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You can decide how you would like to manage your study, work and life. It’s completely up to you.  There are four ways you can study: full time, part time, a short course or online.

To decide which option is best for you, think about these questions:

  • How many hours can you study every week?
  • Do you want a qualification or do you want to learn for fun?
  • How much support do you need to study?
    Do you need more time to learn the subject?
  • Financial support
    Can you support yourself?
    Do you need extra money to study?
  • Life commitments
    What are your current commitments including family, work, caring duties?

Full Time Study Mode

Full time study means three or four subjects per semester. This is roughly 40 hours per week of study. This is the number of hours recommended by all educational institutions if you want to do well in your course.

  • You can finish your course in the fastest time possible
  • You get to experience 'student life' and meet new friends in your course
  • You may be able to apply for scholarships
  • You may be able to receive government support through Centrelink: Youth Allowance (16-24 year old students), Austudy (25+ year old students) or Abstudy (Aboriginal students)
  • You can choose to do three or four subjects per semester
  • You may find balancing study, work and social life difficult
  • The study load can also be stressful
  • You may struggle completing assignments on time

Part Time Study Mode

Part time study means one to two subjects per semester. This is roughly 20 hours per week.

  • You can study one or two subjects per semester
  • It is easier to balance your study, work and social life
  • You can work while you are studying
  • It may be harder to focus on study - work may be distracting or stressful
  • You may have fewer opportunities to meet new friends in your course
  • The course will take longer to complete
  • You may not be eligible for scholarships
  • You may not be able to receive government support (e.g. Centrelink)


Online courses allow people to study online anywhere and almost at any time.

People study online for fun or to get qualifications. Some online courses are free and some are paid. Online courses can range from short courses to accredited 3 year courses from TAFEs, private colleges and universities.

Be careful when you pick an online course. Some online courses are not real – some pretend to be courses to steal money! 

Click here to learn more about online courses in Australia.
Click here for a checklist to ensure the course is for you and it is legit.
Click here to see a list of courses available in Australia.

  • Flexible timetable: easier to balance study, personal and work commitments
  • You can usually study at your own pace
  • Study anywhere at any time

Some TAFE and universities offer online courses that will allow you to gain qualification from the course.

  • Some courses are not accredited
  •  Online courses may not be able to provide you support and access
  • Some online courses may be a sham to steal your money - be careful! 

Short Course

Short courses can range from 2 hours to 6 months. Some courses are free and some charge a fee. Short courses are a good way to see if you are really interested in the area before you do more study.

Short courses are often not accredited. 

Any one can do a short course.

Where to do a short course

Below are some short courses available at around Victoria:

There are many more! Go to Google to search 'short courses in Victoria'.

Short Course - Examples

For example:
A person works a cafe. He finds that she needs to improve in making coffee. He enrols into a 3 day barista (coffee-making) course to improve his skills in making coffee. 

For example:
A person wants to apply to become a bartender. She enrols into 1 week cocktail making course, as well as the 1 day course for Responsible Service of Alcohol as well as First Aid course. She knows these certifications will help her have a better chance in getting the job as a bartender. 

Enrol ASAP!

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