Coursework Curriculum - Procedures | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Coursework Curriculum - Procedures

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Approval authority
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible Executive member
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Designated officer
Director, Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching
First approved
16 August 2016
Last amended
25 September 2023
Review date
6 March 2028
Related documents
Linked documents
Superseded documents
  • Coursework Program and Awards - Academic Policy
  • Undergraduate Programs and Awards - Procedures
  • Postgraduate Programs and Awards - Procedures
Related legislation / standards
  • Australian Qualifications Framework
  • Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (Cth)
  • National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018

1. Purpose of procedures

1.1 These procedures outline the processes to design, deliver, evaluate and improve the University’s coursework curriculum and aligns with the Coursework Curriculum – Academic Policy.

2. Procedure scope and application

2.1 These procedures apply to all coursework curriculum including higher education award programs, courses, study components, and non-award enabling programs and bridging courses

2.2 These procedures exclude higher degrees by research (HDR) programs.

2.3 The University provides the following staff implementation guides for curriculum policy and procedures relating to the curriculum lifecycle of curriculum design, delivery, evaluation and improvement in the learning and teaching area on MyUniSC.

3. Definitions

Refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for definitions as they specifically relate to policy documents.

Articulation is a process that involves linking one qualification, commonly but not always, to another higher level qualification to establish content relationships and equivalence between them, making a judgment about any credit outcomes between the linked qualifications, and setting out the agreed credit outcomes and the defined pathway between the linked qualifications in a documented agreement which is publicly available

Blended learning mode is where a course is delivered to take advantage of the fusion of educational technologies, virtual environments and teaching in physical spaces. Students attend a UniSC campus or placement site for some component of the course. The mode of delivery will include regular or intensive on-campus components, for example, to participate in laboratory sessions. Tutorials will normally be on-campus. The mix of synchronous/asynchronous online learning material and activities on-campus and via web-based technologies will vary from course to course.

Blended mode programs are those in which the majority of the program is delivered in blended learning mode with a maximum of twenty-five per cent of the total program unit value delivered in online mode only. This enables International students on a student visa to undertake a program of study in a blended mode in accordance with the requirements of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, Part C, Section 9.

Course is a discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single teaching session, in which the student enrols, and on completion of which the student is awarded a grade. A course will be categorised as online or blended learning on the basis of the dominant mode of delivery.

Curriculum is the architecture of the body of knowledge, skills and applications students engage with across the entire suite of learning activities and experiences to successfully complete a program.

Curriculum design is a process of intentionally crafting the architecture of the entire suite of learning activities and experiences that a student will undertake to successfully complete a program, study component or course to achieve the stated learning outcomes.

Dissertation is an extended body of work which documents an investigation by the student and contributes significantly towards a final assessment for a degree.

Exemption is the waiver of the requirement to complete a specific required course. It does not grant any credit towards the overall number of units required to complete the program.

Graduate attributes are the qualities of being and thinking that the University values and agrees its graduates should exhibit on completion of their program.

Inherent academic requirements (IARs) of a program are those fundamental skills, capabilities and knowledge which students must be able to demonstrate in order to achieve the learning outcomes of the program without compromising the academic integrity of that program.

Integrated qualifications are purposely designed qualifications that enable explicit articulation pathways and encompass more than one Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level, qualification type or education and training sector.

Learning Management System (LMS) is the teaching and learning technology ecosystem which provides a range of tools and services to manage online teacher and student interactions. It encourages collaboration and gives access to learning materials and other content, including tools to develop and track assessments, as well as having reporting and analytics capabilities.

Nested qualifications are qualifications that include articulated arrangements from a lower level qualification

into a higher level qualification to enable multiple entry and exit points.

Non-award enabling program is offered by the University for which no higher education award is conferred upon successful completion and is a non Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification.


Non-award bridging course is non-award and not recognised as providing credit towards a higher education award.

Online mode programs are those in which all courses are available through web-based technologies using online learning materials. There is no requirement for a student to attend a University campus.

Online mode courses are delivered using web-based technologies. Learning will be asynchronous or synchronous depending on the design of the course for the specific discipline. Assessment will be online and may include an online exam. There is no requirement for a student to attend a University campus.

Owning program refers to the program identified as part of the approval process to which the course or study component has been constructively aligned.

Program is a set of coherently scoped, sequenced and structured studies or courses undertaken by the student in order to meet the requirements for award of a qualification, including a program of study with a major research component.

Technology enhanced learning and teaching (TELT) is a generic term for modes of course delivery. It applies to the use of a diversity of technologies such as multimedia, video and online conferencing tools, podcasting, chat rooms and a learning management system to enable new types of learning experiences and enrich existing learning experiences.

