[The Course Design Policy replaced the previous Course Structure Policy for all new courses and major amendments from July 2011. The previous policy and its procedures, which apply only to courses existing at July 2011, may be accessed for reference purposes here:
Course Structure Policy
Course Structure Procedures
Both documents will be rescinded in 2015.]
Monash offers courses that:
- are consistent with the Australian (and where relevant Malaysian (MQF) and South African (HEQF)) Qualifications Frameworks, and which demonstrate alignment with the Bologna Process;
- align with the strategic and educational priorities of the University;
- are consistent with the academic standards of the University, as set out in University policies;
- develop graduate attributes; and
- demonstrably achieve learning outcomes that are appropriate to the qualification type.
Monash offers courses that lead to the following AQF awards which are approved by University Council:
- Bachelor Degree
- Bachelor Honours Degree
- Graduate Certificate
- Graduate Diploma
- Masters Degree (Coursework and Research)
- Doctoral Degree
Coursework Course Award Design at Monash
Monash courses and awards are consistent with the Coursework Course Design Guidelines. Where a course varies from the Guidelines, faculties must be able to demonstrate how learning outcomes appropriate to the qualification type will be achieved. Where an exception is required from any of the principles outlined in the Course Design Policy, a case that includes documented evidence of need must be made to Coursework Admissions and Programs Committee (CAPC) for coursework degrees and to Research Graduate School Committee for research degrees, and subsequently approved by Academic Board. Monash's register of award exceptions will be published annually. In addition to the University's requirements, awards delivered at Sunway and/or Monash South Africa or other offshore locations must meet the legislative requirements of the relevant country.
In rare cases, University Council may approve the offering of a non-Australian Qualifications Framework aligned award.
Student Workload and Credit Points for Coursework Courses
Each Monash coursework course leading to the same award title, irrespective of major, specialisation, campus or mode of offering must have the same credit point value, structure and requirements.
The average student workload is 48 hours per week for each of the two standard semesters. This includes time spent in scheduled classes and self-directed study time. A student's enrolment in units totalling 48 credit points represents 1 EFTSL (100 percent). A 6-credit point unit corresponds to an average of twelve hours of scheduled classes and self-directed study per week. Heads of Schools/Departments, in association with the Associate Dean (Education) determine the configuration of scheduled classes needed to ensure the attainment of course learning outcomes. 6 Monash credit points corresponds to 7.5 European Credit Transfer (ECTS) credits.
Faculties may provide students with the opportunity to take a reduced or accelerated study load in each semester.
Faculties will monitor the progress of students on reduced loads, to ensure that they complete course requirements within time limits for candidature. International students are only permitted to undertake a reduced load after the demonstration of compelling or compassionate circumstances, if course structure, progression rules or unit availability require completion of 24 credit points; or to implement a faculty intervention strategy for students at risk of unsatisfactory academic progress due to academic or learning difficulty.
Students may seek faculty permission to undertake accelerated study load in specified courses but this is normally limited to students who have completed at least 48 credit points of study at Monash in one calendar year and who have achieved a credit average or higher in the most recent year. Students are not permitted to complete more than 72 credit points in any calendar year. Exceptions may be made in relation to high-achieving students in courses approved for accelerated delivery by Academic Board. Students will not take more than 72 credit points per calendar year, 30 credit points in either semester 1 or 2, or 24 credit points in any other teaching period.
The maximum time allowed to complete a course is determined by the following formula: maximum course length = full-time study course duration x 2 + 2 years. Lower time limits may be established if required.
A pass is the expected minimum level of achievement for progression, but faculties are also permitted to make a case for a higher level standard to CAPC. A distinction average is the expected minimum level of achievement for progression into coursework research track degrees. These standards, and any prerequisites, co-requisites, prohibitions, unit, major or minor sequences are published in the University Handbook.
