FAQ

Study Options

When are your intakes?

SAE has three intakes per year: February, June and September. Short courses and certificates courses may have different intake timings - contact your campus for further information.

Are your courses recognised overseas?

All SAE degree and VET courses are government accredited. This means that the qualifications you receive upon graduation are recognised all around Australia and internationally.

Do you have night-time/part-time courses?

Some part-time courses are delivered in the evenings. Some diploma and degree units may also have classes scheduled during the evening, typically between 6.00-9.00pm. Contact your campus directly if you require further information. 

Do you offer distance education?

SAE offers online distance education course options. For further information, please visit our Online (Aus) page.

How much practical time will I get?

All SAE courses have a focus on practical, hands-on delivery. The amount of practical time you experience during your studies does vary, depending on your course. You will also have opportunities to access campus resources and facilities outside of class time, during campus opening hours. 

I have no background in this subject, will I cope?

We carefully design and deliver all our units to help you develop the knowledge you need to be successful in your chosen feild of study. Courses and course units at SAE follow best practice teaching and learning.

I don't have a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE). What options are there for me?

At SAE we recognise that preparation for study does not always need to be restricted to formal education attainment. Contact your campus to discuss your alternative entry options. 

What is the difference between a Diploma and a Degree?

VET Diploma

A VET diploma is niche skills focussed. By undertaking a SAE diploma in Animation, Audio, Film or Web & Mobile you will develop foundation skills in these specific discipline areas.

A VET diploma is a base-level qualification for paraprofessionals and further learning. This means that you can use the SAE diploma as a pathway to degree level study at SAE and at other Australian tertiary institutions.

VET diplomas are a great option for people who haven’t studied before and/or those looking for an alternative pathway to degree level studies.

Useful info:

SAE VET diploma courses attract VET Fee-Help for Australian students.

 

Bachelor Degree

A bachelor degree offers a rigorous combination of niche skills combined with a greater depth and breadth of theoretical knowledge and analytical skills. This knowledge is applicable to both your creative media discipline and the professional world more broadly.

A bachelor degree offers you an entry point to professional work, builds portable skills, and develops sustainable, life-long learning. Key high learning skills are a requisite of the bachelor degree and graduate study options are available upon completion.

Bachelor degrees are suitable for people looking to develop professional skills and knowledge and to build long-term, successful careers in their industry of choice.

Useful info:

SAE bachelor degree courses attract Fee-Help for Australian students.

 

What is the relationship between the theoretical and practical aspects of my course?

Successful creative media graduates need both practical skills and theoretical knowledge. It is important to know the "how" and the "why" of your industry. SAE courses are specifically designed to give you practical expertise and a solid theoretical foundation.

When is the next Open Day?

Upcoming Open Day details can be found on our Events page.

My Application

Are there Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) requirements and/or do I need any prerequisite knowledge to study at SAE?

An ATAR of 60+ is good basis for entry. We may also take into consideration a folio of your creative and production work.

A balanced program of subjects in your senior studies is the best preparation for our programs. If you are interested in visual aspects of creative media (animation, graphic design, web design) then visual art is a great preparation. If you are interested in audio production, then music performance or production is ideal. Mathematics is great for games programming. English, especially story-telling and drama, is ideal for film making.

What are the entry requirements for me to study at SAE?

Entry requirments for SAE courses can be found in the Key Facts section of your relevant course page.

What is the application process?

You can apply for SAE courses quickly and easily online. Go to our How to Apply page for further information.

What should I expect or prepare for the Alternative Entry process?

Alternative entry options are available to both domestic and international students. For further information, contact your campus to discuss your alternative entry options.

Where can I get an application form and how do I apply?

You can apply for SAE courses online. Visit How to Apply to get started. 

Why do you need certified hardcopies of my documents?

Certified copies of your supporting documents are required for accreditation and auditing requirements. 

How do I get documents certified?

For SAE documents, see the campus from which the documents were originally issued. For all other documents, these can be certified by people employed in particular professions including: Justices of the Peace (JP), Legal Practitioners, Magistrates, Notary Public, Police Officers, Dentists, Veterinarians, Pharmacists, Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA), Members of Parliament (MP), Ministers of Religion, and Medical Practitioners.

The person verifying the documents must state “I certify that I have sighted the original document and this is a true copy of it” and should sign and print the following details:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Daytime phone number
  • Profession or occupation
  • Organisation and registration number (where applicable)
  • Stamp (where applicable)
  • Date verified

I’m applying for FEE-HELP. Do I need certified copies for this?

