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6 ways to finance your postgraduate study

Find out how to reduce the cost of your tuition fees
From student loans, CSP and scholarships to HECS-HELP. Find out the best way to fund your postgraduate degrees and check your eligibility.

Equip yourself with the right information for your situation by exploring these six ways to finance your degree.

This information is for domestic students, international students should explore our international student loan schemes and postgraduate coursework and research scholarships for international students.

1. Commonwealth Supported Places

The University offers Commonwealth supported places (CSP) in a range of our postgraduate course degrees.

A CSP means that the Australian Government subsidises your course fees and you pay the remaining amount – a student contribution. You must be a domestic student to be eligible for a CSP, i.e an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen, or an Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder.

Allocation of CSPs is competitive as there are limited places in each degree. You do not need to make a separate application and will automatically be considered based on merit.

Discover which postgraduate coursework degrees have CSPs available

2. HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP loans

HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP are loan schemes for eligible domestic students that defer paying course fees until you are earning above a certain amount. This means you don’t pay anything upfront.

  • HECS-HELP is for students who secure a CSP which defers payment of your student contribution
  • FEE-HELP is for full fee-paying students 

Both HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP loans do not accrue interest but are indexed according to the Consumer Price Index each year. The Government provides more information through Study Assist.

Postgraduate courses are exempt from the FEE-HELP 20% loan fee.

If you are enrolled in a postgraduate research degree, there are no course fees for domestic students, as this is covered by the government Research Training Program fee off-set.

3. Credit for previous study

Applying for credit for previous study or recognition of prior learning (RPL) means you complete fewer units, and therefore reduce the cost of your degree.

There are three types of credit for previous study:

  1. Specific credit is granted when you have completed study that is recognised as an exact equivalent to a unit of study in your degree.
  2. Non-Specific credit is credit granted towards a subject area when there is no equivalent unit of study.
  3. Reduced volume of learning (RVL) is a form of credit that some master’s courses use to reduce the number of credit points needed to complete the course. You can apply for RVL for a master’s degree if you have completed a bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate or graduate diploma in a relevant subject area, or have relevant work experience.

4. Scholarships

The University offers $105 million in scholarships and prizes every year. Our range of scholarships take into account a variety of factors and availability varies based on course, faculty, and your circumstances and background. Start by viewing our comprehensive list of scholarships for:

As a postgraduate research student, you can apply for the Research Training Program (RTP) stipend scholarship, provided by the Australian government. Domestic and international students can apply for this scholarship which provides a living expense stipend.

There are also many scholarships available for domestic and international students which can contribute towards your travel for study or research, living costs, and other expenses.

5. Claim on your TAX return

If you are completing postgraduate study for professional development to enhance your skills for your current job, you may be able to claim some expenses (e.g., course fees and textbooks) in your tax return.

The course you undertake must lead to a formal qualification like a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or master’s degree. There also needs to be sufficient connection to your current employment.

Find out more about self-education expenses through the Australian Taxation Office.

6. Get your employer to fund your study

Investing in your own professional development not only keeps you competitive in the industry, but it also adds great value to your organisation. If the training you receive is directly relevant to your role, it is worth approaching your employer to see if they will financially support part or all of your degree.

It may seem daunting to ask your boss to pay for your study, the key is to do your research thoroughly and make a strong case for it. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you make your proposal:

  1. Does my organisation have any guidelines on existing employee training? 
  2. How relevant is the course content to my current and future responsibilities within the role?
  3. Have I understood all the course details? Including cost, content, duration, outcomes, and time off work (if any). 
  4. How will this degree positively impact my value to the organisation?
  5. What concerns might my employer have and what solutions can I propose?

Last updated 23 June 2023

5 June 2023

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