Overview

Learn to safely manage chemicals, follow procedures, and operate basic equipment with our Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques. You’ll gain scientific and technical knowledge, along with the skills to perform duties in widespread lab environments. Emerge ready to pursue entry-level employment as a laboratory technician. 

This is a nationally approved vocational course that is recognised throughout Australia.

  • Nationally recognised training
    Nationally recognised training
My preference is success

Want to maximise your VTAC offers? Discover how to get more for your ATAR with Change of Preference tips and tools.

Skills you’ll learn

  • Intermediate lab techniques
  • Prepare samples for testing
  • Prepare cell cultures
  • Calibrate instruments
  • WHS requirements
  • Use of lab tools and instruments
  • Laboratory information management systems (LIMS)

Your career opportunities

  • Laboratory assistant
  • Instrument operator
  • Technical assistant
  • Laboratory technician
  • Pathology lab assistant
  • Pharmaceutical lab assistant
  • Commercial  Lab assistant

Key codes

CRICOS course code
112038K
Hawthorn VTAC code
3400211464
International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

Location options

Course prerequisites

Successful completion of Australian Year 12 or overseas equivalent. Minimum GPA score required, check your specific requirements via the link below.

Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

Admissions

Minimum of completion of Year 11, or, completion of Certificate III in Laboratory Skills.

Applicants will need to demonstrate literacy and numeracy competencies.

To apply for workplace training (Traineeship), applicants must be working in a relevant workplace and have employer and other necessary approvals to enrol.

Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

One of the following:

  • successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, such as an interstate or international Year 12 qualification
  • completion or partial completion of an approved tertiary qualification (including certificates IV (completed), diplomas, advanced diplomas, associate degrees and degrees).

You’ll be guaranteed a place in this course if you meet or exceed the ATAR Guaranteed Entry Score, provided you meet the course prerequisites.

If your ATAR is below the guaranteed entry score, you can still be offered a place as your ATAR may be adjusted based on subject bonuses, equity schemes or other factors. Use the above ATAR as a guide on your eligibility, and see the course handbook page for more information on entry requirements. 

Successful completion of Australian Year 12, or equivalent overseas qualification.

English language requirements

Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

  • IELTS overall band of 5.5 (Academic Module) with no individual band below 5.0
  • Swinburne’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP 4 Upper Intermediate level) with overall 65%, all skills 60%
  • TOEFL iBT (internet-based) minimum score of 65 with no band less than 15
  • Pearson (PTE) minimum score of 42 (no communicative skills less than 36)
  • or equivalent measures available at English language requirements.
Need to undertake an English assessment for entry?

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) can now be done at our Hawthorn campus.

Credit transfer

Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows students to gain credit (advanced standing) towards their course in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

Course structure

To be awarded a Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques, competency must be achieved in a total of 16 units consisting of 4 core and 12 elective units. 

Workplace electives (for students undertaking a Traineeship) will be chosen based on employee workplace role/s and experience.

4
Core units
+
12
Elective units
=
Certificate IV
Indicative nominal course hours: 1330

Your units

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Process and interpret data
Core unit, 70.0 credit points
MSL924005
Maintain instruments and equipment
Core unit, 60.0 credit points
MSL934008
Maintain laboratory or field workplace safety
Core unit
MSL944002
Apply quality system and continuous improvement processes
Core unit, 80.0 credit points
MSL934009
Elective units
Prepare, standardise and use solutions
Elective unit, 100.0 credit points
MSL974031
Use laboratory application software
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
MSL924006
Perform techniques that prevent cross-contamination
Elective unit, 40.0 credit points
MSL973027
Perform microscopic examination
Elective unit, 40.0 credit points
MSL973028
Perform food tests
Elective unit, 100.0 credit points
MSL974033
Receive and prepare samples for testing
Elective unit, 30.0 credit points
MSL953005
Perform chemical tests and procedures
Elective unit, 100.0 credit points
MSL974032
Assist in the maintenance of reference materials
Elective unit, 30.0 credit points
MSL935006
Prepare practical science classes and demonstrations
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
MSL914002
Perform histological procedures
Elective unit, 40.0 credit points
MSL973029
Perform biological procedures
Elective unit, 130.0 credit points
MSL974034
Prepare tissue or cell cultures
Elective unit, 50.0 credit points
MSL974035

2024 fees

Full fee* ($AUD)

$15,930

Skills first government-subsidised place* ($AUD)

$5,150

Yearly fee* ($AUD)

$19,990.00

2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)

$19,990.00

Fees are estimates only

Fees published on this page are estimates only and are subject to change depending on individual circumstances at the time of enrolment. The above fees apply for units studied in 2023 only and may change for units studied in future years. There may be additional costs related to learning material and equipment.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

Skills first government-subsidised place

To qualify for a government-subsidised place, you must meet various eligibility criteria. The course you’ve applied for must also be offering government-subsidised places. Swinburne will determine your eligibility by conducting a full assessment of your eligibility during the course application process.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your Swinburne fees in person, via credit card, BPAY, or at Australia Post. Check to see if loans and employer sponsored training are also available.

International students need to pay tuition fees up-front by the relevant due date. You can find the due dates on your Statement of Account.

To pay your fees:

  • log in to My Financials
  • check your Australian bank account details are correct 
  • check your Statement of Account to see how much you owe 
  • pay using your preferred payment method.

Concessions rates for vocational students

If you’re enrolling in a Certificate IV-level program or below, are eligible for a government-subsidised training place and hold a valid concession card, you may be eligible for a concession of 80 per cent off the published fee of your unit(s) tuition – which means you’ll only be charged 20 per cent of the published fee.

Scholarships

Scholarship applications for 2023 are open. Scholarships at Swinburne are about providing opportunity, promoting equity and recognising excellence and achievement. We want you to reach your potential and achieve your life and career goals. 

Our handy guide will assist you to gather documents for your application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 30 per cent off your course fees – no separate application required! Just apply for your Swinburne course of choice and when we review your course application, we will also assess you for an international scholarship.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
MSL40122
Search for agents

Apply directly

Ready to take on a new challenge and reach your academic goals? If you already know which course you want to study and understand the entry requirements, what are you waiting for? Apply online! Remember, you cannot apply direct if you have an active VTAC application.

Course code
MSL40122
Apply directly
Course code
MSL40122
CRICOS code
112038K
Apply directly

Apply through VTAC

International students currently studying Year 12 in Australia must apply through VTAC. VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria. 

VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria.

Hawthorn VTAC code
3400211464
Apply through VTAC
Start dates
Location
Last date to apply
Start dates
February intake
Location
Hawthorn
Last date to apply
31-January-2024
Start dates
05-February-2024
August intake
Location
Hawthorn
Last date to apply
31-July-2024
Start dates
05-August-2024
Start dates
Location
Start dates
February intake
Location
Hawthorn
Start dates
05-February-2024
August intake
Location
Hawthorn
Start dates
05-August-2024
Upcoming events
Webinar | What Now? Your Change of Preference Gameplan
11-December-2023
Change of Preference Expo
12-December-2023