AFTRS online courses

Apply for a grant to study online at the Australian Film Television and Radio School

Helen Henry, 21st July 2017

Community radio volunteers and staff who would like to upskill with courses at Australia’s premier radio school can now apply for a grant to cover the cost of the study.

The Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) has revised its guidelines, and funding is now available for study at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

AFTRS Program Leader Radio Lisa Sweeney said studying at AFTRS is a dream for many aspiring radio practitioners and professionals.

“This funding means it can now be a reality for community radio staff right across the country, with several courses offered 100% online,” Lisa said. 

AFTRS Graduates are scattered throughout the industry and their successful career outcomes range from taking on terrific positions as program directors, announcers and managers in community radio, at the highest levels of management at the ABC, and top rating national music shows on commercial radio.

Although the school’s campus is located in Sydney there are increasing opportunities for students outside Sydney to study at AFTRS.

“AFTRS now offers courses which are 100% online, so students can study from anywhere in Australia to gain an AFTRS qualification,” said Lisa Sweeney. 

“And with grants now being available through the Community Broadcasting Foundation to study at AFTRS, it means the affordability option can also be addressed in many instances.”

Courses are available online at beginner level, which are ideal for new volunteers.

"The Core Radio Skills course runs for just six weeks, and students are required to do about 30 hours of study in total during that time. Upon completion, graduates have learned the fundamentals of putting together a radio program," Lisa said.

CBF Grants Administrator Jon King said stations can now apply to the CBF for a Development & Operations grant to put an individual or a number of volunteers and/or staff through the Core Radio Skills at the same time.

“Development & Operations grants aim to build the capacity of your organisation, which can include professional development opportunities such as these AFTRS courses,” Jon said.

Other study opportunities with AFTRS which also qualify for CBF grants are the Radio Program and Content Directors Course (100% online, year-long course) which is ideal for those people who are looking to move up through the ranks at their station.

“Putting an up and coming manager through this course could help establish or improve the sound of your station,” said Lisa.

A third option is the Diploma of Digital Content (Radio), which is a valuable offering for stations keen to improve their digital, online and social presence.

“This course could upskill someone to develop your new station website, or for example a website for a station-endorsed documentary project,” said Lisa.

Jon said that each CBF grant application will be assessed on a competitive basis, and he encourages stations to be as lean as possible with their applications at this time of year.

“Interested stations and broadcasters should also contact a CBF Grants Administrator to discuss the best way to apply for a grant to undertake these courses,” he said.

The timing of Round 2 fits well with the AFTRS academic year. The latest round of funding is open now, and will close in November with applicants knowing the outcome in time to begin study at AFTRS in late February when Semester One, 2018 commences.

For more details about AFTRS courses, go to the AFTRS website.

For information about CBF grants, go to the CBF website.


AFTRS is a valued partner of the CBAA and this content is sponsored.

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James Findlay and Adrian McEniery will soon be graduates from the AFTRS 100% online Radio Content and Program Director’s Course, but they are already reaping the benefits of the learning combined with years of their own hard work and determination. Both have secured great new jobs – James at Triple J and Adrian at 3MBS Melbourne.


Every community radio station faces a very common issue, one that is vital to the operations of a community broadcaster, regardless of circumstances. This issue, is of course, funding.


AFTRS Industry Certificate: Radio Content, Management and Leadership - starts 29 April, 24 weeks, online and one weekend at AFTRS in Sydney.