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Course and Subject Management Procedure - Revisions, Suspensions and Closures (To be removed 24 August 2020)

This Procedure is to be removed on 24 August 2020.

Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Procedure describes the steps for changes to courses and subjects, including suspensions and closures.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) Refer to the Course and Subject Management Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) Refer to the Course and Subject Management Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Part A - General

(4) This Procedure describes minimum requirements for revision, suspension and closure of subjects and courses at college and university level. Additional quality assurance, enhancement and consultation measures may be utilised at school level as deemed appropriate.

(5) Refer to the Graduate Research Course Management Policy for procedures for revisions to graduate research subjects and courses.

(6) Heads of School, or an appropriate person at college level, are responsible for allocating resources where complex transition planning is required.

(7) Changes to core or core choice subjects may impact the structure of one or more courses. The level of the change will determine the consultation and approvals required.

(8) Any changes to courses and subjects must be made in accordance with the course and subject design policies and associated procedures.

(9) Proposers of changes, suspensions or closures of subjects and/or courses are responsible for consulting with all parties affected by the proposed changes, as outlined in the forms accompanying this procedure.

(10) All change requests must be submitted in the approved format. Forms, guides and templates are maintained with this Procedure in the Policy Library.

(11) Proposers should review the University Course Calendar, available on the Course and Subject Management intranet page for critical dates. Proposals must be approved in sufficient time for all the following requirements to be met:

  1. notification to students
  2. inclusion in publications
  3. all internal and external compliance needs, including Commonwealth reporting deadlines
  4. any relevant professional recognition requirements.

Part B - Approvals for Course and Subject Changes

(12) The approvals and other requirements for changes to a course or subject will vary according to the type of change sought.

(13) Refer to the Schedule – Approval Requirements for change categories. Proposals for minor or major changes should be reviewed by College Education Teams prior to submission to College Coursework Committee.

(14) All changes to courses and subjects should be accompanied by consultation and management/transition plans as appropriate and as outlined in Part D of this procedure.

Editorial Changes


(15) Editorial changes may be processed directly by College Education Teams.

Administrative Changes


(16) Administrative changes and subject updates may be approved by the Head of School or their delegate, or equivalent at college level.

(17) Where an administrative change in one course constitutes a minor or major change in another course, the highest relevant level procedure must be undertaken.

Minor Changes to Courses and Subjects

(18) Minor changes are reviewed and endorsed by the Head of School or delegate for submission to the relevant College Coursework Committee.

(19) Where a minor change in one course constitutes a major change in another course, the highest relevant level procedure must be undertaken.

(20) Where the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework) identifies that individual or cumulative changes to subjects or courses constitute a major change to a course, usually via recommendation of the College Coursework Committee and as defined in this procedure, they are responsible for recommending to the College Provost that these are referred to the University Coursework Committee for review.

Major Changes to Courses and Subjects

(21) All changes with significant impact on course content or course delivery are considered major changes.

(22) Changes to individual electives are not considered major changes.

(23) Major changes must be reviewed and endorsed by the relevant Head of School or delegate for submission to the College Coursework Committee.

(24) The Provost of the relevant college approves major revisions to courses for submission to the University Coursework Committee, normally on the advice of the College Coursework Committee. Approval may be delegated to the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework).

(25) All major changes with potential to impact student progression within a course must be accompanied by a Transition Plan. The Plan will outline teach-out arrangements and identification of administrative resources required by the relevant college to implement the plan, in accordance with the Guidelines for Transition Planning.

(26) University Coursework Committee is responsible for submitting a list of endorsed changes to Academic Board for final approval.

Major Changes that Constitute a New Course or Subject

(27) Some changes to courses have additional or alternative requirements under the provisions of the New Course and Subject Proposals Procedure. See the Schedule - Approval Requirements for Changes to and Closures of Courses and Subjects.

Part C - Course Suspensions and Closures


(28) Proposals to suspend one or more regular intakes for a course or course instance must be reviewed and endorsed by the relevant Head of School or delegate before being approved by the relevant College Provost or nominee and require:

  1. documentation and a management plan for impacted active pathways and in-progress offers from Student Services and Administration and La Trobe International
  2. consultation with all impacted academic groups, including Regional Offices, Marketing and Recruitment, Student Services and Administration and Third Party Teaching business owners as appropriate.

