Develop the skills to become an effective member of a laboratory team. You’ll learn how to assist in collecting and preparing samples and using basic laboratory equipment. You’ll also gain skills in carrying out, measuring and recording results of test procedures and experiments in research, chemical, biological or life sciences. And, with a focus on OH&S laboratory requirements and procedures, you could be ready to start your career as a technical assistant or continue study in laboratory operations.

  • Two years part-time
  • Year 1: Croydon campus, Wednesday 12.30pm–3.30pm
  • Year 2: Wantirna campus, Wednesday 12.30pm–5.30pm
  • classroom/laboratory based/online delivery
  • materials fee: Year 1 = $201, Year 2 = $201
  • Required clothing and equipment: closed-toe shoes, long hair must be tied back during practical classes, pen and an exercise book.

Units of competency

Unit code Unit name Nominal hours Compulsory/Elective
BSBCMM211 Apply communication skills 40 Compulsory
MSL904003 Perform standard calibrations 50 Compulsory
MSL913004 Plan and conduct laboratory/field work 40 Compulsory
MSL922002 Record and present data 40 Compulsory
MSL933005 Maintain the laboratory/field workplace fit for purpose 30 Compulsory
MSL943004 Participate in laboratory or field workplace safety 40 Compulsory
MSL953005 Receive and prepare samples for testing 30 Compulsory
MSL973025 Perform basic tests 60 Compulsory
  Total nominal hours 330  
Unit code Unit name Nominal hours Compulsory/Elective
MSL933009 Contribute to the achievement of quality objectives 30 Compulsory
MSL973026 Perform aseptic techniques 50 Compulsory
MSL973015 Prepare working solutions 30 Compulsory
MSL973027 Perform microscopic examination 40 Compulsory
MSL973028 Prepare culture media 40 Compulsory
  Total nominal hours 190  


On successful completion of this program, students will:

  • VCE: be eligible for up to six units of credit towards their VCE; up to three Units at 1 and 2 level and a Units 3 and 4 sequence.

    Students wishing to receive an ATAR contribution for the Units 3 and 4 sequence of VCE VET Laboratory Skills must undertake scored assessment for the purpose of achieving a study score. This study score can contribute directly to the ATAR, either as one of the students best four studies (the primary four) or as a fifth or sixth study.

    Refer to the VCAA Lab Skills Program booklet [DOCX 135KB].
  • Qualification: be eligible for the award of MSL30118 Certificate III in Laboratory Skills.

Complementary studies include Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Physics.

Career opportunities include laboratory attendant, chemical process operator, scientific glassblower and technical assistant.

Pathways and further study

Start with...

Certificate III in Laboratory Skills

progress to...
Bachelor of Science

*Course not offered by Swinburne University of Technology.

How to apply for VET Delivered to Secondary Students

Essentially, we’re in partnership with you and your school. You speak to your school and they coordinate your application with Swinburne. Seek out your school’s VET or careers coordinator for course recommendations and discuss your options. Then, when you’ve decided on a VDSS course that fits, your school will forward your application directly to us.

To be eligible for consideration for a VDSS program you must be currently enrolled in Year 10, 11 or 12.

You’ll receive notification from your school about the outcome of your application. Successful? More information about enrolment will follow.

If there is greater demand than course places available, you’ll be placed on a waiting list. So, take note of our key application dates to allow time for your school-endorsed application to get to us.

Please refer to Swinburne's policies and regulations for student rights and responsibilities while on campus.

Course costs

The costs associated with Swinburne VDSS programs is invoiced directly to schools. For more information on course costs, it’s best to contact your school’s VET or careers coordinator.

2025 key dates

First round applications open Monday 12 August 2024
First round applications close Sunday 6 October 2024
Schools notified Monday 14 October 2024
Late applications open Wednesday 16 October 2024
Late applications close Wednesday 6 November 2024

These dates are indicative only.

Enrolment and Orientation

Orientation for courses at Wantirna campus and Croydon campus is scheduled for Wednesday 27 November 2024.

When you’ve completed your enrolment and we’ve seen you on campus for orientation, you’ll attend Swinburne one day per week for training while continuing at your secondary school.

Courses commence Wednesday 5 February 2025.

Explore other VET courses Delivered to Secondary Students

Contact the VET Delivered to Secondary Students team

Have questions? If you would like more information about Swinburne's Vocational Education and Training Delivered to Secondary Students, please call us on 1300 275 794 or email