Why choose TAFE?

TAFE courses equip you with the skills and experience you’ll need to be job-ready and take less time to complete than a university degree.

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Is a TAFE course for me? 

TAFE courses are perfect for those who know what they want and can’t wait to get started.

At Swinburne we have deep industry immersion courses – from certificates to diplomas and even Free TAFE – ranging from Screen and Media to Engineering, to Building Design and Childhood Education.

You might consider a TAFE course if:  

  • you’ve just finished high school  
  • you’re returning to work 
  • you’re looking to upskill 
  • you’re interested in a career change.

Certificate IV in Screen and Media student Bailey is filming his fellow student as part of his TAFE course on Swinburne's leafy Hawthorn campus.

Why choose Swinburne

Cutting-edge skills and technology

Our hands-on courses utilise technology including VR and simulators, so you can translate theory into practice and gain real-world experience.

Experience our technology

Three convenient campuses

Our Hawthorn, Wantirna and Croydon campuses are easy to get to via public transport and car. We’re also close to shops, cafes and leafy green parks. 

Explore our campuses

Connected to industry

Our courses offer guaranteed industry immersion, bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world application through Work Integrated Learning.

Visit our Future of Work Lab

Pathway to university degree

Completing a certificate or diploma can equip you with the skills to enter your chosen field. You can also progress to a bachelor degree, if you meet the entry requirements.

Try our pathway planner

Meet us at Open Day

If you're thinking about studying a TAFE course, come along to Open Day at our Hawthorn campus to see exactly what Vocational Education and Training at Swinburne is like.

  • Swinburne Open Day

    Sunday 28 July, Hawthorn campus

    Your chance to see what’s possible at Swinburne and find where you fit in. Discover your dream course. Chat with current students. Get your hands on tech that's changing the world – and meet the people behind it all. Your chance to explore Swinburne: in person, up close, and at your own pace.

Find a TAFE course to suit you 

We offer TAFE courses, including Free TAFE, across a range of study areas such as design, media, business, health, science, education, community services, engineering, and trades.

Want to explore more courses?

Check out the full range of certificate and diploma courses available at Swinburne. Many of them provide a direct pathway if you choose to progress to higher education, such as a bachelor degree.

Found the perfect TAFE course?

Whether you want to study a certificate or diploma or Free TAFE course, you can fast track your dream career by applying now.

Apply now

Hear from our students

Some of our students are set to represent Australia at the WorldSkills 47th International Competition in France in September 2024. Find out from Nellie and Will about their journey to WorldSkills as part of 2024 Skillaroos.

  • Nellie



    'The TAFE at Swinburne provided me with a really comprehensive knowledge of the technical and practical elements of design, as well as relevant industry knowledge.' 

  • Will



    'I’m looking to go straight into the workforce after my course. The practical skills I’ve learnt have really opened my eyes to it. I’d love to be doing this sort of stuff every day.' 

  • Catrina



    ‘What I like most about the course is learning from people with industry experience and getting a foot in the door through practical placements.’

  • Bailey



    'Choosing Swinburne was a pivotal decision. The seamless pathway allowed me to effortlessly progress from certificate to diploma and advanced diploma.' 

  • Irene



    ‘The practical coursework and supportive environment not only enhanced my skills but also paved the way for career opportunities.’

  • Dorota



    ‘I chose to study at Swinburne University of Technology because I wanted to make a complete career change into the community services industry.’

  • Raghu



    ‘The facilities at Swinburne are fantastic. The teachers were knowledgeable and highly experienced. Plus, they were able to transfer their knowledge.’

  • Rose



    'This course has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to further my career.'

Free TAFE, student loans and concessions

  • Plumbing student working on a task

    Free TAFE for Priority Courses

    Check if you’re eligible for Victorian Government-subsidised training. If so, you can access the Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative to have your tuition fees covered when you study an approved course.

  • female plumber

    Skills First program

    Skills First is a Victorian Government program that can help you access vocational education and training. If you’re eligible, the government will contribute to the cost of your training.

  • VET Student Loan

    The VET Student Loan (VSL) program helps eligible students enrolled in approved diploma-level courses or above pay the tuition fees of an approved provider like Swinburne. 

  • Trade Support Loans

    Doing an apprenticeship? You may be able to get a Trade Support Loan of up to A$21,078 from the Australian Government to help with your ordinary living expenses.

  • Fee concessions for vocational students

    Check your eligibility for vocational education fee discounts and concessions of 80% off standard tuition fees for units and courses at Swinburne.

Are you a high school student?

Disability transition support for school students

At Swinburne, we offer specialised and intensive support tailored for students with disabilities who are transitioning from secondary school to TAFE courses, including those from specialist schools and alternate education settings. We can provide:

  • comprehensive information and advice for students, their support teams, families and schools
  • personalised wrap-around support designed to ensure a seamless transition to TAFE courses
  • assistance with the enrolment process and preparation for the chosen course

For more information, please email dto@swinburne.edu.au.

Frequently asked questions

TAFE courses include pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, traineeships, trades, certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas. These courses provide practical, skills-focused training that leaves you industry connected and ready for the workforce. 

While many undergraduate degrees will take three years to complete, TAFE courses can be completed in as little as a few hours for short courses, 10 weeks for some certificate-level courses, or up to two years full-time for diploma-level courses. 

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine paid work and formal study at Swinburne. 

  • Pre-apprenticeships (three to six months): Get your foot in the door, try something new and gain some basic industry skills before you start an apprenticeship. 
  • Apprenticeships (three to four years): Combine paid employment with formal training in fields such as electrotechnology. 
  • Traineeships (one to two years): Enhance your skills with formal training while you’re working in paid non-trade employment. You can train on campus or at work. 

Certificate programs focus on technical and workplace skills, while diploma and advanced diplomas expand on a discipline area with increased focus on professional knowledge. Learn more about these course types.

Fees differ across our TAFE courses, so be sure to check the "fees and scholarships" tab on the relevant course pages.

You may also be eligible for some student loans and concessions, or even a Free TAFE course.

We offer multiple intakes throughout the year for our TAFE courses. Some courses may have different intakes, so make sure to check the "how to apply" tab on the relevant course pages.

Many courses are offered with both full-time and part-time options. Other courses, such as apprenticeships and traineeships are only offered as part-time training as students will be working while they train.

Many courses are delivered in a blended format, combining the best of online learning as well as the benefits of being on campus.

When on campus you'll have opportunities to speak with your teachers face-to-face and make use of the many student support services available.

Some courses are delivered 100% online, where teachers facilitate virtual classrooms and learning and assessment is done through an online portal.

The Victorian State Government supports students by offering Free TAFE (Vocational Education and Training) courses in targeted skill areas including building and construction, business, law, IT, education, and health and community services. View the full list of Free TAFE courses.