Tertiary Education

Tertiary Education

So you want to do some more study? There are endless opportunities to choose from depending on your individual situation. Whether it be university or VET courses, there is a path for you to achieve what you want to achieve! But how do you know which one is right for you? These topics will give you some information on the different avenues, as well as some tips and tricks to help you along the way.


University is the highest-level institution of study. Universities offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. There are 3 universities in Adelaide: University of South Australia, The University of Adelaide, and Flinders University. Each uni has it pros and cons depending on what you are after.

Most degrees are 3 years in length, some specialist degrees are 4 years.

With the increase of competiveness in the professional market, having a bachelor degree has been of increasing advantage.

Some uni degrees are career and interest specific. For example, chemical engineering or civil law or primary school teaching. Most of these professional jobs will require you to have tertiary training in the form of a bachelor degree.

Studying at university is considered your full-time role (unless you are studying part-time), so you need to be prepared to commit to that. This may seem like a scary thing, but your investment is worth it!


Maybe university isn’t your thing. That’s okay! Technical and Further Education (TAFE) may be a better option for you. For example, you can’t study brick laying at university. TAFE SA is the provider for this type of tertiary education in SA. TAFE SA has endless courses from you to choose from, just pick your interest! Studying at a certificate level can help you springboard in university level study, or you can go to work, the choice is yours.

There are many TAFE SA campuses around the state, each one offering different courses; accounting and finance, childrens’ services, health and nutrition, and many more.

TAFE offers different level of studying, which then varies in length of program. Starting at Certificate I through to Diploma level. TAFE also offer short courses in a range of areas, both broad and specific. Click here for more information.

Other Options

There a other places you can complete a tertiary education other than the 3 major universities and TAFE SA. There are Registered Training Organisations (RTO's) in the form of colleges and institutions that offer certificate and bachelor level education. Some are area specific, such as Australian Institute of Buisness and Technology or Le Cordon Bleu, others offer a range of courses.  For more information, click this link.

Tips for Starting

  • It isn’t high school - Sweet! No more waking up at 7am... maybe. This may a good thing in some regard but it also means you dont have a teacher on your back making sure you hand up your assignments.
  • Be prepared - Go to O-Week, get your textbooks, work out where your classes are, know what assignments are going to be due when. This way there are no surprises!
  • Use your breaks wisely - So you have siginificantly more holiday time than in high school... that can be good, but only if you use it wisely. Rest when you need to re-coop, but do your work when you need to.
  • Ask for help - Yes, it is no longer high school, and the teacher isn't in your face making sure you pass... but the lecturers are still there to help. People are often to afraid to ask for help and as a result fall behind. Be real with your lecturers, they'll be glad that you want to learn.
  • Check boards/online - No more daily notices, you have to be on top of this one. If classes are cancelled or moved, assignments are clarified... you are going to want to know this stuff. So check boards and online forums regularly, they'll save your life!
  • There is no dress code - Yay! Unless you of course there is a safety requirement.
  • Make the most of it - They are times where it's hard, boring, and you will want to quit... but if you can get through those times then have fun, you picked the course!