Structuring Coursework Programs Policy
- 1. Policy Statement
- 2. Policy Scope
- 3. Policy Exclusions
- 4. Definitions
- 5. Nature of Degrees
- 6. Credit Points and Length of Course
- 7. Exit Provisions
- 8. Prerequisites and Incompatible Units
- 9. Assessment (including allocation of grades)
- 10. Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
The Structuring Coursework Programs Policy describes the framework and principles that inform the structure of Sub-Bachelor, Undergraduate, Honours and Postgraduate Coursework programs at ACU and the general conditions for their award.
The policy ensures that course structures at ACU are consistent and comply with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) at the relevant level.
This policy applies to all Coursework Programs of the University including Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree, Bachelor, Bachelor Honours, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters Degree (Coursework).
The following course types are excluded from this policy:
- All courses which meet the standard for classification as research degrees or professional doctorates under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) which are covered by the Research and Professional Doctorate Degree Regulations.
- Non-award courses including Certificates.
- Accredited Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses offered by ACU’s Registered Training Organisation, ACUcom.
The terms used in this policy and the associated guidelines are consistent with the Glossary of Terms.
All qualifications must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the relevant AQF Level Criteria and the respective Specification.
|Graduate Award||AQF Level|
|Diploma||AQF Level 5|
|Associate Degree and Advanced Diploma||AQF Level 6|
|Bachelor||AQF Level 7|
|Bachelor Honours (End-on and Embedded)||AQF Level 8|
|Graduate Certificate||AQF Level 8|
|Graduate Diploma||AQF Level 8|
|Masters (Coursework)||AQF Level 9|
The purpose of Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree qualifications at ACU is to qualify students against the relevant AQF Level (5-6) and as a pathway for further learning.
The objectives of Sub-Bachelor programs at ACU are to:
- Act as a pathway course for entry to a Bachelor Degree.
- Provide an exit qualification for students who meet the requirements of an embedded lower level qualification.
The purpose of Bachelor Degrees is to qualify students who apply a broad and coherent body of knowledge in a range of contexts. Bachelor degrees also qualify graduates to undertake professional work and can provide a pathway for further learning.
ACU’s commitment to communicating truth in every field of knowledge as well as promoting the dignity of all people and the common good, prepares graduates who are knowledgeable, articulate and innovative. Graduates are recognised by their skills to think systematically and critically, gather and evaluate evidence from many and diverse sources, communicate clearly, and apply ethical principles to decision making for a variety of professions and industries.
ACU Bachelor degrees provide professional experience, community engagement and/or volunteer work opportunities throughout the course.
ACU Bachelor degrees all include the Core Curriculum, which emphasises critical judgment, clear expression, ethical decision-making and concern for others.
Bachelor Honours Degrees can either be:
- End-on Fourth Year programs undertaken after completion of an appropriate undergraduate Bachelor’s degree; and
- Embedded Honours programs equivalent to at least a fourth year of study at Bachelor level
The objectives of Bachelor Honours Degrees at ACU, irrespective of discipline, are to allow students to build upon the knowledge gained in the Bachelor Degree and to develop research techniques for further study at higher degree level. Recognising that many Honours graduates do not subsequently undertake research degrees, there will also be opportunity for the development of attributes associated with research practice that have wider application.
Honours programs will contain a mix of advanced coursework, professional training (where appropriate), research training and a research project leading to a thesis. In some fields, for example the performing arts, an alternative form of presentation is appropriate.
The objectives of Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma programs are to provide:
- postgraduate opportunities in professional fields for students;
- training in professional fields where projects and investigations are applied and oriented to professional practice; and
- a pathway to further postgraduate study.
Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma programs enable the candidate to make a contribution to knowledge and practice in a discipline or profession through coursework or a combination of coursework and a research-based component.
Masters Degree (Coursework) programs enable graduates to make a contribution to knowledge and practice in a discipline or profession through coursework or a combination of coursework and a research-based component.
The objectives of Masters degree (coursework) programs are to provide:
- postgraduate opportunities in professional fields for students; and
- training in professional fields where projects and investigations are applied and oriented to professional practice.
Students of a Masters Degree (Coursework) are required to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or piece of scholarship.
The standard credit point value of units is 10. Units worth multiples of 10 (eg 20, 40) are permitted to support the research component of a coursework program or the development of advanced practice.
Each coursework course leading to an award must meet the minimum credit point value for that award All Coursework Programs must comply with Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and the following schema:
|Award||Minimum Total CP||Min duration of FT study||Comments|
Includes Certificate IV where embedded in the Diploma
Includes Certificate IV and Diploma where embedded in the Advanced Diploma
Includes Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma where embedded in Associate Degree
Includes Certificate IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree where embedded in the Bachelor
Bachelor Honours (end-on)
Bachelor Honours (embedded)
320 cp with completion of 80 cp in identified honours studies.
Honours units are taken either in addition to or in place of some of the requirements of the third and fourth years of the Bachelor degree
One Semester or equivalent
Two Semesters or equivalent
Includes Graduate Certificate where embedded in the Graduate Diploma
Three Semesters or equivalent
Includes Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma where embedded in the Masters degree
The research thesis or project component of a coursework degree must be structured in accordance with the relevant Guideline.
- Prerequisites must only be used in cases where there is a clear requirement for learning outcomes to have been achieved before the next unit can be taken.
- Incompatible units must be identified in the course rules. No unit may be used to meet an award requirement if it contains a substantial amount of the same material as another unit being used in that award.
Under the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy, ACU is responsible for specific attention to identifying, developing and documenting qualification pathways.
Where an articulated cluster of qualifications exists, a candidate who enrolled directly into a higher level program but does not complete the program requirements may be awarded a lesser qualification if the requirements for such an award are fulfilled.
The provisions of the Academic Regulations and Assessment Policy apply to the assessment and assessment grades in any Coursework Program.
Explicit criteria for the assessment of the research thesis or project component of Coursework Programs are specified in the Guidelines for Honours Programs and Guidelines for Postgraduate Coursework Programs.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the relevant University policies and procedures and the associated:
- Guidelines for Sub-Bachelor Degrees (to be developed)
- Guidelines for Bachelor and Bachelor Double Degrees
- Guidelines for Honours Programs
- Guidelines for Postgraduate Coursework Programs
|Policy applies to||
|Approval Authority||Academic Board|
|Governing Authority||Courses and Academic Quality Committee|
|Responsible Officer||Chair, Academic Board|
|Date of Last Revision||29/06/2016|
|Date of Policy Review *||01/07/2020|
* Unless otherwise indicated, this policy will still apply beyond the review date.
Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols
Admissions Policy and Admissions Rules;
Glossary of Terms;
Guidelines for Bachelor and Double Bachelor Programs;
Guidelines for Honours Programs;
Guidelines for Postgraduate Coursework Programs;
Policy on Academic Programs offered across Multiple Locations and/or in Multiple Study Modes;
Policy on Course Approval, Amendment and Review;
Policy on Discipline Expertise within Courses;
Policy on Joint Awards between ACU and other institutions;
Policy on Nomenclature of Awards
Page last updated: 2017-06-27
Short url: http://www.acu.edu.au/policy/800181