Approved courses and education providers

You must study an approved course at an approved education provider to get Youth Allowance, Austudy, or Pensioner Education Supplement.

Payments this applies to

You must study an approved course with an approved education provider to get any of the following:

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

You can’t get PES if you’ve already done either a:

  • masters
  • doctorate.

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

Approved courses and education providers

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 education providers may include:

  • secondary school
  • special school
  • TAFE or a registered training organisation (RTO)
  • higher education provider, 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 both:

  • approved for the VET Student Loan (VSL)
  • done with a provider 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 providers only need to be able to offer it.

Find the list of:

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

Education providers can become VET approved providers. If you're interested, read about becoming an approved VET provider, on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.

Approved higher education courses

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

This includes:

  • HECS-HELP
  • FEE-HELP
  • OS-HELP
  • 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.

See the list of approved higher education providers on the Providers that offer Commonwealth assistance page on the StudyAssist website.

Education providers can become approved higher education providers. If you're interested, read about becoming an approved higher education provider on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.

Approved distance and online education

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

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 Youth Allowance, Austudy and PES 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 get Youth Allowance, Austudy or PES if either:

  • you can study the approved degree full time
  • you can show us when the approved degree starts and ends.

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

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

Unapproved courses

If you get a payment and your course becomes unapproved, you’ll keep getting your payment until any of these happen:

  • your course ends
  • you stop studying the course
  • 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: 21 August 2020