Online Education

Online education is seen as an area available to those unable to access full-time education. Technology has now added the use of email, web-based presentations and more. It is possible to carry a single unit or virtually a full load. In some instances it is even possible to do practical activities online,

You can choose where and when you study/complete work, even study from overseas. It can be done in conjunction with full-time employment, managing a family, running a business ... . It can be done for professional or personal reasons. You can select individual courses from a number of sources [e.g. MOOCs].

In previous years, this form of study was often called external studies or distance education, with the latter term still used by some groups.

Online education is provided by most universities, some colleges and many school systems. Numerous universities are now providing “Open Courseware” online, free to anyone who is interested.

Be aware online education has positive and negative aspects. You must know if you are suited to this method of learning. Getting Started - Open Universities Australia has information regarding the process.

Similar sites include Distance Learning 101 and Distance Learning Web Resources. In The Ultimate Guide to Online Education each chapter talks about a specific aspect such as What is Online Education ?, Understanding Online Learning Terms, The Pros and Cons of Online Education, and another 7 areas. While these are US based, sections apply worldwide and are worth reading before starting any online/distance education course.

This page looks at online education programs in Australia. These cover schools [Distance Education, School of the Air], universities and vocational areas.

Australian Information

Distance Education

Education with work completed online, with mail or other methods.
The controlling units/schools are provided in the first section for each state/territory, with other centres in the second part of each listing.

School Level

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

  • Access Program
    ‘Provides a shared curriculum for senior secondary students across five clusters of isolated schools. Small groups of students interact with each other and their teacher through videoconferencing and collaborative technologies. This enables rural students to complete their secondary education at their local school with the support of their community - without having to live away from home’.
  • Aurora College
    ‘We are the NSW Virtual Selective High School, providing students in rural and remote areas the chance to study specialist subjects using the latest technology’.
  • DART Connections
    ‘Connections is a project of the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities unit - Distance And Rural Technologies [DART]. Connections provides and co-ordinates video conferencing excursions’.
  • Distance Education
    Part of the Rural and Distance Education site [see below]. Information on Full-time enrolment and Single Course enrolment. It has a link to this Distance Education Enrolment Procedures document which provides detailed information.
  • Distance Education Centres
    Preschool to Secondary and a Support Unit. Title and contact numbers. ‘Distance education centres are located across NSW and have designated intake areas’. Some of these are listed below.

Northern Territory

  • Distance and Online Learning
    Overview, links and contacts for all centres.
  • NT School of Distance Education
    ‘Provides senior secondary education to students in Years 10, 11 and 12. Our teaching and learning programs are provided to students through a blended distance education delivery model that incorporates online courses, weekly interactive web conferencing lessons and regular support by teachers via phone, email and contact visits either to your home location or at NTSDE’.


  • TAFE Online [Qld]
    TAFE Open Learning - online and distance education. Courses for people living throughout Australia and the world’.

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South Australia


  • Tasmanian eSchool
    Replaced Distance Education Tasmania and the Open Learning Network.


Western Australia

  • SIDE
    ‘The centre for secondary distance learning within the WA Department of Education.’ The SIDE Primary School page is found here.

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Other Australian Sites

Advisory Sites

    ‘The peak professional organisation in Australasia representing school level distance education’.
    ‘The peak Australasian organisation for universities engaged or interested in open, distance, flexible and e-learning’.
  • Charles Sturt University - Online Study
    ‘Is online study new to you ? There is no need to panic. We’ll introduce you to all the skills and tools you’ll need before you start studying’.
  • eLearn Hub
    ‘Do you want to spread the word about quality online education ? eLearn Hub takes guest posts on all things education’. Also has free materials, advice on aspects of producing courses and much more.
  • Top 5 Tips for Online Study
    ‘Studying online is convenient and saves time because you can study at home or from work. But it is demanding in other ways. You need to be especially disciplined and organised. Here are my top 5 tips for successful online learning’.

Individual Centres

  • Accredited Online Training
    ‘Online, nationally recognised courses all over Australia. Certificates and Diplomas in the Business Service training package, Training and Assessment and Finance’.
  • AOI, the First Online Institute in Australia
  • Australian Sports Academy - Distance Education
    ‘Australian Sports Academy offers its qualifications through Distance Education, flexible learning or by correspondence. We also offer the opportunity to undertake Diploma courses or single units through our world class distance education program’.
  • Chifley Business School
    ‘Combining the industry recognition of Chifley with Torrens’ flexible and modern approach to higher learning, graduates will enjoy a clear advantage in their professional development through courses designed by leaders across several sectors ’.
  • ECA Maritime College
    ‘Developed to help the Maritime Industry and Mariners gain access to on the job training, reduce the amount of time in the classroom’.
  • Health Academy Australia
    ‘Offers affordable online courses in Nutrition, Natural Health, Counselling, Psychology, Medical Terminology, Health and Fitness and Biological Sciences’.
  • HSCLearn Online
    ‘Fully accredited online courses for preliminary and HSC subjects for students around NSW’. Fee-based.
  • Inspire Education
    ‘We have courses offered online, through distance learning, or face to face !’
  • NREL Courses Online
    ‘NREL is a full, national accredited RTO 40998, delivering real estate licence training in a method that allows you the student to study your way, at home or on the go’.
  • Online and Distance Education [Study in Australia]
    ‘Advances in information technology have led to the expansion of distance education opportunities in Australia. A wide selection of Australian qualifications can now be completed from the convenience of your own home’.
  • Open2Study
    ‘All of our subjects are available to everyone. When you successfully complete your subject you’ll get a Certificate of Achievement, which you can use to demonstrate your interest in learning about a certain area’. Part of the Open University group.
  • Open Colleges
    ‘We focus on meeting the specific needs of adult learners by delivering highly flexible, accessible and affordable learning opportunities’.
  • Rural and Remote Education Online
    For practising medicos to improve their education through case studies, modules and courses. Links to workshops and conferences.
  • SAVE Training
    ‘A small specialist Registered Training Organisation [RTO] focused on getting people qualified online. The efficiency of our business allows us to pass on a great product along with a premium level of service and support’.
  • SEEK Learning
    ‘IT Certificates, TAFE Courses, university degrees, short computer courses and more’. Links to a wide range of course providers for these.
  • Swanonline
    ‘Swanonline welcomes students from Year 7-12 and offers an excellent alternative pathway for students and families who find a traditional school model does not suit their situation or lifestyle. We are proud to operate as the online education arm of Swan Christian College, an award-winning K-12 school in Western Australia’.
  • Upskilled Australia
    Online courses in multiple areas [see front page] in addition to their onsite and centre based courses.

Multi-provider Groups

  • Career FAQs
    ‘Over 700 nationally recognised, accredited online university and vocational education courses from leading Australian distance education specialists. Career FAQs also offers an extensive range of valuable online career resources’.
  • CourseFinder
    ‘Bringing together online and distance education courses from the biggest and best Australian universities, TAFEs and private colleges’.
  • Courses Australia []
    Find ‘courses by industry, courses by qualification, government funding information, Course Providers, news. Take charge of your career’.
  • TAFE Courses
    ‘A comprehensive and easy-to-browse selection of the latest vocational education and training courses from Australia’s leading education providers’.

University Online Courses

Only a sample of online education from universities in Australia are provided here.

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