Graduate Access Melbourne

Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) aims to minimise barriers and broaden access to graduate coursework study at the University of Melbourne.

The Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) scheme is open to Masters by Coursework applicants in the Faculty of Arts' Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (GSHSS).

Please note: Graduate Access Melbourne is not available for Graduate Diploma (Advanced), Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, or Graduate Certificate (Advanced) courses in the Faculty of Arts.

To apply for GAM you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, an Australian permanent resident or the holder of a permanent Humanitarian Visa. You must also be able to demonstrate your capacity to succeed in the Masters program for which you have applied, normally through satisfying course entry requirements. Finally, you must qualify for one or more of the following criteria:

  • Recognition as an Indigenous Australian
  • Previous status as a refugee or current holder of a humanitarian visa
  • Disadvantaged socio-economic circumstances
  • Disability or chronic medical condition
  • Difficult personal circumstances

Please note: GAM applications based solely on 'rural or isolated background' are not accepted by the Faculty of Arts. Furthermore the GAM 'Women in Engineering' category does not apply for Faculty of Arts graduate courses.

The Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) scheme provides three forms of support to new applicants:

  1. A limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places are allocated on equity grounds through GAM;
  2. GAM may enable course entry if your results fall marginally below entry requirements but you have documented circumstances that had an adverse impact on your previous studies;
  3. A limited number of bursaries are allocated on equity grounds through GAM.

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) based on Equity

If you would like to be considered for a Commonwealth Supported Place on equity grounds based on current or continuing circumstances of disadvantage

Equity-based CSPs are awarded to GAM applicants who have been assessed by the Selection Committee as most in need of current support and assistance based on the supporting statements and documentation provided by the applicant. Because there are only a limited number of CSP places available, the Selection Committee is required to prioritise applicants who demonstrate significant ongoing hardship and disadvantage, and/or who are members of a specified group known to be under-represented in higher education.

If you have current and compelling circumstances of disadvantage that are likely to have a significant impact on your graduate level studies at the University of Melbourne you should provide as much detail and supporting evidence as possible with your GAM application, and ensure you describe the impact on your tertiary studies, both past and present.

Please note that Commonwealth Supported Places are not normally awarded to applicants who apply solely on the basis of socio-economic difficulties. Successful GAM CSP applicants in the past have normally demonstrated compounded socioeconomic issues through additionally nominating and documenting other significant areas of disadvantage and hardship during their GAM application.

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) based on Equity and Merit

If you would like to be considered for a Commonwealth Supported Place based on both academic merit and past circumstances of disadvantage or hardship.

A CSP may be approved on the basis of combined merit and equity consideration if

  • your previous results satisfy the minimum requirements for course entry, but fall marginally below the First Class average required to achieve a meritorious CSP;


  • your GAM application adequately explains and documents circumstances that had an adverse effect on your prior tertiary performance.

Special entry through past circumstances of disadvantage

If you would like to be considered for special entry because past circumstances of disadvantage or hardship have had a negative impact on your academic performance in previous studies.

If there were circumstances that had an adverse effect on the standard of your previous tertiary studies and you do not satisfy the minimum course entry requirements, you should detail and document these circumstances as thoroughly as possible in your GAM application.

Equity-based CSPs are not normally allocated on the basis of past issues, however special entry to a full fee place may be approved by the Selection Committee on these grounds if the case is strong  and your previous studies also demonstrate your capacity to succeed in the Masters program.

Graduate Access Melbourne Bursary

GAM applicants who achieve entry to a Masters by Coursework program in the Faculty of Arts are also considered for a GAM Bursary. The GAM bursary provides a one-off grant of $5000 to help commencing students meet the costs associated with graduate study. It is worth noting that GAM Bursaries are limited in number and are normally awarded to GAM applicants who have demonstrated significant levels of socio-economic hardship. GAM bursary allocation normally takes place in late February (for the Semester 1 / Start Year intake) or late July (for the Semester 2 / Mid Year intake). Only GAM applicants who have both accepted and enrolled on a full-time basis in their Masters by Coursework program by Orientation week are normally considered.

How to apply for Graduate Access Melbourne

A limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places and GAM bursaries are awarded each intake through Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM). To apply, simply complete the Graduate Access Melbourne section that is contained within your online course application and submit the application together with full supporting documents no later than the GAM application closing date.

Graduate Access Melbourne opening and closing dates

Semester 2 / Mid year (July) intake
GAM Applications Open - 1 March
GAM Applications Close - 31 May

Semester 1 / Start year (February) intake
GAM Applications Open - 1 August
GAM Applications Close - 30 November

If you have already submitted your course application without applying for GAM or you are a currently-enrolled student who would like to apply for GAM, please email the Arts Graduate Admissions team.

Please note:

  • GAM applications require additional levels of assessment and review, therefore application outcomes are likely to be delayed for GAM applicants. Most applicants who have submitted an adequately detailed and documented GAM application with their Masters course application should expect to receive an outcome within 4-6 weeks. You will be contacted by the Admissions team if any further documentation is required to assess your application
  • GAM applications submitted earlier than the designated opening date for your intake will normally be assessed from August (for Semester 1 applications) and from March (for Semester 2 applications). If you submit an early GAM application you may be required to supplement your application with additional updated documentation

Supporting documents

In addition to submission of a GAM application form, your case for GAM consideration needs to be fully detailed and documented. GAM applicants applying under the Disadvantaged socioeconomic circumstances category must also complete the GAM Disadvantaged Socioeconomic Circumstances - Supplementary Form (380kb pdf). If you are making a case for current and compelling circumstances then your claims will need to be backed by supporting evidence that is also current.

The onus is on applicants to substantiate their case for consideration through the Graduate Access Melbourne scheme. Insufficiently explained or documented claims will not be taken into account by the Selection Committee. If you would like to provide additional supporting information or documentation after submission of your GAM application please send it by email to the Arts Graduate Admissions team.

Examples of additional supporting documentation might include:

  1. Evidence of previous tertiary equity awards/scholarships
  2. Evidence of other family members receiving Centrelink assistance
  3. Statement/s of support from a responsible independent source or relevant health care professional with knowledge of your adverse circumstances
  4. Details/Evidence of your employment status
  5. Details of your residential status (living at home or independently)
  6. Details/Evidence of your income (eg. Bank statement; tax return)
  7. A fuller description of your circumstances than may have been included in your original application

Further important information about GAM eligibility and supporting documents