Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures.
Class refers to the various components of a course into which a student enrols, e.g. lecture, tutorial, workshop, etc.
Part A: Purpose, Timeframes and Scope of Application
Part B: Course approval
Part C: Course Changes
Part D: Course Discontinuation
Part E: Reporting
Appendix 1 – Course information changes
Appendix 2 – Flowchart
Part A: Purpose, Timeframes and Scope of Application
A1 Purpose of procedures
These procedures detail the steps that must be undertaken to approve a new course, change an existing course or discontinue a course at the USC. They must be read in conjunction with the Program Accreditation and Course Approval – Governing Policy.
A2.1 Schools plan and progress all proposed new courses, course changes and course discontinuations so that:
- sufficient time is allowed for informed consideration of, and decision-making based on, the merit and academic integrity of proposed new courses in the context of the programs in which they are proposed for offer and the associated resource and other implications.
- the approval of a new course is no later than two weeks prior to the class selection date for the teaching period in which it is to be first offered.
Change to a course
Pre-enrolment Data: Course information required prior to student enrolment for the next academic calendar year.
- The approval of changes to the course data fields identified in Appendix 1 is normally required in August of the previous academic year.
Pre-delivery Data: Course information required prior to delivery of the course.
- the approval of changes to a course is finalised by no later than four weeks prior to the commencement of the teaching period in which it is to be offered.
Discontinuation of a course
- the approval of discontinuation of a course is finalised by no later than four weeks prior to the class selection date for the teaching period in which it was to be offered, so that effective transition arrangements are in place.
A3 Scope of application
When approval is granted for changes to a program, that are approved by Learning and Teaching Committee or Academic Board, approval is also given for new courses associated with that change (other than courses documented using only the Course Synopses template).
If a new course is proposed other than as part of the accreditation of a program or as part of changes to a program requiring approval by Learning and Teaching Committee or Academic Board, the procedures given below are followed.
Part B: Course approval
B1 Development of course
B1.1 The relevant School creates a Course Development Team and they develop the course ensuring that:
(a) consultations are held with all parties:
(i) with a legitimate interest in the proposed development, including for example other schools if the course is to be made available in a cross-school or double degree program, and professional and registration bodies;
(ii) for whom there may be resource or administrative implications with the proposed developments, including for example Information Technology Services, Information Services, Student Services and Engagement, Asset Management Services;
(b) input is sought from other appropriate sources with relevant expertise, for example School Board, academic developers available within the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching (C-SALT);
(c) the course is designed and developed consistent with:
- any applicable policies and procedures within the University, in particular the Coursework Curriculum Design – Academic Policy
- any standards for external recognition, registration or accreditation of any program in which the new course will be offered.
B2 Initial approval documentation
B2.1 The Course Development Team documents the proposed new course including resource needs using:
(a) the Course Proposal template;
(b) the Course Outline/Course Administration Information templates;
(c) the resource impact statement template for Asset Management Services, Library, and Information Technology Services (ITS);
(d) Course Synopses (only available for courses that are to be introduced in later years of a new program).
B2.2 Course Proposal
The Course Proposal is used when the course is being proposed independently of a new program proposal or a change to an existing program.
B2.3 Course Outline/Course Administration Information
The Course Outline is the description of the proposed new course that is used to assess its academic merit and which forms the basis for provision of information to students, intending students, the University community and the public concerning the course. The Course Administration Information includes data required for the establishment and administration of the course.
B2.4 Resource Impact Statements
Resource Impact Statements detail the resource needs and implications of the proposed course for provision of support and services by Asset Management Services, Library and Information Technology Services (ITS).
B2.5 Course Synopses
B2.5.1 In some circumstances, full development and documentation of new courses to be undertaken in the second or subsequent years of offer of a proposed new program may not be possible. In these cases, a Course Synopsis can be substituted for the relevant Course Outline when documenting the new program. Consultations should be held with any relevant professional body to confirm the acceptability of this approach for meeting conditions for external accreditation of the program.
B2.5.2 New courses documented only as Course Synopses are provisionally approved by Learning and Teaching Committee on the condition that the course/s must subsequently be fully documented using the Course Outline template. Requests for final approval of Course Outline must be approved by the Learning and Teaching Committee, on the recommendation of the Head of School, no later than two weeks prior to the class selection date for the teaching period in which the course is to be offered.
B3 Consideration by Head of School
B3.1 The Course Development Team forwards the proposal and Course Outline/Course Administration Information/Resource Impact Statement to the relevant Head of School who considers the documentation.
B3.2 If required, the Head of School advises the Course Development Team to make any needed changes. The Course Development Team makes any needed changes and presents the amended documentation to the Head of School.
