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Associate Degree - 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 Associate Degree 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 describes the role of Academic Senate in approving and monitoring programs.

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

(5) This table describes an AQF level 6 program leading to the award of Associate Degree under the Governance Rule.

Volume of learning
The volume of learning required for an Associate Degree is typically 160 units of study that will be completed in two (2) years of full-time study or equivalent.
The Associate Degree qualifies individuals to apply broad technical and theoretical knowledge of a specific area or a broad field of work and learning to undertake paraprofessional work or highly skilled work, and as a pathway for further learning.
Maximum Time
Maximum time to complete a Level 6 Associate Degree will be six 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 Associate Degree - Approved AQF Compliant Programs covered by this Schedule.
Principles and Structure
Graduates of this program will have completed 160 units of study that:
i)  requires the completion of a 40 unit sequence of core courses; and
ii) includes at least 10 units of electives.
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
Admission criteria will:
i)  be appropriate for an AQF Level 6 and its required learning outcomes;
ii) take into account external benchmarks; and
iii)ensure that students have adequate prior knowledge and skills to complete the program successfully.
English language entry requirements will be set to ensure that students who are admitted will be competent in the English language to participate effectively in the program and achieve the learning outcomes (please see English Language Proficiency Policy).
The minimum admission and selection criteria for each program are set by the relevant College and approved by Academic Senate. This may include special admission procedures and selection criteria.
Specialisation or Major
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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 and as prescribed by the AQF and are expressed in this Schedule as knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills.
i Knowledge
Graduates of an Associate Degree will have discipline specific broad theoretical and technical knowledge with some depth in the underlying principles and concepts in one or more disciplines.
ii Skills
Graduates of an Associate Degree will have:
i)   cognitive skills to identify, analyse, and evaluate information and concepts from a range of sources;
ii)  cognitive, technical, and creative thinking skills to demonstrate a broad understanding of knowledge and ideas with some depth in a discipline;
iii) cognitive, communication, and analytical skills to interpret and transmit responses to sometimes complex problems; and
iv)  communication skills to make a clear and coherent presentation of knowledge and ideas with some intellectual independence.
iii Application of Knowledge and Skills
Graduates of an Associate Degree will apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, judgement, and defined responsibility:
i)   with initiative and judgement in planning, problem solving and decision making in paraprofessional practice;
ii)  to adapt knowledge and skills in a range of contexts and/or for further studies in one or more disciplines;
iii) to adapt fundamental principles, concepts, and techniques to known and unknown situations; and
iv)  with responsibility and accountability for own learning and work and in collaboration with others within broad parameters.
Qualification for the Award
Completion of the prescribed courses leading to an Associate Degree totalling not less than 160 units.
Grading of the Award
The award will be conferred as an ordinary award.
Qualification Title
Associate Degree (Field of Study)
Pathways - General
Our pathways for students have been developed in accordance with the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy supporting student mobility and eliminating unfair and unnecessary barriers to our qualifications. Approved entry pathways are described in Admission and Selection Criteria, above.
Pathways – Credit and Advanced Standing
Credit is granted in accordance with the AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy (especially clause 2.1.9) to a maximum of 80 units, ensuring that the integrity of the program is preserved and the learning outcomes are achieved.
Pathways - 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. Please refer to Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.
Pathways – Combined Degrees
A combined degree may be formally approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee (PCAC) and listed in the Associate Degree - Approved AQF Compliant Programs or determined on a case by case application in accordance with the Combined Program elements of the Program Structure Policy described in 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.
An Associate Degree may be nested (or integrated) with the following qualifications
- Diploma (level 5); and
- Bachelor Degree (level 7).
Approved qualifications will be listed in the Associate Degree - Approved AQF Compliant Programs.
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 approved exit award;
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 will be noted in the Associate Degree - Approved AQF Compliant Programs of this Schedule.
Pathways - Graduate
Graduates of this program may seek admission to a Bachelor Degree or a Bachelor Honours Degree.
Professional Accreditation
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Additional Information
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Section 3 - Notes

(6) Other Information about Programs – may be added here. 1. 2N+2 where N is equal to the notional duration identified by the Volume of learning.

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Section 4 - Relaxing Provision

(7) 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 5 - Reporting

(8) 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 6 - Appendices 

(9) Associate Degree - Approved AQF Compliant Programs