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Curriculum Structure Procedures

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(1) Curriculum at Western Sydney University (University) is designed to provide opportunities for students to add interdisciplinary breadth and applied depth to their core program. This breadth and depth enables students to develop as citizen scholars who are Future Thinkers, Global Citizens, Innovative Entrepreneurs and Sustainability Advocates. Refer to the Graduate Attributes Guidelines. These elements convey significant value to students, and buffer graduates against shifts in their professional situations allowing them to be more adaptable and agile in dealing with an unpredictable employment landscape.

(2) These procedures provide information on curriculum development and structure as follows:

  1. Curriculum Development;
  2. Curriculum Structure;
  3. Part A – Sub-Bachelor Programs;
  4. Part B – Undergraduate Programs;
  5. Part C – Double Degrees;
  6. Part D – Postgraduate Programs;
  7. Part E - Subjects and Curiosity Pods;
  8. Part F - Nested and Integrated Qualifications;
  9. Part G - Award Titles.

Curriculum Development

(3) The Schools are the custodians of the University's curriculum and oversee the development and delivery of the content and teaching. Curriculum may be comprised of subjects offered by more than one School, and teaching may be provided by University Research Institutes, Western Sydney University - The College (The College) and other partners.

(4) These procedures support Schools in curriculum development and should be read in conjunction with the Curriculum Design and Approvals Policy, noting that the policy principles apply to all awards included in this document.

(5) Schools ensure the continued quality and compliance of programs and subjects, including those with external accreditation requirements or sector agreed threshold-learning outcomes at discipline level, with regular reporting to School Academic Committees (SACs).

(6) To support curriculum design that educates, supports and encourages ethical academic behaviour, detailed information is available on the webpages for staff listed in the associated information to these procedures.

(7) To support curriculum design that embodies partnership pedagogy, being co-created with a range of partners, within academic and regulatory requirements, detailed information is available on the webpage for staff listed in the associated information to these procedures.

Curriculum Structure

(8) Western Sydney University programs share an underlying architecture wherever possible to facilitate the opportunity for the inclusion of interdisciplinary learning and new minors within a student's degree.

  1. This base structure of Bachelor degrees consists of an 80 credit point block of core subjects, alternate 80 credit point blocks of focus subjects, and 80 credit points of flexible subjects for breadth of capability.
  2. Where a degree requires a variation from this structure, the core subjects, focus subjects and flexible subjects may vary but a clear argument must be articulated in the approval documents indicating why the variations are required. This includes where the intended learning outcomes and/or professional accreditation requirements cannot be met in the standard architecture.
  3. Some curriculum is developed to be available to external participants as stand-alone alternative credentials, short professional development courses, or through the University's Registered Training Organisation (RTO). For further, details refer to the Alternate Credentials Procedures.

(9) Program structures provide opportunities for flexible bundling of curriculum elements reflecting the diversity of students’ career aspirations and learning needs. This is provided through the opportunity for students to choose different combinations of core subjects, focus subjects and flexible subjects in their degree. A manageable number of alternative components are available to provide meaningful choices for students.

(10) Curriculum is developed to ensure coherence through scaffolding and other mechanisms that support integration within and between curriculum elements. The design provides for sequenced learning to scaffold learning over the years of study.

  1. Introducing curriculum elements occur early in the sequence to introduce concepts and capabilities, while the developing curriculum elements occur later in the sequence, to progressively extend or deepen learning. Assuring curriculum elements confirms Program Learning Outcomes, including any accreditation requirements. Advancing subjects extends the learning and includes undergraduate research training and research components.
  2. Coherence between core subjects, focus subjects and flexible subjects is achieved through integrative curriculum elements that connect different areas of study and emphasise unifying concepts by using meaningful activities that can be connected to real life.
  3. Subject levels and systems support the mapping of curriculum elements across programs to ensure the appropriate level of study for the learning outcomes and alignment to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

(11) The design of curriculum is a School-led process. Schools engage with staff from across the University who have responsibilities to assist with curriculum design.

