Procedures for Conferral of Awards

1. Governing Policy

These procedures are governed by the Conferral and Graduation Policy.

2. Principle

Conferral should occur at a graduation ceremony except under special circumstances.

3. Conferral at a Graduation Ceremony

Conferral of awards at a graduation ceremony will be according to Section 15.2 of the Procedures for Graduation Ceremonies.

4. Conferral in absentia

Conferral of awards in absentia will take place at a graduation ceremony according to Section 15.2 of the Procedures for Graduation Ceremonies.

5. Administrative Conferral

5.1 Administrative conferral of awards will be permitted only under the following exceptional circumstances:

  1. where an administrative error has been made; or
  2. for special cohorts, where awards are presented at a ceremony approved by the Academic Registrar; or
  3. on compassionate grounds.

5.2 In all cases the conferral of award must be recommended by the relevant Executive Dean and approved to proceed by the Chair Academic Board.

5.3 A request to confer an award administratively must be submitted via the Graduations Office using the prescribed form.

5.4 The Graduations Office will collate all administrative conferral requests and submit these to the Vice-Chancellor for approval, via the Academic Registrar.

5.5 There will be three administrative conferral dates set each year, being February, June and October.

6. Conferral under compassionate circumstances

6.1 The University may award appropriate qualifications to recognise the achievements of students who have:

  1. died after completion of the requirements of their course, but the award has not yet been conferred;
  2. died or become incapacitated while in the final stages of their course.

6.2 Course requirements complete

6.2.1 Where a deceased student has completed the requirements for the conferral of a qualification, the award may be conferred posthumously in accordance with the Conferral and Graduations Policy.

6.3 Course requirements incomplete

6.3.1 Where a student has substantially completed course requirements and

  1. dies while enrolled for the course; or
  2. becomes incapacitated and is unable to complete the remaining requirements of the course:

the Academic Registrar may determine whether the qualification should be awarded.

6.4 Coursework awards

6.4.1 In the case of a coursework program, the student must have completed at least 80 percent of course requirements.

6.4.2 The Head of School or equivalent may submit a recommendation to the Executive Dean, providing details of the student’s academic record, the outstanding course requirements and outlining factors which support the reasonable expectation that the student would have successfully completed the course requirements.

6.4.3 If the Executive Dean supports the recommendation, they should seek approval from the Chair of Academic Board for approval to proceed.

6.4.4 If the Chair of Academic Board approves to proceed, the award will be recommended for conferral using one of the methods of conferral at Sections 3 to 5 of these procedures.

6.4.5 The Academic Registrar must be advised, and will be responsible for notifying the Vice-Chancellor via the Graduations Office.

6.4.6 If additional credit is recommended, for example as recognition of prior learning, such credit will be recorded on the academic transcript. In other cases, a notation “Exemption from completion of full course requirements approved on compassionate grounds” and date of approval, will be recorded on the academic transcript.

6.4.7 If the student had been enrolled for an honours degree, the degree may be conferred with honours, but without a level of honours.

6.5 Research awards

6.5.1 In the case of research awards, the student must have completed sufficient literature reviews, laboratory work, papers and publications and thesis drafts or other tangible evidence to indicate that, had the death or incapacity not intervened, the student would have satisfied the requirements for the degree.

6.5.2 In such a case, the supervisor may submit a recommendation to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) through the Faculty Associate Dean Research or Institute Director and Executive Dean, providing details of the work completed and the current status of the thesis.

6.5.3 The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) may appoint two assessors, one of whom may have been the supervisor and one of whom may be external to the University, to review the available work in order to determine whether the primary requirements set out in section 6.5.1 have been met. Both assessors cannot have been supervisors for the student.

6.5.4 If such assessment results in a unanimous recommendation to proceed, the supervisor may be requested to provide a statement and/or explanatory material to facilitate the examiners’ understanding of the candidate’s research contribution, and to facilitate production of the thesis in preparation for examination.

6.5.5 The thesis should then be submitted for examination in accordance with standard procedures. Each examiner must provide unequivocal advice as to whether evidence exists to indicate, that, if the death or incapacity had not intervened, in the normal course of events requirements for the degree would have been satisfied.

6.5.6 If the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) supports the recommendation for award of the degree, based upon the outcomes from examination of the thesis, they should seek approval to proceed from Chair of Academic Board.

6.5.7 If the Chair of Academic Board approves to proceed, the award will be recommended for conferral using one of the methods at Sections 3 to 5 of these procedures.

6.5.8 The Academic Registrar must be advised, and will be responsible for notifying the Vice-Chancellor via the Graduations Office.

6.5.9 A notation “Exemption from completion of full course requirements approved on compassionate grounds” and date of approval, will be recorded on the academic transcript.

6.6 Nature and recording of award

6.6.1 Where award of the qualification is approved, the AHEGS, transcript and testamur will include the standard notation regarding conferral of the degree.

6.6.3 If the requirements of a lower level qualification such as an approved exit qualification, have been met, such qualification may be awarded, in accordance with standard procedures.

6.6.4 If the Executive Dean does not support the award of a qualification based on work completed and exceptional circumstances preventing completion, and no lower level qualification for which the student has qualified exists, the Faculty may award a Certificate of Achievement at an appropriate Faculty ceremony.

6.7 Communication regarding possible award of qualification

6.7.1 All communication should be handled with sensitivity and discretion, avoiding the possibility of giving an incapacitated student, or the family of a deceased student, unreasonable expectations as to the eventual outcome.

6.7.2 At all times, the wishes of the family of the student should be respected and take precedence.

Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols

Statute 6: Admission to Degrees;
Conferral and Graduation Policy

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