Work integrated learning (WIL) are educational activities that integrate theoretical learning with its application in the workplace, profession, career or future employment.

4. Approach to curriculum design and delivery and evaluation

4.1 TELT Standards

4.1.1 The Academic Performance Standards Framework (APSF) and TELT standards inform the design of the University’s curriculum. The University’s graduate attributes and the curriculum design principles provide a shared language for both the curriculum development teams and staff involved in the accreditation and approval processes. The standards, attributes and principles enable a transparent institutional framework for designing, delivering and evaluating curriculum quality.

4.1.2 The University’s APSF and TELT standards must be used when designing, delivering and evaluating all programs and courses to assess the quality of blended and online learning, and guide quality improvement. These standards align with the internationally benchmarked Australian University Teaching and Criteria and Standards,Australian University Teaching and Criteria and Standards and Technology Enhanced Learning Accreditation Standards (TELAS).

4.1.3 The curriculum design principles, APSF and TELT standards recognise the diversity of disciplines at the University and allow curriculum to be designed using a range of approaches.

4.1.4 Curriculum design teams use the attributes, principles and standards to demonstrate their approach to curriculum design and to demonstrate its quality. These details are communicated in the accreditation or approval documentation.

4.1.5 The Committees responsible for curriculum accreditation and approval assess the quality of the curriculum, as documented, using the curriculum design principles and TELT standards as a basis. Feedback to the curriculum design team will be provided as required.

4.2 Curriculum quality assurance and improvement

4.2.1 The Quality and Standards Framework, which incorporates the University’s quality system – plan, implement, review, improve (PIRI), provides a dynamic, cyclical and recursive process for ongoing curriculum quality assurance and improvement, and assures alignment with mandated higher education standards.

4.2.2 The phases of the curriculum lifecycle are:

(a) Design - planning, development and support activities to create or renew curriculum;

(b) Consultation - seeking feedback from current students, career graduates, alumni, industry, employers and University stakeholders where appropriate;

(c) Approval - accreditation and approval processes documented in related University policy documents;

(d) Delivery - implementation of the curriculum;

(e) Evaluation - collection, analysis, reflection, sharing and reporting on learning analytics, metrics and data; and

(f) Improvements – identification of strengths to be built on and shared, and opportunities for improvement which will inform the design phase.

4.2.3 At each of these stages, consideration must be given to the University’s graduate attributes and the four curriculum design principles to ensure the attributes and principles are evidenced in new or revised curricula proposals.

4.2.4 The Academic Board, Program and Course Committee (PACC), School Board and the School Dean sign off on quality assurance processes taking place in the school.

5. Curriculum design

5.1 Principles of curriculum design

5.1.1 Curriculum is based on four design principles. The curriculum is designed to be:

(a) learning-centred;

(b) standards-based;

(c) constructively aligned; and

(d) career and future focussed.

5.1.2 Curriculum is learning-centred The University is committed to learning-centred curriculum whereby learning outcomes, learning activities (including assessment, resources and pedagogy) and staff are focussed on supporting and enabling learning for all students. The curriculum is designed to:

(a) support learners’ transition and engagement;

(b) be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of individual students without compromising academic standards;

(c) take advantage of blended learning approaches and technology; and

(d) encourage active and collaborative learning. The University is committed to making learning the centre of the curriculum and is:

(a) Scaffolded – activities are sequenced to show clear relationships between the learning materials, activities, assessment tasks and learning outcomes;

(b) Supported – services are provided to promote access and participation and the development of knowledge, skills and competencies to support student success;

(c) Social – students are welcomed into a respectful, vibrant learning community with multiple opportunities for discussion and interaction between students and academic staff;

(d) Active – a mix of active learning approaches are used, and activities that lead to summative assessment tasks are included;

(e) Collaborative – students have opportunities to work together to co-create knowledge, develop evaluative judgements and foster learning;

(f) Feedback-focussed – feedback on learning is provided to students at multiple times from academic staff and peers during a course. Feedback from students is used to improve curriculum design; and

(g) Inclusive – learning is designed to accommodate student diversity and create equivalent opportunities for academic success.

5.1.3 Curriculum is standards based The University complies and aligns with the curriculum standards as outlined in the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Higher Education Standards Framework, the AQF and the TELAS Framework. Curriculum meets the academic requirements of related professional accrediting bodies or the discipline specific national learning and teaching academic standards and threshold learning outcomes where these are provided.

