Approved institutions and courses for student payments

Approved education institutions and courses for the purposes of eligibility for student payments are listed in the Student Assistance (Education Institutions and Courses) Determination 2019 (the Determination).

Applications for the 2023 academic year have closed. Please monitor this website for application details for the next round. Additionally formal invitations for applications will be sent out to Vice-Chancellors and relevant contacts prior to the commencement of the next round.

Any enquiries regarding Masters by coursework approval for student payments should be directed to mastersapps@dss.gov.au.

Masters by coursework approval for student payments

The Department of Social Services conducts an assessment process at least once a year where higher education providers may submit their professionally oriented masters by coursework programs for assessment against the criteria set out in the Guidelines for the approval of Masters courses for student payments (the Guidelines).

Criteria for Masters Course Approval

Masters courses that satisfy the above condition may only be approved for student payment purposes if they are also the:

  • minimum legal or professional educational requirement for a specific profession, or
  • only pathway to gain an entry-level qualification for a profession offered by the higher education provider, or
  • fastest pathway to gain an entry-level qualification for a profession offered by the higher education provider. Courses that do not meet one of these 3 criteria cannot be approved for student payments.

The Department of Social Services assesses applications in accordance with the Guidelines and eligible masters courses are submitted to the Minister for Social Services for consideration and potential approval.

Higher education providers are responsible for submitting masters by coursework programs for assessment. Students are unable to submit courses for assessment.

Students who have queries about masters courses should contact their higher education provider, and should contact the Services Australia Students and Trainees line on 13 2490 for further information or queries about student payments.

A specialist tertiary qualification is required for employment at entry-level in the relevant profession.

A specialist tertiary qualification must be essential for entry-level employment in a specific profession, as a legal or professional requirement. If the Masters course is considered a specialist tertiary qualification for entry-level employment to the profession then the course needs to be:

  • accredited by a recognised professional body; and/or
  • required for admission to a profession; and/or
  • registered with a state or territory governing body.

If the Masters qualification does not meet these requirements it cannot be approved for student payments.

Note: An industry preference for accreditation is not a legal or professional requirement.

Note: A course does not meet the criteria of a specialist tertiary qualification if it is not required for a specific profession, but instead provides a qualification for a broad field of employment within an industry or a range of industries.

It is important that courses are recorded correctly on the Determination so that prospective students can make informed decisions and have certainty about what courses attract government support when considering undertaking study at a Masters level.

Higher education providers who currently have courses listed on the Determination will receive a list of all their approved courses at the commencement of every application round. Higher education providers are asked to review and identify courses that are no longer delivered for the purpose of removing them from the Determination.

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