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Course Design Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This policy provides the overarching principles by which the University’s Undergraduate and Postgraduate coursework programs are designed and delivered. It should be read in conjunction with the Course and Subject Management Policy and Procedures and the Assessment Policy and Procedures.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2)  This policy applies to all coursework programs of the University.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) All coursework programs of the University are designed to align with the La Trobe Course Architecture, and to meet relevant legislation including the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA), Higher Education Standards Framework (2015) and the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS) 2000 as applicable. 


(4) Courses and subjects demonstrate contemporary academic and industry relevance:

  1. Course design is informed by industry and student input, along with national and international comparators as prescribed under the Course and Subject Management Policy.
  2. Subject learning materials are relevant to the field and inclusive of contemporary and emerging scholarship.
  3. Courses develop the skills and knowledge for professional practice in relevant disciplines, and meet registration and recognition requirements of accrediting bodies where required.
  4. Courses and subjects are supported by the availability of qualified staff and appropriate learning environments. 

(5) Course and subject design is student-centred, inclusive and flexible: 

  1. Transition principles are embedded in course design and pre-requisite rules are limited to those critical for progression through levels of study.
  2. Multiple perspectives are integrated with curriculum design, particularly those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 
  3. Students are provided with learning materials in a timely manner, and access is enabled through digital versions wherever possible. 
  4. An equivalent learning experience is afforded to all students in a subject, regardless of mode, pace or location of study.
  5. Student workload is set appropriately to the level and learning outcomes of courses and subjects.

(6) Curriculum is coherent and fosters a deep approach to learning:

  1. Alignment is present between learning activities, teaching methods and assessment.
  2. Curricula approaches privilege active, authentic and engaged learning experiences, and encourage independent and critical thinking.
  3. Courses are sequenced to foster progressive learning with breadth and depth appropriate to the type and level of the course.
  4. Courses and subjects lead to the acquisition of the La Trobe Graduate Capabilities and the course learning outcomes.
  5. Development of concepts, skills and awareness in academic integrity are integrated throughout courses and at appropriate points in subject design. 

(7) Course and subject design are informed by robust review and consultation (as set out in the Course and Subject Management Procedure - Approvals and the Course and Subject Management Procedure - Monitoring and Review.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(8) N/A

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Section 5 - Associated Documents

  1. Course Design Standard – The La Trobe Course Architecture via the Course Architecture intranet
  2. Course Design Procedure - Graduate Capabilities
  3. Course Design Procedure - Teaching Staff Qualifications 
  4. Course Design Guidelines - Subject Minimum Online Requirements
  5. Course Design Guidelines - Subject Rules
  6. Assessment Policy 
  7. Course and Subject Management Policy 
  8. Course and Subject Management Procedure - Approvals
  9. Course and Subject Management Procedure - Monitoring and Review
  10. Staff Guidelines for Calibrating Student Workload