1. Purpose of procedures
1.1 These procedures provide details on the selection criteria and basis for the awarding of University medals and commendations, which recognise and formally acknowledge those graduates who have demonstrated the highest academic levels of achievement in their studies.
2 Scope and application
2.1 These procedures apply to staff administrating the awards and to eligible students as outlined in each of the individual award eligibility criteria.
Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures.
4. Medals for Academic Excellence and University Commendations for Academic Excellence
4.1 This section applies to Awards of Academic Excellence, Medals for Academic Excellence and University Commendations for Academic Excellence.
4.2 Eligibility criteria
4.2.1 These medals and commendations are awarded to students graduating from an undergraduate award program (other than an End-on Bachelor Honours Degree) or a postgraduate coursework award program. Graduates of End-on Bachelor Honours Degrees and Higher Degrees by Research are not eligible for these awards.
4.2.2 Medals and Commendations are awarded in recognition of exceptional academic excellence and are normally based on the graduating student’s final Program Grade Point Average (GPA), as calculated in accordance with the Grades and Grade Point Average (GPA) – Academic Policy. Table 1 sets out the range of GPA eligibility criteria.
Table 1. GPA Eligibility Criteria for Award of Medals and Commendations
Program Grade Point Average (GPA)
University Medal for Academic Excellence
6.80 or higher
Medal for Academic Excellence
6.60 to 6.79
University Commendation for Academic Excellence
6.0 or higher*
University Commendation for Academic Excellence (Postgraduate)
6.6 or higher
* Students who qualify for a Medal do not receive a University Commendation as well.
4.2.3 Students graduating from a program, including a double degree, will be considered for only one medal or commendation, whichever is the highest award for which they are eligible.
4.3 Eligibility criteria regarding quantum of study at UniSC
4.3.1 To be eligible for consideration for a University Medal for Academic Excellence or a Medal for Academic Excellence, undergraduate students must have undertaken at least 192 units of study at this University. Students who do not meet these criteria will be considered for a University Commendation for Academic Excellence.
4.3.2 Undergraduate students who are eligible for consideration for a University Commendation based on their final Program GPA, but who have completed less than 192 units of study at this University, may have their performance in any previous studies awarded as credit taken into account.
4.3.3 To be eligible for consideration for a University Commendation for Academic Excellence (Postgraduate), postgraduate students must have undertaken at least 96 units of study at this University.
4.4 Eligibility of Credit Transfer
4.4.1 Undergraduate students who are eligible for consideration for a University Commendation based on their Program GPA, but who have completed less than 192 units of study at this University, will have their overall Grade Point Average (GPA) recalculated taking into account any credit awarded for previous studies.
4.4.2 If any credit transfer granted for previous studies cannot, for whatever reason, be equated to a UniSC standard grade, or credit has been awarded on the basis of Recommended Prior Learning, such that it is not possible to add up to 192 units, then a commendation will not be awarded.
4.5.1 The recipients of commendations and medals will be determined by the Academic Registrar and Director, Student Services, in accordance with these procedures, and will be advised to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic). Details of students to be awarded will also be forwarded to each Head of School.
4.5.2 Determination of the awards will be made prior to each Graduation Ceremony and will include consideration of all students who have been graduated since the previous Graduation Ceremony.
5.6.1 A notation stating that a commendation or medal has been awarded will be included on the recipient’s statement of academic record.
5.6.2 The award of a commendation or medal will be notified to Academic Board and will be acknowledged at the appropriate Graduation Ceremony.
5. Award of Chancellor’s Medal
5.1 This section applies to Award of Chancellor’s Medal.
5.2 Chancellor’s Medals, which recognise outstanding achievement by graduates of the University who have:
(a) made a distinguished contribution to the local or wider community and/or
(b) provided outstanding support and service to members of the University community; and
(c) achieved a high level of academic performance throughout their program of study at the University.
5.3 Eligibility criteria
5.3.1 Chancellor’s Medals are awarded in recognition of academic excellence together with exceptional community service.
5.3.2 Nominees must meet the following criteria:
(a) clearly demonstrates a distinguished contribution to University life and / or the community which is above and beyond any requirements of their award program;
(b) achieved a high level of academic performance. Graduating coursework students would generally need to achieve a Program grade point average (GPA) of no less than 6.0 to be considered. Bachelor Honours students with a classification of IIA or higher, as well as Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students may also be eligible to be considered;
(c) has completed at least two thirds of their graduating program of study at the University; and
(d) not previously been awarded a Chancellor's Medal.
