We get that reading this alone is probably not enough to make a decision, or even really get a clear sense of what NEXT is all about. So if you are a little bit curious, want to be kept in the loop, or would like to find out more – shoot us an email, give us a call or tee up a time to swing past and have a chat.


NEXT is an intentionally open program available to students from all kinds of backgrounds and abilities. There are, however, a few guidelines that shape the relevance of NEXT:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age at time of commencing study – this is a requirement of the Univeristy of Divinity, of which Whitley is a member College.
  • NEXT is designed specifically for the questions and challenges faced by emerging and young adults aged up into the mid 20s who find themself in a period of change or transition. Those who start the course at 18 will find it a challenge but often grow into it. Those who are older simply find themselves engaging with the questions raised by NEXT from a broader experience of life.
  • Academics:
    • NEXT doesn’t require a minimum ATAR (Woo Hoo!) but you do need to have completed year 12. If you haven’t, the University needs to know that you can study at tertiary level, such as achieving a Certificate IV post-high school. If your ATAR is less than 50, we can offer you a provisional acceptance into the program (See below).
    • If you are uncertain about the academic demands of NEXT the best thing to do is get in touch with us.  We can explain the realities of NEXT as well introduce to the variety of enrollment options available to you.
    • Provisional acceptance means you will need to show sufficient English language skills to write short essays as well as pass all your initial assessments in first term (which we can help you with through personal coaching and our study support process).

Applying for NEXT is straight forward, and begins by completing the NEXT Application Form.


Completing the Application Form lets us know you are serious about NEXT – but doesn’t lock you in.  Once we receive your form we will be in contact shortly to guide you through the process which includes:

  1. Coming in for an Interview so we can get to know you better
  2. Completing final documentation (like FeeHelp forms and so on)
  3. Making your final selection of CORE + Elective options and paying relevant tuition fees

Critical Dates Timely ApplicationThrough this process, we get to know you as a person (not just an applicant!) and you get to personalise your NEXT experience (i.e. choosing optional electives and mission placements) and secure your place.

Timely applications are submitted before December 31st

Applications received after this date may not be accepted. Applications are processed on a first come first served basis. This means if we are forced to cap numbers, those applications completed first will be offered first option.

Most importantly – if you ever get stuck, just give us a call, or shoot us an email, and we will be happy to help in whatever way we can.

So – happy applying! We are looking forward to meeting you in person.


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The NEXT CORE Experience (the minimum enrolment) runs over two and a half days – Tuesday morning, all day Wednesdays and Thursdays – largely following the university academic semester from mid February to early November. If you choose to add electives to the CORE Experience then your time commitment will grow. Most electives run on Tuesdays, but if you choose to undertake an Internship or Placement with a Mission Partner, then you need to factor in time spent at your Internship / Placement PLUS the Reflective Practice class on Monday afternoons.

Three Important Considerations:

  1. These times reflect face-to-face contact with the NEXT program only. You also need to build into your week additional time for your own study, reflection and general ‘processing’. A good rule of thumb is that a full-time study load (8 units annually) is equivalent to a 40 hour week (including face-to-face time). The CORE experience is a bit more than a half-time load – so it will take up at least 25 hours.
  2. If you are looking for an option that is less demanding the best thing to do is get in touch with us.  There are some alternative options available to you but it will be best if we can talk these through with you so we can create a solution that best meets your circumstances
  3. The other thing is that while you will complete the NEXT CORE in your first year, you also have the option to continue on to 2nd (and even 3rd) year study where you can undertake further study and formation through NEXT. What this means is that you have the choice to either give it all you’ve got for a year, or integrate NEXT into the other stuff you’ve got on over a couple of years.

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The NEXT fee schedule is as follows:

Fees are derived from the per/unit charge that is set by the University of Divinity (of which Whitley is a member college). For 2019, this has been set at $1584 per unit. The NEXT CORE is made up of five (5) units and represents a total charge of $7920. Adding on NEXT Elective Options will add $1584 for each unit/elective.

There are a number of payment options including access to FEE-HELP for all Tuition fees. FEE-HELP is available to all (Australian national) students and Youth Allowance may be available depending your circumstances. FEE-HELP is handled directly through the College, however you will need to contact CentreLink directly to determine your eligibility for Youth Allowance.

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NEXT is an accredited Higher Ed. Diploma in Theology offering of Whitley College (Whitley is a member college of the University of Divinity). Depending on your choice of Core + Elective options you are able to complete a minimum of 5 and as many as 8 Diploma units in a year (a complete Diploma is 8 units). If you are also thinking about continuing on to further (post-NEXT) study, the units completed as part of NEXT can seamlessly form part of an Advanced Diploma or Bachelor award at Whitley College. You may also be able to transfer these units into courses of study at other universities but this will depend on their rules / policies of credit transfer.

You can read more about Whitley’s Awards here

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Update: We’ve created a dedicated page for VCE student question here

If you are thinking NEXT could be an option for you, but you don’t want to close the door on Uni or TAFE study – then there’s good news!

Applying for NEXT takes place directly with Whitley College. If you are in year 12, you do NOT use the VTAC process to apply for NEXT, instead your application can take place in parallel with the normal VTAC preferences and application process – that is, you can treat these as two separate processes that can take place alongside one another.

If you are thinking about undertaking further study after you’re finished with NEXT you have three options.

  1. NEXT seamlessly articulates into further study at Whitley College, including Advanced Diploma and Bachelor studies in Theology, Mission and Ministry.
  2. You can use your NEXT study (partial or completed Diploma) as evidence of post-high school / undergraduate study that can support your application into other institutions.
  3. You can complete your VTAC application / enrolment with another university and then seek to defer commencing your study there for a year. That way you can complete NEXT and then with the experience you’ve gained move on to your deferred study program.

Please Note: You can defer your uni course only 1) after you have received an offer; and 2) if your course allows deferrals. You can get more info about course deferral at the VTAC website ( but also check the information available that is specific to the course you are interested in enrolling in.

If you are thinking about doing NEXT and deferring your Uni place, it is best to begin the process of application with NEXT now so that we can make sure there are enough places for our 2016 intake. If course deferral subsequently becomes a problem for you, you can always cancel your NEXT application.

NOTE: We’ve created a dedicated page for VCE student question here


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Over the years, we have had people study with us from Frankston, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and beyond.

It is important to recognise that NEXT requires a weekly commitment of 2.5-4 days per week face to face. If you live in a rural context or a long way from Melbourne’s CBD, you will need to factor in travel times or figure out some kind of accommodation. The good news is, there are a number of options available, especially if you are looking for student residence-style accommodation.

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SO … WHAT’s NEXT (for you)?

Spaces  are limited and are taken on a first come first served basis. If you are still making up your mind about NEXT, get in touch with us for a chat or tee up a time for an interview. Talking it through always helps you get a better feel for what NEXT is all about, and if it’s a good fit for you.

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