  1. When initiating a curriculum design or renewal project for a program, it is recommended that Schools establish a curriculum design and development team comprising, but not limited to, the following members:
    1. student partners;
    2. other partners (refer to Partnership Pedagogy resources listed in associated information to these procedures);
    3. Curriculum designer/s, Educational Advisors and Curriculum Quality Officers;
    4. teaching staff from relevant Schools/or Institutes;
    5. Learning Futures representative/s;
    6. School Librarian;
    7. Technical Support Cluster Manager where appropriate.
  2. When designing curriculum, promotion of student engagement via active learning in modalities (online and/or on-campus) should be driven by evidence-based best practice using the appropriate support via available resources and systems. Refer to the resources listed in associated information to these procedures.
  3. Program Learning Outcomes should include reference to the development of discipline-specific knowledge. All University graduates must be able to construct discipline-specific knowledge; the skills they acquired will define them as a specialist in their field of study. For accredited programs, the University must ensure that the discipline-specific knowledge and skills taught align with the specific criteria and competency standards of the applicable professional accreditation body.
  4. Program Learning Outcomes should include, where appropriate, reference to the development of interdisciplinary knowledge. All University graduates must be able to construct knowledge derived from various disciplinary approaches and apply interdisciplinary approaches to solve complex multi-faceted problems wherever possible.
  5. Program Learning Outcomes should map to the Graduate Attributes.

Part A - Sub-Bachelor Programs

Foundation Studies Programs

(12) Foundation Studies programs are designed as enabling programs to introduce students to the knowledge and skills needed for the first year of a Bachelor degree at the University. Refer to the Admissions Policy for admission rules.  

(13) Foundation Studies programs must meet National Standards for Foundation Studies.

(14) Western Sydney University licenses The College to develop and teach the University Foundation Studies program. Students in the Foundation Studies programs are enrolled as students of the University.

(15) Information on current University Foundation Studies Programs will be provided in The College Guide and the University Handbook.

Diploma (AQF 5)

(16) Diploma programs (typically 1 year full-time or part-time equivalent) generally comprise 80 credit points and are designed to develop graduates with technical and specialised theoretical knowledge and skills, in either a specific area or a broad field of work and learning, and/or as preparatory programs for further study.

(17) The Diploma program may consist of preparatory subjects and equivalent subjects from a corresponding Bachelor degree and may be developed as a pathway into a Bachelor degree.

(18) The Diploma is usually equivalent to the first year of the corresponding degree at the University and provides a pathway into the second year of study at the University.

(19) The Diploma may be integrated with a Bachelor degree to create a Diploma in (discipline)/Bachelor of (discipline) program. Each student who successfully completes the Diploma component of the integrated program at The College automatically transitions into the second year of the corresponding program at the University. Refer to Nested and Integrated Qualifications for more details.

Advanced Diploma (AQF 6)

(20) Advanced Diploma program (typically 1.5 to 2 years full-time or part-time equivalent) generally comprise 120 to 160 credit points, building on corresponding Diploma programs (80 credit points core with 40 credit points of advanced focus subjects and/or 40 credit points of advanced flexible subjects).

(21) The Advanced Diploma award will comprise no more than 80 credit points of Level 1 subjects and at least 40 credit points of Level 2 subjects.

(22) Flexible subjects in an Advanced Diploma may be chosen from a selection of Level 1 and Level 2 subjects.

(23) An exception to the requirement for flexible subjects in an Advanced Diploma may be approved, where professional requirements of the relevant articulated Bachelor degree or other substantiated considerations dictate that the core subjects and focus subjects comprise more than 120 credit points.

Associate Degrees (AQF 6)

(24) Associate Degrees (typically 2 years full-time or part-time equivalent) can exist as a stand-alone program, complementing an existing Bachelor degree or as a pathway such as an embedded exit or entry pathway for a Bachelor degree.

(25) Associate Degrees generally comprise 160 credit points drawn from the corresponding Bachelor degree (80 credit points core subjects, 40 credit points of focus subjects and 40 credit points of flexible subjects).

(26) The award will comprise no more than 80 credit points of Level 1 subjects and at least 60 credit points of Level 2 subjects.

(27) Flexible subjects in an Associate Degree program may be chosen from a selection of Level 1 and Level 2 subjects.

(28) An exception to the requirement for flexible subjects in an Associate Degree may be approved where professional requirements of the relevant articulated Bachelor degree or other substantiated considerations dictate that the core subjects and focus subjects comprise more than 120 credit points.

Undergraduate Certificate (AQF 5, 6 or 7 – available from May 2020 until 31 December 2021)

(29) This qualification type was developed in response to community and industry need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

(30) The base structure of this qualification is:

  1. Total of 40 credit points;
  2. Articulate with six months’ credit to a specified Diploma, Associate Degree or Bachelor degree.

