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Bachelor Honours Degree (80) Awards and Programs Schedule

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For implementation for new and revised programs from 23 August 2013

Section 1 - Introduction

(1) As a higher education provider authorised to self-accredit, the University of Newcastle 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 Bachelor Honours Degree (80) award that may be delivered and conferred by the University of Newcastle

(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 provide descriptions of authorisations for program management.

(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 Bachelor Honours Degree (80) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs covered by this Schedule. For the specific descriptions and requirements of an approved program, refer to the program handbook.

(4) The policies replaced by this Schedule are listed in Bachelor Honours Degree (80) – Replaced Schedules (Level 8).

(5) 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.

(6) In the event of an inconsistency between an Academic Senate policy document and a Faculty policy, procedure or guideline, the policy document of Academic Senate prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

(7) Extracts from AQF (Second Edition) have been included in this document with permission of the Australian Qualification Framework Council (27 February 2012). 

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Section 2 - Transition Arrangements for Implementation of this Schedule

(8) This schedule supports the Academic Senate strategy of offering AQF-compliant programs as soon as possible. During the transition to the new schedule, the pre-2013 Awards and Programs Schedules will remain in the Policy Library with an annotation to indicate that their AQF-compliant status has not been confirmed. Between 2013-2015 current program offerings will be reviewed and, following the approval from the Program and Course Approval Committee, transferred to Bachelor Honours Degree (80) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs  of this Schedule.

(9) The introduction of the new schedules is expected to result in recommendations from Faculty Boards for new programs, major revisions and the transition arrangements and discontinuations of existing programs. These recommendations will be considered for approval by the Program and Course Approval Committee in accordance with the delegations held by that Committee.

(10) Through this transition process the Assistant Deans (Teaching and Learning) will be responsible to the Program and Course Approval Committee for ensuring that continuing students will not be disadvantaged by a program revision or discontinuation and:

  1. appropriate teach-out or alternative arrangements have been made for current students; and
  2. consideration is given to international applicants in accordance with the ESOS legislation.

(11) The Academic Registrar together with the Assistant Deans (Teaching and Learning) and the relevant Program Convenors will be responsible for ensuring that students and staff are notified of any relevant program changes. This notification may include recent graduates who may seek to upgrade their programs for AQF compliance.

(12) Programs offering admission to students in 2015 will need to operate under an AQF compliant schedule no later than June 2014 to ensure AQF compliance from 2015. 

(13) Non-AQF compliant programs will be automatically discontinued by last meeting of Academic Senate in 2014 unless they have been approved for continuation.

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Section 3 - Principles and Program Structures  

Model: Bachelor Honours Degree (80)

(14) This table describes an AQF level 8 program leading to the award of Bachelor Honours Degree (80) under the Awards and Graduation Policy.

