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Bachelor Honours Degree (320) 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 (320) 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 the Bachelor Honours Degree (320) - 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 (320) - 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 (320) - 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 Dean (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 Dean (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 (320)

(14) This table describes an AQF level 8 program leading to the award of Bachelor Honours Degrees (320) under the Governance Rule Clause 48.

Volume of learning
The volume of learning required for a Bachelor Honours Degree (320) is typically 320 units of study that will be completed in four (4) 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 (320) will be ten (10) 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 Bachelor Honours Degree (320) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs covered by this Schedule.
Principles and Structure
[Secretary’s note: Bachelor Honours Policy to be reviewed for alignment with Bachelor Honours Degree (320) and to standardise Honours calculations]
PART A – Requirements for the Program Structure of Bachelor Honours Degree
Graduates of this program will have completed a volume of equivalent to 320 units of study that have been developed in accordance with the Bachelor Honours Policy, including the completion of:
i) either
a. a major of a minimum of 80 units, which consists of at least 60 unique units of compulsory and/or directed courses with a least 40 units at the 4000 level; or
b. a 60 unit sequence of core courses with at least 40 units at the 4000 level; and
ii) of a minimum of 40 units and no more than 120 units at the 1000 level in the program; and
iii) at least 40 units at each level at the 2000 level and above in the program; and
iv) at least 10 units of electives; and
v) a research component which will include:
a. a minimum of 10 units of research related courses (or the equivalent in multiple courses) at the 3000 level orhigher; and
b. a minimum of 20 units of research related activities at the 4000 level in the discipline being studied.
 
PART B – Requirements for the grading of Bachelor Honours Degrees (320)
The Bachelor Honours Program will be structured to either:
i) allow all students in a program to be eligible for the Honours grades described in  Grading of the Award (Part A) in this table; or,
ii) offer high performing students selected admission into graded Honours stream (see Grading of the Award, below) on the basis of a predetermined and publicised level of performance in specified courses in the program. Students who do not complete the graded Honours stream will be eligible only for ungraded Honours.
Individual program requirements will be described in the program handbook. This structure will be varied only in response to particular articulation agreements or external requirements as approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee (PCAC).
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 – Admission Criteria and Pathways
Faculty admission and selection criteria should specifically address the alternative pathways into the Bachelor Honours Degree (320) and maximise the credit that can be granted for formal and non-formal learning already undertaken. This may include pathways provided by approved nested programs and recognised prior learning.
 
PART B – 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 C – Additional Admission Criteria
Additional Faculty admission and selection criteria may include requirements for:
i) prior completion of an approved nested level 5 or level 6 or level 7 qualification, (recognised under Pathways – nested or integrated qualifications, below); and/or
ii) prior completion of such other work as prescribed by the Faculty Board that may be recognised under Pathways – Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), below; and/or
iii) completion of interviews, auditions or portfolios; and/or
iv) possession of other qualifications, or professional experience, or particular attributes that are required to ensure successful completion.
Specialisation or major
Bachelor Honours Degrees (320) 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
Any approved compulsory program components (CPC) or prerequisites approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee on the recommendation of the relevant Faculty 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 8 Bachelor Honours Degree, 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 a 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
v) 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 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 or ungraded. Refer to the Bachelor Honours Policy
Grading of the Award
[Secretary’s note: This section needs to be reviewed for alignment with Bachelor Honours Degree (80) and to standardise Honours calculations. Bachelor Honours Policy is to be updated to reflect inclusions in schedule.]
PART A: The grading of the award
The grading of the award is predetermined by the Program Principles and Structure (see Principles and Structure (Part B), above) and will either be conferred as either:
i) an ungraded Bachelor Honours degree; or
ii) a graded Bachelor Honours degree in accordance with criteria described in the Bachelor Honours Policy and ensuring that 30 units of research have been completed at the 4000 level.
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
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, the volume of learning is satisfied 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 (320) - 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 (Clause 2.3).
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 (320) may be nested (or integrated) with the following qualifications
- Diploma (level 5);
- Associate Degree (level 6); and
- Bachelor Degree (level 7).
Approved qualifications will be listed in Bachelor Honours Degree (320) - 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 Pro Vice-Chancellor has approved the application.
Approved Exit awards from Bachelor Honours Degrees (320) will be listed in Bachelor Honours Degree (320) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs.
Pathways - Graduate
Graduates of this program may seek admission to a Masters Degree (coursework) or a Masters Degree (Extended).
Professional Accreditation
Bachelor Honours Degrees may be accredited by professional associations.
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 5.3 and 5.4).
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Section 4 - Notes

Other Information about Programs – may be added here.

(15) 2N+2 where N is equal to the notional duration identified by the Volume of learning.

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Section 5 - Relaxing Provision

(16) 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

(17) 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 

(18) Bachelor Honours Degree (320) - Approved AQF Compliant Programs

(19) Bachelor Honours Degree (320) - Replaced Schedules (Level 8)