The fees for Higher Degrees by Research vary based on your program of study and whether you are a domestic or international student.

We have several options to assist you in meeting some, or all, of the cost of your study.

Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship Policy

The Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship Policy outlines the requirements of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) stipend and fee offset scholarships at Victoria University (VU) funded by the Australian Commonwealth Government Research Training Program (RTP).

Find out more about the RTP Scholarships Procedure.

Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset

If you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen you may be eligible for a Research Training Program (RTP) fee offset place where your tuition costs are funded by the Commonwealth.

This scheme is available for students accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Masters by Research and Professional Doctorates, and may be available to students in Year 1 of the PhD (Integrated).

A separate application is not required for the RTP fee offset. Your eligibility is assessed as part of your course application.

Getting HELP with your fees

Eligible students enrolled in a full-fee paying place may be able to get help paying their fees through the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), administered by the government.

FEE-HELP is a loan scheme to help eligible domestic full-fee paying students pay for all or part of their tuition. It can't be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books.

This scheme is available for students in Year 1 of the PhD (Integrated) and any other graduate research student not covered by the RTP.

How much you can borrow

The total amount of FEE-HELP a person can borrow is set by the combined HELP loan limit. It combines the debt for HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans

For 2021, eligible students can borrow up to the combined HELP loan limit to pay their tuition fees.

The combined HELP loan limit is as follows:

  • students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science $155,448
  • all other students $108,232.

Available HELP balance

Once you start using FEE‑HELP, the amount of HELP you have left to use is known as your ‘HELP balance’.

The available HELP balance is calculated as your HELP loan limit of that year, minus your HECS-HELP, FEE HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans borrowing. HELP loans are renewable, which means that making a repayment will increase your available HELP balance up to the HELP loan limit, and taking out a loan will reduce your available HELP balance.  

Read more about the combined HELP loan limit, HELP balance and Fee-HELP on the Study Assist website.


Victoria University offers a generous range of scholarships for students undertaking a graduate research degree.

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit with preference given to students undertaking research projects in one of our areas of research strength.

Scholarship programs are also available through many external agencies operating within Australia and internationally. We welcome applications from scholarship recipients through these programs.

Further assistance & advice

For more information about your funding options please email [email protected].