x. How much does it cost to study at University ?

  • Which is the most expensive place  to study ? Or the cheapest ?
  •  Is financial assistance such as bursaries or scholarships available ?
  • What is the per-year cost of a university degree program ?
  • What are the tuition fees at an Australian university ?
  • How much are prices of tuition fees for Engineering, Accounting, Medicine, Economics or Science degree courses?
  • What is the cost of a degree course per year for International students ?
  •  Are there any scholarships for international students ?

Students holding Australian citizenship or permanent residency, PR (with conditions) are eligible for interest free loans under HELP (Higher Education Loan Programme). H.E.L.P. replaces the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS). Scholarships and other forms of financial assistance are also available (Youth Allowance, Austudy). Refer to this article for information.  HECS loans need to be repaid upon degree completion and after  securing gainful employment with a salary higher than some threshold level. Generally speaking and as a guideline, the total tuition fee cost for an International student is approx twice that for Australian citizen.

Overseas students ( ie. Non Australian citizens or Permanent Residents) have to pay full fees for university education and are not eligible for any loans from the Australian Government. Instead they may apply for international scholarships. The following fee figures below apply to non Australian students. If you are a Australian student ( citizen or PR  over 2 years ), a different fee schedule applies to you involving HECS etc .


 Fees for foreign students

  • Undergrad  Bachelor Degree :  $20K  – $42K per year
  • Postgrad  Masters Degree      :  $24K  – $44K per year
  • Ph.D Degree                              :  $14K  – $37K  per year
  • Primary / Secondary School: $7,800 to $30K  per year
  • English language studies – approx $300 weekly depending on course length
  • Vocational Education & Training (Certificates I to IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma) – $4K to $22K  per annum

* Note: Excludes courses such as veterinary and medicine. Visit individual uni websites directly to see costs for these courses.

Visit http://www.xe.com to convert  currency

What is the duration of a  Bachelor undergrad degree course ?

  • Many Arts and Science courses are typically 3 years long ( full time ) 
  • Arts & Science with Hons, Engineering, Accounting are typically 4 yrs (full time) 
  • Pharmacy, Optometry, Architecture – 5 years 
  • Medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry,  architecture 5-6 years depending on university 


* Figures generally do not include sports facilities fees, text books etc. Please check at individual universities for details

Tuition fees by university :

Whilst comparing tuition fee figures for each university, please be sure you are looking at the correct webpage in that university. Prices are different for Australian citizens, Permanent Residents (under some conditions) and International ( ie. foreign, overseas ) students. Broadly speaking tuition fees for a particular degree course do not vary by much from uni to uni. For example, tuition fees for a  3 year Economics degree at university X will be pretty much the same as a 3 year Economics degree at University Y. The greatest differences in tuition fees are evident when comparing a 3 year to a 4 year degree or comparing a History degree with a Engineering or Medicine degree. Generally speaking, Science and Engineering degrees tend to cost more, with additional expense  related to lab based  facilities.
Another matter for consideration is that universities in non big city locations may incur lower living costs ( accommodation , food, entertainment, transport ) than city based unis. Even within a city, the precise location of the university  and therefore your rented home, will be a factor in cost considerations.
As well, be aware that whilst uni tuition  fees don’t vary much between a Uni in a city versus small town, the cost of living ( rent and food ) is generally lower in the smaller towns. Therefore, if you are financially hard pressed, you may like to consider studying at a less famous university not located in a big cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

New South Wales : NSW

Victoria VIC

Queensland : QLD

South Australia SA

Western Australia WA

Australian Capital Territory : ACT

Northern Territory : NT

Tasmania : TAS

The costs of studying in Australia depend on the institution and the level of study you choose.

Tuition fees for overseas students need to be paid prior to start of course.  Additional costs may include course materials and access to facilities such as gym.

The list below is a rough indication of the range of course costs.

  • Primary , Secondary School – $7.8K to $30K
  • English language studies – Aprox $300 p/w  depending on course length
  • TAFE Vocational Education and Training ( Certificates I to IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma) – $4K to $22K
  • Undergraduate Bachelor Degree – $15K to $33K
  • Postgraduate Masters Degree – $20K to $37K
  • Doctoral Degree – $14K to $37K

This may not cover high value courses such as veterinary and medical which involve expensive lab based facilities. Please visit institution websites for info on costs for these courses.

In May 2014 the Government announced possible changes to university fees from 2016. If implemented, such changes would only apply to fees for domestic students, and are not expected to apply to international students.

  • The announced changes relate to new policies applicable to domestic students only. These policies are not expected to have any implications for the fees charged to international students.
  • From 1 January 2016, the limits on domestic student fees will be removed and the Government subsidy paid toward the cost of the course will be reduced. Universities and higher education institutions will be able to determine the fees they charge domestic students.
  • The Government has announced changes to the repayment thresholds and interest rates for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) to the ensure the HELP scheme is sustainable into the future. HELP eligibility is restricted to Australian citizens and holders of permanent humanitarian visas.
  • More information about these changes is available at: http://www.education.gov.au/higher-education-and-research-budget-information(opens in a new window)


One thought on “x. How much does it cost to study at University ?

  1. umm.. i was just woundering if ther was any way that you could pay off or get a cheaper price on studying at uni , like i am an aborignal does the uni’s run any courses that are cheaper for me?

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