5.3.3 A recipient of the Chancellor's Medal is also eligible for the award of a University Medal for Academic Excellence or Medal for Academic Excellence.
5.4.1 At the end of each Study Period, after results have been finalised, the Academic Registrar and Director, Student Services will call for nominations for the award of a Chancellor's Medal.
5.4.2 Nominations for the Chancellor's Medal may be made by any staff member of the University, by another student or by a member of UniSC Alumni. A student cannot self-nominate.
5.4.3 A list of all graduating students will be forwarded to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Heads of School. This list will consist of graduates with:
(a) a Program GPA of at least 6.0; or
(b) Honours IIA or higher; or
(c) completed HDR students.
5.4.4 The Heads of School in conjunction with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) are responsible for ensuring that strong nominees for this award are identified and appropriate nominations made within the timeframe.
5.4.5 Nominations may be submitted for both undergraduate and postgraduate graduating students.
5.4.6 Nominations will require information to be provided by the nominator and by the nominee. It will be the nominator's responsibility to ensure that sufficient detail is provided for the selection panel to make an informed decision.
5.5.1 Once all nominations have been received an initial check will be made to ensure all eligibility criteria have been met. If any nominations do not meet the academic criteria, but exceptional circumstances have been indicated, they will be brought to the attention of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for confirmation of their inclusion in the selection process.
5.5.2 The selection process will allow for nominations for undergraduate and postgraduate graduating students to be considered as separate student groups to facilitate the making of award/s in both the undergraduate and postgraduate categories where warranted.
5.5.3 The recipients of the Chancellor's Medal will be determined on behalf of the University Council by a selection panel consisting of:
(a) the Chancellor (Chairperson);
(b) the Vice-Chancellor and President;
(c) the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); and
(d) an elected student member of Council.
5.5.4 If in any year an elected student member of Council is unable to participate in the work of the Selection Panel, the student representative will be an elected student member of Academic Board.
5.5.5 A meeting of the Selection Panel will be called promptly following the end of the Study Period, allowing enough time to enable a nominee to be identified and advised of their award prior to the next scheduled Graduation Ceremony.
5.6.1 A letter will be prepared on behalf of the Chancellor advising the nominee/s of their successful selection. This letter will also include an invitation for the successful nominee/s to address the guests at the Graduation Ceremony on behalf of all graduands.
5.6.2 If a Graduation Ceremony is held where more than one Chancellor's Medal is due to be awarded each medallist will be contacted and asked whether they would like to share the role of addressing the guests on behalf of the graduands or determine a sole speaker between themselves.
5.6.3 If a Graduation Ceremony is held where there is no Chancellor's Medallist or the selected Chancellor's Medallist indicates that they do not wish to speak, then a University Medallist will be asked to give the address on behalf of all graduands.
6. Dean, Graduate Research Award for Outstanding Thesis
6.1 This section applies to the Dean, Graduate Research Award for Outstanding Thesis.
6.2 Eligibility criteria
6.2.1 To be eligible for the Dean, Graduate Research Award for Outstanding Thesis the candidate must have been conferred from a UniSC HDR program. Selections will be made to coincide operationally with appropriate graduation ceremonies.
6.3.1 To ensure the continued neutrality and integrity of the award nominations are only able to be completed by the external examiners who examined the thesis. Two examiner nominations will be given preference. Single examiner nomination may also be considered.
6.3.2 For nomination it is the opinion of external examiners that the thesis makes an outstanding contribution to its field through:
(a) outstanding contribution to research area; and/or
(b) excellence in research practice.
6.4 Selection process
6.4.1 Preference is given to original theses that are Awarded. Theses Award with Revisions may also be considered.
6.4.2 The candidates’ time completing the thesis will be considered to ensure the completion time is appropriate to fit standards of award.
6.4.3 The Dean, Graduate Research will be provided with a short list of nominated eligible candidates for consideration. Normally up to 10 percent of HDR conferrals from the preceding year is quota for the Dean, Graduate Research Award for Outstanding Thesis.
6.4.4 The Dean, Graduate Research will recommend the successful recipients to the approval authority, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
6.5.1 Candidates will be presented with a formal certificate in recognition of receiving the Outstanding Thesis award.
6.5.2 The Award will be notified to Academic Board and will be acknowledged at the appropriate Graduation Ceremony.
7. Student Grievances
7.1 There are no internal student grievance, review, or appeal avenues about a decision to award, or not award, a University commendation or medal.