There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Believe us, we’ve heard them all!

Further education is an exciting place to be – it is also a safe place to be; and a safe place to ask anything you like. So, we’ve compiled a few of our most frequently asked questions from students, parents and friends.

From common definitions to ‘what if’ scenarios and finding your way around, read on to learn everything you need to know (and are too afraid to ask).


Undergraduate degrees (also known as ‘higher education’) are usually your first university degree, such as a bachelor degree. They usually take three to four years full time (some are five years, with an additional honours year).

Postgraduate study is a higher qualification you can complete after you have completed a degree or have equivalent work experience. Postgraduate courses include graduate diplomas, masters and PhDs.

TAFE is a more hands-on, practical approach to learning.

We’re one of only six universities in Australia that offer both TAFE and university courses.

If you want a career that requires a certificate, diploma or apprenticeship, then TAFE is the right choice for you. VU’s TAFE division is called Victoria University Polytechnic.

We call the connections between our courses pathways. These are designed help you to attain the entry requirements for higher-level courses.

As one of the few universities in Australia to offer both vocational training (TAFE, at Victoria University Polytechnic) and higher education (VU bachelor degrees), we provide connections between courses at all levels.

Pathways make it possible for your dream course and job to be within reach, regardless of your study background, prior experience, your ATAR score, or your level of academic achievement.

If you have skills, knowledge or qualifications, these may be recognised and give you credits towards your course. This is called Advanced Standing or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

This is offered at both university and TAFE:

When you have prior experience recognised, it can mean you’ll finish your course sooner and it will cost you less, too!

Most domestic students will be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP).

If you are eligible for CSP, you have a couple of options for paying your fees.

You can:

  • pay your student fees up-front
  • defer your student contribution via HECS-HELP – a government loan.

When you take the HECS-HELP option, you'll repay the loan through the tax system once you start earning above the minimum repayment threshold. Voluntary repayments can be made at any time directly to the ATO, regardless of income.

Traditionally, university students attend lectures in a large theatre where a teacher delivers a presentation, and tutorials in an informal class setting for follow-up discussions and group work.

However, with VU’s revolutionary Block Model, we have eliminated formal lectures. With smaller classes, you'll have a more personal, practical learning experience. You'll find it easier to make connections – both with your classmates and your teachers who can give you more one-on-one time.

VU’s Australian-first, award-winning Block Model is the smart way to study.

Unlike the standard university model where you juggle multiple units (subjects) at once over a semester, at VU you get to focus on one unit at a time. You complete each unit over a four-week period called a 'block'.

With small classes, you'll have a more personal, practical learning experience. You'll find it easier to make connections – both with your classmates and your teachers who can give you more one-on-one time. With the timetable of three classes per week, you'll have more time for work, study or hobbies outside of uni hours.

Since we implemented the Block Model, our students' results have improved dramatically, as has engagement and satisfaction.

Find out more about how our students excel with the VU Block Model.

Help me, I'm lost!

Don’t stress! We are here to help.

If you haven’t figured out your career path, call us, chat online, or send us an email.

A great place to start is defining what you really enjoy doing, and what inspires you.

Repeat after me: You are more than your ATAR!

At VU, we take into consideration many factors other than ATAR. Even if you don’t meet the ATAR requirement immediately, don’t let it get you down – there are many options to get you into your chosen course and career, including TAFE pathways and alternative uni courses.

Have a read of some great stories about people who didn’t let their ATAR hold them back.


The beauty of VU’s Block Model is that you will only be on campus for three, three-hour workshop-style classes a week. That’s it! So it’s easy to plan your work shifts around your studies. Not to mention plenty of time to catch up with friends and family.

We offer support services, mentoring, and a learning model unlike any other Australian university's, designed for your success.

But if things don’t go according to plan, and you fail a subject, don’t stress. It may be offered in summer or winter school so you can catch up. If it’s not, you could take another subject in summer or winter school – that way, when you repeat the subject, you won’t have to add any time to the end of your degree!

Choosing what to do with your future is a big decision, and we don’t want you to stress about it. You might be figuring things out for the first time, or changing course or career.

You can change course via a course transfer or pathway.

Either way, you might be able to gain credits for the subjects you've completed through Recognition of Prior Learning (TAFE) or Advanced Standing (uni).

Adjusting to any new environment is nerve-racking, but you’ll find your way around before you know it!

The day before your first class, get familiar with our info and maps for your campus on our website.

Once you find your first classroom, find your nearest restrooms and café and you’re off to a great start! But we are here to help, so make sure you ask a friendly volunteer if you get lost.

If you love your coffee, you’re in luck – our campuses all have many fabulous coffee options. If not, don’t worry, we’ve got you sorted with a great variety of cafés and restaurants – both on campus and nearby.

Footscray, Sunshine and the city offer delectable food options from around the world.

What about the practical stuff?

This all depends on your level of study, whether you’re a government-subsidised student or a full-fee paying student, and the electives you choose.

For HECS-HELP students, you may not need to pay anything up front (see HECS-HELP question above). The cost of your loan will depend on your chosen course and units – check out individual unit costs.

Some TAFE courses are are tuition fee-free – check out Free TAFE

Along with your HECS-HELP assistance, VU offers scholarships every year, at various levels and fields of study.

Scholarships give you financial and practical assistance, and a head start with a way to showcase your abilities and achievements.

How you apply for your course depends on your course and study level, and the time of year.

We have eight campuses around Melbourne, including the new VU City Tower in the CBD and five campuses in the western suburbs. Each of these campuses teaches specific disciplines, so visit your chosen course page to see where it is taught.

Every campus has easily accessible public transport and parking available.

With VU’s Block Model you will only be on campus for three, three-hour workshop-style sessions a week. That’s it! So it’s easy to plan your work shifts around your studies. And you'll have plenty of time to catch up with friends and family.

Studying boosts your job prospects after graduation. But did you know that, at VU, you can get a job in your field before you even finish your course? Practical learning is a strong focus on all of our courses, so you will have opportunities to get the experience and confidence and build networks through work placements.

More information

Have more questions about university or need help narrowing down your study options?

Find out more about why VU is a great choice for you and explore courses now.

If you want further information, you can also contact us for personalised advice: