3. How are student contributions calculated?

Step 1. Understand your EFTSL

Within UQ, each course is rated in terms of "units", which reflect the amount of effort required to complete the course.

A hashtag (#) is sometimes used to represent the word "unit". Most courses have a value of 2 units (#2).

The Australian Government rates courses differently – in terms of their "EFTSL", or Equivalent Full-time Student Load.

EFTSL is the standard measure of study load used by Federal Government departments (e.g. the Department of Education and Training) and agencies (e.g. Centrelink).

EFTSL is also one of the components used to calculate your student fees.

EFTSL is different to UQ units. If you complete 16 units in one academic year, your equivalent EFTSL is 1.0.

UQ units Courses EFTSL equivalent value
#1   0.0625
#2 1 course 0.1250
#3   0.1875
#4 2 courses 0.2500
#5   0.3125
#6 3 courses 0.3750
#7   0.4375
#8 4 courses 0.5000
#9   0.5625
#10 5 courses 0.6250
#11   0.6875
#12 6 courses 0.7500
#13   0.8125
#14 7 courses 0.8750
#15   0.9375
#16 8 courses
(one year of standard full-time study)

Step 2. Understand your band

For HECS-HELP, the Australian Government groups different academic disciplines into "bands" and sets the minimum and maximum amount that a public university can charge for one year of full-time study (1.0 EFTSL) within a band.

Public universities – including UQ – then set the specific amount that they will charge for courses that fall within a band.

The amount charged for one year of full-time study (1.0 EFTSL) within a band cannot exceed the maximum amount set by the Australian Government.

Please note that charges are based on individual courses – and not entire programs. You are charged at the applicable rate for each course you study.

For 2018, annual student contributions by band are as follows:

Student contribution band 2018 annual cost (1.0 EFTSL)
Band 3: Accounting, administration, economics, commerce, law, dentistry, medicine and veterinary science $10,754
Band 2: Computing, built environment, health, engineering, surveying, agriculture, mathematics, science, and statistics $9,185
Band 1: Humanities, behavioural science, social studies, education**, clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, nursing** $6,444

** Education and nursing students who commenced their programs before 1 January 2010 pay $5,157 in 2018. Students who commenced on or after 1 January 2010 pay the maximum amount specified in the table.

Step 3. Your student contributions = EFTSL x band

The amount you are charged for each course depends on:

  1. the EFTSL value of the course
  2. the band the course is in, and
  3. the year you commenced your program.

To estimate your course costs:

  1. Convert UQ unit value into an EFTSL fraction (e.g. a 2-unit course has an EFTSL value of 0.125).
  2. Multiply by the annual band cost (e.g. $10,754 for Band 3).
  3. This is the estimated course cost (e.g. 0.125 multiplied by $10,754 equals $1,344.25).

Easier ways to estimate your costs

To save you the effort of manually estimating your student contributions, there are a number of resources to help you.

Unit of study schedules

Each year, the University publishes unit of study schedules for domestic students.

Fee schedules display information about each UQ course, including:

  • course code,
  • course name,
  • course EFTSL value, and
  • course cost.


You can view your actual fee liability in mySI-net after you enrol and once invoices are available:

  1. Log in to mySI-net
  2. Go to 'Financials'
  3. The cost for each course will be displayed.

If you change your enrolment, please wait 24 hours for updated charges to appear.