3.3.4.10 Approved Courses of Study for Austudy

Approved courses (1.1.A.210)

Approved courses of study for Austudy purposes are those listed in the Student Assistance (Education Institutions and Courses) Determination 2009 (No.2) (the Determination). These include:

  • traditional institution based courses, and
  • flexible study arrangements such as:
    • competency based training,
    • open learning, and
    • other self-paced courses (1.1.S.80).

Masters & doctorate studies

Doctorate studies, or masters courses that are not specified in the Schedule 3 of the Determination are NOT approved courses for Austudy purposes.

Where a student is enrolled in and undertaking a non-approved course (e.g. a masters degree course not specified in Schedule 3 of the Determination) which has a 'nested' degree structure that allows the student to exit the course early and be granted a lower level award (e.g. a graduate diploma) the student is NOT eligible for Austudy while completing the units required for the lower level award. However, students may still be approved for part of courses that lead to unapproved master's degree courses, for example combined bachelor/unapproved master's degree courses, excluding the year/s that exceed the normal full-time duration of the related bachelor degree course.

Note: Doctorate level courses only refer to doctorate qualifications which are Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Level 10. There are some masters level courses which may call themselves a 'Doctor' course but they may be AQF Level 9.

Example: Juris Doctor is not a doctorate course, it is an AQF Level 9 masters course.

Holders of doctorate degrees

Individuals CANNOT satisfy the activity test as a full-time student if they have already completed a course leading to a doctorate degree or a qualification of the same standing. This includes:

  • a doctorate or a qualification of the same standing at an Australian institution, or
  • a qualification of the same standing from an overseas institution.

Refer to precedent cases and/or the Compendium of Overseas Qualifications to determine whether an overseas qualification is at a doctorate level. Where doubt exists, consult the Australia Education International - NOOSR (AEI-NOOSR).

The onus is on the student to demonstrate the standing of their overseas qualifications.

Act reference: SSAct section 569 Activity test, section 569A Undertaking qualifying study, section 569B Approved course of education or study

Student Assistance (Education Institutions and Courses) Determination 2009 (No. 2)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.3.4.80 Austudy & Impact of Previous Study

Last reviewed: 7 May 2018