Radio Content and Program Directors Course Online

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Study online with AFTRS Open from anywhere in country, provincial or metropolitan Australia!

This 32 week, online course is designed to develop students’ programming, management and leadership skills to a professional standard.


This course provides a thorough understanding of the role of the Program and Content Director and the elements involved in commercial radio programming. The course helps students to identify and apply skills and knowledge within a workplace context. Students will explore the framework of managing programming campaigns and strategies from inception to completion and cover techniques for idea generation and implementation.

You will learn everything you need to know to be become a successful content or program director including:

  • CONTENT DESIGN - researching and understanding your audience, structuring the format and sound of your station and creating interesting, engaging content

  • LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP - leadership vs management, learning styles, successful collaborative broadcasting and understanding codes and compliance

  • BUILDING TEAMS, BRANDS AND EMPIRES - brand awareness and marketing, understanding what motivates people, harnessing talent and empire building

  • TACTICAL PROGRAMMING - understanding the business of radio, show development and evolution, monitoring and maintenance and designing strategies for success


This course designed for experienced radio staff working in the commercial and community broadcasting sectors who want to step up to management, content and programming roles.


This online course is approximately 7.5 hours a week for 32 weeks across two semesters.

There will be regular fortnightly Zoom video-conference sessions held across the progression of the course. Dates and times will be advised in the class timetable, which will be emailed prior to the start of the course.

Courses will be confirmed once minimum numbers are reached. Confirmation to be provided to applicants at least one week ahead of scheduled start date.


Enjoying an extensive and successful Commercial radio career spanning more than 25 years Dave Smith has a wide skill set including Content Director, On Air Presentation, Voice Overs, Strategic & Tactical planning, Marketing & Brand Management.

He has also been involved in Leadership coaching and helping to grow teams of highly creative, unique and talented people including Hamish & Andy, The Cage, The Matt & Jo Show, The Shebang , Grubby & Dee Dee, Dicko, Dave O'Neil & Chrissy Swan, Shaun Micalef.
His primary roles have included Content Director of major Australian metropolitan FM stations with Southern Cross Austereo - Fox 101.9 & Triple M Melbourne, ARN Mix 106.5 & Gold 1043/Mix 101.1 and DMG. Dave's International experience includes a stint in Dublin, Ireland with Communicorp's 98fm. He has experience inGroup Network Programming across various music and news/talk formats,
Promotions, Marketing, Strategic and Tactical planning, Creative thinking and Creative writing, On air personality, Music Director.

Dave has also been doing regular lecturing and mentoring students at both Swinburne and AFTRS and has completed a range of various Coaching, Business Trainer and Presentation courses himself.


To participate in this course you MUST have a computer with an internet connection (broadband wired OR wireless 3G or 4G/LTE) and the ability to enable cookies within your web browser.

Mac Users: It is best to use Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox as your web browser.
PC Users: It is best to use Google Chrome or Explorer as your web browser.

The chat sessions use Zoom (video conferencing software), to which we provide a link for free download.

You must have the following to use Zoom:

  • An internet connection - broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)

  • Speakers and a microphone - built in, USB, plug in or wireless Bluetooth

  • A webcam or HD webcam- built in, USB, plug in, or a HD camera or camcorder, with a video capture card

Any questions? Contact AFTRS Open anytime by email or call 1300 065 281.


AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.