Researching all the options

Understanding the different types of courses

Do you know the difference between degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeships? The information below will help you to determine what type of course will be the best fit for your teen.

University qualifications take between 2-5 years and are taught in an independent teaching style, different to what your teen would experience at secondary school.

Classes consist of lectures, tutorials and specialty classes, students may be in class between 12-20 hours a week. For every hour spent in class students are encouraged to do 1-2 hours work out of class, this can include assignments, reading and group work.

Lectures are held in theatres and are generally one to two hours which can have anywhere from 30-350 students.

Tutorials are less formal than lectures, students discuss and develop ideas that were first introduced in lectures, complete assigned activities, develop specific skills and discuss study topics.

Generally, tutorials will be 1 hour in duration with smaller classes, usually 15-30 students.

Certificates and diplomas are hands-on and practical in nature, they take between six months and two years to complete depending on the qualification. They can also provide a pathway to an undergraduate degree.

These programs have smaller classes than university and are taught with a mixture of seminars, labs and workshops.

A full-time student can be in class anywhere between 20-30 hours a week, with less work required outside of class in comparison to a university course.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a great way to combine work and study.

A pre-apprenticeship will teach the basic knowledge needed to begin work as an apprentice. These courses can help students when looking for employment, or may be used as a taster for students before committing to a full apprenticeship.

Once a student holds a bachelor degree or has significant work experience, a postgraduate course can deepen knowledge and skills and help to advance or change career prospects.

Postgraduate courses include honours, graduate certificates, graduate diplomas and master levels.

RMIT offers postgraduate research courses at the Masters and PhD level. A research course allows students to pursue their own theories and ideas and contribute to research in their chosen field.

Attend an event and get to know RMIT

RMIT holds events throughout the year to help your teen in making decisions on what to study.

VCE and Careers expo

Held annually at the Caulfield Racecourse over four days in May, the VCE and Careers expo has 190 exhibitors and run over 150 seminars throughout the event.

External career expos

Events take place throughout the year and give you and your child access to many educational providers including RMIT all in the one place.

Students laughing while looking at phone

Change of Preference

During December you have the chance to change your preferences through VTAC and secure your dream course.

Discover more events at RMIT

Visit RMIT's official events page to discover all events happening across the university.

Meet our students

Moving from interstate or overseas?

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer