Enrolments and Graduation - Procedures

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Enrolments and Graduation - Procedures

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Approval authority
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Responsible officer
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Designated officer
Director, Student Services and Engagement
First approved
3 September 2009
Last amended
16 June 2016
Effective start date
16 June 2016
Review date
1 July 2018
Status
Active
Related documents
Admissions - Procedures
Admissions, Enrolments and Graduation - Academic Policy
Credit Transfer - Academic Policy
Credit Transfer - Procedures
Grades and Grade Point Average (GPA) - Academic Policy
Monitoring Academic Progress and Exclusion - Academic Policy
Student Complaints and Appeals - Governing Policy
Student Complaints and Appeals - Procedures
Student Fees, Charges and Refunds - Procedures

1. Purpose of procedures

These procedures provide the framework and minimal requirements for determining enrolment in coursework programs at the University. They should be read in conjunction with the Admissions, Enrolments and Graduation - Academic Policy.

2. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures.

3. Academic calendar

3.1 The University publishes an official Academic Calendar which is approved by the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor on the advice of the Director, Student Services and Engagement and published on the University's web site.

3.2 The Academic Calendar specifies the dates of teaching periods, as well as examination periods, vacation periods, public holidays and critical administrative dates, including census dates, dates for application for admission, enrolment and withdrawal.

3.3 Draft Academic Calendars for the following three (3) years will be prepared for Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor approval no later than 30 June of the preceding year. The Academic Calendar for the following year will be marled “Approved” and the following two (2) calendars will be marked as “Provisionally Approved”. All Academic calendars can be altered post publication, subject to approval from the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

3.4. Determining critical dates for adding courses and withdrawing from courses

Cut off time for transactions is always 11.59pm of the day indicated.

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Teaching Period Last Day to Add Courses Census Date Last Day to Withdraw from Courses Without Academic Penalty
Semester 1
Semester 2
Friday, second week of teaching session Earliest possible compliant date as determined by the relevant Commonwealth legislation Friday, ninth week of teaching session
Trimesters Friday, second week of teaching session Earliest possible compliant date as determined by the relevant Commonwealth legislation Friday, ninth week of teaching session
8 weeks duration Friday, first week of teaching session Earliest possible compliant date as determined by the relevant Commonwealth legislation Friday, fifth week of teaching session

4. Communication between the student and the University – mailing address, email communication

4.1 A student is required to provide reliable contact details for correspondence with the University, specifying their USC Student ID, and may check and update their mailing address using USCCentral.

4.2 The University uses email to communicate officially to students. The University issues students with a University email address. Students are responsible for checking their University email address regularly. A notice emailed by the University to a student’s University email address shall be deemed to have been received by the student.

4.3 A student is also required to provide a reliable mailing address for correspondence with the University. Students are responsible for ensuring that the mailing address held in the University's Student System is the correct and current mailing address for them.

5. Enrolment in courses

5.1 Students are required to enrol by the due date as specified in the University Academic Calendar as the due date for enrolment for the teaching period.

5.1.1 Students who enrol after the due date may be charged a late enrolment fee.

5.1.2 The University reserves the right to refuse an enrolment request after the due date.

5.2 A student must enrol in each course they intend to undertake in the teaching period. The set of courses in which the student is enrolled must conform to the requirements of the program to which the student has been admitted.

5.3 A student is not permitted to attend classes, access teaching materials or engage in the teaching activities of the course unless enrolled in that course.

5.4 It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they are correctly enrolled in terms of their program. It is the student's responsibility to check that they are enrolled in each course that they are undertaking.

5.5 Where a course is offered at more than one location or by more than one mode of study (for example, external mode), the student must ensure that they are enrolled in the correct course offering. Students are able to check the courses in which they are enrolled, and also add and drop courses and select the appropriate course offering by means of USCCentral.

5.6 A student's attempt to add a course shall be rejected where:

(a) the last date for adding courses for that teaching period has passed;

(b) the course is not a valid course in terms of the program structure;

(c) the student does not satisfy the requisite conditions for the course (see section 11);

(d) the student is attempting to enrol in courses totalling more than 48 units in the study period.

5.7 When the student's attempt to add a course is rejected, permission to add the course may be granted in exceptional circumstances by the Director, Student Services and Engagement in consultation with the Program Coordinator.

5.8 A Course Coordinator may approve enrolment in a course when the requirements of (c) above would prevent such enrolment.

