The School The School's Staff
When You Complete A Course Work Experience & Projects
Common Questions & Answers Affiliates


Established in 1979, ACS has educated thousands of full and part-time students, many of whom have gone onto successful employment, both in industry or in their own businesses. Others take courses to develop a hobby, broaden their general education, or as starter, transition and professional development.

The school holds high the ideals of practical education, emphasizing in all courses those things which are relevant to "real life". Courses offered cater for hobby interest through to formal training in industry and the professions.


The school and it's tutors have always been active in industry. We believe strongly that maintaining an awareness of current information and trends enables us to keep our course notes and services to students up to date and relevant. When you study with this school you are learning from people who are doing what you are studying on a daily basis.




A key philosophy of the school, since its establishment, has been that tutors should not only be tertiary qualified, but also actively working in the industry. This allows the student to gain the benefits of the tutors "professional" experiences and up-to-date knowledge of their industry.
All tutors:
  1. Hold a tertiary qualification (diploma or degree).
  2. Have a minimum of 5 years of industry experience.
  3. Hold an appropriate training skills qualification.
  4. Are still working in industry (at least part time).
We endeavor to employ tutors who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their respective fields. Current tutorial staff (more than 20 professionals) include former presidents and secretaries from professional associations, former and current managers and department heads from a variety of organisations (both private enterprise and government) and successful owner operators of a wide variety of businesses.

The school was founded by the current principal, John Mason. Mr Mason is a widely published international author of more than 100 books and thousands of articles. He is a well known and respected academic in his original field of horticulture, in both Australia and England (A fellow of the Australian Institute of Horticulture, and also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, in the UK. He is also a board member of the peak industry body -The Australian Garden Council.

Click here for more information on our staff.




Often the problem with correspondence study is that you feel you are on your own,and have limited access to resources, to ask questions and obtain assignment feedback.
ACS provides the highest level of support possible. Students can:
  • Talk directly with tutors by phone.
  • Fax or email questions and quickly receive a phone call, email or fax back.
  • Borrow videos (free if you pick them up, handling charge applicable via mail in Australia).
  • Use the mail order bookshop to get a wide range of excellent books.


  • All necessary course notes and required reading materials
  • Free Tuition
  • Assignments marked
  • Questions answered
  • Careers and business advice
  • Access to our Resource Library
  • Newsletters
  • Bookshop discounts




  • We're always learning new things, from conferences, magazines and journals, internet searches, colleagues and of course student's assignments.
  • Staff at the school are continually researching and writing new books, magazine articles and video scripts
  • This gathered information is used to update course notes.
  • We offer you more up to date information than you are likely to get from many other schools.
  • We encourage feedback from students through newsletter questionaires, and contact with tutors.


  • There are no set starting dates. Start when you want at any time of the year.
  • We allow students to work at their own pace. There are no deadlines for assignments (Austudy students will have a set time frame as dictated by Austudy Guidelines).
  • Cancellation of a registration will only occur if you haven't contacted us for over 6 months
  • See schedule of fees for estimated hours of study for each course.
  • Extensions and deferments may be requested if needed. Please contact the school for more details.
  • If your studies are supported by someone else (eg. Government or Employer), they may require you to finish within a specified period. In such cases check with the supporting agency before enrolling.


As our courses run via correspondence, students can start when they wish; at any time of the year.


The task of choosing a course can be daunting.
  1. The courses available menu lists courses according to subject area. Look through the subject area/s that interest/s you and choose the particular course/s that most appeal/s to you. The fees for each course are listed at the right hand side of each course.
  2. If you need further information then fax, phone, write, visit or email the school for further advice or information. -As you complete written & practical assignments, submit your work to the school for comment. Your tutor provides guidance where needed, and the work is returned to you to keep.




A workplace project may involve developing and undertaking a research project in liaison with a tutor. A typical project will involve a series of communications (by phone, fax, email or in person), interspersed with periods of work and preparation of written reports.



Q. When can I start my course?

Anytime of the year

Q. Can I pay in instalments?

 Yes, we have the 2-payment option for our 100-hour short courses and there are more instalment options for our Certificate and higher qualifications.

Q. Do we get a discount if we enrol in a second course.

Yes, you may claim a 5% fee discount when you enrol in a second course. This does not apply however to the second stage or part of the same Certificate or Proficiency Award.

Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while?
(eg. Get sick, go on holidays, have a baby).

Apply for an extension. It's OK to take a break and start up your study at a later point in time. Just let us know.

Q. How do I contact my tutor?

Write, fax, email or phone the school. Leave a message if your tutor isn't available and they will phone, write or fax back; whatever you wish.


How long does a shorter course (ie. 100 hours) take to complete?


Commonly no more than one year. Some students finish in less than 6 months.


How does recognition of the school compare with other colleges?


We operate a different system to most other institutions. Our recognition is very good, but again different.
We have focused more on giving our students those things that industry wants; and seeking support from industry and international recognition; rather than local or national government accreditation.

Q. What benefit is it to study these courses?

We focus on developing your learning. We aim to improve your capacity to function and grow within the discipline you study; well into the future, after you leave us.
We have an outstanding success rate with graduates. It is rare to find graduates who do not excel after leaving us; however, everyone should always understand that success comes not just from study, but also by being involved in something that you are passionate about, and which suits your natural strengths.
We encourage every prospective student to communicate with one of our tutors and explore the study possibilities before enrolling; to ensure that they choose a course that matches the person that they are.

Q. What do I get as a student?

Our courses are "quality learning experiences designed and delivered by experts to make you a more knowledgeable, aware and more capable person".

We supply everything needed to make this happen; and if the course does not help you to progress in the way you expect, we will supply a second, different style of course, at no extra cost.

If a course does it's job properly; you will graduate with a different mind set, and a different perspective on the subject you studied. To bring about these changes involves presenting you with information of course; but it's a great deal more than that. Some people enter study, thinking it's all about collecting information; but that's not study (that's building a library).

As a student, we provide you with things to read, selected information about the subject -but not too much information for the duration of the course. If we gave you too much, the important things could not be emphasised as easily and you could not experience the reinforcement and reflection which is critical to a learning experience.
We also guide you through experiences, whether observation and reflection; research; or practical tasks. These experiences are designed with input from highly experienced psychologists and educators; to achieve the learning which we aim to develop.

We believe an important part of this whole learning process is to provide support; whether through automated services and extra resources (eg. in the student room) or through generous access to academic specialists who can guide and mentor the student as needed. Your fees are paying not only for a set of notes; but for a whole process of learning to be designed, maintained and supported by having resources standing ready to support you whenever we detect you straying off course; or whenever you approach us seeking assistance.