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How Much Does it Cost to Study in Australia?

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Australia is one of the most popular study destinations in the world, hosting around 624,000 international students in 2017, 13 percent more than the year before. However, it’s also unfortunately one of the most expensive, with students needing AU$20,290 (~US$14,600) each year for living costs alone, according to the country’s student visa requirements. Meanwhile, tuition fees at Australian universities vary considerably depending on where and what you study, and the level you will be studying at.

Read on for a breakdown of these costs and for advice on how to find Australian scholarships to support your studies.

Tuition fees and course costs for international students

According to StudyMove.com, the average tuition fee for international undergraduate students was AU$30,840 (~US$22,170) per year in 2018, and AU$31,596 (~US$22,700) for international postgraduates. 

Study in Australia, the official government site for international students, gives the typical annual tuition fees for international graduate students as:

  • Master’s degree – AU$20,000 (US$14,400) to $37,000 (US$26,600);
  • Doctoral degree – AU$14,000 (US$10,060) to $37,000 (US$26,600).

These figures do not include high-value courses such as veterinary or medical degrees, which can cost significantly more.

Tuition fees at Australian universities are generally calculated per unit, not per year. Each unit falls into a fee band, and as most students will be studying a combination of units from different bands, fees will be different for everybody.

Some universities in Australia publish official fees estimates, including Australian National University (ANU), which is the nation’s highest-ranked institution (24th in the QS World University Rankings® 2019). The yearly cost of an international undergraduate degree from ANU ranges from AU$36,400 (~US$26,150) for some Bachelor of Arts programs, up to AU$43,680 (~US$31,380) for Bachelor of Science or Medical Science programs.

For graduate degree programs, annual fees start from AU$36,480 (~US$26,200) for a few master’s programs and reach up to AU$45,600 (~US$32,760).

PhD programs are priced similarly, starting at the end of the scale, from AU$ $41,280 (~US$29,650) upwards. In a league of its own, however, is ANU’s Doctorate of Medicine and Surgery degree, which costs AU$80,136 (~US$57,800).

Another cost to consider is the Student Services and Amenities fee, which is a charge for services and amenities of a non-academic nature, up to a maximum of AU$298 (~US$214) in 2018. Not all universities in Australia charge this, but make sure you check beforehand so it’s not an unexpected expense.

Tuition fees and course costs for domestic students

As with many other places around the world, it’s cheaper to study in Australia for domestic students, especially those who successfully apply for a Commonwealth supported place, which means study costs are largely subsidized by the government. Commonwealth supported places are available at all public universities in Australia and some – but not all – private ones.

Student contribution amounts vary depending on where and what you study, but are capped by the government. The government sets the minimum and maximum range for each fee band, which, for 2018, is AU$0-6,444 for Band 1; AU$0-9,185 for Band 2; and AU$0-10,754 for Band 3.

You will need to work out your total tuition fees by identifying which subjects or units are covered by each band, and how many credits (expressed as a fraction, e.g. 12/96 = 0.125 EFTSL) you get for each unit. Multiply this EFTSL figure (0.125) by the band fee charge to get the total cost per unit. Or, alternatively, you can just use an online calculator. Most institutions provide one on their website.

Tuition fees for domestic graduate students are worked out in a similar way. Some institutions publish estimates of the yearly fee for graduate students. For example the University of Melbourne lists prices for 2019 ranging from AU$19,008 per year for Master of Psychiatry, up to AU$57,088 for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Some graduate programs also offer Commonwealth-assisted places, so check with the institution.

Unlike international students, domestic students are eligible for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). There are five types of government loans available to Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders. HECS-HELP is a scheme which helps Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution amount; FEE-HELP covers tuition fees for fee-paying students; SA-HELP pays the student services and amenities fee; OS-HELP pays some overseas study expenses; and VET Student Loans pay for vocational education and training fees.

Australian scholarships and fellowships

The Australia Awards are international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian government, available to Australian nationals and citizens from other eligible countries, a list which covers the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific area and Asia.

