Student Handbook



You must accept your offer of a place by the due date outlined in your letter of offer to ensure enrolment.

If you are under 18, you must have a parent or guardian complete, sign, and return the Parent/Guardian Consent form to enrol.

You are a student at AFTRS from the time you enrol until you complete your course requirements and exit the School one week following the end of classes; withdraw from your course; or are excluded from a course of study.

You can accept your offer and enrol online via the MyAFTRS Portal.

If you do not pay the fee and enrol by the specified dates, you will forfeit your place at AFTRS.

If your course is longer than one semester, you will be re-enrolled by the Student Centre on the successful completion of each semester.


As an enrolled student in an award course, you are eligible to nominate yourself as a candidate for election as the student member of AFTRS Council and included on a list for the purposes of voting in that election. You are also eligible to vote in the election of course representatives to the Student Representative Committee and to nominate yourself as a candidate in that election.


All commencing students are required to disclose any previous criminal convictions (excluding any spent convictions).

Disclosing previous criminal convictions does not preclude you from studying at AFTRS. This information is used to assist in assessing and managing any risk to other staff and students. Depending on your circumstances, you may be required to agree to additional conditions of enrolment established in consultation with you and any relevant support professionals.

You are also required to notify the Student Centre if you are charged with any indictable offence with a maximum penalty of more than two years imprisonment while enrolled at AFTRS.

If you are unsure about whether you need to disclose a conviction, or have questions about how this information will be used by the School, you are encouraged to contact the Student Centre or the Indigenous Unit.


Course of study fees apply to all award courses. The current schedule of fees can be found on the AFTRS website.

You must pay the full fee set by AFTRS for a course of study. The fees must be paid by the specified date as advised in the letter of offer and the How to Enrol page of the AFTRS website:

  • Fees are payable upfront on a per semester basis; or
  • Eligible students may borrow the full course fee through FEE–HELP.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties you may apply to the Head of Student Services to pay your fees in instalments (if electing to pay fees upfront).

All course fees are subject to annual review and may increase each year for new intakes. If you suspend your enrolment for any reason (such as deferral or leave of absence) you will be required to pay the current applicable fee rate on your return to study.


FEE–HELP is the Australian Government’s student loan scheme that assists students to pay course fees, up to a lifetime limit, for eligible courses at approved higher education providers. The loan is repaid through the tax system once a graduate’s income reaches the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment.

You are eligible for the FEE–HELP loan scheme if you are:

  • an Australian citizen; or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder resident in Australia for the relevant time.

If you are a New Zealand citizen who are Special Category Visa (SCV) holders and meet the requisite criteria, you may be eligible for FEE-HELP. You need to meet the long-term residency requirements which are:

  • first entered Australia as a dependent child aged under 18 years of age;
  • have been ordinarily resident in Australia for the previous 10 years (that is, you have been physically present in Australia for at least eight out of the past 10 years) and 18 months out of the last two years at the time of application for the loan; and
  • are otherwise eligible for the loan.

You are not eligible for the FEE–HELP loan scheme if you are:

  • a New Zealand citizen (other than NZ citizens with a SCV); or
  • a permanent resident (other than permanent humanitarian visa holder resident in Australia for the relevant time).

In 2018, a loan fee of 25% (or as varied by legislation) applies to FEE–HELP loans for undergraduate courses of study. The FEE–HELP limit does not include the loan fee.

This is a guide only. For more information on all matters concerning FEE–HELP refer to the Study Assist website.

Disclaimer: AFTRS has made every attempt to ensure the information provided here about FEE–HELP is as accurate as possible as of January 2018. However, this information may change. To the extent permitted by law, AFTRS gives no guarantee and accepts no responsibility for the information’s accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness. Individuals are responsible for evaluating the information provided for their own purposes, and for confirming the currency of the FEE–HELP information on this page by referring to the Australian Government’s Study Assist website.


The AFTRS’ policy on re-crediting FEE–HELP balances or upfront payments is in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) and the FEE–HELP Guidelines.

2.6.1 Withdrawing Before Earliest Census Date

If you have paid your fees upfront and you withdraw before the earliest subject census date in a given semester, you will receive a refund of the full amount of the tuition fee you have paid for that semester.

If you have obtained FEE-HELP and you withdraw before the earliest subject census date in a given semester, your FEE-HELP debt will be reduced by the full amount of the tuition fee for that semester.

2.6.2 Withdrawing After Earliest Census Date

If you withdraw from a course after the earliest subject census date in a given semester, you can apply, in certain circumstances, to have some or all of:

  • your FEE–HELP balance re-credited; or
  • your upfront payment refunded.

If you withdraw after a subject’s census date but have successfully completed the subject, you cannot be re-credited with your FEE–HELP amount for that subject or receive a refund of any upfront fees.

2.6.3 Application for Refund or Credit

You must apply to AFTRS to have your FEE–HELP re-credited or upfront fee refunded, in writing within 12 months of your withdrawal date.

You may only apply for a re-credit for a FEE–HELP balance or a refund of fees in special circumstances that are:

  • beyond your control; or
  • did not make their full impact on you until on, or after, the census date; or
  • made it impractical for you to complete the requirements of the semester.

These circumstances may include medical, family/personal, employment or be course related.

AFTRS will consider the application within 28 days of its receipt and will notify you of its decision and the reasons for making that decision.

If you are not satisfied with the decision you may appeal to AFTRS for a review by the CEO of the decision stating the reasons for a re-consideration. You must do so within 28 days from the day you received the notice of the decision.

