Hunter TAFE is the biggest regional TAFE in Australia. Spread across fifteen campuses in Australia’s beautiful Hunter region, just north of Sydney, it offers more than 800 courses, covering a wide range of subject areas – from tourism and events to wine to floristry to outdoor recreation to accounting and bookkeeping. Whether you’re mid-career and looking for a change, or a high school graduate, ready to chase after the job of your dreams, you’ll find Hunter TAFE courses to suit you.
You can take courses at any level, including statement of attainment, diploma, graduate diploma, advanced diploma, certificate, associate degree and bachelor. And you can study in whatever way suits you best, be that full-time, part-time, on-campus or in the workplace. More and more people are choosing to study online, because it gives them the flexibility to keep up other commitments like work, family and friends.
What Hunter TAFE courses can you take?
Courses at Hunter TAFE NSW are categorised according to subject. There are 56 altogether. If you’re a practical kind of person, you might be interested in Hunter TAFE courses like in areas like automotive, building and construction, electrical and electronics, or metals and mechanical engineering. In the area of automotive alone, there’s an astounding 28 courses available. Some, like recreational vehicle service and repair, are quite general, providing students with comprehensive training or a broad introduction to a profession. Others focus on a specific skill, enabling professionals to advance their career in a particular direction. For example, you can enrol in courses such as:
- Advanced multi-layer colour matching
- RMS AGIS examiner – light vehicles
- RMS HVAIS proprietor – heavy vehicles.
Remember that, even with practical courses, online study can still be an option. When you study via Hunter TAFE online, you can organise your learning timetable to suit your lifestyle. There’s none of the inconvenience of attending regular classes on-campus.
If a practical vocation doesn’t really appeal to you and you’re more interested in something creative and imaginative, take a look through TAFE Hunter’s arts courses. There are loads of them. Been wondering what life might be like as a painter or sculptor? Maybe a course in fine arts or ceramics is for you. If you’re completely new to art and wanting to explore your creative side, you might want to start with something like a TAFE Plus Statement in Art access. After that, you can go onto certificates II, III and IV in visual arts, or more specific courses, such as life drawing, printmaking or t-shirt design.
Then again, perhaps you’re thinking about shifting a career than enables you to help people – or animals! You might have had enough of a job that earns you money but doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on the world. If making a difference appeals to you, then why not consider one of the Hunter Institute of TAFE’s courses in community, education or animal welfare? Many of them can be taken online. So you can keep working, seeing friends and spending time with family, but also move towards a job – or career advancement – that you’re passionate about. Does looking after the elderly appeal to you? Perhaps you could enrol in a certificate in aged care. Or are you better with kids? If you think you might be the next Kindergarten Cop, check out the diploma in early childhood education and care. And if animals are more your thing, there’s no shortage of options – from certificates in animal studies or companion animal services to TAFE plus statements in horse nutrition, foaling and horse health and first aid.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg – there really are Hunter TAFE courses and Hunter TAFE online options for every area of interest.
Location location location!
The Hunter region, located about two hours’ drive north of Sydney, offers access to the best of the Australian lifestyle. Newcastle, the region’s biggest city, is a diverse yet friendly, laid back metropolis, with a great cafe culture and a strong live music scene. It’s also a bit of a mecca for artists, with painters and sculptors taking advantage of lower rents (especially in comparison with Sydney) and disused industrial spaces. As a result,there are loads of interesting independent galleries and a colourful street art movement. What’s more, Newcastle is hard to beat when it comes to natural resources. The city is built along a peninsula, with still water on one side and excellent surf beaches on the other. It’s lovely to be able to take a long, peaceful walk in a beautiful place when you need a break from study!
Just west of Newcastle is one Australia’s most famous wine regions – the Hunter. As a student at one of TAFE Hunter’s fifteen campuses, you’ll never be far away from its 150 wineries, fantastic restaurants, quaint villages and relaxing rural scenery. It’s a terrific place for a day trip or a sneaky weekend break (before or after exams, that is!).
Alternatively, you might find yourself studying at one of Hunter TAFE NSW’s other campuses – further north in stunning Nelson Bay, down south in or near Gosford, or inland, around Muswellbrook. Wherever you are, you can rest assured you’ll be surrounded by beautiful countryside and warm, welcoming country folks. Get involved in local community events or, if you’re into the outdoors, you’ll be spoilt for choice – there’s bushwalking, kayaking, rock climbing, canyoning and wind surfing to be enjoyed. And if you ever need a big city hit, Sydney is only a couple of hours away by train.
The fact that the Hunter Institute of TAFE has fifteen campuses means that you can study wherever you feel comfortable. They’re all equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. And where you end up will depend on your subject area and your lifestyle choices – do you want to be among the bustle of Newcastle or in a quieter country town?
If you’d like to be in – or close to – Newcastle you can choose from five campuses. The main one, which is also the biggest of all of Hunter TAFE’s campuses, is Newcastle Campus, at 266 Maitland Road, Tighes Hill. It’s home to the Newcastle Hair and Beauty Academy, with six hair salons and three beauty salons; the Newcastle Knights Study Hub; and the Newcastle Maritime Training Centre, where students can access incredible hands-on experiences, including using an engine control room.
Not far from Newcastle Campus, at 590-608 Hunter Street, Newcastle West, is where you’ll find the Hunter Street Campus, which is dedicated to creative industries, fashion and media. And just down the road is Hamilton Campus, 91 Parry Street, Newcastle West, which specialises in hospitality, tourism, community and education for careers.
Meanwhile, west of Newcastle, there’s the Glendale Campus (Frederick Street, Glendale), which is popular for its auto trade school, children’s services centre and Cisco Academy Training Centre; and south, on the edges of Lake Macquarie, you’ll find Belmont Campus (Pacific Highway, Belmont), where the Hunter TAFE Engineering Metals Flexible Delivery Centre is located. Find details of the other 7 campuses right here.
Student housing and part time jobs at Hunter Institute of TAFE
If you’d like to study and live at Hunter TAFE NSW, taking advantage of great facilities like Hunter TAFE Library, you have two secure, onsite options to choose from. The first is the Hunter Valley Hotel Academy, situated at Kurri Kurri Campus. It’s just 10 kilometres from Maitland Train Station and 15 to 30 minutes’ drive to several nearby towns, including:
- Cessnock and Singleton
Alternatively, you could consider Sam Adams College, which is found in the Upper Hunter, on Muswellbrook Campus.
If you’d prefer to live independently, check out the Hunter TAFE accommodation guide, which has plenty of helpful information. Remember, too, that you could stay where you’re living right now, and study via Hunter TAFE online.
Given that the Hunter is such a diverse area, there are loads of opportunities for part-time jobs. Students who are interested in hospitality can apply at the many cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels in the area. It’s a popular area for weekend trips from Sydney, so tourism keeps at least part of the economy going. Alternatively, students with a passion for the arts could find work at local art galleries or music venues. There’s also a growing number of independent retail shops.
History of Hunter Institute of TAFE
The origins of Hunter TAFE NSW date back to 1886, when the Hunter River Miners’ Association asked the Board of Technical Education to start running classes. The first lessons were held at the School of Arts and at Bolton Street Public School. As numbers grew, the facilities weren’t big enough, so, in 1896, new technical premises were open, and, forty years later, the Tighes Hill campus gained several new buildings, like Sir Edgeworth David Science Block, the H.G. Darling Building and the Trades Classroom Block. It wasn’t until 1992 that the institute gained the form that it has today, when the fifteen campuses were incorporated into one entity.
Would you like to know more?
If you’d like to know more about Hunter TAFE courses or Hunter TAFE online, get in touch on 131 225.