Set sights on mid-year start

If you are looking to start a new course at TAFE or university, you don’t have to wait until 2020. Many institutions offer mid-year entry across a huge variety of study areas and qualifications, from vocational certificates right through to postgraduate degrees.

Thousands of students are expected to apply for mid-year intake at TAFEs and universities state-wide from this month, ahead of semester two starting from July.

The Good Universities Guide’s Patrick Evans says mid-year entry can be as much of a lifestyle choice as an educational one.

“If you are applying to study straight out of high school, giving yourself a bit of time to catch your breath and work out exactly what path you want to take can be really beneficial,” Mr Evans said.

“For mature age students, the start of the year is often a busy period — particularly if they have kids starting school or are planning to juggle a fulltime job with study — so it might suit them better to have that six-month buffer before jumping in.”

Students may also decide to use their six months off to build their skills foundation or get a feel for their chosen field through a short course or on-the-job training.

You can even apply to have this experience acknowledged formally with a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), which may offer course credits to graduate earlier.

Most universities will offer a maximum of two intakes a year in March and July, with the exception of Deakin University, which operates on a trimester model with an option to start in November. Some TAFEs have multiple intakes throughout the year, offering students even more flexibility.

If you are considering a mid-year intake, here are three things to remember:

It isn’t available for all courses

Not all courses and institutions offer two intakes a year. Make sure you check the course guide to find out whether you can actually start in semester two.

The application process may be different

Most students applying to university or TAFE can do so via the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC), but many institutions will only take direct applications for semester two, and the requirements may differ from the main round. Deadlines and closing dates will also vary by institution so read the course application guidelines thoroughly and check the websites of the different institutions for important dates.

A late start does not necessarily mean a late finish

Many courses offer summer short courses or trimester modes so late starters can accelerate their studies and even catch up to their peers who began in semester one.

To search for a variety of courses that offer mid-year intake, visit www.gooduniversities.com.au.

This article originally appeared in the Herald Sun – Set sights on mid-year start

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