All SAE HE and VET courses are government accredited. This means that the qualifications you receive upon graduation are recognised all around Australia and internationally.
You can choose to study most of our courses in a part-time capacity. An SAE course advisor will be able to give you more information about the study options for your chosen course.
Note: Part-time is not available for international students.
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.
We carefully design and deliver all our units to help you develop the knowledge you need to be successful in your chosen field of study. Courses and course units at SAE follow best practice teaching and learning.
A certificate course serve as an introduction to an area of the creative industries. Potentially a small number of principles or specific skills can be covered during the course. A certificate can also provide broad contextual learning in the creative industries.
Certificates are a great way to gain an introduction to a field of study or learn a skill. Certificate courses can add to your knowledge and your career.
A diploma is niche skills focussed. By undertaking an SAE diploma in animation, audio, film or games, you will develop foundation skills in these specific discipline areas. Students can use the SAE diploma as a pathway to degree level study at SAE and at other Australian tertiary institutions.
Diplomas are a great option for people who haven’t studied before and/or those looking for an alternative pathway to degree level studies.
An associate degree offers a combination of niche skills combined with a greater depth and breadth of theoretical knowledge and analytical skills. An associate degree offers portable skills and develops sustainable, lifelong learning.
Students can use the SAE Associate Degree as a pathway to degree level study at SAE and at other Australian tertiary institutions. SAE associate degree courses attract Fee-Help for Australian students.
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, lifelong 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. SAE bachelor degree courses attract Fee-Help for Australian students.
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.
SAE has three intakes per year: February, June and September. Short courses and certificates courses may have different intake timings. View our academic calendar for trimester start dates or contact your campus for further information.
Upcoming Open Day details can be found on our Events page.
SAE does not have a minimum ATAR requirement for entry.
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 storytelling and drama, is ideal for filmmaking.
At SAE we recognise that preparation for study does not always need to be restricted to formal education attainment. Contact us today to discuss your experience-based entry options.
Experience-based entry options are available to both domestic and international students. For further information, request a call back with a course advisor to discuss your experience-based entry options.
You can apply for SAE courses quickly and easily online. Go to our Apply now page for further information.
Enrolment documents do not need to be certified however, please note, at any time, you should be willing and able to provide original documents or original certified copies of supporting documentation. Failure to do so may result in your application being rejected. Requests for the provision of original or certified documentation may also involve asking the relevant tertiary admissions centres, issuing authorities or other relevant organisations for verification. For documents submitted in a language other than English, an English translation must be provided by an accredited translator with a Government body or authorised personnel of the issuing institution.
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.
So long as you meet the entry requirements for the course that you want to study, the Admissions team can assist you in changing your enrolment over. This needs to be done no later than your first census date.
If you wish to defer before you course has commenced, please contact SAE’s admissions team. If you wish to defer after your course has commenced you will be required to contact Student Services at your campus and complete a Cessation of Studies form.
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.
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 SAE’s Fee Schedule.
The maximum time you are able to defer study is 12 months.
Financial penalties will apply to students who leave their courses after the allocated census date. Please contact SAE if you would like to do this as soon as possible on 1800 723 338.
FEE‑HELP* is an Australian Government 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’.
* Terms and conditions apply. For the latest updates regarding FEE-HELP please refer to sae.edu.au/fees
To get a FEE-HELP* loan, you must:
- Be an Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia or be a New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements. Permanent residents can only get FEE-HELP for approved bridging studies be enrolled in a fee-paying place at a provider that offers FEE-HELP loans be enrolled in an eligible course at your provider by the census date (your provider can tell you if your course is eligible)
- Submit the Request for FEE-HELP loan form to your provider by the census date
- have an available HELP balance.
- Not have undertaken more than 2 years’ worth of higher education study in the last 12 months, unless your provider has assessed you as capable of taking on a higher study load.
- Have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) prior to the first census date to be eligible for FEE-HELP if you are starting a new course in 2022. Applying for a USI is fast and free, and you keep the same USI for life. You can apply for a USI, or check if you already have one, at www.usi.gov.au.