The Australia Awards Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are mainly for postgraduate-level study and research. Out of the four funds available for international applicants, one is a short-term research fellowship for graduates and postgraduates (maximum award of AU$24,500 for studies of up to six months), one is for professional development (maximum award of AU$18,500 for up to four months) and one is for vocational education and training for a diploma or associate’s degree (VET) offering up to AU$6,500 per semester for up to two and a half years (maximum award AU$131,000).

International graduate students looking to gain funding for a full master’s or PhD program should apply for the Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, which offers up to AU$15,000 per semester for a duration of up to two years for master’s students and four years for PhD students (maximum award AU$140,500 for master’s, AU$272,500 for PhD).

It is recommended that you apply early for all Australian scholarships and fellowships. Applications for funding in 2019 are closed, and applications for the 2020 round are expected to open in late April 2019.

If you’re a graduate student from the UK, you can apply for the Northcote Graduate Scholarship from the Britain-Australia Society. This funds for your travel there and back, tuition fees and charges, and also provides an allowance for three years while you study.

For all undergraduate and postgraduate students, check with the Australian universities you are interested in, as many offer scholarships open to both domestic and international students at both levels. For more funding opportunities, visit our list of scholarships to study in Australia.

Cost of living in Australia

As mentioned, the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs says you must prove you have AU$20,290 (~US$14,600) for living costs per year. If you’re bringing a partner you’ll need to add AU$7,100 (~US$5,100) to this figure, and if you have children, you’ll need to show you have an additional AU$3,040 (~US$2,200) for each child.

As well as proof of these funds, you will also need to show you have a return air fare for yourself and every family member you take with you, as well as enough money to cover the school fees of any children you have between age five and 18.

Although the above outlines the amount required by Australia’s immigration standards, you may not need to spend that much once you arrive. The official Study in Australia guidelines recommend budgeting between AU$85 (~US$61) and AU$440 (~US$317) per week for accommodation, depending on whether you stay in shared accommodation on campus (the cheapest), or in private rented accommodation (the most expensive).

Other weekly expenses include:

  • Groceries and eating out - $80 to $280 per week (~US$57-201)
  • Gas, electricity - $35 to $140 (~US$25-100)
  • Phone and Internet - $20 to $55 (~US$14-40)
  • Public transport - $15 to $55 (~US$11-40)
  • Car (after purchase) - $150 to $260 (~US$108-187)
  • Entertainment - $80 to $150 (~US$57-108)

To simplify, this works out to a minimum of around AU$311 (~US$224) per week.

Most Australian universities provide detailed breakdowns of the cost of living in Australia on their websites, including student accommodation and sometimes even local area prices and advice. For example, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology offers a handy Shopping Smarter page with links and tips for discounted shopping.

Remember the costs listed by the university will usually be for an academic year (about 40 weeks), rather than a calendar year, so you will need to budget extra if you want to stay longer.

Student visa costs for Australia

The fee for the Student Visa (Subclass 500) currently stands at AU$575 (~US$414). As a visa requirement, you will need to organize Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for yourself and any accompanying family members, which needs to be valid for the duration of your stay. You don’t have to use the provider your university recommends, but, whichever you choose, ensure it is government-approved.

OSHC Australia provides a search function which can be used to compare quotes for medical insurance from authorized providers. We found the cheapest option for a standard undergraduate student (duration three years, starting in March and finishing in December) with no accompanying family to be AU$2,149.10 (~US$1,550).

This article was originally published in November 2013. It is updated regularly; most recently in December 2018.

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Written by Jane Playdon
Jane Playdon is a TopUniversities.com author and blogger.

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Hi I am Suchismita Goswami from India, I have completed my Btech in 2016 and have done a couple of reasearch work in computer vision. I am planning for Master in Machine Learning from Austrelia. I have some finatial issue. Could you please tell me is there any special scholarships for women ?

