View Current

Awards and Graduation Policy

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Audience

(1) This policy applies to all awards at the University.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(2) The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance on University requirements and responsibilities for:

  1. the conferral of awards;
  2. graduation ceremonies;
  3. graduation documents;
  4. academic dress; and
  5. award abbreviations.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Awards

(3) The awards referred to in this policy and its schedules may be conferred and awarded to students who have satisfied the provisions of the relevant rules, schedules and other requirements.

(4) The awards approved are listed in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of this policy.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Eligibility for conferral of an award

(5) A student will be qualified for the conferral of an award when they have satisfied the requirements of their program, unless an allegation of student misconduct has been made against the student.

(6) For coursework programs, the Academic Registrar will ensure that qualification for an award is recorded in the student records system once the student has met the requirements of their program.

(7) For research programs, the Dean of Graduate Research will ensure that program completions are recorded in the student records system for students who have met the requirements of their program.

(8) For the purposes of this policy, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will inform the Academic Registrar of any studentswho have been qualified against whom an allegation of student misconduct has subsequently been made.

(9) The Academic Registrar will prepare a monthly report of students who are qualified to be conferred an award.

(10) Upon conferral, the student becomes a graduate of the University.  Prior to conferral, the student is considered to be qualified and eligible to graduate.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Graduation ceremonies

(11) Graduates will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony.

(12) The Vice-Chancellor approves the dates and locations of each graduation ceremony on the recommendation of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). The Chancellor, or another person appointed by the Council, is the Presiding Officer at the graduation ceremony. The Presiding Officer is authorised by the Council to present graduation documents to graduates at the ceremonies.

(13) Graduates may choose to attend the graduation ceremony, defer attendance to a future graduation ceremony, or request their graduation documents to be issued after the scheduled ceremony if they cannot, or do not wish to, attend.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Graduation documents

(14) Graduation documents issued by the University include a testamur, academic transcript, and Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS).

(15) The academic transcript is an official record of studies undertaken at the University and will indicate the date on which the student was qualified in the program. Students who have qualified may request an academic transcript for a prescribed fee.

(16) The testamur is an official award certificate issued by the University, a testamur is presented at a graduation ceremony. After conferral, graduates may apply for the release of their testamur  for a prescribed fee which may be waived.

(17) The University may issue graduation documents in printed and/or verified digital format.

(18) Graduation documents are not released to a student if:

  1. the student is indebted to the University; or
  2. an allegation of student misconduct has been made against the student.

(19) Graduates who elect to attend a graduation ceremony will receive:

  1. a copy of their academic transcript; and
  2. their testamur, unless they have requested an early release of testamur in which case they will receive a certificate of participation and an academic transcript.

(20) A lost or destroyed testamur can be replaced upon application and where the prescribed fee has been paid or waived.

(21) Additional copies of academic transcripts are available upon request and where the prescribed fee has been paid or waived.

(22) AHEGS statements will be issued electronically after graduation ceremonies and printed copies are available upon request and where the prescribed fee has been paid or waived.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Conferral and reporting of awards

(23) The names of all graduates and the awards conferred will be presented annually to the Academic Senate by the Academic Registrar and will be reported to the Council by the President of Academic Senate for noting.

Top of Page

Section 8 - Academic dress

(24) Members of the University will appear in academic dress according to this policy when attending public occasions convened for academic purposes and on such other occasions as the Council may appoint.

(25) The academic dress for the Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, members of the Council, staff and other authorised persons is as follows:

  1. the Chancellor - the accustomed robes of that office;
  2. the Deputy Chancellor - the accustomed robes of that office, except that on a ceremonial occasion, in the absence of the Chancellor the Chancellor's robes may be worn by the Deputy Chancellor, and in the absence of both the Chancellor and the Deputy Chancellor such robes will be worn by the person appointed by the Council to preside at the occasion;
  3. the Vice-Chancellor - similar to that worn by the Chancellor but decorated in silver;
  4. members of the Council - the habit of their degree or, if any such member is not a graduate, a black Master's gown, with front panels and shoulder cover in cardinal red silk, and a cap as worn by Masters of Arts of the University of Cambridge;
  5. staff of the University who are graduates - the habit of their degree;
  6. any other person not being a graduate, authorised by the Council - a plain black Master's gown and cap as worn by Masters of Arts of the University of Cambridge.