AFTRS will advise you of its decision within 45 days of receiving your application for reconsideration.

You may make an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of AFTRS’ decision to refuse to re-credit.


In 2018, Orientation will take place in the week beginning Monday February 19: dates vary by program. Participation in Orientation is compulsory as it provides an introduction to your course and to the School. If you have studied at AFTRS previously you will still need to attend Orientation for your new course of study.


Your Student ID Card is a multi-purpose card used as a means of identification for AFTRS purposes including secure building access, printing and borrowing from the Library.
You are required to wear your ID card at all times. If you cannot present your card, you can obtain a temporary visitor pass from the Information Desk. If you have lost your card, report it to Student Centre as soon as possible.


AFTRS has a responsibility to promote and foster a safe environment for students both on campus and online and we want you to have a rewarding experience during your studies here. Student safety includes feeling threatened or harassed or feeling unsafe, or you experience any sexual behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable, frightened, intimidated or threatened, including sexual behaviour that you have not agreed to, where another person uses physical or emotional force against you.  

Collection and storage of information about individual disclosures and reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment is confidentially maintained. Students will be provided counselling and an onsite counsellor is available one day per week. The Student Centre also provides extensive support. A Student Safety card, which has key contact phone numbers students can use when required or when safety is compromised, is also provided.

For more information about student support at AFTRS see 2018 Orientation Guide.

Who to Contact

The following are useful contact phone numbers:

  • Student Centre: 9805 6444 during school hours
  • AFTRS Reception: 9805 6611 during school hours
  • AFTRS Security: 9805 6577 all other times
  • The Entertainment Quarter 24 hour on-site security: 8117 6718
  • Emergency Services (Fire/Ambulance/Police): 000
  • Facilities Services Manager: 9805 6421 during school hours

The following numbers are provided for information for acute mental health situations.

The NSW Mental Health Access Line 1800 011 511

The NSW Mental Health Line is a state-wide telephone number which puts you in touch with your local mental health service. Staffed by mental health professionals, the line gives NSW residents access to expert mental health advice, support and referrals for people dealing with a mental health problem and their families and carers. Where appropriate they can put you in contact with the local mental health crisis or acute care team. The Mental Health Line also provides advice about clinical symptoms, the urgency of the need for care and local treatment options for health and care service providers.

Crisis Telephone Counselling Services

Lifeline 13 11 14
Anyone across Australia experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide can contact Lifeline for support.

Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Provides specialised help for young people aged 5 to 25 years and is staffed by professional counsellors.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
The Suicide Call Back Service provides crisis counselling to people at risk of suicide, carers for someone who is suicidal and those bereaved by suicide. People who are not linked in with current professional support can also access up to six sessions of ongoing counselling with the same counsellor at scheduled times.

MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
For men of any age who would like support, information or referral to assist them to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way.

NSW Rape Crisis: Dealing with sexual assault, family and domestic violence 1800 424 017. For anyone in Australia who has experienced or is at risk of sexual assault, family or domestic violence and their non-offending supporters.


Your student record is maintained within the MyAFTRS Portal and you can access your marks and grades via the portal. You can request copies of any documents in your student record from the Student Centre. Your student record is a confidential record.

Your personal information is available only to relevant AFTRS’ staff and will not be distributed other than in accordance with AFTRS’ Privacy Policy and any Student Collection Statement without your consent, unless required or authorised by law.

You can update your personal and contact details via the MyAFTRS Portal and it is your responsibility to ensure they are accurate and remain up to date.


AFTRS may collect, use, disclose and hold your personal information in order to receive and process your application and enrolment, to teach and communicate with you, for course monitoring, evaluation and surveys, for student support, for record-keeping and reporting, and for certain other purposes including enabling you to be placed on AFTRS’ electoral rolls. Your personal information may include your name, postal and email addresses, telephone numbers, date of birth, education and academic records, production credits, work experience and health information.

AFTRS respects your privacy, and deals with your personal information according to the Privacy Act 1988 and AFTRS Privacy Policy. Complaints about privacy may be sent to AFTRS’ Privacy Officer at You may also complain to the Australian Information Commissioner. However, the Information Commissioner will commonly not investigate a complaint if the person has not first raised it with AFTRS.


You will be issued with an AFTRS student email account. While you are enrolled in your course, all primary communication will be sent to that account.

You are required to monitor this email on an ongoing basis, and ensure you respond to any request for information as soon as you can to ensure that lines of communication are kept open between you and the AFTRS.

If you are requested to meet with AFTRS staff ensure you attend at the time mutually agreed to. You are able to bring a support person with you if required.

Refer to the 2018 Orientation Guide for details on how to access this account.


Social media enhances the student experience but it should be used with care and consideration for others. Students are expected to treat others with respect and courtesy, upholding the same standard of behaviour online as they would uphold on campus, regardless of whether the activity takes place on an electronic communication platform used as an official part of course delivery, or on one used informally by students. It is illegal to harass, menace, defame, libel, vilify or discriminate against any person: such behaviour is also a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and published misconduct processes will apply.

Students are reminded that social media is a public space and there are potential risks when sharing information. Take care when tagging the School in your own messages or posts. Lodging a complaint about the School is more effectively done through proper formal channels. Be mindful about the tone you use as well as cultural differences in your comments.


Semester start dates are staggered by course and program year – refer to 2018 Principal Dates for more information.


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.