Other study options

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If you’ve left school and aren't going on to uni or TAFE, there are other options for continuing your studying or training.

The options on this page can also help mature-age students or early school leavers get a job or get back into study.

Some of these options can also be useful if you're taking time off from study (for example, if you're taking a gap year). 

Topics on this page include:

> Short courses
Apprenticeships & traineeships
Distance education
Adult and community education
Mature-age study
Study options for early school leavers

Short courses

Short courses are a great way to learn new skills without making a long-term commitment to study. You can do a short course at uni, TAFE or an independent tertiary college.

The Victorian Skills Gateway's course Search tool (new window) offers you the option of searching for short courses as part of its search functions. When your search results come up you can check the "short courses" box under the "Qualification" heading and click on "Update results" to search only for short courses.

Learn Local organisations are community education organisations that offer lots of study options, including short courses. You can find your nearest Learn Local organisation using the search function on their website (new window) to choose courses by your area of interest.

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee you get to earn while you learn through a combination of on-the-job training and study at TAFE or another training provider.

Check out our Apprenticeships and traineeships section for lots of information on becoming an apprentice or trainee.

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Distance education

If you can’t find a school, course or training provider in your local area, distance education is an option to consider.

With distance education you can study in your own time and communicate online with lecturers, tutors and fellow students. The qualifications you can get from a distance education course are the same as the qualifications you can get from face-to-face study.

The Distance Education Centre Victoria (new window) offers distance education for primary and secondary school students.

Some universities and TAFEs offer courses via distance education as well. Check out Open Colleges (new window) and Open Universities Australia (new window) to see what courses they have on offer.

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Adult and community education

The adult and community education courses offered by Learn Local organisations are a practical option that can give you the skills to get a job, get a better job or go onto further education at TAFE or university.

Learn Local courses focus on your needs, tailoring programs to you. With over 300 locations across Victoria, there is sure to be a Learn Local organisation just near you.

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Mature age study

Anyone who is over 18 and has been out of full-time education for at least a year is referred to as a mature age student. It's worth noting that if you don’t enrol in a tertiary course in your first year out of secondary school, you’ll be considered a mature age student when you return to study.

Entrance requirements for courses can sometimes be different for mature age students. Check out the Mature age entry (new window) section of the VTAC website for more info.

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Study options for early school leavers

If you left school before finishing Year 11 and 12 and you want to get your VCE or VCAL, you can enrol at a number of organisations, including TAFEs, Learn Local organisations or other registered training providers.

If you’re under 20 the Victorian Training Guarantee (new window) guarantees you a place at a TAFE, a Learn Local organisation or another training provider to complete Year 12 through VCE or VCAL.

Many Learn Local organisations specialise in offering qualifications for people who haven’t completed the final years of schooling. Courses can be tailored to you and delivered to meet the level of flexibility you need.

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