(26) The academic dress for graduates of the University is:

  1. Higher Doctoral Degrees - a festal gown of cardinal red cloth, with a hood of garnet cloth lined with silk cloth of the appropriate colour, and a black velvet bonnet with a gold cord.
  2. Doctors of Philosophy - a gown of garnet cloth faced with silver grey to a width of 10 cm, with a hood of garnet lined with silver grey and a black velvet bonnet with a silver cord.
  3. Professional Doctoral Degrees - a festal masters style gown of dark blue faced with silver grey, with a hood of garnet cloth lined with silver grey and a black velvet bonnet with a silver cord.
  4. Masters - a gown of black cloth, a hood as worn by Masters of Arts of the University of Cambridge lined with the appropriate colour, and a black cap as worn by Masters of Arts of the University of Cambridge.
  5. Master of Philosophy - a gown of black cloth and a black cap as worn by Masters of Arts of the University of Cambridge, and a hood of garnet lined with silver grey.
  6. Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate - the habit of their degree. Postgraduates who hold no former degree will wear a gown of black cloth and a cap of the style worn by Bachelors of Arts of the University of Cambridge.
  7. Bachelors - a gown of black cloth, a black cap and hood of the style worn by Bachelors of Arts of the University of Cambridge lined (unless otherwise indicated) to a depth of 15 cm with the appropriate colour.
  8. Associate Degree - graduates who hold no former degree will wear a gown of black cloth and a cap of the style worn by Bachelor of Arts of the University of Cambridge.
  9. Advanced Diploma and Diploma - graduates who hold no former degree will wear a gown of black cloth and a cap of the style worn by Bachelor of Arts of the University of Cambridge.

(27) The colours of hoods will reflect the discipline content of the award, not the particular program or organisational unit. The following academic dress colours for disciplines specified below have been approved by the University. For information on a specific award, refer to Schedules 1 and Schedule 2:

Natural and Physical Sciences
Topaz
Information Technology
Violet
Engineering and related Technologies
Lapis Lazuli
Architecture and Building
Garnet
Medicine and Health Sciences
Rhodochrosite
Nursing
International Orange
Education
Shamrock
Management, Commerce and Economics
Turquoise
Arts, Psychology, Social Science and Social Work
Pearl
Law
Waratah
Indigenous Studies
Wattle and Waratah
Music
Lilac
Visual Arts, Design and Communication Studies
Wattle

(28) The academic dress for students who have completed enabling programs or other non-award courses and hold no former degree is a gown of black cloth in the Cambridge style as worn by graduates holding the degree of Bachelor.

Top of Page

Section 9 - Protocol for display of abbreviated qualifications

(29) It is recommended that staff and Alumni observe the following conventions and protocols when displaying abbreviated qualifications.

Guideline
Example
List National Honours before all other qualifications
AM, BEnvSc(Newcastle)
List the name of the awarding institution in parentheses and italics
BSPath(Newcastle)
Do not use a space or comma between the name of the degree and the awarding institution
Degree + Institution = BEd(Newcastle)
Clearly identify when a degree is an honorary award
Hon DEd(Newcastle)
Place professional qualifications after academic qualifications
BBus(Newcastle), MAICD
Use a comma after each consecutive degree at the same institution
BA, MBA(Newcastle)
List lowest to highest qualification with awards from the same institution grouped together
BA, PhD(OtherInstitAbbrev.), BDevStud, GCertEM(Newcastle)
Do not use a space between the final degree and the institution
BMed(Newcastle), BA(Hons), PhD(OtherInstitAbbrev.), BSc(Hons)(Newcastle)
List only the Masters degree if both Bachelors and Masters degrees have been awarded in the same area of study and from the same institution.  List both if awarded by different institutions
BA(Newcastle) + MA(Newcastle) = MA(Newcastle); or
 
BA(OtherInstitAbbrev.) + MA(Newcastle) = BA(OtherInstitAbbrev.), MA(Newcastle)
Do not leave any space between the name of the degree and honours
Degree + Honours = BCompSc(Hons)
Use the abbreviations for award and institution name that are preferred by the granting university
 
Jointly awarded degree abbreviations will list both institutions in alphabetic order
BMed(Newcastle /UNE)

(30) The approved abbreviations for awards from the University are provided in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of this policy.

Top of Page

Section 10 - Colours

(31) The colours mentioned in this policy, Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 are defined by:

  1. the British Colour Council Dictionary of Standard Colours, 2nd Edition, 1951 (B.C.C.), or
  2. the Australian Standard 1700S - 1985, Colour Standards for General Purposes (A.S.C.),
  3. The numbers which follow are those by which the dictionary or colour standard identifies the colours approved for the purpose of academic dress:
Cardinal Red
B.C.C. 186
Claret
A.S.C. R55
International Orange
A.S.C. R11
Lapis Lazuli
B.C.C. 150
Lilac
A.S.C. P23
Pearl
B.C.C. 151
Rhodochrosite
B.C.C. 14
Shamrock
A.S.C. G23
Silver Grey
B.C.C. 153
Topaz
B.C.C. 4
Turquoise
B.C.C. 118
Violet
B.C.C. 179 / A.S.C. P13
Waratah
A.S.C. R14
Wattle
A.S.C. Y12