Part B - Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor Degrees (AQF 7)

(31) Wherever possible, the underlying architecture of a Bachelor degree will facilitate the opportunity for the inclusion of multidisciplinary learning.

(32) The base structure of Bachelor degrees is a minimum of 240 credit points, with:

  1. 80 credit block of core subjects – mandatory subjects required for the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills needed to achieve program outcomes.
  2. 80 credit block of focus subjects - subjects supporting students to develop expertise in a particular area of the domain they are studying. These may be packaged as a major or a combination of two minors and extend the learner’s knowledge into a more specific disciplinary domain and field of practice.
  3. 80 credit points of flexible subjects - subjects available for a student to complement the prescribed components of their degree with additional or enhanced skills and multidisciplinary knowledge. These may be packaged as one or two minors.

(33) In some cases the base structure may be varied, owing to accreditation requirements or specific elements that are unique to an award (for example, School of Medicine awards). In these instances, the program may be considered for approval by the University Academic Senate according to the usual quality assurance and approval procedures, but a clear argument must be articulated in the approval documents indicating why the variations are required. This includes where the intended learning outcomes and/or professional accreditation requirements cannot be met.

(34) Wherever possible, exit points at Diploma or Associate Degree award level, or in certain instances alternate Bachelor awards, should be available to students.

Majors and Minors

(35) Majors and minors are approved, defined and cohesive sequences of focus subjects or flexible subjects that provide either a focus or multidisciplinary aspect to a student's program. Where sufficient elective subject options are available within the sequence of a program, this may also be used to obtain majors and minors.

(36) Majors comprise a minimum of 80 credit points, with no more than 30 credit points at Level 1 and typically 30 credit points at Level 3 or higher. A major may consist solely of Level 2 and Level 3 subjects. These provisions may be varied but a specific case must be made for each variation and approved through the standard approval process.

(37) Testamur majors are defined sequences of subjects in a focus area, which represents a significant area of study that the University wishes to recognise to highlight the graduate’s area of concentration. Testamur majors are listed on the student’s testamur.  

(38) Minors comprise 40 credit points at any level. Minors may consist of focus or flexible subjects that are entirely at one level or at different levels.

(39) To ensure distinctiveness the sharing of subjects across majors should be minimised. A maximum of three subjects only may be shared across two testamur majors, and one subject across two minors. Where the same subjects are listed in the sequence for more than one major or minors, they can be counted towards each of these majors or minors, even though the student only takes them once. However, the subjects may only be counted once for the purposes of the student's successful completion of the required number of credit points for an award.

(40) Majors and minors may not be available in all programs. Some awards are regulated by professional bodies and the identification of separate majors may not be applicable in this context.

Minimum Credit Points at Level 3 or Above

(41) In order to complete a Bachelor degree that achieves the Graduate Attributes and meets AQF requirements, the program will be expected to include sufficient subjects at Level 3 or above to ensure Program Learning Outcomes are met. This would typically be a minimum of 60 credit points (usually 6 subjects) at Level 3 or above in a 240 credit point degree. An academic case can be made for this to be varied, but this must be highlighted and a case made for the variation and approved through the standard approval process. If the degree is longer than 240 credit points, the required credit points should be proportionally higher.

Bachelor Honours Degrees (AQF 8)

(42) An Honours program may be embedded in a 4 year Bachelor Honours program, or available as a one-year program following successful completion of a cognate Bachelor degree, usually with a specified Grade Point Average (GPA) threshold.

(43) Honours programs will have two compulsory components, the research training component (minimum of 10 credit points at subject Level 4 or above) and the research component (minimum of 20 credit points at subject Level 4 or above). 

(44) In order to complete an Honours program that achieves the Graduate Attributes and meets AQF requirements, the program will be expected to include sufficient subjects at Level 4 or above to ensure Program Learning Outcomes are met. This would typically be a minimum of 60 credit points at Level 4.

(45) The School Honours Coordinator or relevant Associate Dean will monitor Honours candidates to ensure completion of the two compulsory components as a condition to apply for graduation.

(46) Applications for end-on or embedded Honours programs will be considered as prescribed by the published Honours Admission Criteria and Procedures. Refer to the associated information to these procedures.

