Calculating fees of postgraduate research

Calculating fees of postgraduate research

Higher Degree Research Programs

The following research degree courses are available at Macquarie University in 2016. They are free of tuition fees under the Research Training Scheme and are indicated as RTS. Course load in total EFTSL is also indicated.

Degree Total EFTSL for 2016 commencement Total Program Cost
Doctor of Philosophy



Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Clinical Psychology



Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Clinical Neuropsychology



Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Organisational Psychology



Master of Philosophy



HDR candidates commencing from 2014 have a 3 EFTSL to complete their doctoral degree.

Tuition Fee Research Degree Programs

Tuition fee research degree programs have ceased to be offered at Macquarie University from 2010. Macquarie University provides a place under the Commonwealth funded Research Training Scheme for candidates enrolled in the above research programs and these candidates do not currently pay tuition fees

FEE-HELP for Domestic Higher Degree Research Candidates

Domestic Out-of-time candidates may be eligible to access FEE-HELP loan assistance from the Commonwealth Government to assist in paying these fees.  Eligibility for FEE-HELP includes being an Australian Citizen or the holder of an Australian Permanent Humanitarian Visa.

Please Note: International students are not eligible for FEE-HELP and the following information does not apply to them.

FEE-HELP enables students to borrow up to the limit of the tuition fee charged for a unit of study in a tuition fee-paying program. For 2015, the FEE‑HELP limit is $97,728 for most students. For students undertaking medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses (as defined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003) the FEE‑HELP limit is $122,162.

To apply for FEE-HELP, eligible applicants will need to complete a Commonwealth Assistance Form and provide a Tax File Number (TFN).  Students applying for FEE-HELP will be given a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN).  Candidates are able to check their full assistance details on the following Commonwealth website by using the CHESSN number:

The Research Training Scheme (RTS) provides Commonwealth funded higher degree by research (HDR) students with exemption from course fees for the equivalent of four years full-time study (PhD) or 2 years full time study (MPhil) in accredited HDR programs.

From 2014 onwards, Macquarie’s standard PhD candidature is 3 years. If candidates take longer than the specified time to complete their degree, they will be charged a special tuition fee for the rest of their study as specified in the University's Higher Degree Research Out of Time (OOT) Policy.

Out of Time Policy

Candidates who are not able to complete within their standard candidature period may request for extension to their candidature under the Out-of-time Policy.

Under this policy, candidates who have reached their funded completion date (FEC date) will not be automatically re-enrolled. However they may request an extension of their candidature based on a completion plan prepared by the candidate and endorsed by the supervisor(s).  If approved, extension of candidature (re-enrolment) will be prescribed as follows:


  • Six months additional enrolment (extension of candidature) may be allowed
  • Provision for one only further extension to a maximum consumable Equivalent Full-time Student Load (EFTSL) of 5.0 (for candidates who commenced their doctoral program prior to 2014)
  • Maximum consumable EFTSL of 4.0 for candidates who commenced their doctoral program after January 2014


  • Six months additional enrolment (extension of candidature) may be allowed to a maximum consumable EFTSL of 2.5.
  • No further extension will be granted after the maximum consumable EFTL of 2.5 is reached

Special Tuition Fee Rates

The University has determined that extension of enrolment (candidature) will incur a special tuition fee for Research Training Scheme (RTS) candidates only as follows:

  1. All approved extensions of candidature will incur a special tuition fee (currently at $1000 in 2015)
  2. The special tuition fee will also apply to all candidates who have exceeded their maximum consumable EFTSL (that is, greater than 4.0 EFTSL for a PhD and greater than 2.5 for an MPhil) and who subsequently submit a thesis for examination.
  3. The University may vary the special tuition fee for OOT extension in the future.

International out-of-time candidates will be required to pay fees for the approved extended period of candidature.Note in reference to 2) above, PhD or MPhil candidates who have exceeded 4.0 or 2.5 EFTSL respectively may apply for re-admission (within two years from their last date of out-of-time withdrawal) under Rule 12 (2) of the Higher Degree Research Rules if they are ready to submit the thesis, and have nominated Examiners for examination. If re-admitted, a period of enrolment sufficient for satisfactory completion of the thesis and submission will be determined by the Faculty Associate Dean HDR (generally no more than 3 months) to allow for processing the examination of the thesis.

Eligible candidates who wish to apply for fee assistance to pay for the special out-of-time tuition may lodge a FEE-HELP assistance form, available from the Higher Degree Research Office.

Further questions regarding the Out-of-time Policy can be directed to the Higher Degree Research Office on

Universities are required to advise all candidates in advance of the designated Census date for their program of study.  The calculation of the Census Date is based on a formula which requires the Census Date to be fixed at a date no earlier than 20% of the way through the period of time during which the unit, or research program, is being undertaken.  Research candidates at Macquarie University have two Enrolment Periods (EPs).  These are from 1 January to 30 June and from 1 July to 31 December each year.  Macquarie refers these periods EP1 and EP2.  For commencing and completing candidates the commencement and completion dates do not necessarily coincide with the beginning or the end of an enrolment period.  Accordingly, a Census Date must be calculated which is based on the period of time of enrolment within an Enrolment Period.  Likewise, for candidates returning from Leave of Absence, a Census Date must be calculated which reflects the period of time of enrolment within an Enrolment Period.

How to calculate census date

Commencing Candidates - The calculation of a Census Date within an Enrolment Period is based on the number of days in the EP.  In a year with 365 days there are 181 days in EP1 and 184 days in EP2.  A candidate who enrols on 21 February, for example, will have 130 days remaining in EP1.  As the Census Date is to be set no earlier than 20% of the way through the time in which the unit is being undertaken, at the earliest, this Census Date will be 26 days after 21 February which is March 18. The calculation is based on counting the total days between 21 February and 30 June (129 days) and deriving a forward calendar date from 21 February based on 20% of that number of days (rounded up to 26 days).

Continuing Candidates - For continuing candidates whose enrolment covers the entire EP, the Census Date for EP1 is 7 February and for EP2 is 7 August, using the 20% minimum requirement.

Candidates on Leave of Absence - For candidates commencing Leave of Absence, the new Census Date is calculated using the date for the commencement of Leave of Absence in lieu of the end date of the Enrolment Period.

For candidates returning from officially approved Leave of Absence, the new Census Date is based on the same formula as that for commencing students.  The date of return from Leave of Absence is used in lieu of the beginning date of the EP for the purposes of calculating the Census Date.  This means that the number of days between the return date and the end of the EP is the basis from which the 20% rule is applied.

Completing Candidates - Candidates at the end of their candidature period must have a new Census Date calculated and advised if the date is not at the end of an EP.  The formula is the same as that of a normal Enrolment Period except that instead of using an EP end date, the work submission date is used to calculate the Census Date under the 20% requirement. For example, if the work submission date is 31 May, the Census Date is 30 January (20% of 151 days).

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