Volume of learning
The volume of learning required for a Bachelor Honours Degree (80) is typically 80 units of study that will be completed in one (1) year of full-time study or equivalent.
Purpose
The Bachelor Honours Degree qualifies individuals to apply a body of knowledge in a specific context to undertake professional work and as a pathway for research and further learning.
Maximum Time
Maximum time to complete a Level 8 Bachelor Honours Degree (80 units) will be four (4) 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 the Bachelor Honours Degree (80) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs  covered by this Schedule.
Principles and Structure
[Secretary’s note: Bachelor Honours Policy to be revised]
PART A – Requirements for the Program Structure of Bachelor Honours Degree
Graduates of this program will have completed a volume of learning equivalent to 80 units of study developed in accordance with the Bachelor Honours Policy that it:
i) can commence at the discretion of the relevant School;
ii) include a minimum of 30 units research component that is:
a) usually at the 4000 level; and
b) includes a minimum 10 units of research methodology or research training usually at the 4000 level;
iii) is designed so that students receive progressive marks, or feedback, for all course assessment items throughout the program; and
iv) does not permit the granting of credit for courses completed as part of a Bachelor degree (level 7) or other qualifications at a level lower than AQF level 8, except where it can be demonstrated that the research methodology has been completed at 3000 level.
PART B – Special Requirements
i) all distinguishable components of the program are to be identified either as courses or within courses. If they are courses, they must have course codes, unit value, a course outline and assessment criteria;
ii) all distinguishable components within courses or the program must be given a mark and students informed of their progressive mark; and
iii) all component/course marks must contribute to the class of honours.
Admission and selection criteria
The admission and selection criteria for each program will be determined by the Faculty and approved by Academic Senate in accordance with the criteria listed below:
PART A – General Admission Criteria
Faculty 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 students have adequate prior knowledge and skills to complete the program successfully;
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 learning outcomes.
PART B – Additional Admission Criteria
Faculty Board will ensure that successful applicants to a Bachelor Honours Degree (80) will have also satisfied the selection criteria prescribed by Academic Senate ensuring that successful applicants have:
i) qualified for the award of a Bachelor degree (level 7); and
ii) completed the requirements of an approved major in the field of study, to be their focus in the Honours program; and
iii) achieved the approved GPA listed in the handbook for the program with a minimum of:
a) Cumulative GPA of 5.0 or higher in the Bachelor degree; or
b) GPA of 5.0 or higher in the approved major; or
c) GPA of 5.0 or higher in 60 units of approved courses at the 3000 level; and
iv) met any supplementary criteria listed in the handbook (such as presentation of portfolio, interview, auditions); and
v) had a written application approved by the relevant Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) responsible for the program.
Specialisation or major
Bachelor Honours Degrees (80) may offer a major that is a sequence of courses in a discipline that has been approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee. Where there is no specific major then the core courses can form a major. Each major:
i) must have at least 60 unique units of course; and
ii) is a minimum of 80 units.
Additional Requirements
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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 8 Bachelor Honours Degree (80), 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 Bachelor Honours Degree will have discipline specific:
i) coherent and advanced knowledge of the underlying principles and concepts in one or more disciplines; and
ii) knowledge of research principles and methods.
ii Skills
Graduates of a Bachelor Honours Degree will have discipline specific:
i) cognitive skills to review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise knowledge to identify and provide solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence;
ii) cognitive and technical skills to demonstrate a broad understanding of a body of knowledge and theoretical concepts with advanced understanding in some areas;
iii) cognitive skills to exercise critical thinking and judgement in developing new understanding;
iv) technical skills to design and use research in a project; and communication skills to present a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas to a variety of audiences.
iii Application of Knowledge and Skills
Graduates of a Bachelor Honours Degree will demonstrate the discipline specific application of knowledge and skills:
i) with initiative and judgement in professional practice and/or scholarship and skills;
ii) to adapt knowledge and skills in diverse contexts;
iii) with responsibility and accountability for own learning and practice and in collaboration with others within broad parameters; and
iv) to plan and execute project work and/or a piece of research and scholarship with some independence.
Qualification for the Award
Completion of the prescribed courses leading to a Bachelors Honours Degree totalling a volume of learning that is typically equivalent to four (4) years, ensuring that the learning outcomes have been achieved for the level. A class of Honours may be awarded as Class I, II/I, II/II, III. Refer to the Bachelor Honours Policy.
Grading of the Award
[Secretary’s note: Bachelor Honours Policy to be reviewed for alignment with Bachelor Honours Degree (80) and to standardise Honours calculations]
The class of Honours awarded for Bachelor Honours Degrees (80) will be determined in accordance with the Bachelor Honours Policy.
Qualification Title
Bachelor of (Field of Study/ Discipline) (Honours)
Pathways - General
The University supports student mobility and the elimination of unfair and unnecessary barriers to our qualifications. Approved entry pathways and admission criteria are described in Admission and Selection Criteria, above.
Pathways - Credit and advanced standing
Credit will not be granted except in accordance with the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy (especially clause 2.1.9). No credit permitted for work completed in Level 7 Bachelor Degree (240 or 320 units) ensuring that the integrity of the program is preserved and the learning outcomes are achieved.
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.
Pathways – combined degrees
A combined degree may be formally approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee (PCAC) and listed in Bachelor Honours Degree (80) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs  or determined on a case by case application in accordance with the Combined Degree Principles described in the Program Management Procedure Manual – Coursework (Clauses 58-66).
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 Bachelor Honours Degree (80 units) cannot be nested (or integrated).
Pathways Exit
There are no approved Exit Degrees from Bachelor Honours Degree (80).
Pathways - Graduate
Graduates of this program may seek admission to a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters Degree (Coursework), Masters Degree (Extended), Masters Degree (Research), Doctoral Degree (Research) or Doctoral Degree (Professional).
Professional Accreditation
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Additional Information
Program information about Bachelor Honours Degrees will clearly identify how the research component is to be assessed and marking finalised, in accordance with the Bachelor Honours Policy (clauses 18, and 19-22).
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Section 4 - Notes  

(15) Other Information about Programs – may be added here. 

(16) 1. 2N+2 where N is equal to the notional duration identified by the Volume of learning.

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Section 5 - Relaxing Provision

(17) 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 Pro Vice-Chancellor may relax any provision of this Schedule.

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Section 6 - Reporting

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

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Section 7 - Appendices

(19) Bachelor Honours Degree (80) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs