1. Purpose of procedures
1.1 These procedures establish a consistent approach to the titles and abbreviations for university qualifications as part of curriculum accreditation and approval processes. The intent is to also guide the allocation and style of post nominals for use by graduates of University of the Sunshine Coast award programs.
2. Scope and application
2.1 Non-award programs are not covered by these procedures.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to these procedures and are critical to its effectiveness:
The Curriculum Support Unit refers to the relevant staff within the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CSALT) who are responsible for supporting and facilitating the program accreditation and course approval process.
Post nominals are the letters placed after a person’s name to indicate education qualifications, title of office, decoration or honour.
3. Abbreviations for University Qualifications
3.1. A register of abbreviations for university qualifications will be maintained by the Curriculum Support Unit as part of its accreditation documentation.
3.2. The register contains the program code, the official name of a qualification awarded for a program (including a higher degree by research), together with its official abbreviation, approved either as part of accreditation or as a subsequent change to the original name.
3.3. The register will be updated following the accreditation of any new program or any approved change to the original name.
3.4. The Curriculum Support Unit advises Student Services and Engagement of any new program proposals or any approved change to an existing program name together with the official abbreviation for input into the University’s student information system PeopleSoft.
3.5 An alphabetical list of the standard abbreviated form of each word used in official abbreviations to date is maintained by the Curriculum Support Unit.
3.6 The following protocols must be observed when determining award abbreviations:
(a) where an Australian professional or academic body or similar has specified that a particular abbreviation should be used, that abbreviation should be adopted;
(b) the abbreviation for a new qualification must be consistent with any similar abbreviation included in the abbreviations lists, unless special conventions such as in (a) above apply; and
(c) where no precedent can be found, an abbreviation should be adopted that minimises potential confusion for students, employers and others, and reflects general use of abbreviations used for words in the qualification.
4. Use of post nominals
4.1 Post nominals are to be consistent with the register of abbreviations for university qualifications maintained by the Curriculum Support Unit.
4.2 Professional qualifications or memberships are placed after academic qualifications, eg BA PhD Sunshine Coast, MACS (Snr).
4.3 The university qualifications are to be indicated in the order that they have been conferred.
4.4 The preferred abbreviation for the University is ‘Sunshine Coast’, not USC, and may be placed after the award abbreviation in italics.
4.5 No post nominals are prescribed for Honorary Awards.
4.6 For jointly conferred academic awards, agreements with the other institutions are to be in place for the use of appropriate post nominals.
5. Titles and abbreviations of award programs
5.1 Title and abbreviations used for award programs are to be consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
Diploma in Languages
Associate Degree in Science
Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Business
Bachelor of Laws#
Bachelor Honours Degree
B … (Hons)
Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) (Honours)
Graduate Certificate in Management
Graduate Diploma in Psychology
Master of Education
Master of Creative Arts
Master of Business by Research
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Creative Arts
# Bachelor of Law uses LLB, by convention.
* AQF specifies the following exceptions for Extended Masters:
i The use of the title 'Juris Doctor' is permitted for a Masters Degree (Extended) for legal practice.
ii. The use of the title 'Doctor of ...' is permitted for a Masters Degree (Extended) for five professions only: medical practice; physiotherapy; dentistry; optometry and veterinary practice.
(Staff access only – Available from the Staff Intranet MyUSC):
Appendix 1 - Register of abbreviations for university qualifications
Appendix 2 - Alphabetical list of the standard abbreviated form of words used in official abbreviations