(29) A college may suspend a course for new intakes for up to three years.

(30) Proposals to re-activate a course must be endorsed by the Head of School before being approved by the relevant College Provost.

(31) Where a course has been suspended for three years or more and no reactivation request has been provided to College Education Teams, the course status will be moved to teach out under full teach-out conditions. If a shorter period or alternate arrangement is required, the School is responsible for establishing this.


(32) Proposals to close courses or course instances are managed as major changes unless the course closure arises only from a change to the name of a course (see Schedule - Approval Requirements for Changes to and Closures of Courses and Subjects). All other course closures require consultation with all relevant parties and the same approvals that are required for major changes to courses, using the Course Closure Proposal.

(33) Proposals to close courses must include teach-out arrangements and confirmation of administrative resources required to implement the teach-out plan.

Part D - Managing Major Course Changes for Students


(34) Where it is proposed to close or suspend intakes for a course for which there is an active pathway the University is bound to provide a viable alternative and to notify pathway partners and students of the change.

(35) In the case of onshore international students failure to provide an alternative in these circumstances will result in the University being in Provider Default – having made an offer to students that is no longer being honoured. Where this occurs, these students are entitled to compensation and additional financial penalties apply under ESOS legislation. Schools are responsible for the payment of any such financial penalties.

Communications and Transition Planning

(36) Notice of approval of course revisions, suspensions and closures is forwarded to College Education Teams from the relevant committee, College Provost or nominee.

(37) College Education Teams:

  1. advise schools/course coordinators as appropriate of the approvals and request that they instigate communications and any required changes for students
  2. where there is an approved Transition Plan, provide this to Student Services and Administration to action any required changes to study plans in the student information system.

(38) All students have a right to timely notice of all major changes to courses. This includes students who:

  1. have been made an offer to a course
  2. have been admitted to a course
  3. are on Leave of Absence or academic suspension.

(39) Students will normally be given the option of completing their degree under the original conditions of the course, up to the expiry of the approved teach-out period in the Transition Plan.

(40) Students may be offered the opportunity to transfer into a changed version of the course or an alternate course. Where students wish to transfer, documented confirmation from the student must be received. Students who do not respond to the notification will remain in the original course until the expiry of the approved teach out period.

(41) When consent has been granted by the student, Course Coordinators are responsible for ensuring that students are provided with their new study plan. Study plans should provide for timely progression based on the students’ individual current enrolment patterns. Study Plan changes for individual students outside this process are completed via an Alternate Study Plan Request form and Variation of Enrolment form.

Part E - Course Information and Promotion

(42) Colleges are advised of course and subject revision, suspension and closure approvals by report of the relevant Committee or by the office of the College Provost. Major changes, suspensions and closures may be actioned only after relevant approvals.

(43) College Education Teams are responsible for updating the University’s official course and/or subject register following approval of subject and course changes, suspensions and closures.

(44) Revisions to content for any publications, including Tertiary Admissions Guides, handbooks, Study Plan Guides and websites will be drawn from the course register by staff with appropriate authorisation.

(45) No changes may be activated or published prior to final approvals being received, except where:

  1. it is necessary to remove or change a current published description for compliance reasons
  2. potential changes are directly communicated to current or potential students ahead of academic approval
  3. email approval is received from the Executive Director, Quality and Standards.

(46) Where a change to a course impacts eligibility for professional recognition only recognition statements approved by the Office of Quality and Standards may be included in any publications, as per the Course and Subject Management Procedure - Professional Recognition.

(47) The owning school is responsible for:

  1. seeking authority and/or notifying professional bodies of any changes
  2. providing updated information to the Academic Quality Team in the Office of Quality and Standards for inclusion of new courses and subjects in the University Professional Recognition Database.
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Section 5 - Definitions

(48) Nil

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Section 6 - Related Documents

Policy Documents

(49) See Associated Documents:

  1. Schedule - Approval Requirements for Changes to and Closures of Courses and Subjects.

Forms and Guidelines

(50) The following documents are available to La Trobe staff from the Course and Subject Management page on the University intranet site:

  1. Course Revision Proposal
  2. Course Closure Proposal
  3. Transition Plan Proposal
  4. Guidelines for Transition Planning.