- If you are studying at a non-university higher education provider, you must maintain a pass-rate of 50 percent or above to continue to be eligible for FEE-HELP.
* Terms and conditions apply. For the latest updates regarding FEE-HELP please refer to sae.edu.au/fees
You can borrow up to the combined HELP loan limit to pay your tuition fees. This includes all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans and any HECS-HELP loans incurred from 1 January 2022.
For 2022, the HELP loan limit is $109,206.
Your HELP balance is renewable. Any compulsory or voluntary HELP or VSL debt repayments starting from the 2021–22 income year will top up a person’s HELP balance. These repayments will be applied to your HELP balance from 1 July 2022 onwards. Repaid amounts, applied up to the HELP loan limit, may be borrowed for future study.
When you attend university or an approved higher education provider, you can get a FEE-HELP* loan to pay all or part of your tuition fees.
A FEE-HELP loan does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or text books.
You can borrow up to the combined HELP loan limit to pay your tuition fees. This includes all FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans and any HECS-HELP loans incurred from 1 January 2020. For 2021, the HELP loan limit is $108,232.
* Terms and conditions apply. For more information regarding FEE-HELP please refer to sae.edu.au/fees
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.
You pay back your HELP debt through the tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold. The compulsory repayment threshold is different each year.
The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2021-22 income year is $47,014.
The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2020-21 income year was $46,620.
You can make a voluntary repayment to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at any time.
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 studyassist.gov.au for more information.
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.
Visit the Study Assist website: studyassist.gov.au
VET Student Loans
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.
To be an eligible student for the purposes of accessing VET Student Loans, you must meet ALL of these criteria:
- 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 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.
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.
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.
Fees & payments
For information on benefits and eligibility visit the Department of Human Services.
Your tuition fees are due prior to the trimester start date. If you are applying for Fee-Help or VET Student Loans, you must submit the required application form and supporting documents prior to the intake start date.
For information on tuition fees visit the Fee Schedule section of the website.
You may elect to pay tuition fees using one of the following methods:
- Visa or MasterCard
- Western Union
- Electronic Funds Transfer or Direct Deposit
- FEE-HELP / VET Student Loan
Check your student email for the latest updates and information regarding your campus.
Under the directive of the respective state governments, mandatory vaccination for students and staff is not required to attend any of our campuses.
Our top priority is student and staff health and wellbeing. We will continue to follow Federal and State authority advice and our COVIDSafe plans to ensure the protection of our community.
Please remember to notify your teacher and/or Student Services as soon as possible if you test positive for COVID-19 – importantly if you have been on campus two days prior to testing positive. By communicating this with us, we can maximise the health and safety of our campus community.
SAE is closely monitoring each of its Australian campuses. If there is a confirmed case of a student or staff member with COVID-19, the SAE student and teaching community will be informed as a priority. If you have been identified as a potential close contact of the positive case, then you will be contacted personally and provided with directions, in line with health department advice.
Assessment processes will remain the same. For modules that use holistic assessment, please ensure that you continue to participate in class, work on your projects and maintain your learning journals (if required for your module). SAE Faculty have been provided guidance on how to ensure we are making appropriate changes to assessment in order to address any challenges you or your peers face. Your facilitator will let you know in advance if any assessment changes are required, to maximise your progression and success in your course.
While many creative industries placements are now available, some challenges to completing placement hours still remain. Please contact your Industry Liaison Coordinator for assistance with your WIL placement.
SAE will continue to follow the advice of health authorities and medical experts and share information as it is received. We recommend you check your student email on a daily basis for relevant updates. Rest assured, you will be notified via your student email or SMS of any urgent updates.
If you want to reach out to your campus with a question, you can chat online with your campus Student Services team Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Simply access this service by logging onto Campus Online.
Each SAE campus has deployed software such as Slack and Discord to support cross-discipline collaboration. Your facilitator will advise what software is being used for your module.