5.1.4 Curriculum is constructively aligned The University ensures that learning is designed sequentially to enable courses to build knowledge and skills across each year. The University is committed to enable constructive alignment between the configuration of learning and teaching activities and assessments, with the intended learning outcomes for the program, study component or course. Constructively aligned curriculum focuses on developing students’ knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills, by increasing the level of challenge, complexity and independence over time. The University designs curriculum that adheres to the individual program’s graduate attributes. These attributes are supported by and demonstrated through a range of generic skills. There may also be inherent academic requirements for the program to be adhered to.

5.1.5 Curriculum is career and future focussed The University ensures that courses build knowledge and skills that contribute to the graduate attributes as students’ progress through their program. Assessment is authentic and offers opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge and skills in professional contexts. The University curriculum incorporates the required disciplinary knowledge and practical skills of the relevant profession and graduate employers. This will be informed by regular engagement through advisory groups, consultation and curriculum partnerships. The University curriculum includes experiential learning activities that contain either workplace practice, or a simulation of such practice or a combination of both, to provide students with knowledge and skills as preparation for employment. The University curriculum explicitly provides the student with the ability to apply knowledge and skills that enhance their employability either through meeting employer needs or self-employment on graduation. The University curriculum provides the student with the initial skills and knowledge for entry to professions/industry, and positions the student for their future career progression. The University curriculum enables students to develop knowledge, skills and qualities needed for engaging with the complexity and diversity present in a rapidly changing world, making a positive contribution to the community.

5.2 Curriculum design teams and resources

5.2.1 Curriculum is developed in a collaborative environment through the establishment of development teams. These teams are supported by staff with responsibilities to assist with curriculum design within the School or the University.

5.2.2 For the development of significant changes to curriculum, the development team must consist of:

(a) School Dean;

(b) Discipline Lead or Program Coordinator (or program development team leader);

(c) Course Coordinators (or course development team leaders);

(d) Staff with expertise relevant to the discipline of the proposed program (including staff outside the School offering the program) and staff who are likely to teach into the program; and

(e) Professional staff who support curriculum development.

5.2.3 School personnel

Within each School, academic staff with curriculum leadership responsibilities (e.g. Program Coordinator, Discipline Lead, Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching can advise and provide support to development teams or individuals on various aspects of curriculum design, consultation and approval.

5.2.4 Central resources

MyUniSC and the UniSC Connect Knowledge Base, provide University level information and details, as well as the resources available to support curriculum development. This includes contact information for personnel from organisational units who can work with development teams and individuals at all stages of the process.

5.3 Learning outcomes
5.3.1 Program learning outcomes All programs, study components and courses must meet structural requirements that address the AQF level of the program and University requirements. Curriculum design begins with an understanding of the desired graduate attributes as defined by the various curriculum framing documents referred to in these Procedures. These are articulated as program learning outcomes. Planning backwards from the program learning outcomes, program development teams detail the suite of aligned learning outcomes for study components and courses. This leads to a process of selecting or designing and sequencing courses, learning activities and assessment that will support student achievement of the learning outcomes. Program learning outcomes are the specific learning outcomes students will have achieved when they successfully complete a program. They are identified, mapped, taught, practised and assessed within each University program. Program learning outcomes are informed by the following curriculum framing documents:

(a) AQF and Fields of Education (FoE) structure and definitions;

(b) external professional accreditation standards (when applicable);

(c) the University’s graduate attributes; and

(d) Threshold learning outcomes (TLO) determined by discipline groups or nationally recognised discipline groups (when applicable).

53.1.6 The University’s Strategic Plan and key capabilities identified by successful early career graduates, alumni, industry and employers are further sources of information to define program learning outcomes. Program learning outcomes have the following characteristics. They:

(a) focus on what the graduate will know, be able to do and the qualities they can demonstrate at the conclusion of the program, expressed in terms of threshold level for graduates;

(b) define the scope and depth of the program;

(c) are measurable, realistic and achievable within the qualification type, level and volume of learning; and

(d) are framed at a high level of generalisation and use language that is comprehensible to students and prospective students. Program learning outcomes are realised through student achievement in courses. Methods of assessment are consistent with the learning outcomes being assessed. A program must have between six and ten learning outcomes. Program learning outcomes are informed by a number of demands and curriculum framing documents. A recommended approach to the task of constructing program learning outcomes is for the curriculum design team to identify the most applicable curriculum framework and to integrate the other framing documents as required. For professionally accredited programs it is appropriate to begin with the framing document provided by the accrediting body and then to consider and incorporate the other frameworks. Where the program is not subject to professional accreditation, the University's graduate attributes or the TLO (where they exist) are an appropriate starting point.

5.3.2 Study component learning outcomes A study component must have a maximum of six learning outcomes that will be constructively aligned to those of the owning program.

