Manual of Policies and Procedures

C/3.1 Courses and awards

Contact Officer

Director, Curriculum Quality and Standards

Approval Date

14/09/2018

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

01/09/2021

3.1.1 Purpose
3.1.2 Roles and responsibilities
3.1.3 Award titles
3.1.4 Credit point system
3.1.5 Time-based study
3.1.6 Designated units in award courses
3.1.7 Course information and requirements
3.1.8 Curriculum structures
3.1.9 Definitions
3.1.10 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

3.1.1 Purpose

This policy defines essential characteristics of award courses and associated components that are developed and delivered at QUT. This policy aims to:

  • promote coherent course structures and clear course completion rules
  • promote course structures that recognise the diversity of QUT's course offerings and enables response to the evolving nature of business, industry, and the professions
  • meet all relevant national regulatory requirements, including the relevant standards
  • ensure that the course learning outcomes are evident for each qualification.

Top

3.1.2 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility

University Academic Board (A/3.6)

  • approves:
    • the award title for a course through the curriculum design, approval and accreditation process (C/4.1)
    • new and revised award title and Study Area abbreviations, as part of re/accreditation (C/4.1.3)
    • any variation to the standard credit point load for coursework courses
    • initial course requirements, which are approved at the time of approval of the course

University Academic Board may further delegate specific approvals to the Curriculum Standards Committee and Faculty Academic Boards under certain conditions. 

Curriculum Standards Committee (C/2.2)

  • approves exceptions to curriculum-related policy as delegated by University Academic Board.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)
  • approves protocols supporting courses and awards (C/3.1)
Faculty academic boards (A/3.7)
  • approve changes to course requirements (C/3.1.9) in accordance with the curriculum design, approval and accreditation policy (C/4.1.3)

Top

3.1.3 Award titles

The award title (C/3.1.2) is approved by University Academic Board and is included on the award parchment issued to students who have completed their course requirements (E/10.2). Award titles meet the requirements specified in the Higher Education Standards, including the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Qualifications Issuance Policy, and are subject to the requirements outlined in Protocols: Courses and awards/Award classifications (QUT staff access only).

Top

3.1.4 Credit point system

QUT uses a credit point system for all coursework courses for the purposes of calculating student load (Equivalent Full Time Student Load - EFTSL) for internal and external reporting. The credit point value is a measure of the proportion of the volume of learning which the unit represents to a student, and is the weighting used to calculate a student's grade point average (GPA). The total credit points per full-time year of a course is 96. Any variation is approved by University Academic Board and is regarded as overload or underload.

Consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Explanation on Volume of Learning, the generally accepted length of time used for designing educational participation for a full-time year, which includes teaching, learning and assessment activities, is approximately 1200 hours. Using this guide, and recognising that actual time will vary for each student, a 12 credit unit is designed to take approximately 150 hours.

The standard units are 12 credit points. QUT allows exceptions in certain circumstances as outlined in Protocols: Courses and awards/Award classifications (QUT staff access only).

Top

3.1.5 Time-based study

Higher Degree Research (HDR) courses are offered as time-based study consistent with the requirements of the relevant Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level. These degrees are characterised by the enrolment of a student in a thesis unit, which culminates in a major research output (C/3.1.9).

Top

3.1.6 Designated units in award courses

A designated unit has learning outcomes that have been identified by the faculty as critical to meeting a satisfactory level of competence. A faculty academic board requires students to complete the unit with a passing grade in order to continue in the award course. Such units include performance-based or work integrated learning units, units requiring the development of particular skills, and units requiring the demonstration of certain personal qualities.

A schedule of designated units can be found on the HiQ website (QUT staff and student access only).

Top

3.1.7 Course information and requirements

Course information is a set of data elements that are approved as part of course accreditation. Course information includes specific requirements for admission to and completion of an award course.

Course requirements are made available to students at the time of enrolment (E/4.3.4) and are set out in the QUT Handbook and on the HiQ website. Students are eligible to graduate as soon as they have completed all the requirements for the course (E/10.1).

Detailed information on course information elements and course requirements is provided in the Protocols: Courses and awards/Award classifications (QUT staff access only).

Top

3.1.8 Curriculum structures

Requirements for structuring courses and study areas enable faculties to offer courses that provide flexibility for students while also tailoring courses and their award titles to meet specific career paths and industry requirements.