The standard credit point value of units at Monash is 6. Units worth multiples of 6 (eg 12, 18, 24) may also be permitted to meet professional accreditation or clinical requirements, or to support coursework research track training. Monash offers 6 levels of units:
1. Bachelor degree year 1. These provide foundation studies;
2. Bachelor degree year 2. These provide ‘introductory specialist' studies that build upon the outcomes of units at level 1;
3. Bachelor degree year 3. These provide ‘advanced specialist' studies that build upon the outcomes of units at level 2;
4. Bachelor degree year 4 or above or Bachelor honours degree; Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma;
5. Masters (coursework; research; or extended); and
6. Doctoral degree
If a unit is made available to students in more than one type of award (eg diploma and bachelor degree), the learning outcomes of both award types must be reflected in the unit learning outcomes. This requirement does not cover exit awards (eg a student enrols in a masters course but exits with a graduate diploma).
Core units must be offered at least once each academic year. Multi-level units are only permitted when there is a clear qualitative distinction in assessment requirements between the levels, and that distinction is published in the unit guide and the University Handbook.
Zero credit point units are only permitted under the following circumstances:
- the work undertaken by the student is not at Monash University (viz. students undertaking work experience in industry at a business).Zero credit point units are only permitted for the establishment of work experience in industry units where fee assessment of the student would be inappropriate due to minimal resources being committed to the experience.
- the student is undertaking a joint research degree program and is at that time located at and consuming the resources of the partner institution;
- as a required element of a research degree program;
- the work undertaken by the student at Monash involves minimal resources by the University (e.g. equivalent to 2 credit points or less, no supervision by academic staff, minimal to nil assessment of work);
- an activity has to be undertaken by a student as a compulsory pre-requisite to undertake a future coursework, load bearing unit (e.g. Hurdle requirements);
- students require an extension to an already enrolled thesis unit and for which they should be charged as they are consuming University resources. (e.g. Thesis extension units where ‘enrolled credit points' equal a value >0 and achievable credit points equal a value of 0);
- the unit is established to allow the recording and approval of a final Honours grade; or
- the unit is established to allow the recording of successful participation in an approved Monash Passport co-curriculum program.
Double Coursework Degrees
Monash may offer double degrees courses in its own right - within and between faculties - and in partnership with universities of excellent global ranking, or of demonstrated global excellence in the field, both at undergraduate and graduate level (Table 2).
For two separate awards to be approved to be offered as a double-degree course at Monash the minimum requirements of each award (as approved by faculty board and specified in the Course and Unit handbook as set out by the single award regulations) must be satisfied. In particular, in a double-degree course, the structure must include:
- all core requirements for each of the single awards, ie units, major and minor sequences; and
- all course-specified electives where these must be taken from a designated field of study.
To minimise the time to complete the two awards, credit is granted for units or a block of units, which are components of one of the awards where:
- they are assessed as being equivalent in terms of volume, depth and breadth of content to units specified within the other award; and/or
- there are elective units for either award that are not defined as being within a particular field of study by either single award specification.
The minimum length of an undergraduate double degree course must be at least as long as the longest of the two component award courses plus 48 credit points. The minimum length of a graduate double degree course must be at least as long as the longest of the two component degree courses plus 24 credit points.
Monash offers coursework research track courses consistent with the design guidelines outlined in Table 3. These courses are:
- Bachelor Advanced
- Bachelor Advanced Honours Degree
- Masters Advanced (coursework masters)
Entry requirements for coursework research track courses are published in the University Handbook.
Jointly Awarded Research Degrees
In partnership with one or more university of excellent global ranking, or of demonstrated global excellence in the field, Monash offers jointly awarded research degrees. Candidates undertake a research project which meets the course and examination requirements of both institutions and consequently graduate with a single degree which is jointly recognized and awarded from both Monash and the partner institution.
Off Campus Courses and Units
All courses and units delivered in off campus mode will utilise learning technologies, with student-staff engagement facilitated at least through the use of asynchronous discussion tools. Technological requirements needed to complete an off campus course or unit will be published in the University Handbook.
Management of Coursework Courses
Academic governance is the responsibility of the degree awarding faculty.
All courses are assigned a managing faculty, which has principal rights and responsibilities for the management of the program. The managing faculty will ensure that:
- The course has a coordinator, and governing committee.
- There is provision for dispute resolution and participation in relevant decision-making bodies by other faculties with significant teaching involvement.
- Delivery, monitoring and review of the course are undertaken in alignment with University statutes, regulations, policies, procedures and timelines.
- In the case of double-degrees courses the Managing Faculty has responsibility to manage administrative interaction between the student and the partner faculty.