Frequently Asked Questions

Our frequently asked questions are designed to help you, or you can contact our friendly Student Centre staff for further assistance.

JCU has locations in the vibrant regional cities of Townsville and Cairns, and empowers students to learn and grow in a safe and supportive environment. For more information about the advantages and benefits of studying at JCU, visit Why JCU?

JCU offers a wide range courses and study options with globally respected teaching staff and state-of-the-art facilities.  Finding the right course can take time, so we encourage future students to start this process early.  Whilst this decision is ultimately up to the student, we understand that parents also want to be well informed.

Explore study options by browsing our range of undergraduate and post graduate courses.   There are also a range of pathways available for students who may not have the academic qualifications for direct entry into certain courses.

All members of our university community have a right to feel welcome, respected and safe. At James Cook University, we are committed to ensuring that our learning environment is free from discrimination and harassment.  We offer a range of free and confidential services to support the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students.   This includes 24-hour on-campus security who provide afterhours security escorts between buildings and cars.

University study involves a range of expenses, including living and study costs. As a regional university, living costs are generally lower in Cairns and Townsville compared to a capital city.    There are some common costs associated with studying: tuition fees, Student Services and Amenities Fees, textbooks, copying/printing, stationery, and transportation.  There are also some course-specific costs that may include uniforms/lab coats, equipment, field trips and work placements.

Tuition fees vary depending on the type of course and whether you are a domestic or international student.  There are a number of financial support options available to help with the cost of studying.  For more information, please go to the Fees and Financial Support webpage.

At JCU, we understand all students take a while to adjust to university life and students can experience a range of challenges.  Students have access to a wide range of free services and resources to help them transition into university and succeed with their studies.  These include academic support and mentors, as well as information technology, equity, wellbeing, careers and employment, advocacy and accommodation services.  The Learning Centre is one of our specialist unit that works with all JCU students to develop their academic, study and organisational skills to meet academic expectations and succeed.  Encourage your child or partner to utilise these free Support Services – successful students seek support.

The teaching year at JCU is divided into two main periods, plus there are also shorter block/intensive study periods that students may enrol in.  Each main teaching period runs for 17 weeks (13 weeks of teaching, two weeks of study breaks, plus two weeks of exams).   New students often find the first four weeks and subsequent assessment periods the most challenging times, so it is good to check in with them regularly at those intervals to provide emotional support.

It is critical all students check and confirm their enrolment before the Census date.   See the Important Dates webpage for more information about the academic calendar.

The JCU Accommodation service is available to help students with housing requirements at any point in their studies.  They can help with on or off-campus options as well as short or long-term living arrangements for Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Singapore.

Download the Parent and Partner Information Guide for more information and useful advice on how you can support your student. Make sure you attend the Parents and Partners of New Students’ Information Session during the Orientation period where you can hear important information from JCU staff, learn more about the campus and support services, and ask specific questions.

The JCU Ask Us database is available 24 hours/day with answers to more than 1000 commonly asked questions.  If you can’t find your question/s on Ask Us, you can contact our friendly Student Centre staff for assistance.