Courses and study areas must be designed such that they are consistent with principles for curriculum design (C/4.1) and Protocols: Courses and awards/Award classifications (QUT staff access only).

Top

3.1.9 Definitions

Course - a course is a structured and coherent set of units or thesis components that leads to the award of a qualification. A course forms a coherent body of knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills, purposely designed (C/4.1) to support student learning and enable graduates to demonstrate achieving the learning outcomes for the qualification. Course learning outcomes, including transferable, non-discipline specific skills, are explicitly identified and align with the level of the qualification.

Study Areas - a study area is a set of units within a course which together form a coherent body of knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills undertaken at an advanced level. A course may have two levels of study area: Study Area A and Study Area B. Study Areas may have Study Area Learning Outcomes that align to, but are subordinate to, course learning outcomes.

Complementary studies - the term complementary studies applies to the group of units that are required in addition to core units and a Study Area A in some courses in order to fulfil course requirements. The units comprising this study package accordingly complement the discipline focus provided by the core units and Study Area A.

Unit - a unit is a structured and coherent set of learning activities that normally work in concert with other units to contribute to one or more course learning outcomes (C/4.5.7).

Module - a module is a structured and coherent set of learning and/or assessment activities that works alone or in concert with other formal or informal learning. A module normally does not have a credit point value but may lead to a credential, provide a basis for advanced standing into an award course (C/3.3.4) and/or contribute to meeting entry or other requirements for an award course (C/5.4.8). Where a module leads to a credential or advanced standing, the learning must be quality assured and assessed formally and provide a credit point equivalence.

Major research output - examples of major research outputs include: theses, dissertations, exegeses, creative works or other major works submitted for the award of a higher degree. Major research outputs are assigned a code and an Equivalent Full Time Student Load (EFTSL) value and are approved by faculty academic boards. All major research outputs are coded using the same schema as for coursework units (Unit information - QUT staff and student access only).

Study package - a study package is used within QUT's corporate curriculum systems as a term to describe an element of the curriculum structure. Courses, study areas, units, complementary studies and theses are examples of study packages.

Cohorts - for the purposes of this policy, undergraduate cohorts include those students enrolled in bachelor and bachelor honours degrees. Postgraduate cohorts include those students enrolled in graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, masters degrees and doctorate degrees.

Top

3.1.10 Delegations

Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (C103).

Top

Related Documents

MOPP C/3.2 Award classifications

MOPP C/4.1 Curriculum design, approval and accreditation

MOPP E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct

MOPP E/4.3 Enrolment programs

MOPP E/10.1 Conferral, graduation and academic dress

MOPP E/10.2 Award parchments

QUT Handbook

Australian Qualifications Framework

Protocols: Courses and awards/Award Classifications

Higher Education Standards Framework (Part A:  Standards for Higher Education)

 

Top

Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

24.05.19 C/3.1.9 University Academic Board Revised policy to clarify the definiton of 'module' - effective 01.06.19
14.09.18 All University Academic Board Revised and simplified policy - effective 01.01.19
11.08.17 C/3.1.4 Dean of Studies Revised policy to include consequential amendments following new course approval (MPhil) and research specialisations
27.03.15 All University Academic Board Revised policy
20.09.13 C/3.1.9 University Academic Board Policy revised to require separate unit codes and teaching for undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts - effective 01.01.14
24.05.13 C/3.1.3, C/3.1.4 University Academic Board Policy revised to align to regulatory environment including the TEQSA & CRICOS standards
25.05.12 All University Academic Board Policy revised to align to regulatory environment including the AQF and in response to operational feedback

19.02.11

All

Vice-Chancellor

Policy revised to include approved name change for Office of Teaching Quality to Learning and Teaching Unit

23.07.10

C/3.1.3,
C/3.1.8

University Academic Board

Policy revised to include SAMS terminology and processes

13.11.09

C/3.1.7

University Academic Board

Revised policy

14.11.08

All

University Academic Board

Revised policy effective from 01.01.09 (replaces former policies C/3.1, C/3.4, C/7.3, C/7.9) (endorsed by University Teaching and Learning Committee 21.10.08)

19.05.06

All

University Academic Board

Revised policy (endorsed by Teaching and Learning Committee 02.05.06); replaces former policies C/3.1, C/3.7, C/3.8 and C/3.9

21.05.02

All

Academic Policy and Programs Unit

Updated and linked to QUT Handbook

Top