1. Purpose of policy
The following policy provides the broad framework for:
a) accreditation of research related studies that lead to a qualification awarded by the University of the Sunshine Coast
b) approval of changes to or discontinuation of higher degree by research
c) the associated responsibilities.
2. Policy scope and application
This policy applies to all staff of the University of the Sunshine Coast and its decision-making bodies.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of terms for policies and procedures.
4. Policy Statement
4.1 Higher degree by research accreditation and academic quality assurance
4.1.1 Accreditation is a determination made by the Academic Board, under delegation from the Council of the University of the Sunshine Coast, that the academic integrity of a specific higher degree by research has been demonstrated, that the higher degree by research can be offered by the University and that successful completion of the degree is appropriate for award of a University qualification.
4.1.2 Accreditation is thus a primary means by which the University assures the quality and standards of its higher degree by research and associated qualifications.
4.2 Criteria for accreditation
A higher degree by research may be accredited only if it:
a) advances or is consistent with the strategic directions of the University
b) meets the requirements and guidelines for award of a higher education qualification consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
c) is comparable in requirements and learning outcomes to a similar higher degree by research at the same level in a similar field offered by Australian universities
d) is consistent with relevant University policy
e) has been designed, developed, documented and considered in accordance with procedural requirements for higher degree by research accreditation associated with this policy
f) is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Academic Board that the higher degree by research can be adequately resourced and successfully delivered by the University in order to achieve the stated learning outcomes at the AQF level proposed
g) is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Academic Board that there is sufficient student demand for the higher degree by research to warrant investment of University resources in offering the higher degree by research.
4.3 Conditions of accreditation
A higher degree by research, once accredited, continues to be accredited on condition that no changes are made to the degree unless those changes have been progressed and approved consistent with this policy and associated procedures.
4.4 Approval of changes to accredited higher degree by research
4.4.1 Changes to accredited higher degree by research must be designed, developed, documented and progressed in accordance with the procedural requirements associated with this policy.
4.4.2 Changes to a higher degree by research are approved by the Academic Board on the advice of the Research Degrees Committee.
4.4.3 In granting approval for a change to a higher degree by research, the approval authority must be satisfied that the change will not compromise the academic integrity of the higher degree by research concerned.
4.5 Approval for discontinuation of higher degree by research
4.5.1 Proposals for discontinuation of accredited higher degree by research must be developed, documented and progressed in accordance with the procedural requirements associated with this policy.
4.5.2 The Academic Board makes the decision whether to approve:
a) the discontinuation of an accredited higher degree by research
b) specific transition arrangements for students enrolled in any higher degree by research that is to be discontinued.
4.6 Expedited accreditation or approval
4.6.1 Under exceptional circumstances, the accreditation of a higher degree by research or changes to accredited higher degree by research may be expedited.
4.6.2 Proposals for expedited accreditation or approval must be documented and progressed in accordance with the relevant procedural requirements associated with this policy.
The following authorities are delegated under this policy:
|Provide leadership and management of higher degree by research accreditation for the University. Approve expedited accreditation or approval processes to be followed in specific instances.||Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor|
|Provide leadership and management of University-wide higher degree by research.||Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)|
|Provide leadership and management of higher degree by research accreditation at faculty level.||Executive Deans|
|Accredit new higher degree by research. Approve changes to accredited higher degree by research.||Academic Board|
|Provide advice and recommendations to the Academic Board on matters relating to accreditation of higher degree by research.||Research Degrees Committee|