FAQs


Diploma FAQs


Who are Diploma courses suitable for?

Our Diploma courses are very appropriate for those women who are seeking to extend their knowledge of God and their skills in ministry. They are particularly suited to those who have limited time because of family responsibilities, work or university studies. Classes are run within public school terms.

Many of our students are retirees, people in part-time work, young mums, women involved in ministries in their church, school community or Christian organisations, and women with caring responsibilities.


How much time will study take?

Units can be studied part time (as little as one unit at a time) or full time (four units per semester). Full-time students can complete a Diploma in 1 or 1.5 years (minimum), or an Advanced Diploma in 2 years (minimum). There is no maximum time to complete a Diploma course. So, there is a high degree of flexibility in study time.


When are the classes held?

The units are usually run within public school terms. The units are run fortnightly for three hours, weekly for two hours, or as intensives with full-day sessions. There are now some morning and afternoon classes.


Where can I study?

Our main teaching centre is in Sydney city. Units are also currently held at our regional teaching centres in Dapto, Emu Plains, Hoxton Park and Mittagong.


How difficult are the Diploma courses academically?

Many of those who study with us have not studied for a long time. Choosing to study a Diploma offers the opportunity to undertake study at a level which will be challenging, but not as demanding as a degree course. It is therefore accessible to most women academically.

Four of the units in an Advanced Diploma (or six units in the combined Advanced Diploma) are required to be completed at degree (300-400) level, and are therefore assessed at a higher level than Diploma (200) level units.


What previous education is required?

Those who wish to be awarded a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma are normally admitted upon satisfactory completion of Year 12 in an Australian school system or equivalent. However, consideration is also given to an applicant’s practical experience, maturity and motivation. Mature-age entry is available for those over the age of 20.

All students must be able to communicate adequately in English.

There are extra entry requirements for the degree (300-400) level units in the Advanced Diplomas.


How does the Australian College Of Theology fit in?

The Australian College of Theology was established in 1891 by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Australia.

The Australian College of Theology is a self-accrediting national Higher Education Provider (HEP). The Australian College of Theology operates as a consortium of independent, affiliated colleges. Mary Andrews College is an affiliated college of the Australian College of Theology.

The Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses have been accredited by the Australian College of Theology for the next five years (2017-2021).

For more information on the Australian College of Theology, see their website: www.actheology.edu.au


Are there any English language requirements if I come from a non-English speaking background?

Students who meet the following criteria are NOT required to provide proof of English language proficiency to be considered for admission to an Australian College of Theology course:
Domestic students (i.e. Australian citizens and permanent residents) from a non-English speaking background who (a) have an assessable qualification that was undertaken solely in English in one of a set of prescribed countries; OR (b) to study Diploma (200) level units, have experienced English in an English-speaking country for at least five years; OR (c) to study degree (300-400) level units, have been resident in Australia with English as the language spoken at home and at work for 10 or more years

All other students MUST provide proof of English language proficiency to be considered for admission to an Australian College of Theology course. Such proof will normally be by provision of the results of an IELTS test (Academic Version), completed no longer than two years previously. For admission at Diploma or Advanced Diploma level, the minimum IELTS result required is 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each unit.


Can I choose to attend classes but not do any assessments?

Yes, some students choose to simply attend the lectures and not undertake the assessments that are required for the Diploma and Advanced Diploma awards. This is called auditing. (Note that units which are audited will not be counted towards a Diploma course.)

There is no previous educational requirement for those who choose to audit their units.


How much does Diploma study cost?

As the Higher Education Provider (HEP), the Australian College of Theology (ACT) has set the 2017 Diploma (200 level) fees at $1,600 per unit. This is the standard cost for all students who are doing Diploma (200) level units.

For Advanced Diploma students, the four units (or six units in the combined Advanced Diploma) which are required to be completed at degree (300-400) level cost more than standard Diploma (200) level units. The ACT has set the 2017 fees for degree (300-400) level units as $2,800 per unit. (Mary Andrews College has chosen not to offer any degree (300-400) level units at the moment. Please note that, if required, there are other ACT-affiliated colleges which do offer degree (300-400) level units.)

The 2017 fee for attendance only (i.e. auditing) students is $320 per unit.


Can I obtain any government financial assistance?

FEE-HELP Loans

Diploma students may be eligible to apply for government FEE-HELP, whether studying part time or full time. FEE-HELP is an Australian Government loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay their course fees. FEE-HELP can cover all or part of a student’s fees. Students are eligible for FEE-HELP if they are both an Australian citizen and are enrolled in a diploma or degree-level unit that is leading towards a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma award.

There is a 25% loan fee per unit applied to FEE-HELP loans.

Repayment of the FEE-HELP loan is only required when the student’s personal taxable income is above the minimum threshold, which for the 2017-2018 financial year is $55,874 (Indexed to CPI).

After a student’s FEE-HELP debt is more than 11 months old, it is subject to indexation which is applied on 1 June each year.

Read answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about FEE-HELP.

Austudy / Abstudy assistance

Students who are aged 25 years or over, and are studying a full-time Diploma program (or at least 75% of a full time load), may be eligible to apply for government Austudy or Abstudy. Austudy and Abstudy are government payments to help you while you study. Austudy provides financial help to full time students and Australian apprentices aged 25 or over. Abstudy provides help with costs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who are studying or undertaking an Australian apprenticeship. If you are eligible for Austudy or Abstudy, you may also be eligible for other payments. For more information, contact your local Centrelink office or go to the government’s Centrelink website.


How do I enrol?

Enrol now online.  You may also contact our Registrar, Sarah Barry, on sarahbarry@mac.edu.au or 1300 590 531.

