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Home | Courses | Study options

Study options

South Metropolitan TAFE offers a range of study options to assist you in balancing study with your life.

Full time

Full time courses require approximately 12 to 25 hours of classroom study per week (normally throughout the day) as well as further personal time. Most full time qualifications lead to a nationally recognised certificate, diploma or advanced diploma within six to twelve months and they can then be used to progress to further study or enter relevant careers. Some apprenticeships, skill sets and short courses can also be full time, if they usually require a substantial number of hours in one week of tuition.


Part time

Part time study is the perfect option for people seeking to obtain specific skills or unable to undertake a full time study load due to other commitments. Part time study can generally be flexible, with students able to select from available units offered each semester. Study time can range from a few hours on a single day or night to three to four days a week.  When after-hours classes are scheduled for part time study, units will be pre-planned for you.

When you see part time in apprenticeships or traineeships, this indicates the study at campus or in your workplace is part time, while you may be employed full time.


Self paced 

Self paced courses allow you to study at a pace that suits you. They include a range of different ways of study such as online, a mixture of online and classroom study (flexible study) and by correspondence.

Online, start anytime study

A number of courses labelled ‘self paced’ are available to study fully online and can start anytime. Our online study allows you to login from where you are using our online study portals where you can gain access to course content and expert lecturers. Our staff will support you in your study via email and online discussion times. You will be encouraged to begin with a handful of units at a time, so your progressed can be closely followed and support can be offered at the best time to smooth your study journey.

To find an online course, choose any self paced course page and look for ‘online’ in the description under the heading ‘Delivery location, important dates and study options’.

Flexible study

Some of our courses are able to be tailored to suit a student who wishes access to a campus at varying times, or a blend of online and in-class attendance. This option gives students the ability to work their study time around busy lifestyles.

To find a flexible course, find your favourite course and look for 'Flexible' in the description under the heading ‘Delivery location, important dates and study options’. Then make a course enquiry to to find out how the course study requirements can be varied to allow you to study flexibly.


A number of courses are available to those already working in industry to enable them to complete study requirements via distance learning. 


Apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a type of study you might take when you are employed in a training program. This means you have a training contract in place and are registered with the Apprenticeships Office. Your training contract includes your study plan, where units of study have been agreed upon by you and your employer. As an apprentice or trainee, you will either come to TAFE to complete modules of units, then return to work for your employer where you will complete on the job training, or, an SM TAFE lecturer will visit you in your workplace to assess your completion of your modules of units while on the job. Find out more on our Apprenticeships and Traineeships page.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

If you have work or life experience equivalent to the skills outcomes of units of study, you can apply to have your skills assessed by our lecturers, bypassing the need to study those units the conventional way. You will need to apply, provide evidence and then work with us through your assessment of your skills. Find out more on our Recognition of Prior Learning page.


When you see ‘classroom’ on our course pages, this means you will have a timetabled class to attend on campus. See our ‘Get started’ page for details of how to access your timetable and campus.


When you see ‘workplace’ on our course pages, this means your study is at work, such as when you are completing a traineeship.


When you see something other than any of the above (full time, part time, self paced, classroom or workplace) in the description of the study option availability on a course page, we have described a specialist pathway instead so you can easily identify the course that’s right for you. These courses are designed especially with streams of units to tap into an industry need, that will give you a study outcome to best meet the needs of the workforce.

Page last updated September 16, 2019