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Course and Subject Management Policy

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Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Academic – Academic Board
Accountable Executive – Policy Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible Manager – Policy Director, Quality & Standards
Review Date 22 April 2027
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Section 2 - Purpose

(1) This Policy provides a framework for the approval, monitoring and improvement of the University’s courses, including their component parts such as subjects, majors and minors.

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Section 3 - Scope

(2) This Policy applies to:

  1. undergraduate and postgraduate coursework award courses
  2. non-award credentialed and non-credentialled courses
  3. coursework subjects in graduate research courses for the purposes of regular monitoring (see Course and Subject Management Procedure - Monitoring and Review)

(3) This Policy does not apply to the review of graduate research courses, which is managed under the provisions of the Graduate Research Course Management Policy.

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Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key Decisions  Role
General oversight of this Policy Director, Quality & Standards
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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(4) The University has defined authorities and processes for the approval and maintenance of its courses. These processes are supported by the principles outlined in this Policy.


(5) All new courses, and their component parts, are approved for delivery following a thorough analysis of quality and fit within the University’s approved course portfolio strategy. This means that there is evidence of:

  1. alignment to student and industry needs and employment demand indicating sustainable financial and educational viability
  2. rigorous benchmarking and evaluation of proposals against discipline, national and international comparators and all relevant standards
  3. feedback and input from university stakeholders, expert peers, employers and professional bodies
  4. compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements, and the requirements of professional and discipline accreditation bodies where this applies
  5. a considered, coherent and student-centred course structure aligned with the University’s Course Design Policy.

(6) All courses are subject to continuing rigorous academic oversight including regular monitoring, review and improvement. This means:

  1. annual collection and analysis of performance data to monitor performance and inform improvements including:
    1. measures of student retention, progression and completion in subjects and the course overall, which are benchmarked to institutional, national and international data
    2. feedback and input from stakeholders including students, staff, advisory bodies, and employers and professional bodies as relevant to the course
  2. review of longitudinal data, periodic external peer review of standards and assessment of viability prior to re-accreditation.

(7) In line with relevant University procedures, course or subject changes are undertaken to ensure the continued viability and relevance of a course, but with due reference to the impact on students of any change. This means:

  1. courses and subjects are regularly updated as a result of feedback from stakeholders, contemporary research and developments in discipline and professional areas, and internal review processes and benchmarking
  2. courses and subjects that are identified as consistently receiving poor student feedback, or failing to meet the Threshold Standards or maintain viability, may be revised, terminated or suspended
  3. sufficient notice of changes and their impact is provided to ensure that students are able to seek assistance and provide input
  4. transition processes are designed to ensure that students can continue programs without disadvantage, professional recognition is maintained, and no other course is negatively affected.
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Section 6 - Procedures

(8) The following procedures form part of this Policy suite:

  1. Course and Subject Management Procedure - Monitoring and Review
  2. Course and Subject Management Procedure - Approvals
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Section 7 - Definitions

(9) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Award: a qualification that is conferred on completion of a University accredited course.
  2. Award (non-AQF): a qualification that is conferred on completion of a course that is accredited by the University but not recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  3. Award course: a period of study, typically made up of one or more subjects, which leads to the conferral of an award or qualification recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  4. Course: a course of study leading to the award of a degree, diploma, or other award.
  5. Non-award credentialed course: a course that is not recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework, but in which assessment attainment is recorded and a testamur provided (eg Tertiary Enabling Program).
  6. Non-credentialed course: a course that is not recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework, where there is no testamur or formal assessment, but for which a certificate of attendance may be issued (eg professional development programs).
  7. Professional recognition: all types of formal acknowledgement by a professional body that a course and/or graduate of a course meet its requirements.
  8. Subject: a unit of study involving students in a series of learning activities, the outcomes of which are assessed.
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Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(10) This Policy is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.

(11) Associated information includes:

  1. See Course and Subject Management intranet page for course and subject management forms and guidelines.