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Masters Degree (Extended) - Awards and Programs Schedule

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) As a higher education provider authorised to self-accredit, the University of Newcastle (University) is responsible under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth) for ensuring that programs comply with the Provider Course Accreditation Standards. This Schedule provides the detailed principles and criteria that underpin the self-accreditation process for each Masters Degree (Extended) award that may be delivered and conferred by the University.

(2) This Schedule supports the implementation of the Awards and Graduation Policy and Governance Rule. The Governance Rule describes each type of qualification offered by the University and provides a description of Academic Senate's role in approving and monitoring these programs.

(3) Within the Schedule the general program principles and structures have been tabulated and the approved programs that are offered under it will be listed in Masters Degree (Extended) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs covered by this Schedule. For the specific descriptions and requirements of an approved program, refer to the program handbook.

(4) In the event of an inconsistency between subordinate policy documents and any Rule(s) or Schedule to the Rule(s), the Rule(s) made by Council prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

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Section 2 - Principles and Program Structures

Model: Masters Degree (Extended)

This table describes an AQF level 9 program leading to the award of Masters Degree (Extended) under the Governance Rule.
Volume of Learning 240 units typically completed in three years of full-time study or equivalent ensuring that the learning outcomes have been achieved.
Purpose The Masters Degree (Extended) is a program of structured learning with some independent research and a significant proportion of practice-related learning. It is designed to prepare graduates with an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for professional practice and as a pathway to further learning.
Maximum Time
Maximum time to complete a Level 9 Masters Degree (Extended) will be eight calendar years from date of admission, calculated on the basis of (2N+2) (Note 1), inclusive of periods of leave, exclusion or academic suspension.
Approved variations are included in Masters Degree (Extended) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs covered by this Schedule.
Principles and Structure
Graduates of a Masters Degree (Extended) will have completed a program that:
i)   includes a volume of learning equivalent to 240 units of study;
ii)  has been designed to ensure that the learning outcomes can be met; and
iii) requires the completion of:
     a) at least 160 units at 6000 level;
     b) no more than 60 units at 4000 level; and
     c) no more than 20 units at 3000 level; and
iv)  is structured to require the development of advanced:
     a) research skills through the completion of independent research or capstone course activities;
     b) discipline specific knowledge through the completion of at least 50 units coursework at the level of the qualification; and
     c) practice – related learning developed in collaboration with a relevant professional, statutory  or regulatory body.
Individual program requirements will be described in the relevant Program Handbook.
Admission and selection criteria
The admission and selection criteria for each program  will be determined by the College, and approved by Academic Senate in accordance with the criteria listed below:
PART A: Admission Criteria and Pathways
College admission and selection criteria should specifically address the alternative pathways into the Masters Degree (Extended).
Without precluding the granting of individual credit, successful applicants to a Masters Degree (Extended) will typically complete 3 years (240 units) following completion of a Bachelor Degree.
PART B – General Admission Criteria
College admission and selection criteria must:
i)   be appropriate for this AQF Level and its required learning outcomes;
ii)  take into account external benchmarks;
iii) ensure that successful applicants have:
     a) adequate prior knowledge and skills to complete the program successfully; and
     b) completed an AQF compliant Bachelor degree (or equivalent) from an Australian institution or recognised overseas institution;
iv)   include special admission procedures to support access and equity targets; and
v)    establish English language entry requirements to ensure that students are sufficiently competent  in the English language to participate effectively in the program and achieve the required learning outcomes (please see English Language Proficiency Policy) (Note 2).
PART C – Additional Admission Criteria
Additional College admission and selection criteria may include requirements for:
i)   prior completion of an approved level 7 or level 8 degree, (recognised under Pathways – nested or  integrated qualifications in this table); and/or
ii)  prior completion of such other work as prescribed by the College Board that may be recognised      under Pathways – Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) (in this table); and/or
iii) completion of interviews, auditions or portfolios; and/or
iv)  possession of such other qualifications, or professional experience, or other relevant attributes  that are required to ensure successful completion.
Specialisation An approved specialisation of a minimum of 80 units identified by the College as from a specific field of study or specialty within a field of study, and excluding any undergraduate courses offered within the program.
Additional Requirements Any approved compulsory program components (CPC) or pre-requisites approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee on the recommendation of the relevant College Board.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Graduate learning outcomes underpin the design of all academic programs offered by the University.
Graduate learning outcomes will be developed for each program in accordance with Academic Senate policy and as prescribed by AQF including:
i)   fundamental skills, such as literacy and numeracy appropriate to the Level 9 Masters Degree       (Extended) including English language proficiency;
ii)  people skills, such as working with others and communication skills;
