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Guide to TAFE Courses in Victoria

Victoria (VIC) is one of the smaller states in Australia, but it is the most densely populated and is home to the second biggest city in the country: Melbourne. The list of reasons students should choose to study in Victoria is long, but the top reason is the quality of the state’s enormous number of higher education providers. It’s entirely possible that Victoria has the most technical and further education (TAFE) and vocational training providers in Australia.

We provide an overview of what Victoria has to offer.

Popular TAFE Courses in Victoria

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What TAFE study options are available to me in Victoria?

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in Victoria created the Victorian Skills Gateway to oversee vocational education in the state, including TAFE. It ensures that the TAFE courses offered by registered course providers are AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) compliant and that the providers themselves are properly registered with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) or the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).

There are many registered TAFE course providers in Victoria, as well as TAFE institutes, and an increasing number of Technical Education Centres, which are cropping up at TAFE institutions around the state.

The plethora of VIC TAFE providers ensures that every single type of course imaginable is available. It doesn’t matter what your interest, or how high up you want to take you education you’ll find something to suit your needs. For example, you’ll find face-to-face short courses, apprenticeships and traineeships and online TAFE certificates and diplomas. Many TAFE institutes even offer undergraduate and graduate qualifications; at the very least, they provide pathways to universities in Victoria and greater Australia.

Most courses offer students the option to study online or on-campus, and part-time and full-time options are also available.

Semester courses

Most bricks and mortar TAFE providers in VIC offer their courses on a semester basis. This means that they run according to a strict schedule of registration dates, opening dates, assignment dates, exam dates, and closing dates. There is very little flexibility or leeway for students to study at their own pace.

On-campus and online courses are offered on a semester basis, although some online-only course providers allow students to register at any time of the year.

Given the regimented nature of semester courses, it’s essential that you get your timing right when it comes to registration. If you miss the registration date, you could set your studies back by six months to a year, depending on the duration of the module.

Short courses

Many VIC TAFE institutes include short courses in their list of offerings. These can be used for recreational or professional purposes. For example, you could take a flower arranging course so that you can do more with the flowers from your garden, or so that you can make more attractive floral arrangements in your florist shop. There are also nationally accredited short courses that can be used for continuing professional development, or as recognition of prior learning for TAFE certificate and diploma courses.

The Centre for Adult Education (CAE) is a popular short course provider in Victoria. Its capability to offer a wide range of courses comes courtesy of government funding through the Adult Community and Further Education Division (ACFE).

Correspondence courses

These days, flexibility has become very important in higher education, especially as the number of adults returning to academic life increases. These mature students need the flexibility to balance work, family and study, which is no easy task.

Most of the TAFE institutes in Victoria offer online or correspondence study options. Blended courses are often an option in cases where pure online study is not possible and some face-to-face interaction is required.

Online courses are ideal for people who like to work without the rigid structure of semester-based timetables. They are usually offered on a part-time basis, which suits busy professionals to a T.

Everything from short courses to degree programs is available online.

Victoria TAFE Institutes

There are 18 TAFE institutes in Victoria, and most institutes have several campuses, so, you are virtually guaranteed to find the courses that you’re looking for no matter where you live.

Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE

Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE Campus
Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE Campus

Bendigo TAFE has been around in one form or another for over 155 years. It caters to local and international students, and offers everything from apprenticeships in bricklaying to TAFE advanced diploma courses that provide pathways to La Trobe University, Monash University and the University of Ballarat. Study areas include IT, Management and Human Resources, Creative Arts and Digital Media, Engineering, Occupational Health and Safety, Aged Care and Disability, and Nursing and Allied Health. Bendigo TAFE offers its courses from three campuses in Bendigo itself, and three other campuses in Victoria.

