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–5.30pm
  • 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
MSMENV272 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices 30 Compulsory
MSL913003 Communicate with other people 40 Compulsory
MSL913004 Plan and conduct laboratory/field work 40 Compulsory
MSL922001 Record and present data 40 Compulsory
MSL933005 Maintain the laboratory/field workplace fit for purpose 30 Elective
MSL943004 Participate in laboratory or field workplace safety 40 Compulsory
MSL953003 Receive and prepare samples for testing 30 Elective
MSL973013 Perform basic tests 60 Elective
  Total nominal hours 310  
Unit code Unit name Nominal hours Compulsory/Elective
MSL933006 Contribute to the achievement of quality objectives 30 Compulsory
MSL973016 Perform aseptic techniques 40 Elective
MSL973014 Prepare working solutions 50 Elective
MSL973019 Perform microscopic examination 40 Elective
MSL973015 Prepare culture media 30 Elective
  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 VETDSS course that fits, your school will forward your application directly to us.

To be eligible for consideration for a VETDSS 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 VETDSS programs is invoiced directly to schools. For more information on course costs, it’s best to contact your school’s VET or careers coordinator.

2024 key dates

First round applications open Monday 14 August 2023
First round applications close Sunday 8 October 2023
Schools notified Monday 16 October 2023
Late applications open Wednesday 18 October 2023
Late applications close Tuesday 30 January 2024

These dates are indicative only.

Enrolment and Orientation

Orientation for courses at Wantirna campus and Croydon campus is scheduled for Wednesday 30 November 2022.

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 the week of Monday 30 January 2023.

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