5.3.3 Course learning outcomes A course will have between four and six learning outcomes and are informed by:

(a) the owning program’s learning outcomes and, if applicable, those of the study component if the course is contained within a study component;

(b) the course’s level of application of knowledge and skills expressed in terms of introductory, developing or graduate for undergraduate programs, and advanced or specialised for postgraduate programs; and

(c) the University’s graduate attributes, in cases where the course is servicing multiple programs. Course assessment is designed to provide evidence of student achievement of the learning outcomes. Consequently, constructive alignment between the course learning outcomes and assessment items must be shown.

5.4 Curriculum priority areas

5.4.1 Students will be given opportunities to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and perspectives in the curriculum.

5.4.2 The first-year curriculum (the first year of a preparatory or undergraduate program) must be learning centred, support students’ transition to university, provide a foundation on which further learning must be built, and be focussed on developing each learner’s capabilities to succeed at university. The first year of a program’s curriculum must explicitly focus on ensuring that students transition effectively into tertiary study, regardless of their background.

5.4.3 Students will be given opportunities to engage in purposeful, organised, supervised and assessed WIL experiences that integrate theoretical learning with its applications in the workplace.

5.5 Program design and inherent academic requirements

5.5.1 On finalisation of a program’s learning outcomes, the program development team must consider the learning outcomes in terms of inherent academic requirements and commence the process of developing the required inherent academic requirements statement. The draft statement must be reviewed in the context of course learning outcomes and assessment.

5.6 Program structural requirements

5.6.1 Programs are structured to meet the AQF requirements for the particular qualification level of the program. A coursework program is comprised of courses, each of which is assigned a unit value as outlined in 5.9.1. All coursework programs require a specified total of units to be successfully completed to qualify for the conferral of the relevant award.

Table 1: Total units required for completion of a qualification type

Qualification Type

AQF Level

Total units required for completion of the award

Undergraduate Certificate


48 units

University Diploma


96 units

Associate Degree


192 units

Bachelor degree (3 years)


288 units

Bachelor degree (4 years)


384 units

Bachelor Honours degree Embedded (four years)


384 units

Bachelor Honours degree - End-on


96 units

Bachelor Honours degree - Embedded (differentiated pathway)


384 units

Graduate Certificate


48 units

Graduate Diploma


96 units

Master Degree (Coursework)

In a different discipline with a Bachelor degree (Level 7)


192 units

Master Degree (Coursework)

In a different discipline with a Bachelor Honours degree (Level 8)


144 units

Master Degree (Coursework)

In the same discipline with a Bachelor degree (Level 7)


144 units

Master Degree (Coursework)

In the same discipline with a Bachelor Honours degree (Level 8)


96 units

Master Degree (Extended)


288 – 384 units

5.6.2 Undergraduate programs The University supports two structural models for bachelor degree programs:

(i) Fixed structure offers specified required discipline studies, with the option to have up to 48 units of discipline electives, selected from a maximum of 24 units of courses per elective option, such as in externally accredited programs.

(ii) Study component structure which offers specified required discipline studies and includes choice of up to 192 units through the use of specified majors, extended majors and minors and extended minors.

5.6.3 Bachelor degree (graduate entry) The bachelor degree (graduate entry) is specifically designed on the assumption that admission is on the basis of a completed bachelor degree, sometimes in a specified discipline. It is a shorter alternative to the standard degree for initial professional preparation. Students completing the bachelor degree (graduate entry) program must have achieved the same learning outcomes as students undertaking the standard program. Courses or a block of courses that are being exempt based on the entry requirement (the previously completed degree) must be identified as part of the program proposal.

5.6.4 Postgraduate programs The volume of learning in a postgraduate degree program is:

(a) 1.5 years (144 units) following a level 7 qualification (or equivalent) in the same discipline, or

(b) 2 years (192 units) following a level 7 qualification in a different discipline. A postgraduate degree, 1.5-year (144 units) program structure, must ensure that students undertake:

(a) 24 - 48 units of research pathway throughout the program or through an individual dissertation;

(b) 48 - 72 units of required courses;

(c) 48 units of specialised courses from up to 96 units; and

(d) a minimum of 96 units at AQF level 9. A postgraduate degree, 2-year (192 units) program structure, must ensure that students undertake:

(a) 24 - 48 units of research pathway throughout the program or through an individual dissertation;

(b) 48 - 72 units of required courses;

(c) 96 units of specialised courses from up to 144 units; and

(d) a minimum of 96 units at AQF level 9. Where possible, postgraduate degree program structures will offer exit pathways at the successful completion of:

(a) 48 units to a postgraduate certificate; or

(b) 96 units to a postgraduate diploma.

