Distance/Online Study

What is distance/online education?

Distance education gives students the opportunity to undertake a course of study without having to attend lectures or tutorials ‘on campus’, which means that you can study from home or in a remote area without having to relocate. You can be a part-time or full-time student.

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How does online learning work?

Online learning is a way of providing flexible teaching and learning for a course, unit or lesson by studying over the internet. You may choose to do your entire course by distance education, or you may choose to do some of your units by distance and some units on campus face to face. Some courses may require you to attend components of the course in person even when enrolled as a distance student.

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Why use distance/online education?

There are a number of reasons why you may want to undertake distance education or flexible learning, such as:

  • you live and work in a remote area with limited access to providers;
  • your work hours or commitments prevent you from attending scheduled lectures;
  • the course of study that you want to complete is only available at a provider located away from where you live; or
  • you are juggling other responsibilities or commitments.
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Can I get financial support for distance education?

While enrolled in a distance education program, you may be eligible for assistance in paying your course fees with a HELP loan. Contact your provider to check if you are eligible for a HELP loan for your course. For further information about HELP loans visit the HELP paying my fees page.

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When considering distance/online education...

  • think about the way you like to learn;
  • talk to the student support staff and library staff at the institutions you are considering; and
  • ask what the institution offers to help you maintain your involvement while you are studying.

You might find distance education challenging, particularly if you are used to a highly regulated school environment. Also, you may be required to attend residential schools as part of your assessment.

If you do need to attend a residential school, make sure that you can:

  • take time away from your work and other commitments; and
  • finance the travel, meals and accommodation costs of your attendance.
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Which providers offer distance/online education?

Many providers offer distance education courses. Visit the My University (opens in new window) website to help you find an approved higher education provider that offers the course you’re interested in online. For VET online courses, you will need to contact the provider for information.

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