Campuses include:

1) Bendigo City Campus

2) Bendigo Charleston Road Campus

3) BTEC Campus (Bendigo Technical Education College)

4) Echuca Campus

5) Castlemaine Campus

6) Maryborough Campus

Box Hill Institute of TAFE

Box Hill Institute of TAFE offers the full range of vocational training and education in Victoria, from short courses and traineeships to degrees. Not only does it have three campuses locally, but it also has partner sites in Singapore, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Samoa, Malaysia, and China, among others. It has partnerships with Australian Catholic University, Deakin University, La Trobe University, and Monash University in Australia, as well as the Institute of Technical Education in Singapore, Kirkwood Community College in the USA, and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada.

Its three campuses in Victoria include:

1) Elgar Campus

2) Nelson Campus

3) Whitehorse Campus

Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE

Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE (GippsTAFE) offers over 300 courses from five campuses in the region. It is part of the Gippsland Education Precinct (GEP), which is made up of major players in the region’s education sector, including Monash University, La Trobe City, Apprenticeships Group Australia (AGA), and Kurnai Secondary College. It offers short courses, TAFE certificate and diploma courses, apprenticeships and traineeships, and bachelor degrees.

Its campuses include:

1) Leongatha Campus

2) Morwell Campus

3) Yallourn Campus

4) Warragul Campus

5) Chadstone Campus

Chisholm Institute of TAFE

Chisholm Institute counts itself as the biggest TAFE provider in south east Melbourne; with six fully-fledged campuses, several satellite centres, and workplace training programs, it might just be right. One of the features that helps Chisholm stand out from other course providers is its ‘upsize’ option. Essentially, students are able to study for two separate qualifications at the same time. For example, you could register for Certificate II in Automotive Mechanical (Vehicle Servicing), as well as Certificate II in Automotive (Air Conditioning). Other ‘upsize’ options are available in the Digital and Interactive Games, Electronics and Communications, Laboratory Techniques, and Warehouse study areas.

Its campuses include:

1) Bass Coast Campus

2) Berwick Campus

3) Chisholm @ 311

4) Cranbourne Campus

5) Dandenong Campus

6) Frankston Campus

7) Mornington Peninsula Campus

AdvanceTAFE (formerly East Gippsland Institute of TAFE)

AdvanceTAFE is all about specialist learning, especially when it comes to outdoor-type industries like agriculture, horticulture, conservation, forestry, and anything maritime. It consists of two main campuses and a number of specialist training centres.

Campuses include:

1) Bairnsdale Campus

2) Sale Campus

Training centres include:

1) Farmtec (Sale) specialises in agriculture, horticulture and equine management.

2) Forestec (Colquhoun State Forest – Lakes Entrance) specialises in forestry, conservation and land management, fire safety, and furniture making and design.

3) Gippsland Technical College (G-tec – Bairnsdale and Sale) specialises in adult learning and school-based apprenticeships.

4) Seamec (Lakes Entance) specialises in maritime training.

Gippsland Lakes, Victoria, Australia
Gippsland Lakes, Victoria, Australia

Gordon Institute of TAFE

The Gordon Institute of TAFE (The Gordon) is the largest stand-alone TAFE institution in Victoria, according to the website. It offers the range of short courses, apprenticeships, traineeships, certificates and diplomas, as well pathways to university. Courses are available online, on-campus, part-time, full-time, and in the workplace. It has three campuses offering courses in its various areas of excellence, such as Accounting, Business & Marketing, Construction & Licensed Trades, Cookers, Engineering & Metal Trades, Health, Science & Sustainability, Information & Communication Technology, and Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, Makeup & Modelling.

Campuses include:

1) City Campus

2) East Geelong Campus

3) Colac Campus

Golburn Ovens Institute of TAFE – GOTAFE

Golburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, or GOTAFE as its known, has seven campuses and several technical education centres in the region, but has an active presence throughout Australia and the world. Its courses cover a range of industries, from Administration & Management, Animal Sciences, and Dairy Farming to Finance & Accounting, Health & Nursing, IT, and Tourism & Event Management.

