Diploma Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How does the Australian College of Theology fit in?
The Australian College of Theology was established in 1891 by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Australia.
The Australian College of Theology is a self-accrediting national Higher Education Provider (HEP). The Australian College of Theology operates as a consortium of independent affiliated colleges. Mary Andrews College is an affiliated college of the Australian College of Theology.
The Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses have been accredited by the Australian College of Theology for the next five years (2017-2021).
For more information on the Australian College of Theology, see their website: www.actheology.edu.au
Q. Who are these courses suitable for?
These courses are very appropriate for those women who are seeking to extend their knowledge of God and their skills in ministry. They are particularly suited for those who have limited time because of family responsibilities, work or university studies. Classes are run within public school terms.
Many of our students are retirees, people in part-time work, young mums, women involved in ministries in their church, school community or Christian organisations, and women with caring responsibilities.
Q. How much time will it take?
Units can be studied part-time (as little as one unit at a time) or full-time (four units per semester). Full-time students can complete the Diploma in 1.5 years (minimum), or the Advanced Diploma in 2 years (minimum). There is no maximum time to complete a Diploma course. Therefore there is complete flexibility.
Q. When are the classes?
The units are usually run within public school terms. The units are run fortnightly for three hours, weekly for two hours or in intensive mode all day. There are now some morning, afternoon and evening classes.
Q. Where can I study?
Q. How difficult are the Diploma courses academically?
Many of those who study with us have not studied for a long time. Choosing to study a Diploma offers the opportunity to undertake study at a level which will be challenging, but not as demanding as a degree course. It is therefore accessible to most women academically.
Four of the units in an Advanced Diploma (or six units in the combined Advanced Diploma) are required to be completed at degree (300-400) level, and are therefore assessed at a higher level than Diploma (200) level units.
Q. What previous education is required?
Those who wish to be awarded a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma are normally admitted upon satisfactory completion of Year 12 in an Australian school system or the equivalent. However, consideration is also given to an applicant's practical experience, maturity and motivation. Mature age entry is available for those over the age of 20.
All students must be able to communicate adequately in English.
There are extra entry requirements for the degree (300-400) level units in the Advanced Diplomas.
Q. Are there any English language requirements if I come from a non-English speaking background?
Domestic students (i.e. Australian citizens and permanent residents) from a non-English speaking background who (a) have an assessable qualification that was undertaken solely in English in one of a set of presribed countries, OR (b) to study Diploma (200) level units, have experienced English in an English-speaking country for at least five years, OR (c) to study degree (300-400) level units, have been resident in Australia with English being the language spoken at home and at work for ten or more years are NOT required to provide proof of English language proficiency for consideration for admission to an Australian College of Theology course.
All other students MUST provide proof of English language proficiency for consideration for admission to an Australian College of Theology course. Such proof will normally be by provision of the results of an IELTS test (Academic Version) completed no longer than two years previously. For admission at Diploma or Advanced Diploma level, the minimum IELTS result required is 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each unit.
Q. Can I choose not to do the assessments?
Yes. Some students choose to simply attend the lectures and do not undertake the assessments that are required for the Diploma and Advanced Diploma awards. This is called auditing.
There is no previous educational requirement for those who choose to audit their units.
Q. How much does this cost?
As the Higher Education Provider (HEP), the Australian College of Theology (ACT) has set the 2017 Diploma (200 level) fees at $1,600. This is the standard cost for all students who are doing Diploma (200) level units.
For Advanced Diploma students, the four units (or six units in the combined Advanced Diploma) which are required to be completed at degree (300-400) level cost more than standard Diploma (200) level units. The ACT has set the 2015 fees for degree (300-400) level units as $1,700 per unit, and the 2016 fees for degree (300-400) level units as $1,800 per unit. (Mary Andrews College has chosen not to offer any degree (300-400) level units at the moment. Affected students are to note that there are other ACT-affiliated colleges which do offer degree (300-400) level units.)
The 2017 fee for attendance only (i.e. auditing) students is $320 per unit.
Q. Can I obtain any government financial assistance?
Whether part-time or full-time, Diploma students may be eligible to apply for government FEE-HELP. FEE-HELP is an Australian Government loan scheme which assists eligible students to pay their course fees. FEE-HELP can cover all or part of a student's fees. Students are eligible for FEE-HELP if they are both an Australian citizen and are enrolled in a diploma or degree level unit that is leading towards a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma award.
Repayment of the FEE-HELP loan is only required when the student's personal taxable income is above the minimum threshold, which for the 2016-2017 financial year is $54,869 (Indexed to CPI). Read answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about FEE-HELP.
Students who are aged 25 years or more and who are studying a full-time Diploma program (or at least 75% of a full time load) may be eligible to apply for government Austudy or Abstudy. Austudy and Abstudy are government payments to help you while you study. Austudy provides financial help to full time students and Australian apprentices aged 25 or more. Abstudy provides help with costs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who are studying or undertaking an Australian apprenticeship. If you are eligible for Austudy or Abstudy, you may also be eligible for other payments. For more information, contact your local Centrelink office or go to the government's Centrelink website.