5.6.5 Nested and Integrated qualifications Where possible, bachelor and postgraduate degrees will be designed to include two or more nested programs with specific credit transfer arrangements that allow students to easily articulate between programs at different AQF levels. Arrangements for nested programs are approved at the time of accreditation and are subject to the following requirements:

(a) nested programs are comprised of two or more programs in the same discipline area at different levels;

(b) all required courses in a lower-level program are included in all higher-level programs; and

(c) a 100 per cent credit transfer arrangement exists between programs. Entry to the higher-level nested program may specify a minimum level of performance or require additional entry requirements, which will be specified at the time the program is accredited. All AQF award programs must be purposely designed to offer exit pathways. All AQF award programs must be purposely designed to enable explicit articulation pathways. All AQF award programs must encompass the option for students proceeding through their program of study to be awarded integrated qualifications at lower AQF levels or other qualification types where appropriate.

5.6.6 Work integrated learning (WIL) and employability All bachelor and postgraduate degree programs must provide students with career development learning through WIL experiences, which will empower students to develop their job readiness skills and enhance their employability. This can be in the form of course based WIL, practicum placement, internship program or international study tour.

5.6.7 Double degree program Double degree programs are available at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The University supports two models of double degree program:

(a) Concurrent model – two degrees at the same AQF level are undertaken concurrently, with the student graduating from both programs at the same time; or

(b) Sequential model – two degrees at different AQF levels are undertaken sequentially from the lower-level to the higher-level degree, with a single entry point. Entry to the higher-level program normally requires a student to progress at a particular grade point average in the lower-level program. The student graduates sequentially from the lower-level degree, then the higher-level degree. A double degree program must ensure that the learning outcomes and requirements for each of the component awards are met. Where courses are required in both component programs, these courses are used to satisfy the requirements of both degrees. The role of any study components included in each program must be to extend the breadth and depth of discipline-specific knowledge. For a double degree, there will usually be a WIL experience in each degree. The length of a concurrent double degree program should not exceed five years and 480 units.

5.7 Request for a variation to the structural requirements for programs

5.7.1 A request for a variation from any element of the structural requirements for programs can be made based on:

(a) pedagogically sound arguments consistent with the curriculum design principles;

(b) professional accreditation requirements; or

(c) discipline-specific national learning and teaching academic standards and threshold learning outcomes requirements.

5.7.2 If a request for a variation is endorsed by the relevant School Dean, the request is referred to the PACC as the approval authority.

5.8 Study components

5.8.1 Five types of study components that can be included in a program:

(a) Undergraduate programs: major, extended major, minor, extended minor.

(b) Postgraduate programs: specialisation.

5.8.2. All study components must have an owning program with a direct discipline relationship to the study component.

5.8.3 Major A major consists of 96 units of required courses. If the 96 units of required courses include a selection from optional units, these will be chosen from a specified set of 48 units. The optional units must be from existing required courses in other programs. A major is a coherent and rigorous enquiry in a single discipline. The maximum overlap of courses between any two majors is 24 units. A major is designed to add depth or breadth to the discipline and build on the required studies. Therefore, a major should contain no more than 24 units of courses that are also listed as being required discipline studies in the owning program. A major may be designed to either build on introductory courses, with all courses in the major being at the developing or graduate levels, or may contain a maximum of 24 units at introductory level (refer to Table 2 - Course Levels). A major’s learning outcomes will align to the owning program’s learning outcomes.

5.8.4 Extended major An extended major consists of 144 units of required courses. The extended major must be designed to, either:

(a) add further depth to a major. The 144 units of the extended major must include the 96 units required to be completed for the major, plus 48 units of specified additional courses; or

(b) be a stand-alone 144 units component that has no direct relationship to a major or minor. An extended major may contain a maximum of 24 units of Introductory level courses. An extended major’s learning outcomes will align with the owning program’s learning outcomes.

5.8.5 Minor A minor consists of 48 units of specified courses and minors do not contain elective choice. A minor must not include more than 12 units of studies contained in other minors. A minor is be free standing and must not include courses that require pre-requisites outside those included in the minor. A minor must not include more than 24 units of introductory level courses. Where the minor is specifically designed for a program or group of programs and will only be available to students in that program or group of programs, it may be approved to include courses that require pre-requisites outside those included in the minor but cannot include any introductory level courses.

5.8.6 Extended minor An extended minor consists of 72 units of courses that provide a coherent and rigorous enquiry in a single discipline.

5.8.7 Specialisation A specialisation comprises of at least 48 units of study that provide a coherent and rigorous enquiry in a single discipline or interdisciplinary area of study. A specialisation is included in a master degree, graduate diploma or graduate certificate.