iii) thinking skills, such as learning to learn, decision making and problem solving; and
iv)  personal skills such as self direction and acting with integrity.
i Knowledge Graduates of a Masters Degree (Extended) will have:
i)  a body of knowledge that includes the extended understanding of recent developments in a    discipline and its professional practice; and
ii) knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the discipline and its professional practice.
ii Skills Graduates of a Masters Degree (Extended) will have:
i)   cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on theory and professional practice;
ii)  cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply established theories to different bodies of knowledge or practice;
iii) cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level;
iv)  communication and technical research skills to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences; and
v)   technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse and theorise about developments that contribute to professional practice.
iii Application of Knowledge and Skills Graduates of a Masters Degree (Extended) will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills:
i)   with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning;
ii)  with high level personal autonomy and accountability; and
iii) to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone course experience and/or professionally focused project.
Qualification for the Award Completion of a Masters Degree totalling a volume of learning that is typically equivalent to 3 - 4 years.
Grading of the Award A Masters program will be conferred as an ordinary degree, or will be conferred 'With Distinction' in cases where a student has:
i)  achieved a Grade Point Average of 6.0 or above; and
ii) completed 50% or more of the degree at the University of Newcastle.
Qualification Title
Master of (Field of Study).
The qualification title should clearly indicate the field(s) of study or discipline. In accordance with the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy, the following Qualification Titles may also be approved:
i)  Juris Doctor for legal practice; and
ii) Doctor of (Field of Study) for medical practice, physiotherapy, dentistry, optometry and veterinary practice.
Pathways – General The University supports student mobility and the elimination of unfair and unnecessary barriers to our qualifications. Approved entry pathways and admission requirements are described in  Admission and Selection Criteria in this table.
Pathways – credit and advanced standing
Granted in accordance with the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy to a maximum of 160 units of credit, ensuring that the integrity of the program is preserved and the learning outcomes are achieved.
Advanced Standing:
Advanced standing will be granted to eligible applicants on the basis of formal and non-formal learning completed, depending on the level and the discipline (as defined by 4-code Fields of Education (FoE) - refer to AQF paper- Discipline: An Explanation). Refer to Admission and Selection Criteria, Part A in this table.
Pathways – Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is possible for both formal and informal prior learning. RPL may be used for admission purposes or to grant advanced standing. RPL will be evaluated on a case by case basis and must be current and relevant to the program's learning outcomes.
Colleges must provide detailed information on RPL when submitting new or revised programs
Pathways – combined degrees A combined degree may be formally approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee (PCAC) and listed in Masters Degree (Extended) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs or determined on a case by case application in accordance with the Program Management Manual - Coursework.
Pathways – nested or integrated qualifications
Nested qualifications are qualifications that include articulated arrangements from a lower level qualification to a higher qualification to enable multiple entry and exit points. These are purposely designed qualifications that enable explicit articulation pathways and encompass more than one AQF level and / or qualification type.
A Masters Degree (Extended) may be nested with the following qualifications:
- Masters (Coursework) (level 9).
A Masters Degree (Extended) may be integrated with the following qualifications:
- Graduate Certificate (level 8);
- Graduate Diploma (level 8).
Approved integrated qualifications will be listed in Masters Degree (Extended) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs of this Schedule.
Pathways – Exit
An exit award may be available to a student where:
i)   an exit award has been linked to the program in which the student is enrolled;
ii)  the student has satisfactorily completed the program  of study to the point where they are eligible for the exit award, as approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee on behalf of Academic Senate;
iii) the student is unable to complete the remaining requirements for their original enrolment;
iv)  the student has made an application, in writing, to have their enrolment transferred and therefore be awarded an exit award; and
v)   the relevant College Pro Vice-Chancellor has approved the application.
Approved Exit awards will be noted in Masters Degree (Extended) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs of this Schedule.
Pathways - Graduate Graduates of this program may seek admission to Masters by Research or Doctoral Degree (Research).
Professional Accreditation Masters Degree (Extended) may be accredited by professional associations.
Additional Information This section is intentionally blank.
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Section 3 - Notes

(5) 2N+2 where N is equal to the notional duration identified by the Volume of learning.

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Section 4 - Relaxing Provision

(6) To provide for exceptional circumstances arising in any particular case, the President of Academic Senate, on the recommendation of the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor or relevant College Pro Vice-Chancellor may relax any provision of this Schedule.

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Section 5 - Reporting

(7) The President of the Academic Senate will report all applications of the relaxing provision of this Schedule to the Academic Senate.