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.

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 Fee-Help is only available for the diploma courses.

How do I apply for FEE-HELP or VET Fee-Help?

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 Fee-Help application form

The application process for Fee-Help or VET Fee-Help 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.


Fee-Help and VET Fee-Help 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 Fee-Help 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 Fee-Help assistance must complete, sign and submit their Request for Fee-Help/VET Fee-Help 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 Fee-Help Study Assist.

How much does a course at SAE cost?

For further information on tuition fees download our Fee Schedule.

What financial assistance is available for your course?

Fee-Help and VET Fee-Help 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 Fee-Help Study Assist.

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.