Skip to main content
Student walking through the Law School building

5 ways to finance your postgraduate study

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

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

This information is for domestic students, international students should explore our international student loan schemes and postgraduate 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, ie an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen, or an Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder.

Allocation of CSP 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.

Explore which postgraduate coursework degrees have CSP 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 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.

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 (eg, 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.

Last updated: 27 November 2020

5 May 2017

Related articles