so that's where units like Ethics and Cultural Diversity will help you think critically and objectively.
I want to do something in Forensics. Can this course help me get into that area?

Forensics is generally split into two fields - Psychology or Science-based forensics. NCPS units covering forensics from a psychological point of view include Forensic Psychology and Case Management.
To become a Forensic Psychologist, students can complete our Bachelor of Criminology and Justice and then go on to complete post-graduate study in Psychology. The job of a Forensic Psychologist consists of:

  • Providing expert witness testimony in court 
  • Providing information to the court 
  • Reporting on mental impairment and associated effects (Americans call this the Insanity Plea)
  • Interviewing anhd/or treating offenders 

In Australia, Forensic Psychologists generally work in prison and correctional settings with offenders.

I'm interested in Law, but I may not get the ATAR score to become a lawyer. Is this course for me?

Yes.  The Bachelor of Criminology and Justice is a great degree for those who are interested in law and justice but don't want to do a straight law degree, or those who do not meet the high entry criteria required for a Bachelor of Law. After completing your Bachelor of Criminology and Justice with NCPS you can then go on to apply for a Bachelor of Law or post-graduate study in law. Many NCPS students choose to go on to complete postgraduate study in law, known as a Juris Doctor or Master of Law. The NCPS degree can be completed in 2 years, with a Juris Doctor generally taking an additional 2 years to complete. There are many past NCPS students who are now practicing lawyers, with some having come back to the college to teach NCPS law subjects. These teaching staff are always a great asset to students interested in law as they can advise the best path to take if they wish to go into Criminal Law.

About NCPS

Where is the college?

The campus is located at 123 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne CBD, between Russell and Exhibition Streets. The closest train station is Parliament Station and just one block away.  The NCPS campus is close to the State Library and lots of great retail shops, cafes and restaurants.

How is NCPS different from a University?

NCPS offers the benefits of university with an accredited bachelor degree, but with the added bonus of small classes and a practical approach. At NCPS we have a close-knit culture where the relationship between staff and student is key. We offer a specialised learning environment where you will be enrolled alongside like-minded students studying towards a common goal.  Plus, NCPS is able to offer a trimester mode structure meaning you can complete your 3 year degree in just 2 years.

Is the NCPS course recognised nationally and internationally?

The NCPS Bachelor of Criminology and Justice is accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) and recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). AQF qualifications are recognised all over Australia and around the world.

Fees and Payment

How do I pay my fees?

You can either pay your fees directly to the College or use FEE-HELP. NCPS students who are Australian Citizens or hold a permanent humanitarian visa can access the government loan system FEE-HELP to cover the cost of tuition fees so you don't have to pay them upfront. You then pay the fees back to the government through the tax system once you begin earning over $54,126 per year (2015/16).

Your fees can also be paid directly to the college via BPay, but they must be paid in full prior to the start of each trimester.

Click here for additional information regarding fees, or for assistance contact our course advisors at info@ncps.edu.au or call 1800 783 661.

Am I eligible for FEE-HELP?

If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa you are eligible to apply for FEE-HELP.

After you have enrolled in your course, you can complete an online FEE-HELP application form as part of NCPS’s application process. For full details we recommended you read the FEE-HELP information booklet at studyassist.gov.au/sites/studyassist/helpfulresources/pages/publications.

For additional information regarding fees click here. Or for further assistance, contact our course advisors at info@ncps.edu.au or call 1800 783 661.

How do I apply for AUSTUDY?

Eligible enrolled students can apply for AUSTUDY directly through Centrelink, however you will require documentation stating you are currently studying with us.  Once you are enrolled into the Bachelor of Criminology and Justice, a Confirmation of Enrolment letter is generated and can be downloaded from the Student Portal.  You simply download this letter and use it as your proof of enrolment when submitting your AUSTUDY application to Centrelink.