Online and distance education
What is distance and online education?
What are the advantages of distance and online education?
How are distance and online education courses delivered?
- Entry requirements
Advances in information technology have led to the expansion of distance education opportunities in Australia. A wide selection of Australian qualifications can now be completed from the convenience of your own home.
Distance and online education programs allow international students to obtain an Australian education while studying in their own country. They may also have the option of combining study at home with some study in Australia. All study materials are made available to students through internet resources, email or postal services.
With the number of courses available by distance and online education growing rapidly, this option is becoming increasingly popular. You can choose from a large range of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education courses (at both undergraduate and postgraduate level) from a number of institutions, in study areas ranging from hospitality to business.
Distance and online education allows students all the benefits of gaining a top-quality Australian qualification without having to leave their home country, which may not be possible for many international students due to family, work and other commitments.
Australian education providers use the latest technologies to provide international students with distance and online education options that are equal in standard to the courses provided in Australia.
Distance and online education courses may be delivered in a variety of ways, depending on the particular course and institution you choose.
- studying online courses delivered through the internet
- studying through distance education with course materials delivered through the post
- studying at home combined with classes taught in association with institutions overseas
- studying at home combined with some visits to study centres (offshore campuses) set up by Australian institutions in other countries
- studying at home but with Australian lecturers and tutors providing periods of face-to-face tuition outside Australia.
While some providers allow essays and exams to be submitted online, others require students to complete exams at overseas venues such as offshore campuses.
Many institutions provide flexibility through trimester and term systems, which allow you to study part time at your own pace or accelerate your studies to complete your qualification more quickly. Some providers may allow you to enrol in single units (rather than an entire course) to trial a particular area of study. Distance and online education also makes it possible to begin study in your home country before making the move to Australia to study on campus.
Distance and online courses are often supported by technology such as online student forums, virtual classrooms and electronic library resources, allowing you to interact with other students, share your work and opinions, access readings, listen to lectures, consult tutors and submit assessments. Institutions also provide online and distance students with support services (such as counselling and academic advice) and technical assistance.
International student entry requirements (such as academic and English language requirements) for distance and online education courses will usually be the same or very similar to those for the on-campus equivalent of the course. You can check the entry requirements required by Australian education providers for each study type within the Types of Education section. Entry requirements may vary depending on the specific course and institution, so always check requirements with individual institutions.
You will also need to check with individual institutions for starting times — some courses allow you to apply and start studying at any time, while others have set dates