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Section 6 — Credit and recognition of prior learning

Credit points

6.1.1 The structure of UTS coursework and award courses is based on a standard measure as defined in these Rules.

6.1.2 UTS courses comply with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and the terminology below reflects that Framework. UTS may use different terminology for some types of courses but each course will be identified as one of the categories with the identified credit point requirements below. At UTS:

(1) an undergraduate certificate is 24 credit points (0.5 EFTSL) — AQF Levels 5-7;

(2) a Diploma is between 48 and 96 credit points (1 to 2 EFTSL) — AQF Level 5;

(3) an Advanced Diploma is 72 or 96 credit points (1.5 or 2 EFTSL) — AQF Level 6;

(4) an Associate degree is 96 credit points (2 EFTSL) — AQF Level 6;

(5) a Bachelor degree is 144, 192 or 240 credit points (3, 4 or 5 EFTSL) — AQF Level 7;

(6) a Bachelor combined degree is between 192 and 288 credit points (4 to 6 EFTSL) — AQF Level 7;

(7) a Bachelor Honours degree is 48 credit points (1 EFTSL) and follows, or may be embedded in, an undergraduate degree —AQF Level 8;

(8) a Graduate Certificate is normally 24 credit points (.5 EFTSL) but may be between 24 and 48 credit points (.5 to 1 EFTSL) where approved by Academic Board as a special AQF-compliant case — AQF Level 8;

(9) a Graduate Diploma is normally 48 credit points (1 EFTSL) but may be between 48 and 96 credit points (1 to 2 EFTSL) where approved by Academic Board as a special AQF-compliant case — AQF Level 8;

(10) a Masters degree (Coursework) is normally 72 credit points (1.5 EFTSL) but may be between 48 and 96 credit points (1 to 2 EFTSL) where approved by Academic Board as a special AQF-compliant case; UTS Masters degrees using ‘Advanced’, ‘Extension’ or similar approved nomenclature fall into this category and would normally be 96 credit points — AQF Level 9;

(11) a Masters degree (Extended), having a specific professional practice use as allowed under the AQF, is between 144 and 192 credit points (3 to 4 EFTSL) — AQF Level 9;

(12) a Masters combined degree is between 96 and 144 credit points (2 to 3 EFTSL) — AQF Level 9.

6.1.3 Academic Board may approve AQF-compliant variations to the credit point requirements in exceptional circumstances. Any proposal for a credit point structure that does not meet the standard requirements of the Framework must justify the length of the course in terms of students’ achievement of the award level’s learning outcomes as prescribed by the AQF.

6.1.4 Some graduate research degrees have a coursework component. This coursework component must be no greater than one-third of the total course requirements. For example, in a graduate research degree with a duration of three years full-time study, the coursework component should be no greater than one EFTSL (48 credit points) in total.

6.1.5 Coursework components of graduate research degrees will consist of subjects that have credit points allocated in the normal way. The research component will consist of a time-based subject with an allocation of time, rather than credit points, as a measure of workload.

6.2 Recognition of prior learning

6.2.1 Subject to these Rules, recognition of prior learning in UTS undergraduate or graduate coursework programs of study will be undertaken in accordance with the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy approved by Academic Board from time to time.

6.2.2 In managing recognition of prior learning, faculties:

(1) may recognise prior learning as credit points or via subject substitution as appropriate;

(2) will have due regard to the academic standards of the University and the principles of equity;

(3) will ensure all award requirements, including professional recognition requirements, are fulfilled, regardless of the nature or amount of credit recognised;

(4) will only approve prior learning where the knowledge, learning and/or skills are current and relevant.

6.2.3 Determination of eligibility for recognition of prior learning in a particular course does not imply or guarantee that a place is available in that course for the particular applicant.

6.2.4 Prior learning may only be recognised once in any individual UTS course and may not be used again as recognition for another subject or course component in the same course of study.

6.2.5 The relevant Responsible Academic Officer is authorised to approve recognition of prior learning and subject substitution.

6.3 Review of process

6.3.1 An audit of recognition of prior learning decisions will be undertaken every two years. This review will be managed by the Course Accreditation Committee and assessed against the following criteria:

(1) whether decisions are based on a clear understanding of learning and content; or

(2) alignment to policy and procedural requirements; or

(3) assessment of subject equivalence and calculation of the credit points recognised.

6.3.2 Audits will be reported to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) for consideration of process improvements, and or rule, policy or procedural reviews. The audit report, together with any proposed improvements or reviews will be presented to Academic Board for approval or further recommendation.

6.4 Course requirements

6.4.1 Where credit towards a course has been approved in recognition of a student’s previous learning, the requirements necessary for the student to complete the course and the maximum time permitted to complete the course shall be determined in each case by the relevant Responsible Academic Officer. Details of any such approval must be provided to the Director, Student Administration Unit (or nominee) who shall ensure that it is recorded and used as the basis for determining the student’s academic progress and completion of course requirements.

6.4.2 Subject to legislative requirements, in exceptional circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, the Responsible Academic Officer may approve an application from a student to have previously approved recognition of prior learning rescinded.

6.4.3 Subjects from undergraduate courses will only be accepted for credit towards graduate courses if Academic Board has approved the provision as part of an accredited course or, in exceptional circumstances, the faculty board has approved the individual request for recognition of prior learning (within the prescribed limits).

6.4.4 In cases where the applicant was previously a UTS student and enrolling in a new version of the course or its equivalent, the Responsible Academic Officer can approve recognition of prior learning beyond the limits outlined in Rule 6.1.4, but within any requirements set by the relevant Faculty Board.

6.5 Credit for internships (work experience)

6.5.1 Credit points associated with internship subjects must conform to the work experience in industry requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cwlth) (the Act) and the associated Administration Guidelines 2012 (Cwlth) (the Guidelines).

6.5.2 University-supported Work Experience in Industry (WEI) subjects, as defined by the Act and Guidelines, are to be allocated a credit point value. A WEI subject is deemed to be ‘supported’ if all of the following are performed by UTS staff or persons engaged by UTS:

  • interaction between the supervisor and the student, which may include site visits; and
  • organisation of student placements; and
  • ongoing monitoring of student work and progress; and
  • assessment of the student learning and performance during the placement.

Note that the University cannot charge a student contribution amount or tuition fee for ‘unsupported’ WEI subjects which do not have a credit point value.