Returning to study
Victoria University has thousands of mature-age students who have returned to study.
Some mature-age students have never completed secondary school, some are already in the workforce, and some are returning to study after a long break. Whatever your reason for returning to study, we offer a range of flexible course options and support services to help you achieve your goals.
Mature-age students come from diverse backgrounds and return to study for many reasons, such as a career change, to expand their skills, or just for personal enjoyment. We can help you through the process.
On this page
Choosing a course
VU's study pathways mean that you can do an apprenticeship, certificate, degree or postgraduate studies, entering from various points and exiting when you’ve reached your goal.
Our courses offer flexibility, so if you want to vary the amount of time you spend studying each year, or even take a break for a while, you can.
Browse our online course search to find a course that suits your career goals and lifestyle.
Find out more about how our courses work.
Victorian Certificate of Education at VU
Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is a senior secondary school qualification which is a prerequisite for entry into degree courses. VCE at VU is the same VCE course offered in secondary schools but is tailored for adults returning to study.
Whether you’re interested in a career change or resuming study after a gap year, we’ll make your return to undergraduate study as simple as possible.
Browse our range of undergraduate courses.
Many of our students return to study after completing a bachelor degree or having been in the workforce for a number of years.
If you want to become more qualified in research or just want to expand your expertise in a specific field, postgraduate study can help.
Browse our range of postgraduate courses.
Credit for skills and past study
VU recognises the valuable learning and life experience that students bring with them when they return to study.
We can credit academic, professional or life skills that are assessed and determined to be equivalent to the skills or knowledge that would be covered in specific units within a course. This could substantially reduce the time it takes to complete your course.
How to apply
Application procedures vary depending on what course you're studying. Some courses require you to submit an application directly to VU while others require you to apply through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC).
Most courses start in late January or early March and may also have a mid-year intake. Some TAFE courses accept applications throughout the year.
Selection officers consider a range of factors when determining if an application is successful. In addition to previous academic performance, some courses allow you to lodge a personal statement about why you want to do the course and why you should be selected; others use folios, interviews or subject-specific tests. Once your application is assessed as successful, you'll receive an offer to enrol.
Career advice & 'Ready to study' workshops
We offer one-to-one career counselling appointments and occasional group workshops to help you consider your study options to reach your full career potential.
'Ready to study' workshop
The Ready to Study workshop is ideal for future students who want to develop further skills to re-enter the workforce and/or establish a career.
The workshop will cover topics such as:
- understanding the Australian Qualifications Framework
- the differences between Vocational Education and Higher Education
- direct applications and applying via VTAC
- fees and scholarships
- Special Entry Access Schemes
- applying for course credits (Advanced Standing)
- how to make a smooth transition in your return to study.
Exact location will be advised when you book your workshop.
The workshops will be held at our Footscray Park Campus on the following dates:
- Wednesday 10 September - 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm
- Wednesday 24 September – 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm
- Wednesday 15 October – 6.00 – 7.00 pm
- Wednesday 29 October – 1.00 – 2.00 pm
- Wednesday 12 November – 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm
- Wednesday 26 November – 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm
- Wednesday 10 December – 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm.
Book a 1 hour career advice appointment to debrief your current situation and research appropriate educational pathways. Appointments are available at our Footscray Park and City Flinders campuses.
With a Victoria University career counsellor you can identify your existing achievements. Through the career advice appointment you will :
- explore the skills, knowledge and attitudes that will enhance your work opportunities
- establish your next steps
- set timelines for achieving your professional goals.
Bookings for career advice & workshops
Bookings are essential for the workshops and one-to-one appointments with our Career Counsellors.
Reserve your place by contacting:
- our Career Counsellors on +61 3 9919 2169
- the Contact Centre on +61 3 9919 6100
Financing your study
Costs of study vary depending on what you study. All Australian citizens are eligible for Commonwealth Government-funded loans (FEE-HELP for Higher Education and VET-HELP for TAFE). That means you can defer your fees and pay them back through the Australian Tax Office when your income reaches a certain amount. VU also has a wide range of scholarships for TAFE, undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Balancing study with work, family and other responsibilities can be challenging, so we provide a range of support services to help you succeed:
- Career and employment support to current students
- Learning support
- Disability and welfare support
- Personal counselling
- Financial advice
- Clubs and societies
- Fitness centres.
Call us on 1300 VIC UNI and one of our friendly staff will assist, or you can submit a question online to our support team.