Hi I'm minul from srilanka. I've already completed my Bsc.hons international management and business degree. Now I need to start up my masters in Australia and the same time I need to get the PR. Please tell me how do I go about it and what are the requirements to make this happeb

Hi Minul, To study in Australia you will need an Australian student visa, which you can find out how to obtain here. If you are unsure which  university in Australia you would like to study in, you can also find out the top universities to study business and management here. Lastly, take a look at our guide to studying in Australia here

Hi, I am Edozie from Nigeria. I am running a degree in medicine and surgery here in Nigeria and I am in my 5th year now.
However, I would like to switch to Australia to continue my degree in same Medicine&Surgery.
Please how do I go about this and what are the requirements needed to make this transfer.


Hello am paul from Nigeria , I just got my degree and I wish to further study in agriculture related course in Australia University how much does it cost and what are the requirements needed? please response will be appreciated. thanks

Hi, I'm Buwanaka Eaton and I'm from sri lanka I have done my advance level exam in science stream and I have passed it well. I hope to have an agriculture scholarship in australia for Bsc (Undergraduate ). Our country have so many problems and I don't feel safe in here please help me for my studies

Hi Buwanaka, I'm so sorry to hear that you feel unsafe in Sri Lanka. Here are links to our lists of scholarships to study in Australia and agriculture scholarships. Best of luck with your applications!

Hello, I am Harsh and I am from India, I have completed my 12th and want to study in Australia for Computer Science, I want to know which are top universities and what are their fees and mainly how much scholarship is given by australian government....

Hello Harsh, with regards to the top universities in Australia for Computer Science, you can refer to our latest ranking for the subject, here - just narrow down schools by selecting Australia from the 'By region' dropdown menu on the table. You may want to consult the universities' official websites for up-to-date information on tuition fees. As for government-funded scholarships in Australia, we have touched on that in this article (link). Australia is also included in our list of Computer Science scholarships, here


hello , i'm sudesh , i most like to study b.com in australia , i want to know more deatils how much want to the cost for b.com dgree in australia plzz gave me more details....

Respected sir I Honeypreet singh I would like to ask a favour from you that I have done MSc (physics) in India and I want to further Diploma in your university.so please advise me for best diploma and best university. Thanks in advance and have a nice day

Hi,I am Mansi ..I have completed my 12 and want to study in Aus for computer science ..how much will it cost for ug program ..

Hello, i am also going Australia for masters in information technology and i searched on it.
I can help you

Hi I am Harish and I am from India. I am looking forward to do Masters of Finance in Australia. After My MBA I am working for Kotak Mahindra Bank as a Branch Manager and I have completed 2years for journey in Kotak Bank. Now I am planning to pursue my Masters in Finance at Australia so can anyone guide that, what is the exam I need to take and how to get the scholarship to pursue my education and let me know the overall cost for my education so that I can plan accordingly.
Thanks in Advance

just call me at ..ill surely help u out and let me know where are u from

hi, i also want to study in australia. i am studying finances and i want to do Masters of Finance in Australia. We can help each other. keep in touch

hi my name is hemendrasinh
i want to study in australia Masterdegree MBA
help me what is cost end which univercity is good for MBA

where are u from let me know..and ill surely help u out just call me

Hi, i am Emmanuella. Am in a high school and am about to complete and i wa t to study in abroad

Hi, am Emmanuella. I am in a high school and about to complete and i want to study in abroad

where are u from...if u want to know the details just call me im srikanth

Hello, I'm Muhammad shibli from Lebanon I'll be graduated from Highschool soon, so I'd like to ask how much it cost to get a balchlor degree in mechanical engineering in Australia + if found any help in visa and paper work

Hi, Im a graduate in Diploma Small business management ,Diploma Leadership and Management, can I go for degree with Sydney University when I'm offer with a placement.Graduate Diploma Business and leadership management and many other certificates in fields of Trades and Public Relations at Regency International Institute of Tare in south Australia in 1994

Hi, Im Clotilda Claudia Harry from Solomon Islands.Gratuated with Duel Diploma in Business,Leadership and Management from Regency International Institute of Tafe, south Australia in 1994. serve in many fields of work and including law enforcement agencies. Am I eligible to study degree at University at Sydney if I offer a Placement by yous.