Compulsory Research Training

(47) The compulsory research training component must include:

  1. A formal research proposal; and
  2. Research seminar attendance.

(48) The compulsory research training component may include training in the ethical conduct of research, research management and work integrated learning, depending upon the nature of the study.

Compulsory Research

(49) The compulsory research component may be a written thesis, or a non-standard thesis, as follows:

  1. A written thesis, which may vary in length according to the credit points allocated. As a guide, a 60 credit point thesis may range in length between 15,000 – 20,000 words. A 40 credit point thesis may range in length between 8,000 – 12,000 words.
  2. A non-standard thesis includes a substantial body of creative practical work with accompanying scholarly exegesis. This ranges between 5,000 - 10,000 words. Typical examples of the other media used may include exhibition, performance, novel, film, computer program. Where creative practical work is undertaken, consideration must be given to the permanence of the work. While it is acknowledged that a performance cannot be replicated, it can be recorded via a script or a video of the work. Attention should be given to the digital archival recording of the practical work, with copies being held with the written exegesis.

Part C - Double Degrees

(50) A double degree program of study is where two otherwise separate degree programs are studied in conjunction, with the subjects from one being recognised as focus subjects and/or flexible subjects towards the other.

(51) There should be clear synergies between the degrees, which are designed to include integrated sets of learning outcomes, highlighting the points of synergy.

(52) Where there are on-campus activities, travel required between campuses for students to undertake the typical pattern of study should be minimised.

(53) These double degrees will support one or more of the following purposes:

  1. Student success - double degrees that equip graduates with the hybrid capability sets for employment success beyond that of a major, typically pairing a professional degree qualification with one that offers a complementary skill set.
  2. Student aspirations - provide structured study pathways for those students, including where they have interests in more than one field of study.
  3. Student decision making - provide opportunities for students to keep career choices and options open, and ensure retention pathways to either single degree. Specialised curriculum advice to students is required. Refer to the Curriculum Advice to Students Procedures.
  4. Student load - attractive combined degrees can work as an institutional attractor for high achieving students.

(54) There are three models for double degrees:

  1. Parallel degrees - Students undertake subjects from both component degrees each year, typically completing both degrees simultaneously at the end of the program. Ideally, parallel degrees should contain common or themed subjects that demonstrate synergies between the degrees, with a capstone experience that allows students to explore those synergies. Students who complete the full program of study receive a testamur for each of the two component degrees simultaneously.
  2. Vertical double degrees - Students complete one degree, followed by the second, for which they may receive some Credit for Prior Learning (Credit). This may consist of two undergraduate degrees, or a Bachelor degree followed by a Masters. The Bachelor/Masters model is common for professional qualification at the Masters level, and may be suitable for pathways to teaching. Students who complete the requirements for one of the awards before completing requirements for the other, receive a testamur for the completed award, and then continue to complete the requirements and receive a testamur for the second award.
  3. Combined Bachelor double degrees - Students enrol in a secondary degree concurrently with a primary degree. Refer to the separate section on Combined Double Degrees.

(55) In all three models, each constituent degree must be identified in the program documentation as an 'exit' award. Where students complete the requirements for one of the exit awards, they may elect to receive a testamur for the completed award and exit the program.

Combined Bachelor Double Degrees

(56) A combined Bachelor double degree cannot be taken as a stand-alone degree. It is a program designed to be undertaken in specific combination with another Bachelor degree and may consist of interleaved intensive subjects with a capstone experience that integrates elements of the program. Students will typically complete the second degree either intertwined and studied concurrently with the primary degree, or as a final year block of subjects at the end of the primary degree.

(57) Combined Bachelor double degrees must satisfy the learning outcomes for the primary degree and include integrating elements, such as project subjects, that allow students to develop skills in working across their disciplines. There must be integrative Program Learning Outcomes, which complement the outcomes for both degrees.

(58) Students must meet the requirements for admission of their primary program before they can be admitted into the combined double degree program.

(59) Qualification for combined Bachelor double degrees requires the successful completion of 240 credit points which include the core subjects listed for the combined double degree and 160 credit points of Credit for the primary degree being studied concurrently (80 credit points of core subjects and 80 credit points of focus subjects or flexible subjects). At least 80 credit points of the primary degree must be completed at this University while enrolled in the combined double degree.

