Approved courses and institutions

You must study an approved course at an approved institution to get Youth Allowance as a student, Austudy, or Pensioner Education Supplement.

Payments this applies to

You must study an approved course with an approved institution to get:

You can’t get Austudy if you’ve already done a doctorate.

You can’t get Pensioner Education Supplement if you’ve already done a:

  • masters, or
  • doctorate.

There can sometimes be different course and provider criteria for ABSTUDY.

Approved courses and institutions

Approved courses of study may include:

  • secondary school course
  • special school course
  • school based apprenticeship
  • traineeship
  • pre-vocational or vocational education course
  • a course preparing you for tertiary study
  • a TAFE or university course
  • English as a Second Language course.

Approved institutions may include:

  • secondary school
  • special school
  • TAFE or a registered training organisation (RTO)
  • higher education institution, like a university.

Approved Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses

To be an approved course at diploma level or higher, the VET course must be:

  • approved for the VET Student Loan (VSL), and
  • done with an institution approved to provide VSL courses.

This applies to VET courses for Youth Allowance, Austudy or PES.

You won’t need to take out a VSL to get a payment from us. The course and institutions only need to be able to offer it.

Go to the Department of Education's myskills for a list of approved courses.

Go to the Department of Education website for a list of approved course providers.

If you’re applying for ABSTUDY different criteria may apply.

If you're an education provider wanting to become an approved VET provider, go to Department of Education.

Approved higher education courses

You can get Youth Allowance, Austudy or PES for higher education courses. To be an approved course the institution must be approved for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).

This includes:

  • OS-HELP, and
  • SA-HELP.

You won’t have to take out a HELP loan to get a payment from us. The course only needs to be eligible for it.

Go to Providers that offer Commonwealth assistance on the StudyAssist website for a list of approved higher education providers.

Read more about HELP on the Department of Education website.

If you're an education provider wanting to become an approved higher education provider, go to Department of Education.

Approved distance and online education

If you study by distance education, you need to do an approved course with an approved institution.

Read more about distance and online education.

Approved masters courses

The Department of Social Services approves masters courses. Generally, only masters by coursework may be eligible for student payments.

A list of approved masters courses is available on the Federal Register of Legislation website. Read the Student Assistance (Education Institutions and Courses) Determination.

You might be doing a combined masters degree and only one of the degrees appears on the Student Determination. If this is the case, you may be approved to get a student payment if:

  • you can study the approved degree full time, and
  • the start and finish dates of the approved degree are clearly defined from the second degree

You can check the approval for the second course on Student Update or call the students line.

Read more about approved courses and institutions for Masters on the Department of Social Services website.

Unapproved courses

If you are getting a payment and your course becomes unapproved, you’ll keep getting your payment until:

  • your course ends, or
  • you stop studying the course, or
  • there’s a break in your payment.

If you withdraw from your course and then re-enrol in the same course, we won’t reinstate your payment.

Page last updated: 3 July 2019

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