B3.3 In considering the documentation, the Head of School forms a view on whether the proposed course meets the requirements of relevant policies and procedures.
B3.4 The Head of School considers the academic merit of the proposed course on the basis of the documentation and recommends to Learning and Teaching Committee that the proposed course as currently documented be approved
B4 Course Codes and Files; Referral of Impact Statements
B4.1 The School completes a proforma to request from Student Services and Engagement the allocation of Course Codes for any new courses.
B4.2 Student Services and Engagement allocates the codes and advises the School Administration Officer of these.
B4.3The School Administration Officer requests the Information Management Services Unit to create a new University file for the proposed course.
B4.4 Information Management Services Unit creates new files and advises the School Administration Officer of the relevant file numbers.
B4.5 The School Administration Officer updates the accreditation documentation and Resource Impact Statements to include course codes and file numbers.
B4.6 The School Administration Officer provides Asset Management Services, Information Services and Information Technology Services with a copy of the Course Outline and Course Administration Information and the completed Resource Impact Statement.
B5 Endorsement by the Head of School
B5.1 If the relevant Head of School is satisfied that approval should be sought, they sign the relevant section of the Course Proposal.
B5.2 The Head of School arranges for a final check and proofing of the documentation and for a PDF copy of the complete approval documentation to be submitted to Academic Secretariat and for the “master” signed set of approval documentation to be registered and recorded in the relevant course file on the University’s Records Management System.
B6 Progression to Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC)
B7.1 Academic Secretariat checks the documentation for completeness and clarity, accuracy, internal consistency and liaises with relevant school staff in order for appropriate actions to be taken to address any issues and for amended documentation to be submitted where needed.
B6.2 Academic Secretariat includes information on the proposed new course in a summary sheet of program and course developments that are provided in support of the curriculum documentation considered by the University’s committees.
B6.3 The Chairperson, Learning and Teaching Committee can determine that the accreditation documentation is incomplete or under-developed and delay the consideration of the proposal by Learning and Teaching Committee until such time as the school has responded to the Chairperson’s concerns regarding the quality of the accreditation documentation.
B6.4 Learning and Teaching Committee considers the academic merit of each proposed new course on the basis of the related documentation and:
(a) resolves to approve the proposed new course as currently documented or
(b) resolves to recommend that the proposed new course be approved subject to identified amendments being made to the course and associated documentation; or
(c) makes such other resolutions as may be appropriate.
B6.5 If approval is recommended subject to amendments being made under item B7.4(b), the relevant school is advised to make the amendments and submit to the Chairperson of the Committee, through Academic Secretariat, the amended documentation together with a written response to the matters identified, including a statement detailing the changes made to the documentation (with page references).
B6.6 The Chairperson, Learning and Teaching Committee, reviews the amended documentation and, if satisfied that the required amendments have been made and attests to this in writing, forwards the attestation to Academic Secretariat.
B7 Post-approval matters
The Secretary, Learning and Teaching Committee provides written advice to all relevant parties of the outcome of final considerations concerning proposals for approval of new courses.
Part C: Course Changes
C1. Proposed changes that cannot be approved
C1.1 A proposal for any of the following cannot be progressed as a change to a course:
- a change of course code (See C1.3 for exception)
- any change that would result in the need for a different Field of Education to be assigned
- any change to the unit value
C1.2 Any change of the type listed above requires the development of a New Course Proposal and an associated Proposal to Discontinue a Course. (Refer to Part B and D respectively).
C1.3 A change of course code can be approved under these procedures if the change is confined to the alphabetic discipline descriptor component of the code.
C2. Timing of changes to courses
C2.1 The procedures recognise that some elements of course information (Pre-enrolment Data) are required to be approved to facilitate student enrolment for the subsequent academic year. These fields are identified in Appendix 1.
C2.2 The entire Course Outline is required to be approved four weeks prior to the delivery of the course.
C2.3 The Schools establish timelines annually covering all teaching periods to ensure timely progression of course change proposals to meet the identified deadlines.
C3. Course changes and approval authorities
Approval of changes to existing courses is the responsibility of the relevant Head of School.
Note: Approval of a change to or an addition of a new mode of delivery (online and/or blended) is a decision made by the Learning and Teaching Committee.
When considering making changes to a course, the relevant Course Coordinator undertakes consultations with parties:
(a) including the Program Coordinator(s) if the course is a compulsory part of their program, and Course Moderator, and others that have a legitimate interest in the course, for example, teaching staff and students and the School Board.
(b) seeks input from other appropriate sources within the University, for example the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching (C-SALT) or in the case of Pre-enrolment data – Student Services and Engagement (SSE);
(c) seeks input from other appropriate sources external to the University, for example relevant professional bodies and industry.