Part D - Postgraduate Coursework Programs

(60) Postgraduate coursework programs are specialised, provide opportunities for high-level focused learning and may include accommodation of professional accreditation requirements.

(61) Postgraduate subjects are assigned either 10 credit points, or multiples of 10 when attached primarily to special long-term research subjects or thesis preparation subjects, or Postgraduate research programs.

(62) Normally, all Postgraduate coursework programs will be structured with embedded exit points at Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters levels.

Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma (AQF 8)

(63) Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas provide opportunities for high-level focused learning, and may also provide pathways into and from Masters degrees. A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma must demonstrate scaffolded learning for the attainment of Program Learning Outcomes. Where the program is intended to be linked to another postgraduate qualification (either as an entry/exit pathway or as a focus for high level specialist learning) then the program of learning must additionally demonstrate integrating links to the other awards.

(64) Graduate Certificates comprise at least 40 credit points of prescribed core subjects/focus subjects.

(65) Graduate Diplomas comprise at least 80 credit points of prescribed core subjects/focus subjects.

Masters Degree Coursework (AQF 9)

(66) Masters degrees by coursework have varying volumes of learning, comprising 80, 120 or 160 credit points, depending on the purpose of the degree (broadening or deepening) and the scope of the student’s prior study or employment. Refer to the Quality and Compliance Guides available on the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic webpage.

(67) Broadening Masters Degrees are usually 160 credit points. These programs feature a program of learning designed to introduce students to new broad knowledge domains that provides opportunity for student choice and flexibility. A minimum of 80 credit points to a maximum of 120 credit points are core subjects. Students can choose focus subjects (minors) or flexible subjects for the remaining subjects.

(68) Deepening Masters Degrees are usually 160 credit points. These comprise a minimum of 80 credit points to a maximum of 120 credit points of core subjects, including core subjects which develop research skills sufficient to meet AQF requirements and appropriate to the disciplinary domain; 40 credit points of focus subjects (minors) or flexible subjects.

(69) Masters degrees by coursework, with 2 years or 1.5 years of full-time equivalent study, may include admission pathways which reduce the total required volume of learning for students entering with relevant prior learning and experience, which exceeds the normal admission criteria for these degrees.

Masters of Philosophy (AQF 9)

(70) The Masters of Philosophy is a research higher degree of which at least two-thirds must be undertaken as independent research.

(71) The period of candidature is 1 to 2 years full-time or the part-time equivalent.

(72) The Master of Philosophy (Discipline) is aimed at the research skills development of the candidate, with particular emphasis on research methodology appropriate to their specific discipline area. This degree is designed to provide the experience and expert knowledge needed to confidently approach PhD studies and a research career. Further detail is provided in the Research Masters (Honours) Policy.

Extended Masters (AQF 9e)

(73) Extended Masters (Coursework) degrees are typically 3 to 4 years following a minimum attainment of a 3 year Bachelor degree (AQF level 7) qualification.

Masters Degree Research (AQF 9)

(74) The Masters of Research is aimed at the research skills development of the candidate, with particular emphasis on research methodology appropriate to their chosen field of study. This degree is designed to provide the experience and expert knowledge needed to confidently approach PhD studies and a research career. The Masters Degree Research may be structured to include two stages as below:

  1. Stage 1 of the program involves intensive coursework (1 year AQF 7) in an interdisciplinary environment with a range of flexible subjects within the discipline of choice to develop deep knowledge of both theory and research methods.
  2. Stage 2 of the program involves completing a Higher Degree Research (HDR) project under the supervision of an academic expert in the chosen area of research. This is a 25,000-word thesis or equivalent that will be externally examined.

Postgraduate Majors and Minors

(75) Some Masters Degrees by coursework may include choices of majors and minors. This enables students who study the 1 year, 1.5 year or 2 year programs to focus on a particular area of practice within the discipline at a postgraduate level.

(76) For all versions (2 year, 1.5 year and 1 year) 40 credit points of study represent minors and are focus subjects. These may be chosen from a pool of subjects.

Doctoral Degree (AQF 10)

(77) For procedures relating to Doctoral Degrees refer to the Doctorate Policy.

Part E - Subjects and Curiosity Pods

(78) Most subjects in programs offered at the University are assigned a value of 10 credit points, or multiples of 10 and are usually offered over one term.

