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

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 2017, annual student contributions by band are as follows:

Student contribution band 2017 annual cost (1.0 EFTSL)
Band 3: Law, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, accounting, administration, economics, commerce. $10,596
Band 2: Computing, built environment, other health, allied health, engineering, surveying, agriculture, mathematics, statistics, science. $9,050
Band 1: Humanities, behavioural science, social studies, education**, clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, nursing**. $6,349

** Education and nursing students who commenced their programs before 1 January 2010 pay $5,081 in 2017. Students who commenced 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. $10,596 for Band 3).
  3. This is the estimated course cost (e.g. 0.125 multiplied by $10,595 equals $1,324.50).

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.

Fee Calculator

The Fee Calculator is an app that students can use to quickly and simply estimate their course costs.

First, choose your courses, then follow the instructions on the Fee Calculator page.

Fee schedules

Each year, the University publishes a complete list of fee schedules for domestic students.

Fee schedules display information about each UQ course, including:

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

mySI-net (after enrolling)

You can view your actual liability on mySI-net after invoices are available:

  1. Log in to mySI-net.
  2. Click the Financial tab.
  3. The cost for each course will be displayed.

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


If you have any questions about fees or payments, submit a question to UQ Answers, visit a Student Centre or contact Student Fees:

(07) 3365 2328