Campuses are open, with staff onsite to support students who want to access computer labs and equipment. In addition to scheduled classes, optional practical sessions will be scheduled on campus to support audio, film, animation and capstone projects. Lecturers will provide students with information about these sessions at the beginning of the trimester.
Important information about remote access to software is updated frequently. Please contact your course facilitator who can provide you with the most up-to-date guidance on how to access the software you need.
Equipment is available for on and off campus production work, with some changes to the hire and use of equipment, guided by health and hygiene protocols. We have made some slight adjustments to teaching and assessments to ensure that projects will not be impacted. For more information about hiring equipment and booking studios, please contact Student Services or the Tech Team at your campus.
SAE staff have been providing a range of options to support students through this pandemic. These options include opportunities for late submissions, modification of assessment items and individual learning contracts. You may defer to a future study period, however the rules relating to remission of fees are set by the government and not SAE. We are more than happy to talk to you about your individual circumstances and work with you to find a solution that will best meet your needs.
We encourage all students to engage in responsible physical distancing and to practise good hygiene. The accommodation facilities remain in operation unless notified otherwise. If you have any concerns, please contact Student Services.
Please ensure you have the following in place to support your remote learning:
- A high-speed internet connection to run Zoom – the software we are using to facilitate classroom delivery
- A computer or device capable of running the Zoom client and any software required for your module
- Headphones, a microphone and webcam to get the best from this experience
Keep up to date with information about software options for students on our software site, and check your student email regularly for updates.
All SAE courses, and the means by which your work is appraised, are built on the principle of 3Ps:
- People (How to be a better creative industries practitioner and get the most from teams & colleagues)
- Process (How to make things which are quality, on time & on budget)
- Product (How to use the tools of your trade)
Your tools are a component of only one of three elements, and we encourage all SAE students to be creative in your application of different tools to bring your project to life. How you manage resources (Process), and how you and your teams adapt (People) are equally important. Of course, SAE will make allowances for the situation and provide support. We encourage you to consult with your facilitator if in doubt.
Confidential free counselling is available for all SAE students. Student Counsellors are available to assist students with any personal issues or circumstances that might affect wellbeing and study. Currently, we are offering most appointments remotely via Zoom or telephone, with some on-campus appointments available by arrangement. If you would like to book a counselling session or find out more information please contact your campus Student Counsellor.
SAE understands that students’ health, wellbeing and studies could be adversely impacted. We recommend you refer to the Department of Health guidelines for information. If you require support, Student Services Advisors can provide personal wellbeing and academic support. To make an on-campus or video appointment, email your campus Student Services Advisor.
SAE Creative Media Institute Australia recognises that many international students have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and may require special assistance. In response, we have developed a number of measures aimed at supporting our international students during this challenging time. Any international student experiencing hardship and/or struggling with their studies is encouraged to contact their Students Services Advisor to explore all available options.
We have put a range of assistance measures in place which includes:
Tailored study plans
Payment deferral plans
In addition to partnering with the local campus Student Services team the Australian Federal and State Governments have announced a number of measures to help support international students during this time. We encourage international students to explore all available financial support measures and/or reach out to their local education group for more information.
A summary of these measures can be found here.
SAE is committed to providing equal opportunities for students with disabilities or special learning needs. For more information visit Student Services.
SAE campuses offer “Strong Foundations” programs at each campus and provide bespoke written English and other academic support through the Library and Learning Centers.
Your local student services team will be able to help you.
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.
Students who are well organised find casual or part-time work most manageable.
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.
We always welcome feedback. Any member of SAE staff are happy to hear what you have to say and ensure that this information makes its way to the most appropriate person. Students are also welcomed to provide feedback via our student surveys and Staff-Student Consultative Committees which are held at each SAE campus. SAE students may also become members of the local student council and/or SAE Academic Board. These bodies provide students with an excellent opportunity to enhance student life. For more information, contact your local student services team.
