Correspondence Courses for an Australian
June 12, 2007 5:45 PM   Subscribe

What are some good, simple, affordable correspondence courses I can do from Australia? (The courses don't have to be based in Australia.)

Ever since my mum did a correspondence course in interior decoration in the early 90s, I've been intrigued by the concept of learning by mail. I am trying to find some good and simple correnspondence courses, but I can't really tell what's worth the money.

A lot of the Australian ones are distance certificates or diplomas - things you need to be certified in. This makes them a lot more heavy-duty and consequently a lot more expensive. I don't really need a certificate in anything specific; I just want to learn something for the sake of learning. Also, there isn't a simple way of looking up reputations.

Which companies are reputable? They don't have to be Australian but since I'm there I need to be able to receive the material! I prefer something short-to-medium term rather than long-term, and something not so in-depth (I'm in university).

I'm interested in creativity, human services, communities, and anything weird and unusual. I don't need to do a creative writing course, though, as I'm already doing that at uni. I'd prefer post-based courses. Where else can I go?
posted by divabat to Education (5 answers total)
The Open University from the UK lists these courses as being accessible to residents of Australia.

Less formal than that might be all sorts of learning options available in the "learning" section of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools, or a subscription to MAKE: magazine.
posted by mdonley at 7:20 PM on June 12, 2007

I have done some TAFE correspondence courses. I can recommend the Certificate iv in Professional Writing and Editing from Box Hill TAFE, but it is the equivalent of a year of full time education, so might be more than you are after.
Each state has their own TAFE system, in NSW OTEN are the ones doing correspondence stuff.
You don't say how much is too much in cost, but most I have seen run from hundreds of dollars to thousands.
A year of university costs about $4000, which you may be able to defer with PELS (maybe called FEE HELP now?).
Unfortunately, it seems to necessary to troll each universities' web site to get the info on which courses are available by correspondence.
UNE in Armidale and Southern Cross Uni both spring to mind as ones that have a range of distance learning options.
For what it is worth, I don't believe any of the correspondence schools that advertise in magazines etc. are particularly reputable.
posted by bystander at 9:50 PM on June 12, 2007

bystander: I'm an international student on scholarship, so $4000 is what I'm paying now per semester (otherwise it'd be $8000 per semester). I've seen the TAFE courses and they are a bit more than I'm after. And yeah, can't get FEE HELP :P
posted by divabat at 12:44 AM on June 13, 2007

In Canberra CIT (equiv to TAFE) and local high schools offer a series of 'Adult education' courses. They're generally only a few weeks in duration, reasonably priced, and range from African Drumming to Print making to Flying Lessons to Motor Maintenance. It's not by correspondence, but these sound pretty ideal otherwise. They're generally targeted at folk who are occupied during the day so they run on nights and weekends. I assume an equivalent thing would exist close to you, Canberra can't have all the fun.
posted by kaydo at 4:00 AM on June 13, 2007

look into Macquarie University's Centre for Open Education.
posted by jannw at 8:10 AM on June 13, 2007

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