Campuses include:

1) Shepparton Campus

2) Wangaratta Campus

3) Benalla Campus

4) Seymour Campus

5) Rural Industries Campus (Wangaratta)

Holmesglen Institute of TAFE

Holmesglen Institute of TAFE offers over 600 courses from five campuses in VIC. The institute has strategic partnerships with several higher education providers in Australia, as well as with several key industry players to ensure that the qualifications remain up-to-date and relevant. Holmesglen has you covered no matter what qualification you’re looking for, from pre-apprenticeships and preparation courses all the way to bachelor degrees. TAFE pathways to the University of Canberra in Melbourne are also available.

Campuses include:

1) Chadstone Campus (the biggest campus at Holmesglen Institute of TAFE)

2) City Campus

3) Moorabbin Campus

4) Moorabbin-Bulli Street Campus

5) Waverley Campus

Kangan Batman Institute of TAFE

Kangan Batman Institute of TAFE specialises in the automotive, aviation, building, horticulture, and health sectors. Its highly regarded TAFE diploma and advanced diploma courses provide pathways to 25 university degrees. It has six campuses and several training centres in and around Melbourne.

1) Broadmeadows Campus (Kangan Batman Institute of TAFE’s main campus)

2) Docklands Campus

3) Essendon Campus

4) Melbourne CBD Campus

5) Moonee Ponds Campus

6) Richmond Campus

Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT)

Northern Melbourne Institute of Tafe (NMIT) Epping Campus
Northern Melbourne Institute of Tafe (NMIT) Epping Campus

Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) offers over 200 short courses and a plethora of full-time and part-time courses to students in and around the northern reaches of the city. It has seven faculties: Earth Sciences, Further Education, Tourism & Hospitality, Building & Construction, Arts & Social Sciences, Engineering, and Business.

It has 10 campuses, which include:

1) Northern Lodge Campus

2) Fairfield Campus

3) Greensborough Campus

4) Heidelberg Campus

5) NMIT Kyneton Park Campus

6) Northern AMEP Centre

7) Preston Campus

8) Ararat Campus

9) Collingwood Campus

10) Epping Campus

South West Institute of TAFE

South West Institute of TAFE offers pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, traineeships, short courses, industry skills courses, and TAFE certificates and diplomas from six campuses. Study areas covered include Arts, Music & Fashion, Computing & IT, Early Childhood Development, Education, Leadership & Management, and Media & Graphic Design.

Campuses include:

1) Warnambool Campus

2) Portland Campus

3) Hamilton Campus, which is split over two locations: Hammond Street and Ballarat Road Site.

4) Glenormiston College, which specialises in agricultural and horticultural related subjects.

5) Sherwood Park Training Facility

Sunraysia Institute of TAFE (SuniTAFE)

Sunraysia Institute of TAFE offers the standard range of short courses (recreational and professional), apprenticeships and traineeships, and TAFE certificates and diplomas, as well as pathways to Swinburne University of Technology, Charles Sturt University, Flinders University, and Deakin University (which it offers in partnership with Chisholm Institute of TAFE and East Gippsland Institute of TAFE (AdvanceTAFE)).

It has four campuses:

1) Mildura Campus

2) Swan Hill Campus

3) Robinvale Campus

4) Mallee Campus

William Angliss Institute of TAFE

William Angliss Institute of TAFE specialises in tourism, hospitality and events, with a range of subjects that includes Food Science & Technology, Meat Processing, Resort Management, and Youth & Community Programs. It has two campuses in Australia, in Melbourne and Sydney, and one international campus in Singapore.

Wodonga Institute of TAFE

Wodonga TAFE offers courses across seven different departments and two specialist training centres. Departments include: Agriculture & Horticulture, Business, Communications & Service Industries, Community Services & Health, Creative Industries, Engineering, Foundation Studies, and Timber Studies. The training centres include Motorsports Training Australia and National Industrial Skills Training Centre.