If you intend to apply for Fee-Help and you have provided SAE with a certified copy of your government issued identification with your application, you will not be required to provide another copy for Fee-Help purposes.

I’m applying for FEE-HELP. Will I need a Tax File Number?

Yes. In order to apply for Fee-Help, you will need a Tax File Number (TFN). If you don’t already have a TFN, now is a good time to apply for one, as it can take up to 28 business days to process. To apply for a TFN, go to Australian Tax Office.

When do applications close for each intake?

Applications will be assessed for eligibility up to the advertised commencement date of the course. Places in the course are capped and filled according to date-received priority. The earlier your application is made, the more likely you are to receive a placement. If you are unable to commence the course on the scheduled date, you may postpone commencement by contacting Student Services at your campus.

What is OSHC and when does it need to be paid?

OSHC is a health insurance that provides international students with basic cover for medical and hospital costs while in Australia. OSHC is a compulsory requirement for a student visa and is available from any government-approved OSHC provider. You are required to have a valid OSHC policy for the duration of your student visa. SAE is currently affiliated with OSHC Worldcare Allianz.

Where can I get help with my visa application?

Applying for a student visa can be a complicated process. While you are able to do this yourself, an approved SAE Agent can help you with the process. Agents are trained to assist applicants with their university and visa applications.

How much does my student visa cost?

There is a non-refundable visa charge when you apply for your visa. For more information on visa fees and charges please visit the DIAC website.

Can I work in Australia with a student visa?

If you hold a student visa, you can work in Australia up to 40 hours per fortnight during your studies and full-time during study breaks and holiday periods. Students should not expect to be able to cover tuition fees and/or living expenses from casual work alone. For more information visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

My Enrolment

What do I do if I want to defer or leave?

If you wish to defer, you will be required to contact Student Services at your campus and complete a Cessation of Studies form.

What happens if I withdraw or I don't complete my studies?

You must withdraw prior to census date in order to be eligible for a refund of tuition fees. If you have not paid your fees and withdraw after the census date, you will incur a debt. Non-completion of studies does not normally entitle a student to any refund.

What is the Census Date?

The census date is the last day you can withdraw from a unit without incurring any financial or academic penalty for that unit of study. The census date is usually set at 20% of the study period for each trimester and will be published in advance. The census dates are outlined in the Fee Schedule.

What is the maximum time I can defer?

The maximum time you are able to defer study is 12 months.

What if I change my mind? Can I pull out of my course once I start?

Financial penalties will apply to students who leave their courses after the allocated census date.

FEE-HELP FAQ

What is FEE-HELP?

FEE‑HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible fee paying students pay all or part of their tuition fees. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books. The total amount of FEE‑HELP a person can use is known as the ‘FEE‑HELP limit’.

Once a person begins using FEE‑HELP, the amount of FEE‑HELP they have left to use is known as their ‘FEE‑HELP balance’.

Am I eligible for FEE‑HELP?

You are eligible for FEE‑HELP if you:

  • are studying at an approved FEE‑HELP provider (SAE is an approved provider);
  • meet the citizenship and residency requirements:
    • you are an Australian citizen or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency criteria and who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to your course; OR
    • you are a permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be a resident in Australia for the duration of your unit; OR
    • you are a permanent visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be a resident in Australia for the duration of the study;
  • are enrolled in an eligible unit of study by the census date for that unit;
  • and have not exceeded the FEE‑HELP limit.

How much can I borrow?

Eligible students can borrow up to the FEE‑HELP limit to pay their tuition fees.

For 2017, the FEE‑HELP limit is $100,879 for most students.

The FEE‑HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or 'topped up' by any repayments that you make. The FEE‑HELP limit is the total amount available to eligible students under both the FEE‑HELP and VET Student Loan schemes. This means that any amount you borrow under either FEE‑HELP or VET Student Loans will reduce your FEE‑HELP balance until you have reached the FEE‑HELP limit.

Is there a loan fee?

There is a loan fee of 25% for FEE‑HELP loans for undergraduate courses of study only. The loan fee does not count towards your FEE‑HELP limit.

The loan fee does not apply for:

  • postgraduate study, including higher degrees by research;
  • enabling courses;
  • bridging study for overseas-trained professionals.

Can I use FEE‑HELP for all my units of study?

You can only use FEE‑HELP for eligible units of study.