(79) Subjects at this University typically reflect 150 hours volume of learning. Therefore, 8 subjects or 80 credit points, reflect the generally accepted full-time year education participation of 1200 hours.

(80) The combined value of the subject credit points in a program structure must meet the program requirements as listed in these procedures.

Subject Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

(81) A strong case needs to be presented for subject pre-requisites and co-requisites to preserve student choice and flexibility, including consideration of the impact on students transferring from other programs or institutions. Inclusion of 'required knowledge and/or skill' as part of subject information is preferable to the use of subject pre-requisites and co-requisites.

(82) Students are responsible for assessing their ability to meet any 'required knowledge and/or skill' requirements, with academic advice being made available to help students make their assessment. Refer to the Curriculum Advice to Students Procedures.

(83) Pre-requisites are used where it can be demonstrated that the pre-requisite is essential to succeed in the subject. For example, where specific technical knowledge is required or for work health and safety. This rationale must be included in the concept, new and/or variation documentation. A rationale should include where this condition is necessary to meet accreditation requirements.

(84) Co-requisites may be used where there is a clear pedagogical rationale for concurrent registration. For example, a theory-based subject run concurrently with a related, practice-based subject. This rationale must be included in the concept, new and/or variation documentation.

(85) Details of any pre-requisites or co-requisites are to be clearly defined in the Handbook.

Flexible vs Focus Subjects

(86) A subject option or alternative that is taken from a prescribed pool of subjects for that award is not considered to be a flexible subject. Subjects within a prescribed pool would be core subjects or focus subjects.

(87) A pool of cross or transdisciplinary minors may be included as the flexible elements of a degree.

Curiosity Pods

(88) Curiosity Pods (typically 15 to 30 hours of student learning effort) are designed as tasters available to all students, regardless of what program they are studying.

(89) As a stand-alone offering, Curiosity Pods have no pre-requisites beyond those expected for university study.

(90) Typically, Curiosity Pods are also embedded as a 2 credit point learning activity in an existing subject. They support the student to achieve the learning outcomes of the subject.

(91) Curiosity Pods may form an approved sequence of four, combined with a fifth pod that is designed as an integrative assessment, to form a 10 credit point subject.

(92) Students who successfully complete a Curiosity Pod, recognised via advised completion events within that Curiosity Pod, will be provided with a record of their successful completion.

Subject Levels

(93) Subject levels are based on the complexity of the Program Learning Outcomes, not the year in which they appear in a program structure. Subjects are to be clearly identified to enable the scaffolding of learning to be clearly displayed. The following definitions are provided to assist in determining the appropriate level for undergraduate programs.

Level Z – Preparatory

(94) This is a foundational subject designed to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge for success in Level 1 subjects. Level Z subjects correspond to Higher School Certificate (HSC) level or equivalent Vocational Education and Training (VET) study and are found in Foundation Studies Programs and Diplomas. As precursors to Level 1 subjects, their learning outcomes include elementary knowledge and skills for further learning, and the development of academic skills that will allow students to undertake Level 1 subjects.

Level 1 – Introducing

(95) This is an introductory subject for an undergraduate degree. It assumes that the student has academic skills that would correspond to successful completion of HSC-level or equivalent VET study. In some cases, there will be required knowledge that is equivalent to having completed one or more HSC subjects at a particular standard, e.g. within a particular band. Level 1 subjects are usually encountered in the early stages of undergraduate study. Their learning outcomes include professional or discipline specific knowledge at an introductory level for a Bachelor degree, and the development of academic skills that will allow students to progress to more complex and challenging subjects.

Level 2 – Developing

(96) This is a subject that requires students to have the knowledge or skills base, as well as the academic skills, resulting from the successful completion of one or more relevant Level 1 subjects. Students would not normally encounter Level 2 subjects in their first term of undergraduate study, except in some advanced programs or unless they have suitable Credit. Level 2 subjects contribute to the development of a student's discipline specific and/or professional knowledge, understanding and skills, as well as the generic and contextualised graduate attributes for their degree, but usually not to the level that would be expected of a university graduate.

Level 3 – Assuring

(97) This is a subject that, in combination with subjects of the same or higher level, equips students with the more advanced knowledge and skills that are required to practice a particular discipline or profession as a Bachelor-level graduate. It ensures that students acquire and are assessed on the capacities and capabilities required for their degree, including appropriate skills in communication, problem solving and critical thinking. Subjects at this level normally require students to have successfully completed several subjects at introductory and developing levels to ensure appropriate scaffolding of their learning, either in terms of content and skills, or the complexity and difficulty of the concepts and problems involved.

