The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. 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 2019 (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 Masters degree courses, for example combined bachelor/unapproved Masters 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: A Juris Doctor or a Doctor of Medicine are not doctorate courses, they are AQF Level 9 Masters courses.

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.

Where doubt exists whether an overseas qualification is at a doctorate level, 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 2019

Policy reference: SS Guide Austudy & impact of previous study

Last reviewed: