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How Sam went from bridging course to PhD

This article appears in: Health, Pathways to Uni
Samuel Keitaanpaa, TEP Student

Sam Keitaanpaa didn’t always plan to go to university. After Year 12, he travelled to the UK to work for a year, before returning home to Australia to work in retail. It was then that Sam realised that a career in healthcare was what he really wanted to pursue.

But, because Sam didn’t get the ATAR he wanted after he finished high school, he enrolled in CDU’s Tertiary Enabling Program. It was through TEP that Sam built the knowledge and study skills he needed to gain entry to uni to chase his dream job.

“I did TEP because I didn’t quite apply myself very well in Year 12,” Sam said.

TEP was a really good introduction to study. It helped me get used to what uni was going to look like, so when I did my first year of my Bachelor of Pharmacy, I really hit the ground running.

TEP is a free program that can be completed on campus or online in as little as 16 weeks. TEP graduates then meet the requirements to apply for most CDU undergraduate degrees.

Samuel Keitaanpaa, TEP Student
Samuel Keitaanpaa, TEP Student

Sam was so successful in his studies that he graduated with first-class Honours.

“I initially wanted to do dentistry; but when I was doing a pharmacy unit and the lecturer was discussing what you can do outside of pharmacy – things like running a hospital or advising government – I realised that’s what really what I wanted to do,” Sam said.

He is now currently studying towards a PhD, and his research project will look at why doctors do and don’t prescribe medicines for Indigenous patients to assist in cessation of tobacco smoking.

Upon completing his postgraduate studies, Sam is excited about the positive changes he hopes to affect through working in collaboration with government to improve health outcomes for people living in the Northern Territory.

CDU's free Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP) is an alternative pathway into uni (sometimes called a 'preparatory' or 'bridging' course) that helps you get into the swing of study. With TEP, you'll have the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to succeed at university. Find out more.

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