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Guide to East Coast TAFE in Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast, in Queensland’s south east, is, as you would suppose, drenched in sunshine with beaches galore to keep tourists and students in search of some downtime happy. In fact, its climate and natural beauty have resulted in a growing tourism industry, which is a good thing for all the students at the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE who are enrolled in tourism and hospitality courses. Other students who are smiling at the burgeoning opportunities in their industries include those in retail, catering, IT, construction, aviation, and the creative arts, like graphic design.

Let’s see what else the Sunshine Coast has to offer TAFE students.

Popular TAFE courses on the Sunshine Coast

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Sunshine Coast Sunrise
Sunshine Coast Sunrise

What TAFE study options are available to me on the Sunshine Coast?

Sunshine Coast TAFE offers all the courses and qualifications you’d expect from a major TAFE institute in Australia, including diplomas and advanced diplomas, some of which provide pathways to universities (University of the Sunshine Coast, University of Southern QLD, and Central Queensland University), certificates I-IV, and short courses with Statements of Attainment. Full-time, part-time and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships are also available.

Courses are available on-campus and online, with some blended learning courses available. Work-based training courses can also be arranged.

Semester courses

Most of Sunshine Coast TAFE’s courses are offered on a semester basis; that means you have two opportunities to register per year. But that doesn’t mean you can register for whatever courses you like. Some courses are only available in the first semester and some are only available in the second semester. You will have to contact the institute to find out when the courses you want to take are available.

Short courses

You can choose from over 65 short courses at Sunshine Coast TAFE. Courses are available for recreational and professional purposes. Different courses are available at the different campuses, so again, you’ll have to contact the institute for exact details on the course you want to take.

Some of the short courses include:

  • Microdermabrasion
  • MYOB for Small Business
  • Introduction to Adobe InDesign
  • Excel Beginners to Advanced
  • Learn to Sew
  • Creative Classical Hair Design
  • Basic Barista
  • Chinese for Beginners
  • Beginners Photography
  • Script Writing for Film and TV

Correspondence courses

Many of the courses at Sunshine Coast TAFE are available via correspondence or distance learning. More are being added all the time. You can download the program guide to find out which courses are available online and which are only available on-campus.

Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE

The institute has four campuses:

1) Mooloolaba Campus

Mooloolaba offers a range of TAFE courses but the most popular are related to the tourism and hospitality industries – probably due to the hordes of tourists who flock to the gorgeous beach and lie around soaking up the relaxed atmosphere. It also boasts a training restaurant and a training hairdressing salon where students can get real-world experience and the public can get great food and style at affordable rates.


2) Nambour Campus

Nambour sprawls across well-maintained gardens and lawns and even manages to include a creek. It offers the full selection of TAFE courses, including Child Care, Community Services, Lifestyle & Leisure, Conservation & Land Management, Horticulture, Construction, Graphic Design, Music, Photography, Interior Design, and Building Design & Technology. It also boasts a professional recording studio and fully-kitted out photographic and drafting studios.

3) Maroochydore Campus

If you’ve always dreamt of studying in picturesque settings, then Maroochydore is where you want to be. It’s right next to a river and minutes from the beach. It specialises in finance, business and beauty-related courses and boasts a training beauty salon for budding therapists to practice their skills.

4) Noosa Campus

Noosa prides itself on its eco-credentials, which complement (and support) the surrounding bushland. It specialises in visual arts-related courses and boasts state-of-the-art ceramic and art studios, as well as a learning centre that doubles as an exhibition centre that showcases students’ work.

The full range of courses offered by Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE fall within the following study areas:

  • Business
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Training & Assessment
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Mental Health Services
  • Career Development
  • Children’s Services
  • Child Protection
  • Community Services Work
  • Youth Work
  • Disability Services
  • Education Support
  • Access Program
  • Computing & IT
  • Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
  • Electrical & Renewable Energies
  • Construction
  • Cabinet Making
  • Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management
  • Maritime
  • Plumbing
  • Sustainability
  • Building Design
  • Entertainment
  • Graphic Design & Multimedia
  • Interior Design
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts
  • English Language
  • Fashion & Retail
  • Beauty & Hairdressing
  • Aged Care, Home & Community Care
  • Health Services & Nursing
  • Massage
  • Events, Hospitality & Tourism
  • Justice
  • Library & Information Services
  • Sport & Recreation

Sunshine Coast for Students

Students on the Sunshine Coast have plenty of accommodation options to choose from, including private and shared apartments and houses, rooms to rent, hostels, and homestays. The web provides a wealth of information on what is available.

The cost of living in the region is not too bad, certainly when compared to other major cities in the country. Remember, however, that it is geared towards tourists, so do all of your shopping and try get most of your entertainment away from the tourist traps.

There is a reliable bus service, Sunbus, which shuttles between all the major cities on the coast. The cities themselves tend to be bicycle and pedestrian-friendly, although you will find other options, like trains, buses, and taxis. The Sunshine Coast is doing its best to encourage people to get out of their cars and use other modes of transport. TravelSmart is a great resource for anyone who wants to find out how they can get aboard this eco-friendly bandwagon.

Some of the top things to see and do on the Sunshine Coast include:

  • Visit Australia Zoo, Steve Erwin’s old stomping ground, which is easily accessible from all over the Sunshine Coast thanks to the zoo’s coach pickup service from seven locations in the region.
  • Take a trip to UnderWater World in Mooloolaba, which is considered the biggest tropical oceanariums in the southern hemisphere.
  • Shop at Eumundi Market, which is open every Wednesday and Saturday. You’ll find everything from art to tasty home grown fruit and veg. You can even get a massage. Trains and buses are available from Brisbane and Nambour.
  • Explore the Art Gallery Trail, which includes galleries up and down the coast, such as Caloundra Regional Gallery, Noosa Regional Gallery, Butter Factory Arts Centre, Goombuckar Cultural Centre & Art Gallery, and Lasting Impressions Gallery of Fine Arts
  • Go hiking and exploring in the Glass House Mountains, Amamoor State Forest, Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park, and Delicia Road Conservation Park.
  • Picnic and amble your way through Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bellingham Maze.