An eligible unit of study is a subject or unit which:

You may also be eligible for FEE‑HELP if you are undertaking an enabling course. Your approved provider will inform you if your course is classified as enabling.

Will previous study or other debts affect my eligibility?

No (unless you have already reached your FEE‑HELP limit). Any previous study you have undertaken, and any other financial debts you may have incurred will not affect your eligibility to access a FEE‑HELP loan. As long as you meet the above eligibility criteria and have enough of your FEE‑HELP balance left to cover your tuition fees, you will be able to access FEE‑HELP.

Remember, the FEE‑HELP limit is a lifetime limit. Any loans used under FEE‑HELP or VET Student L will reduce your FEE‑HELP balance until you have reached the FEE‑HELP limit.

When do I have to repay my HELP debt?

You have to start repaying your HELP debt through the taxation system once your repayment income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year. The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2015-2016 income year is $54,126 and the compulsory repayment threshold for the 2016-2017 income year is $54,869.

Repayment income is calculated from the amounts given on your income tax return for:

  • your taxable income;
  • reportable fringe benefits (reported on your payment summary);
  • total net investment loss (which includes net rental loss);
  • reportable super contributions; and
  • exempt foreign employment income amounts.

From 1 July 2017, anyone who has a HELP debt, and earns above the minimum repayment threshold, will be required to repay their debt regardless of where they live, whether in Australia or overseas. Visit www.studyassist.gov.au for more information.

How much will my repayments be?

The amount you repay each year is a percentage of your income. The percentage increases as your income increases, so the more you earn, the higher your repayment will be. The ATO will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include it on your income tax notice of assessment.

What is the census day?

The census day for a course, or a part of a course, is the last day you can:

  • complete the eCAF to apply for a VET Student Loan for your course; OR
  • withdraw your enrolment without incurring a debt for the course or part of the course.

Where do I find SAE’s census dates?

Fees are processed on the census date of each trimester, based on the module / unit price as listed in our current Fee Schedules.

What is a LIFETIME LOAN LIMIT?

The lifetime loan limit is the total amount you can incur in your lifetime under any Commonwealth student loan scheme – whether it is Higher Education FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans or a VET Student Loan. It is indexed each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

In 2017, the lifetime loan limit is $100,879 for most students. Students can view their loan obligations by logging into myUniAssist on the Study Assist website. You will need your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) to log in.

Need more information on FEE-HELP?

Visit the Study Assist website.

VET Student Loan FAQ

What is a VET Student Loan?

The VET Student Loans program is an income contingent loan offered by the Australian Government that helps eligible students pay for some vocational education and training (VET) diploma level or above courses.

Am I eligible for VET Student Loans?

To be an eligible student for the purposes of accessing VET Student Loans, you must meet ALL of these criteria:

  • You are:
    • an Australian citizen; OR
    • a qualifying New Zealand citizen (see information about NZ citizen); OR
    • a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia.
  • Your FEE-HELP balance is more than $0 and is sufficient to cover the amount you wish to access.
  • You are enrolled with an approved course provider (SAE is an approved provider of VET Student Loans) and have enrolled in accordance with the application requirements.
  • You are studying the approved course primarily at a campus in Australia.
  • You have been assessed by your approved course provider as academically suited to undertake the approved course on the basis of either:
    • providing your Australian Year 12 Certificate; OR
    • providing evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); OR
    • displaying competence at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy through an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy test.
    • In addition, your approved course provider must reasonably believe you show competence in completing the course.
  • You meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements.
  • You have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) or are otherwise exempt.
  • You have read the 2017 VET Student Loans information booklet.
  • You have given the required documents to your approved course provider and submitted the loan application form by the first census day no less than two business days after enrolling.

What does it mean to be academically suited for my course?

To be assessed as academically suited for a VET Student Loan, you must provide either:

  • a copy of your Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (year 12 Certificate); OR
  • evidence of successful completion of an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English).

If you do not have an Australian year 12 Certificate or have not successfully completed an AQF Certificate IV or higher qualification, you will be able to complete an approved Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) test and be assessed as competent at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy. Your provider will conduct this test and notify you of your result.

How much can I borrow? What is the FEE-HELP limit?

You can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay your tuition fees. The FEE-HELP limit is the total amount available to you under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and FEE-HELP over your lifetime. Any amount you borrow under VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP or FEE‑HELP will be added together until you reach the FEE-HELP limit. For 2017, the FEE-HELP limit is $100,879 for most students.