Students can access campus facilities during opening hours. Please contact your campus for timings.
You can have your email password reset by emailing the request through to [email protected]
You have 10 days after the due date to lodge a Special Consideration form.
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.
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.
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.
Visa extensions are subject to approval by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). 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 DHA website.
Facilities & Equipment
You will have access to the facilities and equipment relevant to your course and on which you have been trained.
No, this is not required. Students have access to our campus computer labs for assessment work.
The Byron Bay Campus is the only campus in Australia with onsite accommodation. For information on all other accommodation options visit your campus page.
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.
For information regarding parking at your campus, check out your campus page.
You will use a variety of industry standard and specialised software applications relevant to your study.
Each campus has their own guidelines regarding equipment collection. Please contact your campus directly.
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.
Yes – all SAE programs use a learning management system to help you prepare for your classes, reflect upon your learning, submit assessments and collaborate and communicate with your peers. For this reason, we recommend that you have access to high-speed internet access while you are studying.
It would be best to make an appointment to see a Student Services Advisor (SSA) at your campus as soon as possible. It would be preferable to get the required medical documentation prior to your appointment with the SSA.
Unfortunately, it is very hard to provide adequate support without the required supporting medical documentation.
Unfortunately, without disclosure to the Student Services Advisor (SSA), there this very little that SAE can do to support you throughout your program. The information you provide is collected for the purpose of developing and approving your student access plan and the provision of other required support to assist you to reach your full potential here at SAE.
The SSA will only disclose your personal or health information to other SAE staff upon your consent. Please feel free to contact the SSA to discuss your concerns.
This is a document prepared by the Student Services Advisor in consultation with yourself as the student. Your SAPD is used to document information about the impact of your disability on your studies. It also outlines reasonable adjustments which you can provide to academic staff each trimester.
No. As a student of SAE, support services are provided free of charge.
Commonwealth assistance notices
A CAN includes important information about your enrolment and any HELP debt you have incurred or student contribution amounts you have paid, and also any loan fees you may have incurred. It is important to note your CAN is a statement, not an invoice or a request for payment.
If you have applied for FEE-HELP or VET Student Loan, your CAN will include information on:
- Units of study enrolled in at the census date for that notice
- Census date
- Total equivalent full-time student loan (EFTSL)
- Tuition Fees for your units of study
- The units for which you have received FEE HELP, HECS-HELP or VET Student Loan
- Any upfront payments you have made
- Any FEE-HELP loan fee incurred for undergraduate units of study; and
- Any VET Student Loan fee incurred
Your Commonwealth Assistance Notice is issued electronically. An email with your CAN will be sent to your student email address when this is issued. You will receive a separate CAN for every census date in which you are enrolled.
All subjects with the same census date will be listed together on the one CAN.
You are required to check your CAN for any discrepancies and you have the right to request correction of confirmation.
If you believe your CAN has incorrect enrolment details, e.g you are enrolled in the wrong course or not enrolled in a course you are attending, and/or have incorrect fees, immediately contact the Student Finance Team by email at [email protected].
You have 14 days from the CAN date of issue to contact SAE to request checking of your enrolment and/or calculations.
International Students, Study & Travel
Restrictions vary across Australia. Please check out our page for more frequently asked questions about vaccines, tests and support services.
To enter Australia you must:
- hold a valid student visa;
- be fully vaccinated with a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration;
- provide proof of your vaccination status with an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) or foreign vaccination certificate;
- provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test undertaken within three days of departure;
- complete and submit an online Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before your flight.
You must also comply with any specific quarantine requirements in the state or territory of your arrival, and any other state or territory to which you plan to travel.
- Ensure they are fully vaccinated with a TGA approved vaccine;
- Contact their travel agent and start looking into their travel arrangements to Australia;
- Understand their local COVID-19 testing arrangements;
- Understand how to get relevant travel exemptions (if required).
- Select their course
- Submit your application
- If successful, pay your OSHC and first tuition instalment;
- Apply for a student visa.