6. Variation to program requirements

6.1 On the recommendation of the Program Coordinator, the Executive Dean may approve a variation to the standard requirements for the program for an individual student. A variation to program requirements may only be approved:

(a) in response to exceptional circumstances,

(b) if it maintains the academic integrity of the program,

(c) if it is clear that the graduate outcomes of the program are not compromised,

(d) if the alternative courses are equivalent in terms of unit weighting, level and learning objectives,

(e) after ensuring that any professional accreditation requirements continue to be met,

(f) provided that all students are treated consistently and equitably.

6.2 Conditions under which a variation to program requirements may be approved are:

(a) to assist a student to complete their program where a course or courses required to complete the degree requirements are no longer offered or are not offered in the study period such that the student can complete their program in a timely manner,

(b) where the program has undergone approved changes and the student requires a transition arrangement to move between the former program structure and the revised program structure,

(c) where the student has been materially disadvantaged by university decisions on the offering of courses or approved changes to a program structure,

(d) where the student requests permission to take a course or courses for their own career aspirations or interest where such a change does not detract from the graduate outcomes associated with the standard program requirements.

6.3 The extent of the program variation that the Executive Dean may approve is limited to 12.5 per cent of the total program content (for example, one 12 unit course in eight 12 unit courses) except for programs of 48 unit length where the extent of program variation may be 12 units. A program variation supported by the Executive Dean that is above these limits requires the approval of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

7. Adjustment to a student’s enrolment

On the advice of the relevant Program Coordinator, the Director, Student Services and Engagement may require a student to alter the courses in which they are enrolled, or may change the courses in which the student is enrolled, in the following circumstances:

(a) the student has not complied with program requirements; or

(b) the student has not complied with any conditions of enrolment imposed under the Monitoring Academic Progress and Exclusion - Academic Policy; or

(c) the student has not complied with a provision of these procedures.

8. Interruption to Enrolment for Required Medical Leave

Subject to the provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, where the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Students) and the Executive Dean are of the opinion that the state of health of any student gives cause for concern, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) may refer the matter to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor who will take such action as is considered necessary to safeguard the welfare and safety of the student, the University, its staff or students, or any other associated parties.

9. Attendance type (full-time/part-time)

9.1 A student's attendance type is determined by the total units in which the student is enrolled each study period.

9.2 A full-time student normally enrols in 48 units in the study period. To be full-time, the student must be enrolled in at least 36 units (normally three 12 unit courses) in the study period.

9.3 To be part-time, the student must be enrolled in fewer than 36 units in the study period.

10. Course location and enrolments

A student is admitted to a program offered at a particular location and would normally enrol in courses conducted at that location. A student may be permitted to enrol in a course at a different location provided places are available, subject to approval from Manager, Student Business Services.

11. Requisites - pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites

11.1 Students are responsible for planning their enrolment such that they satisfy all pre-requisite, co-requisite and anti-requisite conditions as they proceed through their program.

11.2 A course enrolment may be rejected if requisite conditions are not met.

11.3 In exceptional circumstances, the Course Coordinator may waive a pre-requisite or co-requisite condition on application from a student.

12. Adding and changing courses

12.1 A student may add a course to the set of courses in which they are enrolled up to the last date for adding courses. The last date for adding courses is as set out in the Academic Calendar.

12.2 Changing from one course to another involves dropping a course and adding the replacement course and is subject to the same deadline.

12.3 A student may be given permission by the Course Coordinator to enrol in a course after the last date for adding courses, providing that not more than one week has elapsed from the last date for adding courses and the course coordinator considers that the student has not been disadvantaged by the late enrolment.

12.4 Approval may be given by the Director, Student Services and Engagement or nominee for a student to enrol in a course after the last date for adding courses up to the census date. Approval is only given in exceptional circumstances where the failure to be enrolled in the course was due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, where the student has been attending the course on the understanding that they were enrolled and where confirmation has been provided by the Course Coordinator.

12.5 Enrolling in a course after the census date is not permitted.

13. Applications and approval for cross-institutional study

13.1 Cross-institutional study is available under certain conditions to current students of the University who wish to undertake one or more courses of study at another institution towards their University degree.

13.2 Cross-institutional study is normally permitted only in extenuating circumstances. It is not intended that cross institutional study be undertaken routinely or where alternative study options at USC are available. Exceptions may occur where USC has entered into agreements with other universities or university network in relation to cross-institutional study.

