Update 2 – Admissions-Southern Cross University

Our SOP template has changed - what you need to know

Our SOP format has changed.


The GTE process is dynamic and always changing. The previous SOP template was fit-for-purpose when it was developed, but no longer suits the requirements of the Department of Home Affairs. It is our intention to ensure that your SOP catches all of the requirements of the Department of Home Affairs and results in a far greater chance of visa grant.

What has changed?

The new SOP template requires that you limit your statement to 2000 characters (including spaces) – or approximately 300 words. We are no longer interested in long statements with quotes from famous historical figures, politicians, Kings, Queens or pop stars! We are only interested in your clear, concise, direct and specific reasons for your proposed study in Australia at Southern Cross University. No more. Keep it simple.

Is the new template easier?

Yes … and no!

You will need to think carefully about what you write and ho you write it. There’s a lot to cover in only 300 words. Don’t waste words on long descriptions, unnecessary words or irrelevant information. Stick to the facts and back it up with evidence. This is where things may be a little bit more time consuming. Your statement should be easier to write if you plan it carefully, but you MUST provide documentary evidence of every claim you make in your SOP. For example, if you say “A Master’s degree from Australia will give me the competitive edge when I return to my home country”, you must be prepared to back that statement up with documentary evidence and attach it with your SOP. Such evidence may be an article from an official Government or employment website, for example, that shows that foreign graduates are in more demand than local graduates. You must provide supporting documents for EACH claim you make.

Below are clear guidelines on what needs to be covered in your SOP and an example SOP. DO NOT COPY this example – your story must be unique to you.

Read the guideline carefully and ensure that you scan all of your supporting documents and attach them with your SOP. Good luck!

SOP guidelines:

Your SOP should be completed in the template below. Your statement is limited to 2000 characters (300 words). Your statement should be specific and directly address your personal circumstances and your reasons for studying your proposed course in Australia. You should use this same statement for your visa application. Your statement must be typed, not handwritten.


stick to the character limit. Long SOPs will not be accepted and could be detrimental to your assessment.
be specific and to the point. Do not waste words on quotes or irrelevant information.
be accompanied by supporting documents which back up ALL claims made in your SOP.
address all relevant points below. If not relevant to you, do not need to address it. All points addressed MUST be accompanied by supporting documents and referenced in your SOP.
number all supporting documentation in order of reference and fill in the table at the bottom. (See sample SOP on next page).

Your SOP must NOT:

contain generic statements which are not supported by documentary evidence.
contain plagiarised content that exceeds 10%. Your SOP will be assessed through plagiarism identification software. Any SOP that contains plagiarised content that exceeds 10% will be refused.
Points to be covered in your SOP:

The value of the course to your future:

demonstrate how the course is consistent with your previous studies, how it is relevant to past or future employment when you return home. *Attach supporting evidence.
tell us about your previous study and how your proposed course at SCU is consistent with this. You should mention your previous institution name, length of your study there and the qualification you achieved.
you should explain all gaps in study, provide reasons for any gaps and provide documentary evidence to support your study gap. *Attach supporting evidence.

Your situation in your home country:

explain why you can’t study this course in your home country if a similar course is offered there. *Attach supporting evidence.
If you have military service commitments, you must provide evidence that you have either completed it or you have leave to study. *Attach supporting evidence.
You must comment on and provide evidence of your family, social, and financial ties to your home country. You must support your stated ties with documentary evidence and the evidence must clearly demonstrate significant incentives for you to return home upon completion of your degree. *Attach supporting evidence.
You must clearly demonstrate strong economic incentives to return to your home country. *Attach supporting evidence.
If you are currently employed, we need to know who your current employer is, the address of your company, how long you have been employed there, what position you hold there, the name and contact details of someone in your company who can confirm your employment. You must provide evidence to show all employment or business activities in the 12 months prior to your application, evidence of potential employment, expected salary and other benefits after you complete your course, evidence of salary in the form of income tax statements and/or bank statements showing salary deposits into your bank account. *Attach supporting evidence.

Your situation in Australia:

you must tell us of any family ties to Australia and explain how these ties do not act as an incentive for you to remain in Australia. *Attach supporting evidence.
you must also show that you have an understanding of SCU and the course you will study. Explain your proposed living arrangements in Australia. *Attach supporting evidence.

Your immigration history:

if you have a previous visa refusal/cancellation to any country (including Australia), you MUST disclose this and explain the reason for the refusal/cancellation. *Attach supporting evidence.
When you have completed writing your statement, please fill in the supporting document checklist at the bottom and the financial matrix, scan the documentation in the order you have them listed below with your SOP and financial matrix on top and upload it as a single document. The financial matrix is intended as an indication of your proposed source of funds and should support the financial documentation you provide with your SOP.