The FEE-HELP limit is a lifetime limit and is not reset or ‘topped up’ by any repayments that you make.

What is the FEE-HELP balance?

The FEE-HELP balance is the available amount of VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and/or FEE‑HELP that you have left to use before you reach the FEE-HELP limit.

Will I be charged interest?

There is no interest charged on HELP debts. Your HELP debt is, however, indexed each year. It increases annually on 1 June to maintain its real value, adjusting in line with changes in the cost of living (as measured by the Consumer Price Index figure released each March).

Debts are not indexed until they are 11 months old. You can find current and past indexation rates on the ATO website.

Is there a loan fee?

Yes, for most students. A 20 per cent loan fee applies to VET Student Loans for full fee paying / fee for service students. The loan fee does not count towards your FEE-HELP limit. You do not have to pay the loan fee upfront – it is reported by your provider and is added to your HELP debt at the ATO.

What is the census day?

The census day for a course, or a part of a course, is the last day you can:

  • complete the eCAF to apply for a VET Student Loan for your course; OR
  • withdraw your enrolment without incurring a debt for the course or part of the course.

Where do I find SAE's census dates?

Fees are processed on the census date of each trimester, based on the module/ unit price as listed in our current Fee Schedules.

Fees are charged by study periods. Your course will have a least four study periods (three study periods in Adelaide) and your payments will be spread across the duration of your course. Each study period has a census day, set at no less than 20% into the study period.

When will SAE send me an invoice?

You will be sent an Invoice Notice 14 days before each census day, indicating your fees and census dates. Your debt is incurred on the day after the census day. After a census day has passed, SAE will also send you a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) for that study period. The CAN will provide you with information about your debt, including the loan fee if applicable. If you believe your CAN is incorrect, you should contact your college immediately.

For a few courses, there may be a gap between the course fee and the loan cap that the Commonwealth will allow for your course. You will be advised of this when you enquire, and also about other payment options that may be available.

What is a LIFETIME LOAN LIMIT?

The lifetime loan limit is the total amount you can incur in your lifetime under any Commonwealth student loan scheme – whether it is Higher Education FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans or a VET Student Loan. It is indexed each year, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

In 2017, the lifetime loan limit is $100,879 for most students. Students can view their loan obligations by logging into myUniAssist on the Study Assist website. You will need your Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) to log in.

When do I have to repay my HELP debt?

Your VET Student Loans debt forms part of your accumulated HELP debt. You must start repaying your HELP debt through the tax system once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying.

The threshold is adjusted each year and for the 2016–17 income year it is $54,869 or above.

How much you must pay back is calculated from the amounts given on your income tax return for:

  • your taxable income;
  • reportable fringe benefits (reported on your payment summary);
  • total net investment loss (including net rental loss);
  • reportable super contributions; AND
  • exempt foreign employment income amounts.

From 1 July 2017, anyone who has a HELP debt, and earns above the minimum repayment threshold, will be required to repay their debt regardless of where they live, whether in Australia or overseas. Visit www.studyassist.gov.au for more information.

How much will my repayments be?

The amount you repay each year is a percentage of your income. The percentage increases as your income increases, so the more you earn, the higher your repayment will be. The ATO will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include it on your income tax notice of assessment.

Need more information on VET Student Loans?

Visit the Study Assist website.

Fees and Payments

Am I eligible for FEE-HELP?

For information on Fee-Help eligibility visit Fee-Help Study Assist

Can I get Centrelink benefits studying this course?

For information on benefits and eligibility visit the Department of Human Services.

Can I obtain FEE-HELP for a certificate program?

No. FEE-HELP is only available for students undertaking a degree course. VET Student Loans is only available for the diploma courses.

How do I apply for FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans?

If your application to study at SAE is successful you will receive the following:

  • A Letter of Offer
  • A Student Admission Agreement
  • A FEE-HELP or VET Student Loan (VSL) application form

The application process for FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans is outlined in the form. For further information visit Fee-Help Study Assist or VET Fee-Help Study Assist

Is there a loan fee?

For information on Fee-Help Loan Fees visit Fee-Help Study Assist. 

What happens if I withdraw or I don't complete my studies?

You must withdraw prior to census date in order to be eligible for a refund of tuition fees. If you have not paid your fees and withdraw after the census date, you will incur a debt. Non-completion of studies does not normally entitle a student to any refund.

What is FEE-HELP & VET Student Loans?

FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans are loan schemes that assist eligible fee paying students to pay all or part of their tuition fees. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or textbooks. For further information visit Fee-Help Study Assist or VET Student Loans Study Assist.

When do I need to pay my tuition fees?

Your tuition fees are due prior to the trimester start date. If you are applying for Fee-Help or VET Fee-Help, you must submit the required application form and supporting documents prior to the intake start date.

When is the closing date for requesting FEE-HELP assistance for SAE courses?

Students who are seeking FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans assistance must complete, sign and submit their Request for FEE-HELP/VET Student Loans assistance forms to Student Services by the first day of study. Students who do not submit this form by the first day of study, will be invoiced for tuition fees as full fee-paying students.

Where do I find further information on the FEE-HELP loan scheme?

For further information visit Fee-Help Study Assist or VET Student Loans.

How much does a course at SAE cost?

For further information on tuition fees visit the Fee Schedule section of the website.

What financial assistance is available for your course?

FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans are loan schemes that assist eligible fee paying students to pay all or part of their tuition fees. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or textbooks. For further information visit Fee-Help Study Assist or VET Student Loans.

What are my payment options?

You may elect to pay tuition fees using one of the following methods:

  • Cheque or Australian Money Order 
  • Visa or Mastercard
  • Electronic Transfer or Direct Deposit

For more information, go to Fees and Payments.

Student Services

What support networks do you have in place for people with a disability or special learning needs?

SAE is committed to providing equal opportunities for students with disabilities or special learning needs. For more information visit Student Services

Student Life

Approximately how many students are in a class?

This can vary depending on the campus and course. You may, for example, have a larger lecture group for common units, and a smaller tutorial group of 8-15 students. In most cases tutorial sizes average  15 - 30 students.

Can I work whilst studying?

Students who are well organised find casual or part-time work most manageable.

How often will I need to be on campus?

This is dependant on how many units you study per trimester. You should expect to be on campus one day a week per unit of study. If, for example, you are completing your studies via the full time fast track mode, you should expect to be on campus four days a week.

My Studies

Can I come in and work on assessments on the weekend?

Students can access campus facilities during opening hours. Please contact your campus for timings.

How do I get a new email password?

You can have your email password reset by emailing the request through to servicedesk@navitas.com

How many days do I have to lodge a Special Consideration form?

You have 10 days after the due date to lodge a Special Consideration form.

What is Alumni?

SAE Alumni is a network of SAE graduates. When you graduate, you will have the opportunity to join the global Alumni Association as well as the Australia & New Zealand Alumni Association. See some of our Alumni here.

Who do I give medical certificates to?

If you need to provide a medical certificate for any reason, please ensure that you provide this to the Student Services Advisor at your campus.

How much study is required outside school time?

A full time fast track study load is defined as 40 hours per week. Of this 40 hours you can expect 12-15 hours of face-to-face teaching time. The additional hours of study include collaborative work (i.e. recording sessions) and individual study time.

How do I extend my visa?

Visa extensions are subject to approval by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). If you need to extend your visa, you must apply to SAE for a new electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE). For information about visa extensions and renewals please visit the extending your stay section of the DIAC website.

Facilities and Equipment

Do I get access to all campus facilities if I complete a short course or VET course? (E.g access to all the sound studios if doing Audio)

You will have access to the facilities and equipment relevant to your course and on which you have been trained.

Do I need a computer or laptop to study the Course?

No, this is not required. Students have access to our campus computer labs for assessment work.

Do you have accommodation on campus/Can you tell me about local accommodation?

The Byron Bay Campus is the only campus in Australia with onsite accommodation. For information on all other accommodation options visit your campus page

Is your equipment industry standard?

Yes! We consult with industry on a regular basis and update our resources as required.

What are the campus opening hours?

Opening hours are generally 9.00am–5.00pm. However, each campus may vary their hours of operation.  Students do have out-of-hours access to the studios and computer labs. For more information contact your campus.

What is the situation with parking on campus?

For information regarding parking at your campus, click the Transport tab on your campus page

What software will I be using?

You will use a variety of industry standard and specialised software applications relevant to your study. 

What time can I collect the film gear?

Each campus has their own guidelines regarding equipment collection. Please contact your campus directly.

When do the studios open?

Typically, studios open between 9.00-10.00am. Studio opening hours are different for each campus and can vary throughout the trimester according to demand. Please contact your campus directly for more information on opening hours and studio availability.