5.9 Courses

5.9.1 Courses are assigned one of the following unit values: 3, 6, 12, 24, 36 or 48.

5.9.2 Courses are allocated a six-digit code, which identifies the course’s discipline area, course level and individual numeric. The code is automatically generated and assigned to the course when the new course entity is set-up in the UniSC curriculum information repository (CIR).

5.9.3 A three-digit alpha code is used to identify the discipline area of the course.

5.9.4 Courses are sequenced to foster progressive and coherent achievement of expected learning outcomes and to distribute the study load evenly or appropriately across study periods and the program.

5.9.5 Courses are identified at different levels to indicate the appropriate knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills for the qualification.

Table 2: Course levels

Program Level

Course and Assessment Level


Course Code Level

AQF Level



Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

100 Level




Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require prerequisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

200 Level




Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require prerequisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

300 and 400 Levels

AQF 7 and AQF 8



Engaging with new discipline knowledge and skills at an advanced level or deepening existing knowledge and skills within a discipline. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

500 Level




Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

600 and 700 Levels


5.9.6 The learning hours assigned to a course are based on the AQF volume of learning for a full-time year.

These hours include all teaching, learning and assessment activities and may include some or all of the following: guided learning (such as tutorials, practicals, laboratories, field work and online study or self-paced study guides), individual study, research, learning activities in the workplace and assessment activities.

Table 3: Courses – Learning hours

Unit Value of Course

Learning Hours

3-unit course


6-unit course


12-unit course


24-unit course


48-unit course


5.9.7 Courses must be designed based on the total learning hours specified in Table 3. These hours apply regardless of the method of course delivery.

5.10 Requisite courses

5.10.1 A prerequisite course encompasses specific knowledge and skills students need to possess to progress to a subsequent nominated course. As such, it must be successfully completed prior to undertaking the subsequent course.

(a) Pre-requisites should be avoided unless there is a clear pedagogical justification for having a prerequisite.

(b) There are no prerequisites for introductory courses, unless the two introductory courses are directly related.

(c) All other courses are limited to a maximum of two prerequisites per course.

5.10.2 A co-requisite course encompasses specific knowledge and skills that complement the knowledge gained in a nominated co-requisite course. Therefore, it must be successfully completed either, prior to or studied concurrently with, the nominated co-requisite course.

5.10.3 An anti-requisite course contains substantially equivalent content and learning outcomes to the course for which it is nominated as an anti-requisite. The anti-requisite is nominated to prevent students from completing both courses.

5.11 Non-award enabling programs and bridging courses
5.11.1 Non-award enabling programs Non-award enabling programs help students to enter tertiary programs and equip students with the appropriate level of knowledge in the subject areas deemed necessary to undertake tertiary study successfully. To align with the Quality and Standards Framework all non-award enabling programs are required to meet the Program Accreditation and Course Change - Procedures requirements. Non-award enabling programs are not recognised as a higher education award but are generally designed to assist students pursue a program leading to a higher education award. The non-award enabling program may comprise of courses normally taken as part of an award program. In a non-award enabling program, students study several non-award bridging courses and/or courses for various purposes, such as:

(a) satisfying entry requirements for admission to a program, e.g. providing a selection rank or meeting subject prerequisites;

(b) gaining general tertiary study skills e.g. assignment writing, researching, test taking;

(c) gaining basic knowledge in a selected subject as a foundation for more in-depth study later on.

5.11.2 Non-award bridging courses to tertiary study Non-award bridging courses help students to enter tertiary programs and equip students with the appropriate level of knowledge in the subject areas deemed necessary to undertake tertiary study successfully. All non-award bridging courses are required to meet the Program Accreditation and Course Change - Procedures requirements. Non-award bridging courses are used to:

(a) meet course prerequisites;

(b) gain tertiary study skills;

(c) gain basic knowledge in a selected subject; or

(d) gain critical knowledge and skills to bridge a gap before beginning or continuing a program of study. bridging courses can have zero unit value.

6. Curriculum delivery

6.1 Learning and teaching performance standards

6.1.1 The learning and teaching performance standards as described in the UniSC Academic Performance Standards Framework contain criteria that must be applied to:

(a) design and delivery of learning activities;

(b) teach and support the learner to foster a productive learning environment;

(c) assess and give feedback to students on their learning;

(d) integration of scholarship, research, professional activities with teaching and in support of learning; and

(e) evaluation of practice and continuing professional development.