Hi, Im Clotilda Claudia harry from Solomon islands, I want to study psychology in Ausrtralia and especially Sydney University, how much will it costs me. and the requirements and criterias of accepted applications, thank you in advance..
Clotilda Claudia harry

Hi Clotilda, you should check the University of Sydney's official website to find out the exact costs of your psychology course, plus the entry requirements and the admissions process, but we have general advice on studying in Australia here. :)

Hello am bBilal khan from pakistan , I wish to study software engnieering in Australia University how much does it cost and what are the requirements needed

Hello am Ernest from Nigeria , I wish to study philosophy in Australia University how much does it cost and what are the requirements needed

Can some buddy tell me.can I earn my all expenses by doing part time job include my tuition fees.I am from Pakistan.please help me.

Hello, I'm afraid that you'll need to show evidence of already having sufficient funds for your tuition fees/living costs for your student visa application. So although you can work part-time in Australia after you arrive, you shouldn't rely on part-time work to fund your expenses. 

Hi am ademola from nigeria please i want to apply for a diploma in australia and i want to know the steps to take tank you

Hi... I'm from Pakistan and currently doing my bachelor in accounting & finance and interested in doing MBA from Australia. So, can anyone tell me what are the admission requirements? and is it possible to apply for the admission from Pakistan?

Hello, application requirements vary but for an MBA in Australia you'll typically need a bachelor's degree, the required level of English proficiency (proved by an English language test if you're not a native speaker), a strong GMAT result, relevant work experience, a personal statement, references and a CV. You can find out more about studying an MBA in Australia on our sister site, TopMBA.com. Hope this helps.

hi, does anyone know would british citizens be considered as commonwealth domestic for the Australian university fees purposes?

Hi Svetlana, British citizens would be classed as international students at Australian universities and will need to pay international tuition fees. 

hi I just wanna ask how can I fund my phd degree in Australia I live abroad and I am saving money but not enough for international fees , is it possible to amit for a loan once am there if am an international student?? One more question please how much money it is required to have to showcase to authorities when applying for phd stuying visa? and thankyou

Hi Dania, maybe take a look at scholarships for studying in Australia? These should help you with fees: https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/scholarship-advice/international-scholarships-study-australia

hi I'm from Sri Lanka and have a BSc first class degree in maths. like to start MSc in australia with full scholarship.

Hi Kalhari, please take a look at our list of scholarships to study in Australia. You might also like to download our complete guide on how to study abroad in Australia. :)

Can you please tell me that how can I apply for PR while studying masters in australia

Hi , I am from India. Can anyone tell which is the cheap universities in australia and what is fees per month for Bachelor and master degree. Thanks.

I'm Chanukya interested to studying Masters Degree in computer science in Australia I need to know about tuition fee

I'm Sani interested to studying Bachelors Degree in computer science in Australia I need to know about tuition fee

Hi Sani. Our guide to studying abroad in Australia should help you get started.

Hi ,
I'm a mechanical engineer and now I'm working in project management company. I'm interested in studying in Australia. But I don't know which university is best (lowest tuition fee) for me. Please help

Hello, I'm afraid I'm not sure on which Australian universities have the lowest tuition fees, but I can point you in the direction of our list of scholarships to study in Australia. Hope this helps!

I want to apply for australia for my bachelors degree.
Iam nepalese and married to a french last year,currently living in france but I dont know if i can apply from here or have to go back nepal ?

im interested in studying at monash university.
since i'm from India the fee seems a bit high?well... can i do part time jobs which are not too basic for an undergradute student.

Hi Ajay, if you would like to support yourself with a part-time job while in Australia, you will have permission to work included with your visa. You can work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session and unlimited hours in the holidays. Also, you can't commence work until you have started your course. Hope this helps.

Hello, i am interested in your offers.

this is not really accurate lol i searched more than 20 schools and courses and all are at least 30,000-40,000 ... so much for 15-33k