Online short courses

About Us » How These Courses Work


Our 20hr Short Courses : Your Questions Answered


Q. What does a course consist of?

The study guide for your course is delivered in interactive PDF format, readable on your computer, tablet or other mobile device. Each lesson in the course includes Set Tasks to extend your learning, and culminates in a Self-Assessment Test, taken online via a link within the PDF document. Throughout your studies, our tutoring staff are available to support your learning.

At the end of your studies you can choose to sit a final exam, again via our e-SAT website, and receive a Statement of Attainment in recognition of your achievements.

More details on these features are provided in the questions and answers below.

Q. When can I start studying?

A. You can enrol and commence study any day or time throughout the year.

If you pay the course fee using Paypal, and payment is approved immediately, the Paypal computers will immediately notify our online course delivery system which will trigger you to be automatically contacted and allowed immediate online access to the course.

If payment is made over the phone, our staff can set up same day online access, often within an hour enrolling.

If you pay some other way, we will see your enrolment and process it on the next working day after you submit it.


Q. Where can I start study from?

A. You can study from any location in the world provided you have internet access. You can copy the course study guide to your computer or device and do most of your study offline. The automated assessments are however the one part of the course that will not work unless you are connected online to our course delivery system; so full benefits of the course will require that connection.

Some students study while they are traveling; others do parts of the course in different locations; and some study it all from the same place. Anywhere that you can sit down with a computer is your classroom.

Q. How long does the course take - What does "a self paced 20 hour course" mean?
A. The course duration of 20 hours is an estimate of the minimum cumulative time required for an average person to complete each of these learning programs.

  • If you want to fast track the study you can.
  • If you want to dig deeper and spend more time on one part of the course, you can (but the overall duration can then climb beyond 20 hours).
  • You can choose how long and how often you study.

We leave it up to you. Your study doesn’t even need to be at a regular pace. You can study some weeks, and not others; or complete the whole course over two or three days. You can have your Certificate of Completion in less than a week, if you put in the effort; or take 6 months or more if that suits you better.


Q. How do I get my Certificate of Completion?
A. If you work through the course as instructed, you should learn and remember enough to succeed on your final assessment.

After completing all of the lessons; you will have the opportunity of doing a larger online assessment involving questions that reflect content scattered throughout the entire course. You can undertake that test online, from anywhere and at any time. If you get 60% or more of the questions correct; you will be given a pass and prompted to download a pdf of your certificate; carrying your name, date and the name of the course.

If you fail and wish to study up more and then repeat a test, this can be arranged by communicating with the school by email.

We do not allow multiple attempts automatically. To do so would weaken the credibility of the qualification, and that would not benefit graduates.

Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while? (e.g. Get sick, go on holidays, have a baby).
A. Nothing. You just start again when you are ready to recommence.


Q. Do I need any extra books?
A. You are supplied with all "essential" reading to complete a course and pass the final assessment.

Learning to undertake research is important in any area of study these days though; so you we prompt you to access other resources such as the internet, to undertake some work beyond the course notes supplied. If you honestly want to learn you will do as we suggest; even though the answers to the assessments may already be in the notes.  By doing these other "tasks", you will be reinforcing what you have been reading, and that reinforcement can often be the difference between remembering the answers for your final assessment; and not remembering.

Extra books are always useful as well. A range of ebook references have been developed specifically to compliment many of the courses; and these are available through our book store on this web site, if you are ever seeking additional reading.

Our Australian bookstore is   Our UK bookstore is

Q. Can I get Support from a "Real Person"

We have a team of over 30 academics in the school's faculty, and they're here to support our students. Our school maintains help desks in both of our offices - in Australia and the UK - and we have staff on duty five days a week manning phones, online chat and emails. You'll be given access to this student 'help desk' when you enrol in your course.

Any questions that you have about what you are studying will be dealt with promptly (usually the same working day, often immediately).

  • If there is something you read or research that you don't understand, ask for help.
  • If you want to learn more about something you encounter through these studies, have a conversation with one of our faculty tutors.
  • If you need direction to find more information, just ask.
  • If you need advice on moving forward with your work, career or studies after the course, ask. (Free career and business advice is part of the service provided to all of our graduates).

Q. What can I achieve as a student?
A. You need to understand that a course is "a learning experience” designed to transform your understanding of the subject you study. If you apply yourself, and have faith in the expertise of the course writers ad tutors, you should leave the course different capabilities and a mindset that will enable you to be more effective within your area of study. Whether these added abilities are sought to impress employers, improve business prospects or simply enhance your personal passions, this course does have the potential to help you achieve whatever goals you might have.

Q. How does recognition of these courses compare with others?
A. Exceptionally well; but different.  These courses have a long history dating back to 1979 when the first was developed by John Mason, an internationally respected author, educationist, businessman and horticulturist. Mr Mason is the author of over 150 books and 600 courses; and worked for decades in both Australia and the UK.  Our courses have since 2002, been delivered by a group of affiliated colleges, out of seven different countries; and have been studied by over 150,000 different people. This college is one of those “affiliated” colleges.

Q. How is Practical Work Done?
Unless you have experienced our courses it can be difficult to comprehend how an online course can be anything more than reading and answering questions. In reality though; students studying this way are treated as individuals, which doesn’t tend to happen in a large college or university classroom, with one teacher attempting to communicate with dozens of different students, each with different needs, all at the same time.

Our courses are very practical, and allow for learning that focuses on “differing individual needs”

Observational, research and other practical learning tasks are a key part of most courses; challenging students to interact with the real world through observation, research and simple practical tasks. Every subject is different; every student is in a different situation, and every situation calls for a different learning experience. These courses recognise and cater for these considerations. If you would like some specific examples, contact us and ask us.