Level 4 – Advancing

(98) These are typically Honours subjects that extend the learning that undergraduate students have achieved in their Level 3 subjects, and/or equips them with the knowledge and skills to apply a body of knowledge in a specific context to undertake professional work and as a pathway for research and further learning. Subjects at this level comprise the research training component and research component of a Bachelor Honours degree, either embedded in a 4 year program or available as a 1 year program following successful completion of a cognate Bachelor degree. Alternatively, they may be used for the extended coursework component of a 4 year Bachelor Degree.

Level 5 – Postgraduate Coursework

(99) This is a subject that, in combination with other subjects of the same level, equips postgraduate students with the knowledge and skills that are required to apply a body of knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake professional/highly skilled work, and as a pathway for further learning. Subjects at this level typically comprise the bulk of a graduate certificate or graduate diploma qualification, and may also provide the foundation for studying Level 6 subjects that lead to a Masters degree. Subjects at this level normally require students to have successfully completed a Bachelor degree or equivalent study and/or professional experience.

Level 6 – Postgraduate Coursework (Advancing)

(100) This is a subject that, in combination with other subjects of the same level, equips postgraduate students with the knowledge and skills that are required to apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for professional practice or scholarship and as a pathway for further learning. Subjects of this level develop the mastery of advanced knowledge, cognitive, technical and creative skills, and knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a field of work and/or learning that are required for completion of a Masters degree by coursework. Subjects at this level normally require students to have successfully completed a Bachelor degree, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma, or equivalent study and/or professional experience.

Level 7 – Research Masters

(101) This is a subject that, in combination with subjects of the same level, equips HDR students with the knowledge and skills to apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for professional practice or scholarship and as a pathway for further learning. These subjects may comprise advanced coursework, research training, supervised study and research, and independent study, leading to a Masters of Research or Masters of Philosophy degree of which two thirds will be devoted to research training, research and independent study.

Level 8 – Doctoral

(102) This is a subject that, on its own or in combination with subjects of the same level, equips HDR students with the knowledge and skills to apply a substantial body of knowledge to research, investigate and develop new knowledge, in one or more fields of investigation, scholarship or professional practice. These subjects may comprise advanced coursework, research training, supervised study and research, and independent study, leading to a Doctoral degree, of which research is the defining characteristic.

Part F - Nested and Integrated Qualifications

(103) Integrated qualifications are purposely designed qualifications that enable explicit articulation pathways and encompass more than one AQF level. These arrangements must be explicit in program documentation and approved through the normal approval processes.

(104) Nested qualifications are qualifications that include articulated arrangements from a lower level qualification into a higher level qualification to enable multiple entry and exit points.

(105) Students will normally be eligible to graduate from the integrated award on successful completion of the lower award components, and then continue in the higher award without needing to re-apply. 

(106) For nested awards, upon successful completion of a lower level nested award, students can apply for transfer to the higher level award. If a student chooses to graduate from a lower level award, they will then need to re-apply for the higher-level award.

(107) Where a student is given provisional enrolment in a Graduate Certificate, instead of a Graduate Diploma or Masters award, transfer to the higher award will be automatic where the student passes all of the subjects in the Graduate Certificate at their first attempt.

Part G - Award Titles

(108) There is a systematic nomenclature for award titles. However, variation is permitted where the value of the variation can be clearly demonstrated. This may be approved by Academic Senate at the time the program is approved.

(109) Bachelor degree titles include the broad field of study or degree name and may include a testamur major (in parentheses after the degree name) if approved by Academic Senate at the time the program was approved.

(110) Successful completion of an Honours degree will be identified on the academic transcript, and the testamur, by the name of the undergraduate program, as specified in the approved degree title and the word ‘Honours’ in parentheses.   

(111) Honours levels appear on testamurs and are awarded as follows: First Class (highest level of Honours), Second Class, and Third Class (lowest level of Honours). Second class has two divisions of performance identified: Division 1 (highest) and Division 2. 

(112) University awards conform to the nomenclature for award titles prescribed in the AQF.

(113) A consistent set of abbreviated award titles is published as associated information to the Academic Records Issuance Policy and may be published on University websites.