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT)

RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) University City Campus
RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) University City Campus

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology calls itself Australia’s largest tertiary institution. It has three campuses in Melbourne and two in Vietnam, as well as a coordinating and support centre in Barcelona, Spain. It’s been offering its world-renowned courses, which range from short courses and TAFE certificates and diplomas to postgraduate qualifications, for over 120 years. It’s particularly well known for its strong research programs.

Its campuses include:

1) Melbourne City Campus

2) Brunswick Campus

3) Bundoora Campus

4) Saigon South Campus (Ho Chi Minh City)

5) Hanoi Campus

Swinburne Institute of TAFE (Swinburne University of Technology)

Swinburne University of Technology has a TAFE program that includes everything from pre-apprenticeships and trades short courses to TAFE diplomas with pathways to Swinburne University degrees. Postgraduate vocational training opportunities are also available. It has three TAFE centres, which offer courses from different campuses.

1) Centre for Business, Design & ICT, at Hawthorn, Prahran, Croydon, and Wantirna.

2) Centre for Engineering, Technology & Trades, at Hawthorn, Prahran, Croydon, and Wantirna.

3) Centre for Health, Science & Community, at Hawthorn, Prahran, Croydon, and Wantirna.

University of Ballarat

University of Ballarat also has a TAFE program that offers over 200 courses that include Retail Banking, Civil Construction, Children’s Services, Engineering, Massage Therapy Practice, Graphic Design, IT, Digital Media, and Aged Care. It also offers short courses, apprenticeships and traineeships, and VET in Schools (VETiS.

It has six campuses:

1) Mt Helen Campus

2) SMB Campus

3) Ararat Campus

4) Camp St Campus

5) Horsham Campus

6) Stawell Campus

Victoria University

Victoria University, Footscray Park campus, Victoria, Australia
Victoria University, Footscray Park campus, Victoria, Australia

Victoria University offers students a wide range of TAFE and VET courses and other higher education study opportunities in Melbourne. These range from short courses in Microsoft products to doctorates in Psychology. English language courses are available for international students and corporate training is available for staff training and development.

It has 11 campuses:

1) City Flinders Campus

2) City Flinders Lane Campus

3) City King Campus

4) City Queen Campus

5) Footscray Nicholson Campus

6) Melton Campus

7) Newport Campus

8) St Albans Campus

9) Sunshine Campus

10) Werribee Campus

11) VU Sydney

Victoria for students

The good news for those who want to study in Melbourne, Victoria is that it’s been voted the most liveable city in the world for students – twice. It scores perfectly when it comes to its infrastructure, healthcare and (importantly) education, and it scores highly when it comes to stability and its culture and environment.

The climate is very people-friendly. The summers are warm and dry and while the winters are cold, it’s offset by the snow sports available – if you’re so inclined, that is.

The cost of living in Melbourne is reasonable, but it’s still more expensive that the cost of living in towns and cities in the regional areas in Victoria.

There are plenty of accommodation options, including shared flats and houses, on-campus residential options, and homestays.

Indoor and outdoor entertainment abounds, from museums and theatres to skiing and surfing. The multi-cultural nature of the city provides for a number of different cultural experiences, from festivals to dining.

Government funding

The Dept. of Education and Early Childhood Development in Victoria provides some financial assistance to local students who want to study VIC TAFE courses.

VET FEE-HELP is the most well-known funding program. It’s a loan scheme that pays students’ fees upfront and which defers repayment until students are employed at a certain income level. However, it welcomes voluntary repayments whenever possible.

Centrelink provides financial assistance to adults and youths.

ABSTUDY provides financial assistance to Aboriginal students in Victoria.

In addition to providing a course search engine so that you can find TAFE courses in Victoria, enables prospective students to find out if they are eligible for government funding.

Find out if you are eligible for funding