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Guide to TAFE Courses in Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is the smallest state in Australia, but don’t let its size fool you. Canberra, its capital city, is also the capital of Australia, and its economy is one of the healthiest in the country. As befits a national capital city, the standard of education is high.

ACT has only one TAFE institute, Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), but it is more than able to provide for all of the small state’s education and training needs.

Here’s an overview of what CIT has to offer.

What TAFE study options are available to me in ACT?

It doesn’t matter what your academic background, ACT has TAFE programs that will suit your needs and your education level. Basically, it doesn’t matter if you want to further your education but you haven’t finished your schooling or if you want to get an undergraduate degree, there are study options for you.

For example, TAFE Certificate I and II courses are for those who left school early and now want to start building their formal education, or who want to start getting the practical training they need to enter the workforce. Higher TAFE Certificates are for those who completed Year 11 and Year 12. TAFE Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas provide pathways to undergraduate degrees.

There are also short courses and traineeships and apprenticeships available.

TAFE courses in Canberra are available on-campus and online, as well as on a full-time or part-time basis. This accommodates students who have to work while they study, and who have families who also demand their time.

CIT Reid Campus

CIT Reid Campus

Semester courses

The official academic year is broken up into two semesters; one each for the first and last half of the year. The semesters follow a predetermined schedule; that is, they have set dates for registrations, assignments and exams. They also have set holiday periods. Full-time students who study on campus are bound by semester courses. All course levels, from Certificate I to Degree programs are offered on a semester basis.

Some online programs also follow the semester schedule. This depends on the course provider, as some providers have rolling registrations and ongoing courses.

Short courses

The Centre of Adult Community Education (ACE) and works together with the Canberra Institute of Technology to provide a diverse range of short courses to people throughout ACT. Recreational and professional courses are available, so you can do anything from learn how to cook Thai food to how to manage your small business.

The short courses are based on partnerships with various industry players in Canberra; this ensures that all the information is current and relevant. Partners include Gungahlin College, Canberra Grammar School, Canberra Glassworks, Dickson College, the Canberra College, and Hawker College.

A small example of the type of courses available includes:

  • Photography
  • Computing and Graphic Design
  • Mechanics
  • Australian Sign Language
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • One- and two-day Professional Development Workshops

Correspondence courses

You can study many of training and education courses at Canberra Institute of Technology online. Some courses are blended; they have online and on-campus elements. Correspondence and blended courses are provided by the CIT Learning Centre, which has offices in Tuggeranong, Reid, Woden, Bruce, and Gungahlin.

Resources and support services are available online and face-to-face at the learning centres, if necessary.

ACT TAFE Institutes

There is only one TAFE institute in ACT: Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT).

Canberra Institute of Technology

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) has been providing training and education to students in ACT for over 85 years, although it’s undergone several name changes and improvements over the years. Not only does it cater to nearly 23,000 students nationally, but it also offers its services to students in 86 countries internationally. CIT TAFE courses provide students with pathways to several universities in Australia, including Charles Sturt University, University of Canberra, Australian National University, Southern Institute of Technology (New Zealand), University of Technology (Sydney), and the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).

It offers its diverse range of education and training courses, which range from IT and Health to Engineering and Beauty, from six campuses in Canberra.

1) Canberra Institute of Technology Bruce

2) Canberra Institute of Technology Fyshwick

3) Canberra Institute of Technology Gungahlin

4) Canberra Institute of Technology Reid

5) Canberra Institute of Technology Tuggeranong

6) Canberra Institute of Technology Woden

ACT for students

Canberra Buildings

If you’re a nature nut, then ACT is the place for you. It called the Bush Capital of Australia because it is surrounded by the country’s famous bush land. It’s also a completely planned city, which is one of the rarest types in the world. The result is outstanding nature without and metropolitan hub within.

ACT’s geographic location gives it some extreme weather conditions. The summers tend to be quite hot and the winters quite cold. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to range between 40°C and -10°C in a year. Fortunately, spring and autumn are very nice.

The cost of living is reasonable; certainly no higher than most other major cities in the world, and it compares favourably with some of the more famous metropoles like Sydney. According to figures from the University of Canberra, students will need between AU$22,000 and AU$32,000 per year to live comfortably.

Public transport in Canberra relies mainly on the ACTION bus service. Taxis are available, but are perhaps not the most affordable option for students. Cycling is highly recommended. The city has plenty of dedicated cycling tracks for safety. Just remember the golden rule: No helmet, no ride.

There are also several affordable public transport options to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide, including buses and trains.

In terms of shopping, all the usual malls and supermarkets abound, but there are also several markets and the odd outlet store where students can get great deals and discounts. If you have a little spare cash burning a hole in your pocket, you can always find your way to the high-end boutiques or five-star restaurants.

Canberra doesn’t lack for nightlife or dining out opportunities. And, of course, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained.

Government funding

Government funding is available to students who want to study in ACT but who can’t afford the fees.

VET FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that pays part or all of the education fees upfront, allowing students to pay off the loan through the tax system and through voluntary repayments. Students are advised to make as many voluntary repayments as possible, as they may qualify for certain bonuses. It’s important to note that VET FEE-HELP is for tuition fees only; it doesn’t cover accommodation or living expenses.

There is also the ACT Government Fee Assistance program.

You can use’s education portal to find out whether you qualify for government funding. You can also use the site to search for any type of TAFE course in ACT.

Find out if you are eligible for funding