13.3 Students seeking to undertake cross institutional study must apply by lodging an application at the relevant Faculty Office at least two weeks prior to the application closing date of the other institution (the host institution). The application must be accompanied by the cross-institutional admission form from the host institution and full details of the courses for which approval is sought. Applications require the approval of the Program Coordinator.

13.4 Approval for cross-institutional study may only be given in the following circumstances:

(a) the course selected at the other institution must be of equivalent standing and weight to the course being substituted,

(b) the selected course is not offered at the University within an appropriate time frame to enable the student to progress and/or complete their award within normal timelines,

(c) there are sound educational or personal reasons, such as relocation, family, medical or employment commitments which must be verified by supporting documentation,

(d) the selected course is part of an approved student exchange scheme,

(e) there is a formal cross-institutional agreement between the University and another higher education provider.

13.5 Where a student receives approval to undertake cross-institutional study, the student is responsible for applying to the other institution for admission and for providing to the institution the evidence of the University’s approval for the cross-institutional study. The other institution is not obligated to admit the student. The host institution will advise the cross-institutional student of the requirements for fees and charges where applicable.

13.6 International students seeking cross-institutional enrolment are required to consult with USC International to ensure that they comply with Student Visa regulations.

13.7 On completion of each course undertaken by cross-institutional study, the student is responsible for providing an official transcript of results together with a Credit Transfer Application to Student Services and Engagement. On receipt of the official transcript of results, the student's academic record will be updated to grant the student credit for the cross-institutional study.

13.8 The maximum amount of cross-institutional study which may be undertaken for credit towards a University degree is prescribed by the maximum amount of credit transfer specified in the Credit Transfer - Academic Policy and related procedures.

14. Change of program and program transfer

A student is entitled to undertake only the program for which he/she received an offer of admission. A student who is currently enrolled in a program of the University may apply to change / transfer to another program, under certain conditions, as specified in the Admission, Enrolments and Graduation - Academic Policy.

15. Census date and effective enrolment date

15.1 Each course has a designated census date and a student who is enrolled in a course on the census date is deemed to be effectively enrolled and is liable for the tuition fee or the student contribution or any other fee or charge which is applicable to the student under the Student Fees and Charges - Governing Policy.

15.2 Census dates are published in the Academic Calendar.

16. Withdrawal from courses

16.1 A student may withdraw from a course at any time. The effect of such withdrawal on the student's academic record depends on the time within the teaching period that the withdrawal is effected.

(a) Up to the census date: the record of the student's enrolment in the course is dropped from their academic record.

(b) After the census date and up to the final date for withdrawal without academic penalty as specified in the Academic Calendar, the course is included on the student's academic record and annotated as Withdraw without Penalty (WN);

(c) After the final date for withdrawal without academic penalty and up to the last day of teaching as published in the Academic Calendar: the course is included on the student's academic record with a grade of Withdrawn - Fail (WF).

16.2 A student may not withdraw from a course after the last day of the teaching for that course, except upon application and satisfaction of an application for withdrawal due to special circumstances.

16.3 Students who withdraw from a course, where they have failed elements of the course due to academic misconduct or for professional conduct in accordance with the provisions of this or other policies of the University, may have the withdrawal amended to a fail on their student Academic Record.

17. Special circumstances accompanying withdrawal from a course

17.1 When a student withdraws from a course due to special circumstances, the student may request certain concessions depending on the date of withdrawal.

(a) When the withdrawal is after the census date for Domestic students or the Fee due date for International students, the student may request a refund of the student contribution or tuition fee, where applicable (refer to Student Fees and Charges - Governing Policy).

(b) When the withdrawal is after the final date for withdrawal without academic penalty, the student may request withdrawal without academic penalty, that is, no fail grade.

17.2 Special circumstances are defined as circumstances applying to the student that:

(a) are beyond the student’s control; and

(b) do not make their full impact on the student until on or after the census date for the course; and

(c) make it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements for the course during the period in which the student undertook or was to undertake the course.

17.3 The special circumstances under which concessions to a student may be approved are consistent with the requirements of the Commonwealth Government as defined within the Higher Education Funding (HEFA) Act and the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act.

18. Process for withdrawal from a course due to special circumstances

18.1. A request for withdrawal due to special circumstances must be accompanied by appropriate documentary evidence and must be lodged with Student Services and Engagement within one year of the date the course was dropped or, if the course was not dropped, then within one year of the last day of teaching for the course.

18.2. Requests for withdrawal without academic penalty, and refund of student contribution or tuition fee, are decided by the Manager, Student Business Services who applies the criteria set out for a withdrawal due to special circumstances.