6.2 TELT standards

6.2.1 Technology enhanced learning and teaching occurs through the application of electronic communications and computer-based educational technology, combined with pedagogical principles and practices that are applicable to and tailored for this purpose. The TELT standards must be reviewed and adhered to when designing and delivering a course. Learning and assessment

(a) learning and assessment tasks engage learners through planned learning experiences and feedback, and provide:

(i) the aims, learning outcomes, schedule of learning and assessment tasks, and participation expectations;

(ii) details of assessment tasks, their requirements, assessment criteria and feedback;

(iii) expectations for engagement with the learning and assessment task;

(iv) opportunities for learners to actively engage in a variety of learning and assessment tasks;

(v) opportunities for learners to receive both formative and summative feedback;

(b) learning and assessment tasks leverage the affordances of digital technologies and support the development of digital literacies:

(i) learning and assessment tasks are supported by relevant digital technology;

(ii) opportunities to develop and demonstrate digital literacies are provided. Learning materials

(a) learning materials are available, functional, inclusive and compliant with copyright and attribution requirements:

(i) learning materials are available and functional;

(ii) learning materials are copyright compliant and appropriately attributed;

(iii) learning materials reflect diversity;

(b) learning materials are relevant and support learner engagement:

(i) learning materials are relevant and current;

(ii) learning materials are provided in a range of modalities. Teacher presence and learner support

(a) the online learning environment includes administrative, technical, and learning information and support, and provides:

(i) links to relevant services, information and policy documents;

(ii) clear instructions for accessing technical support materials;

(iii) clear and consistent instructions/guides for using the technology;

(iv) information and support to answer learner questions;

(v) learning analytics where available to learners.

(b) the online environment includes learner and teacher interactions that are designed to support and progress learning, and provides:

(i) opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous learner-to-learner interactions;

(ii) opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous learner-to-teacher interactions;

(iii) explicit activities to develop and foster the learning community as well as establish relationships and connections. Online course environment

(a) the online learning environment design supports a positive learner experience:

(i) the online learning environment is inclusive;

(ii) the online learning environment functions across devices and platforms;

(iii) the online learning environment meets appropriate accessibility standards;

(iv) learners have opportunities to provide feedback;

(b) the online learning environment design supports learning:

(i) the navigation and layout of the online learning environment is functional, consistent and intuitive;

(ii) the online learning environment is logically sequenced and organised.

6.3 Delivery modes

6.3.1 There are two modes of delivery: Blended and online.

6.3.2 The blended mode of delivery requires a minimum of 39 hours of guided learning per 12 unit course as part of the 150 total learning hours unless prior written approval is obtained from the School Dean. Guided learning includes activities such as tutorials, practicals, laboratories, fieldwork and on-line study or self-paced study guides.

6.3.3 Practical classes will be on-campus unless specifically designed to be online.

6.3.4 Online courses that include mandatory on-campus intensives must be identified at the program level.

6.4 Recording

6.4.1 Requirements for recording:

(a) pre-recording a course tutorial/workshop is an alternative to recording a live session when deemed appropriate;

(b) seminars can be recorded where appropriate and possible;

(c) only one instance per week of an online component of a course is to be recorded. This instance will be communicated to students in the learning management system (LMS);

(d) protocols for recording consent must be followed;

(e) guidance notes for managing sensitive topics and disclosures in the online environment must be followed;

(f) recordings must be made available in the LMS as soon as possible; and

(g) recordings must be retained for six months after the release of grades.

6.5 Requirements of a course site

6.5.1 Staff should refer to the TELT standards and UDL principles when designing course sites. The course checklist was created to help staff to use UDL guidelines and attain the TELT standards for blended and online delivery modes. This course checklist can be used before or after teaching to help build or review a course site.

6.5.2 The essential requirements outlined below must be present on all course sites (excluding WIL and bachelor honours courses) two weeks before a teaching period commences and for the duration that the course is available in the LMS:

(a) the Getting Started module is used to introduce the Course Coordinator and teaching team, and to provide the course outline link, an overview of the course and the study schedule, and to set class expectations;

(b) the Announcements section is used to communicate with students;

(c) the Assignments section is used to provide the course assessments;

(d) the Discussion section is the discussion forum for the course;

(e) the Modules section is where all learning materials are uploaded; and

(f) the Course Readings section is where the reading list can be accessed.

6.5.3 In a blended mode course, it is expected that at least the first four consecutive weeks of core learning materials are available to students:

(a) two weeks before a semester or trimester commences; and

(b) four consecutive weeks in advance of the current teaching week will be available until the end of the semester or trimester.

The requirements in (a) and (b) are to be pro-ratated for other shorter course delivery types in a study period.

6.5.4 School Deans can provide a written exception to the availability of core learning materials in exceptional circumstances however this must be advised to students two weeks before the semester or trimester commences.

