Online short courses

Discover university short courses that let you upskill within weeks

Introduction to Short Courses

We know there are thousands of short online courses out there—and it can be hard to decide on the right one. That’s why we make it easier to compare study options with universities from across Australia. 

Start browsing accredited online courses that can be completed in as little as 10 weeks so you can learn sought-after skills for the workplace. You can even request personalised course advice if you need it, to save time on research.

Let’s get your career where you want it to be. 

Why you should study your short online course through us

When you enrol in a short course through Open Universities Australia, you will upskill online with your university. But we give you more control over your study experience. Here’s how.

Access undergraduate- and postgraduate-level courses that only run for 10 to 18 weeks

Study course content that is part of a full degree, without the commitment

Choose from multiple start dates throughout the year

Access full HELP funding for your short course

Upskill at a university level without needing an ATAR

Earn credit that can be used towards a qualification later

Short course study FAQs

Who can study the short courses available through Open Universities Australia?

There are university short courses available for everybody through our higher education marketplace. You can browse different options depending on your interests, level of education and career goals. 

Some short courses are offered at a beginner or undergraduate level, and will be open to everyone. Other short courses are offered at a more advanced postgraduate level, and will require some previous tertiary education or professional expertise. 

You will also find short courses that meet continuing professional development (CPD) requirements in some industries. 

Who runs these short courses?

The short courses available through our marketplace are run by leading universities from across Australia. We’re here to help you find what you need and enrol more easily, but you will study directly with your chosen university. 

How long does it take to complete a short online university course?

The short courses available through us are technically single university subjects that you can complete as once-off courses. 

It will take you between 10 to 18 weeks to complete your course, depending on the university that you choose. 

Why should I enrol in my short course through Open Universities Australia?

There are several reasons to enrol in your short course through us:

You can get in without entry requirements

Because they are technically university subjects, you would normally need an ATAR to enrol in many of these short courses. But we have a unique arrangement in place with our university partners. It means that our students can access certain university-level courses without worrying about entry requirements. Your educational history doesn’t have to hold you back from upskilling for your career.

You can sample a longer course

All the short courses available through us exist as part of a longer qualification. So while you’re upskilling, you can also get a feel for what it’s like to study a particular degree. If you realise it’s something you want to pursue, we can help you transition into formal study, with full credit. But if you’re only interested in a short course, there’s no commitment to continue.

You have a guide, every step of the way

As a not-for-profit, we only care about getting you where you want to be. You can ask us about anything to do with upskilling online courses, including your eligibility and fee information. We’ll give you unbiased advice about your options across the different universities. 

Can my short course be credited towards a longer qualification?

Yes, most of the short courses on our marketplace can be used as credit towards a university degree, if you choose. Just remember that the short course must be closely related to the degree that you would like to study, and your request for credit will need to be approved by your chosen university. You can ask us for more information about this.  

What is it like to study a short course online?

Studying a university short course online rather than face-to-face gives you more freedom. Though you still have regular lectures to watch and deadlines to meet, you can complete your coursework when it suits you. That could be on your lunch break, after work, or on a Saturday morning at your local café. You don’t have to put your life on hold to invest in yourself. 

You’ll access all your course material, including live seminars, recorded lectures and discussions, through your university’s digital learning management system, which you can log into via a laptop, phone or tablet. Most of our students find they spend 7 to 10 hours on studying per week for the duration of the course.  

Will I have to complete assessments?

Yes, since your short course is a university subject, you should expect at least two mandatory assessments. You will need to satisfactorily complete these assessments to pass your course. 

Will I receive a certificate?

Absolutely. Once you pass your short course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion from your university that you can add to your resume. It will demonstrate to employers that you’re proficient in a whole new area. It won’t even mention that you studied online through Open Universities Australia. 

How do I choose the right online short course for me?

The best way to narrow down your course options is to take our quick 2-minute quiz. We’ll instantly recommend short courses that match your career goals, lifestyle needs and educational history. You’ll then be able to compare things like course content, study fees and start dates, to make your decision easier. 

Want to chat with someone in the know? You can also book a free phone consultation with one of our friendly student advisors. They’ll help you weigh up your upskilling options, so you feel confident about your choice.  

How much does a university short course cost?

The cost of your short course will depend on a few things, including the course content, the duration, and the university.  

The good news is, you don’t have to pay your course fee upfront if you don’t want to. All short courses available through Open Universities Australia are covered by government HELP loans (HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP). Provided you meet the government’s eligibility criteria, you will be able to defer paying for your short course until you’re earning a certain income in your full-time job. You can apply for one of these funding options when you enrol. 

How do I enrol in my online short course?

You can enrol instantly in most short courses. Simply visit the course page and click 'Enrol now'. Then choose your start date and select how you’d like to pay your fees. You will be asked to supply some supporting documentation, including proof of your identity, your tax file number and a unique student identifier (USI).  

Make sure you check the ‘Entry requirements’ section before you enrol, to ensure there are no prior work or study requirements. 

If you do need to provide evidence of these things, you will be prompted to do so when enrolling. 

If I get stuck, who can I ask for help?

Reach out to us and we’ll talk you through it. We can even help you enrol over the phone. 

You can also read more detailed enrolling instructions here

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Here to guide you there

Open Universities Australia is a not-for-profit organisation helping every Australian access thousands of university courses.

Over 509,000 students have enrolled in university through us since 1993.

The logos of all the universities that are a part of Open Universities Australia's marketplace as of January 2024

Courses from 25 of Australia's leading universities

Our friendly student advisors are here to help

We’re here to guide you every step of the way with advice on:

  • Choosing a course that suits you best.
  • Enrolling and planning your studies.
  • Understanding your funding options.

Call, message or chat with a student advisor today.

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