18.3. Students will be notified of the outcome of their request for withdrawal due to special circumstances within four weeks of lodging the request, provided appropriate documentary evidence accompanies the request. Where the request is refused, the student will be given the reason.

18.4. The Manager, Student Business Services may consider requests for withdrawal due to special circumstances which are lodged after the due date specified above, where the student presents a reasonable case why the request was not lodged by the due date. Lack of awareness of the provisions of this policy does not constitute a reasonable case.

18.5. A student whose request for withdrawal without academic penalty and/or refund of student contribution or tuition fee is refused may request a review of the decision. The review request must be in writing, must be received no later than four weeks from the notification of the outcome of their request and must address the reason given for the refusal. The availability of complaints and appeals processes does not remove an international student’s right to take action under Australia’s consumer protection laws.

18.6. The Director, Student Services and Engagement is the designated review officer for the purpose of reviewing decisions made relating to the Higher Education Support Amendment (No.1) Act 2011.

18.7. At the discretion of the Director, Student Services and Engagement, where a student makes a second request for withdrawal due to special circumstances on medical grounds, the student may be prevented from subsequent enrolment, unless the student is able to present a medical certificate supporting their fitness for study.

19. Discontinuation, withdrawal from program

19.1 A student may discontinue their enrolment in their program at any time. In withdrawing from their program, the student is automatically withdrawn from all courses and is regarded as having discontinued and is no longer enrolled at the University. The provisions of the section relating to Withdrawal of Courses will still apply to the courses in which the student was enrolled.

19.2 A student who has discontinued their enrolment may still be excluded under the provisions of the Monitoring Academic Progress and Exclusion - Academic Policy.

20. Leave of Absence

20.1 A student, who has had an enrolment in at least one study period per half calendar year and who wishes to take a break from study, must apply to take a Leave of Absence. Leave of Absence can be approved by the Manager, Student Business Services (or delegate), for up to two successive Study Periods (that is 12 months duration), in special circumstances students may apply for an additional period of leave of absence of up to two Study Periods (that is for a maximum of 2 years absence). During a break from study students still remain enrolled in their program.

20.2 International Students wishing to take any break from their studies must contact USC International to determine whether there are any restrictions or conditions which would prevent a break in studies from being permitted.

21. Absence Without Leave

A student who is not enrolled for a Study Period (that is, for half a calendar year) and who has not been approved for Leave of Absence will be advised in writing of their ‘Absence Without Leave status. A student who does not then enrol or have approved leave of absence in the following Study Period (that is, another half calendar year making it one complete calendar year of non-enrolment) will have their program enrolment discontinued.

22. Readmission

22.1 A student who has discontinued enrolment in a program must reapply for admission to the University in accordance with the Admissions - Procedures. They may be automatically readmitted to the same program except in the following cases:

(a) the student has been excluded from the program (refer to Monitoring Academic Progress and Exclusion – Procedures);

(b) the student is not able to complete the program within the maximum period for completing the program (refer section 23);

(c) the program is no longer offered or is being phased out such that the courses the student needs to take to complete the program requirements are no longer available.

22.2 A student readmitted to a program may, at the discretion of the Program Coordinator, be required to repeat courses which have been completed prior to the interruption of the program, and/or to undertake additional work in order to demonstrate current competencies or to comply with current program requirements.

23. Maximum time for completion of program

The maximum period for satisfying the requirements for completion of a program is shown below.

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Program Level Full time equivalent study Maximum Time
Coursework Masters, comprising two years full-time study or equivalent 2 years 6 years
Coursework Masters, comprising one and a half years of full-time study or equivalent 1.5 years 5 years
Graduate Diploma 1 years 4 years
Graduate Certificate .5 years 2 years
Bachelor degree 3 years 10 years
Bachelor degree 4 years 10 years
Bachelor Honours degree (Embedded Four Year) 4 years 10 years
Bachelor Honours degree (Embedded Differentiated Pathway) 4 years 10 years (including three years for the Differentiated Pathway)
Bachelor Honours degree (End-on) 1 year 3 years
Associate degree 2 years 7 years

The maximum time refers to elapsed calendar years starting from the year in which credit was first achieved in the program and is inclusive of periods of interruption, discontinuation or exclusion.

24. Extension of maximum time for completion

24.1 On application from the student, the Program Coordinator may grant an extension of the maximum period for completion of a program where the Program Coordinator is satisfied that exceptional circumstances affected the student's progress in the program and that the student has an expectation of completing the program within a reasonable period.