Prospective full-time students should ask the Registrar for a full-time application form, and they will require an interview with the Director of Studies.



FEE-HELP FAQs


What is FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP is a government loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay their course fees. FEE-HELP can cover all or part of your fees.

This incentive by the Australian Government aims to encourage Australians to pursue further education and study. The Australian Government pays the fees to Mary Andrews College via our Higher Education Provider (HEP), the Australian College of Theology (ACT).

There is a 25% loan fee per unit applied to FEE-HELP loans.


Who is eligible for FEE-HELP?

You are eligible for FEE-HELP if you are both:

  • an Australian citizen, and
  • enrolled in a diploma (200) level or degree (300-400) level unit that is leading towards a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma award.

In taking FEE-HELP for all or part of a Diploma course, you agree that you are intending to complete that whole course.


Do my income and assets affect my eligibility for FEE-HELP?

No. Eligibility for FEE-HELP is not affected by your income and assets, or by the income and assets of your spouse or family.


When do I start repaying the FEE-HELP loan?

You do not have to start repaying the FEE-HELP loan until your personal taxable income is above the minimum threshold, which for the 2017-2018 financial year is $55,874 (indexed to CPI). (Note: If you receive a capital gain from the sale of property, this might affect your income in the 12 months following the sale).


How do I repay the loan?

Repayments are indexed to the CPI and are made to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). To pay off any amounts on your FEE-HELP debt, call the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61. They will set up an account for you if they have not already done so.

After a student’s FEE-HELP debt is more than 11 months old, it is subject to indexation which is applied on 1 June each year.


Is it ethical to take FEE-HELP when I may never earn over the minimum threshold?

The government is aware that some people may never be in a position to repay the FEE-HELP loan. However, it is committed to higher education and believes that anyone undertaking such study will make a continuing contribution to the Australian community.


Are you interested in FEE-HELP?

For more information on FEE-HELP, go to www.studyassist.gov.au

View online or download the current government FEE-HELP booklet or you can ask our office for a printed copy.



Certificate FAQs


Who are Certificate courses suitable for?

The Certificate in Theology or Academic Studies in Theology Certificate are ideal courses for those who are already involved in caring for others in some way. Doing a course like this will also help your relationships generally and with those closest to you. Effective ministry needs to be developed and nurtured. This course will provide the foundations you need but not consume all your time. In fact, you can use some of your current ministry as the basis for some of the practical units. Learn while you are participating.


How are the Certificate courses assessed?

Certificate units are all assessed by assignments only. There are no exams.


Where can I study?

Units are offered at our main campus in Sydney city and at some of our regional teaching centres.


What educational qualifications do I need to apply?

Students are normally admitted upon satisfactory completion of Year 10, or on approval by The Australian College of Theology (ACT). However, consideration is also given to an applicant’s practical experience, maturity and motivation. Mature-age entry is available for those over the age of 20.

All students must be able to communicate adequately in English.


How does the Australian College Of Theology (ACT) fit in?

The Australian College of Theology was established in 1891 by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Australia.

The Australian College of Theology is a self-accrediting national Higher Education Provider (HEP). The Australian College of Theology operates as a consortium of independent, affiliated colleges. Mary Andrews College is an affiliated college of the Australian College of Theology.

For more information about the Australian College of Theology, see their website: www.actheology.edu.au


Can I choose to attend classes but not do any assessments?

Some students choose to simply attend the lectures and not undertake the assessments that are required for the Certificate courses. This is called auditing. (Note that units which are audited will not be counted towards a Certificate course.)


How much do Certificate courses cost?

The 2017 cost for Certificate courses is $320 per unit. The 2017 cost for attendance only for Certificate courses (i.e. for auditing students) is also $320 per unit.


Can I obtain any government financial assistance?

The Academic Studies in Theology Certificate is an approved course for Centrelink Austudy and Abstudy payments when taken by eligible students in a full-time load or at least 75% of a full-time load. A full-time load is four units per semester.

Austudy and Abstudy are government payments to help while you study. Austudy provides financial help to full-time students and Australian apprentices aged 25 or more. Abstudy provides help with costs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who are studying or undertaking an Australian apprenticeship. If you are eligible for Austudy or Abstudy, you may also be eligible for other payments. For more information, contact your local Centrelink office or visit www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/themes/students-and-trainees.



Pastoral Care Course FAQs


Who is the Pastoral Care Course for?

The internal Pastoral Care Course is suitable for those who want to do a short course to learn more about pastoral care and how to use it in life and ministry. It is ideal for those already involved in caring for others in some way. It aims to provide you with a biblical foundation for pastoral care and to develop practical skills in caring for people pastorally, which will be beneficial in all your relationships.


What previous education is required?

Students are normally admitted upon satisfactory completion of Year 10, or on approval by The Australian College of Theology (ACT). However, consideration is also given to an applicant’s practical experience, maturity and motivation. Mature-age entry is available for those over the age of 20.

All students must be able to communicate adequately in English.


How is the Pastoral Care Course assessed?

The two units in this course are assessed by assignments only. There are no exams.


Where can I study?

Units are offered at our main campus in Sydney city and at some of our regional teaching centres.


Can I choose to attend classes but not do any assessments?

Yes, you can choose to simply attend lectures and not undertake the assessments that are required for the Pastoral Care Course. This is called auditing. Note that units which are audited will not be counted towards a course award.


How much does the Pastoral Care Course cost?

The 2017 cost for the Pastoral Care Course is $320 per Certificate unit.

The 2017 cost for attendance only without assignments (i.e. auditing) is also $320 per unit.