6.5.5 Policy ( must be advised of any written exceptions provided, and the reason for this. These are to be reported to Academic Board as per Policy Framework – Governing Policy and Procedures.

6.5.6 All course sites are created based on UniSC course site templates which incorporate some essential requirements and can be modified to suit the course curriculum.

​6.5.7 Course site templates can be customised at a School level, provided:

(a) the school template contains the essential requirements; and

(b) all materials that support the learning of students are to be included in the modules section of the LMS, except for embedded external certifications.

​6.5.8 Course Coordinators must ensure that content meets University copyright requirements in accordance with the Copyright – Governing Policy and Copyright – Procedures.

7. Curriculum evaluation and improvement cycle

7.1.1 The University will monitor and evaluate its curriculum cyclically through a hierarchy of evaluation and improvement activities. These evaluation activities and evidence inform multiple University processes:

7.1.2 The University will engage in regular evaluation and reflection to bring about

evidence-based continuous improvement in its programs, courses, learning and teaching and student experiences:

Table 4: Curriculum evaluation activity timeframes


Evaluation Activity



Annual program monitoring


External referencing: benchmarking

As per schedule

Program reviews

Every 5 years

Professional accreditation

Every 3 - 5 years


Course feedback reports

Post a teaching period

Course checklist review

Pre and post course delivery

Course surveys e.g eVALU8

Post a teaching period


Pre, point of, and post assessment every teaching period

External referencing: Peer review of assessment

3 times in a program review cycle

Learning and teaching

Peer partnership of teaching

As required

Grants, awards and fellowships


Academic performance, planning and review


Student experience

Approved UniSC student surveys


Course surveys e.g. ACTIVE and eVALU8

During and post a teaching period

Co-curricular student support – student services and amenities fee (SSAF)


Student Experience Survey (SES)


Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS)


7.1.3 Evaluation data is collected in accordance with relevant legislation and University policy documents, and considered in context (e.g. discipline, cohort characteristics, mode of delivery and type/level of program/course). Evaluation outcomes, and how staff and student feedback has been used to inform learning and teaching, will be made available to students and staff.

7.1.4 Records and reports associated with evaluation activities are maintained in accordance with the Information and Records Management - Procedures.

Appendix 1 – Roles and Responsibilities

1. Academic Board

  • Oversee and provide guidance on the annual program and course quality assurance process, including feedback to relevant Committees.
  • Review and endorse responses and action plans arising from the annual program and course quality assurance process.

2. Program and Course Committee

  • Monitor the quality of the University's curriculum through consideration and noting of evaluation outcomes and program review and professional accreditation reports.

3. School Dean

  • Manage and promote teaching excellence in academic programs.
  • Develop and implement effective learning and teaching strategies and practices.
  • Communicate quality assurance processes to all staff within the School.
  • Develop, manage and audit the quality of the School’s academic programs.
  • Conduct course and teaching evaluations in conjunction with the Student Evaluation of Courses and Teaching – Academic Policy.
  • Manage program evaluation and review within or of the School.

4. Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching

  • Provide feedback to program and course staff on programs and courses quality assurance outcomes.
  • Responsibilities as delegated by the School Deans as permitted under these procedures.

5. Discipline Lead

  • Contributing to the strategic development and ongoing improvement of the discipline through effective curriculum design, implementation and review, including through regular engagement with employers, industry and the professions.

6. Program Coordinator

  • Contribute to the strategic development and ongoing improvement of the program.
  • Devise and implement strategies for continuous program improvement.
  • Liaise with Course Coordinators to review the design, development, delivery and evaluation of the courses that constitute the program.
  • Communicate with the relevant Discipline Lead, School Dean and Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching about the program operation.

7. Course Coordinator

  • Design and facilitate the delivery of high-quality learning experiences.
  • Design and review assessment tasks and their associated marking guides.
  • Maintain and continually improve the course materials in the LMS through utilising educational technologies.
  • Engage students with the course evaluation process by collecting feedback and evaluating, reflecting on and using feedback for course improvement in conjunction with the Student Evaluation of Courses and Teaching – Academic Policy.
  • Engage in quality assurance processes including internal and external course review and undertaking peer review of teaching, coordination, delivery and assessment.
  • Regularly review course learning outcomes to ensure constructive alignment to program learning outcomes, graduate qualities, and where applicable, professional competencies and external regulatory and accrediting bodies.

8. Academic Support Unit

  • Provide support and advice for the annual program and course quality assurance processes.

9. Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching

  • Provide support and advice for curriculum design, delivery and program and course quality assurance processes.
  • Support and manage the CIR.