(d) to ensure the course is redesigned and developed consistent with:
- the resource limitations identified in consultations with Information Technology Services, Library and Asset Management Services
- any standards for external recognition, registration or accreditation of any program in which the course is offered, and
- any applicable policies and procedures within the University.
The Course Coordinator documents the proposed changes to the course using the appropriate templates (including an appendix that summarises all resource issues and implications identified in consultations with Information Technology Services, Library and Asset Management Services, and agreement reached in relation to those matters) and a Course Outline, which is a revised version of the existing Course Outline incorporating the proposed changes.
C3.3 Referral of documentation for information
If the Course Coordinator believes that the proposed changes have an impact on Information Technology Services, Library and Asset Management Services, they should email a copy of the proposal, the revised Course Outline and Resource Impact Statement to the relevant persons in these units.
C3.4 Referral of documentation for quality assurance
The Course Coordinator forwards the proposal and Course Outline to the School Administration Officer who checks the documents for accuracy and completeness and provides the Head of School with advice regarding the proposed changes.
C3.5.1 School Administration Officer forwards the proposal and Course Outline to the relevant Head of School who considers the documentation, taking into account all matters of relevance, including any comments that may have been received from Information Technology Services, Library and Asset Management Services in response to the proposal and Course Outline.
C3.5.2 The Head of School advises the Course Coordinator to make any needed changes.
C3.5.3 The Course Coordinator makes any needed changes and presents the amended documentation to the Head of School.
C3.5.4 The Head of School considers the amended documentation, taking into account all matters of relevance, and if the Head of School decides that approval for the changes should be sought, they sign the relevant section of the proposal and forward it to School Administration Officer.
C3.5.5 In the case of a course changing the mode of delivery (blended to online or vice versa), an extra step is required:
Consideration by and approval from the Learning and Teaching Committee (See B6.6).
This extra step is to ensure that the program, including the courses, remain ESOS compliant and sufficient resources have been identified for the change of the mode of delivery.
Following approval by the Head of School, the School Administration Officer arranges for:
(a) written advice to interested parties, of the approval of changes to the relevant course;
(b) all documentation related to the school’s development, consideration and decisions related to the proposed changes to be recorded and registered in the relevant official University file for the course and in RecFind;
(c) information on the course on the University’s Website to be updated; and
(d) the new Course Outline to be made available to students and staff through a central repository.
Part D: Course Discontinuation
D1. Preliminary consultations
D1.1 The relevant Head of School undertakes consultations with all parties with a legitimate interest in the course, any relevant professional associations and Program Leader(s) if the course is compulsory or part of a required study component in a program or programs.
D2. Proposal to Discontinue a Course
D2.1 The Head of School documents the proposed discontinuation using the proposal to Discontinue a Course template.
D2.2 The Head of School checks the proposal for accuracy and completeness and then refers the documentation to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), via the Academic Secretariat, for consideration.
D3.1 The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) considers the documentation, taking into account the support or otherwise of the Head of School, and other matters of relevance.
D3.2 If the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) decides that discontinuation should be approved, they sign the relevant section of the proposal and return it to the Academic Secretariat.
D3.3 The Academic Secretariat arranges for a copy of the signed documentation to be recorded in the relevant course file (if one has been established) and all relevant program files and registered on the University’s Records Management System.
D4. Post-approval matters
D4.1 The School Administration Officer provides written advice to Student Services and Engagement and other relevant parties of the outcome of final considerations concerning proposals for discontinuation.
D4.2 The School Administration Officer:
(a) updates or removes information concerning the course that is posted on the University’s Website and updates any Website information on programs that are affected by the discontinuation; and
(b) updates the relevant Program Outline/s available to students and staff through central faculty locations on the Staff and Student Portals in consequence of the discontinuation.
Part E: Reporting
Annual summary reports are required to be submitted as follows:
- Learning and Teaching Committee to Academic Board on all new courses approved
- School Office to Learning and Teaching Committee on all course changes approved
- School Office to Learning and Teaching Committee on all course discontinuations approved
The reports should be submitted to the first meeting each year and include all changes approved in the previous year.
Templates are available from MyUSC > Teaching > Program Accreditation and Course Approval > Courses > Course Templates
Appendix 1 - Course information changes
Pre-enrolment Data: Changes to the following Course information
|Teaching Session/ Year offered|
|“Am I eligible to enrol in this course?” Enrolment Restrictions, Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, Anti-requisites as identified in the requisites section of the Course Outline|
|Course Administrative Data – Course Components, Grading Scale, Attendance Mode, WIL level, Study Abroad availability|
Pre-delivery Data: Changes to all other data fields in the Course Outline
Flowchart: Course Approval, Course Change and Course Discontinuation (Staff login required.