Attending lectures at La Trobe University Bendigo


Our U3A has an agreement with La Trobe University at Bendigo which permits us to attend lecture series on a wide range of subjects without any fees. It is an opportunity to hear from some of their excellent staff, and perhaps to see things through the eyes of the younger students. Most subjects have one or two hours of lectures each week.

There is a great variety of stimulating subjects – literature, planning, environmental studies, legal studies – the list goes on. Many courses make no assumptions about previous knowledge, and generally our life experiences are preparation enough. If you went to university in the past, this is a great way to pick up something new, or to see what’s changed.

Interested? Sign up for the course ‘La Trobe University Lectures’ through MyU3A and you will be emailed a list of appropriate subjects to save you looking right through the La Trobe website.

Semester one 2021 starts in the week beginning on 1 March, and finishes at the end of May.

I understand we are permitted to sign up to subjects from any of the campuses, and will be given a login to the LMS system which enables us to follow the lectures and access readings, videos and other material specific to the subject.
There is a searchable database:

The only essential line is the bottom one – the teaching period (choose semester 1).

If you make no other selection, you will be presented with an enormous list. Filter it by choosing the School, a discipline or a keyword.

Another helpful filter would be the level (choose Year level 1 – UG or Year level 2 – UG) as most postgraduate courses, and some level 3 undergraduate courses, are taught through without standalone lectures.

You can click through for more details, and sometimes the suggested reading. You will also have a subject code that looks like this: ENG2NAA (an English course at second-year level, History of the Novel).

All lectures will be delivered ‘live’ at specific times and are then online. Using the link below, put in your subject code to see the lecture time and duration. Some subjects have no lectures and are only taught through other forms, so if no lecture shows up (LT01) on this screen, or appears as lecture/workshop (LW01) or lecture/seminar (LS01) or just seminar (SE01) or tutorial (TU01) it is not suitable for us to take. If a location is shown, it means the subject has a practical element and is not suitable.
The deadline for choosing a subject is Monday 15 February.

Please do not contact La Trobe University; all communication should go through our link coordinator, Bridget Leach, who will send a list through to the University. 


Our arrangement with La Trobe
We are lucky to have an outstanding university at Bendigo, La Trobe, and luckier still as U3A Castlemaine members to be permitted to sit in on lectures at no charge. This great arrangement was set up around 2008 when two of our former presidents, Tom Comerford and Sally Kaptein, approached La Trobe. 

Under the agreement, our attendance should not generate extra work or costs for the university, so we can only attend lectures, but not tutorials, field visits or practicals – and of course we don’t have to do any assessed work. This means we can just listen and do as much, or as little, of the recommended reading as we feel like.
Other students on the campus have been welcoming to our members, and some staff and students have shared notes and online material which would otherwise not be accessible to us. Some lecturers have also relaxed the rules on attending extra events or visits. 

The University has the right to exclude us from particular subjects where the class is already full, or for other reasons – though generally we have been able to attend subjects we’ve chosen. For the first semester 2021 we expect to be able to attend lectures online from home; only subjects incorporating a practical element, from which we are generally excluded, will be on campus.

Most subjects are run on a semester basis and have a one- or two-hour lecture each week for 12 weeks, starting either at the beginning of March (semester one) or the week beginning at the end of July (semester two).

Using the university library
Use of the Heyward Library at Flora Hill is free for community members, however in order to borrow items you need to purchase a library card costing $30. Click here for further information.

For further help or information please send an email to or contact the U3A Castlemaine office during office hours and ask to be put in contact with Bridget Leach, the U3A member who liaises with La Trobe.