24.2 In order to ensure that the student’s knowledge and skills are up to date and comparable to other graduates, the Program Coordinator may revoke credit for courses and require the student to repeat courses or substitute courses.

24.3 When approving an extension, the Program Coordinator must specify the study program the student is required to complete and the period of extension.

25. Conferral of Awards

25.1 Awards are conferred by the Chairperson of Academic Board under delegated authority from Council.

25.2 The Director, Student Services and Engagement (or delegate) or, in the case of higher degrees by research, the Research Degrees Committee, recommends to the Chairperson of Academic Board those students who have completed the requirements of their program and who are eligible to have their award conferred.

25.3 The Chairperson of the Academic Board will provide a report to Council, annually, on all awards conferred.

25.4 The date of conferral is normally the date of the next graduation ceremony unless a graduand can provide documentary evidence that early conferral is required. The date of early conferral will be the date of confirmation by the Academic Board.

25.6 In those circumstances where the conferral of an award is required for a student to be admitted to a professional body, the University will provide the professional body with a list of those students eligible for conferral as soon as possible after their eligibility to graduate has been confirmed by the Executive Dean.

25.7 Students who have outstanding fees or payments due to the University may not have their award conferred until such time as the outstanding debts are discharged.

26. Posthumous and aegrotat awards

26.1 On the recommendation of the Executive Dean, or the Research Degrees Committee, the University may, under certain circumstances, confer a posthumous or aegrotat award.

26.2 A posthumous or aegrotat award may be awarded under the following conditions:

(a) the student has died or suffered an incapacitating illness or injury that will prevent further study; and

(b) the student was enrolled in the program at the time of illness, injury or death; and

(c) the student has not more than one year of full-time study or equivalent to complete to satisfy the requirements for graduation; and

(d) the Executive Dean is of the opinion that the student was likely to have successfully completed the requirements for graduation.

26.3 Where the student was undertaking a higher degree by research at the time of illness, injury or death, the Research Degrees Committee may recommend the award of a posthumous or aegrotat degree where the student had completed sufficient research work to warrant the award. The process in reaching such a recommendation involves two stages. Firstly, the evidence is reviewed by an assessor who is not the supervisor or associate supervisor. Where the assessor is of the view that there is sufficient tangible evidence to support an examination process, the case is progressed to the second stage, which involves the Principal Supervisor presenting the student’s work for assessment by a normal examination process, together with supplementary supporting information where appropriate.

26.4 The name of a student awarded a posthumous award will appear in the graduation booklet unless requested otherwise by the next of kin.

27. Testamurs

27.1 A testamur is a legal document issued under the seal of the University. It is issued in original form once only for each specific award to the student.

27.2 Students who are eligible to graduate will receive their testamurs at the next graduation ceremony. However, in some circumstances a graduand, or group of graduands, may apply to receive their testamurs prior to the graduation ceremony.

27.3 A testamur will only be made available prior to the graduation ceremony at which it would normally be presented, where the graduand provides documentary evidence that the testamur is required for employment, work visa, admission to further study, or other reasons deemed appropriate by the Director, Student Services and Engagement, and where documentation that the graduand has completed all program requirements is not sufficient for such purposes.

27.4 The University maintains official records of all testamurs issued.

27.5 A replacement testamur will be issued on application by a graduate for a fee determined by the Director, Student Services and Engagement.

28. Graduation ceremonies

28.1 Students will normally have their testamur presented at the first scheduled graduation ceremony following the completion of their award.

28.2 Graduands who do not attend the graduation ceremony will be sent their testamurs within ten working days of the ceremony.

28.3 In exceptional circumstances a student may apply to the Director, Student Services and Engagement to defer the presentation of their testamur to the next scheduled ceremony. The next scheduled ceremony will then become the conferral date of that student’s award. Deferral cannot be requested beyond the next scheduled graduation ceremony.

29. Rescission of awards

In exceptional circumstances the University may rescind an award that has been conferred.

The circumstances include, but are not limited to, situations in which:

(a) an administrative error has resulted in the conferral of an award for which the student was not eligible;

(b) the student is in breach of a policy of the University where rescission of an award is a valid penalty for such a breach.

The decision to rescind the conferral of an award is made by Council on the recommendation of the Chairperson of Academic Board.

30. Grievance with a decision

A student who is dissatisfied with a decision made on their case under the provisions of these procedures may lodge a complaint or appeal consistent with the Student Complaints and Appeals – Governing Policy and Student Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

END

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