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Course and Subject Management Procedure - New Course and Subject Proposals

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Procedure describes the steps for the approval of new courses and subjects.

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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 - Procedures


(4) This Procedure describes minimum requirements for proposals for new courses and subjects 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 the proposal of new graduate research subjects and courses.

(6) All courses and subjects must be developed in accordance with the course and subject design policies and associated procedures.

(7) Proposers of courses and subjects are responsible for timely consultation with all parties affected by the proposals.

(8) All proposals must be submitted in the approved format, and include details of all consultation conducted. Forms, guides and templates are linked to this Procedure.

(9) 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 A - New Subject Proposals and Approvals

(10) Where new subjects form part of a new course the steps in Part B of this Procedure apply.

(11) Academic approval pathways for individual subjects vary, depending on whether those subjects are proposed for general elective use or as a replacement or addition to an existing course, as follows:

Subject Type Forms Required Academic Approvals
Unattached elective CIMS entry College Coursework Committee, with report of new approvals to University Coursework Committee
Additional subject(s) in an existing course Course Revision Proposal As per Course and Subject Management Procedure - Revisions, Suspensions and Closures
Replacement subject(s) in an existing course Course Revision Proposal As per Course and Subject Management Procedure - Revisions, Suspensions and Closures

(12) Where a new unattached elective or additional subject is proposed Heads of School, or nominees, may use the New Subject Calculator to determine the business case for the proposal.

(13) The title and Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) code of all proposed subjects must be approved by the Deputy Director, Student Administration prior to academic approvals.

(14) The University has some subjects (for example Hallmark subjects) that are not owned or managed by a school or college. Those subjects must be reviewed and approved by the relevant Board of Studies, where such entity exists.

(15) In the rare case that a Board of Studies cannot be used, and the subject is not owned by a school or college, the subject is submitted directly to the University’s Coursework Committee for approval.

Part B - Course Proposals

(16) There are two components to the approval of all new courses:

  1. management review and approval
  2. academic approvals

Management Approval

Course Ideas and Validation

(17) The Marketing and Recruitment Division provides support to proposers and Colleges for the development of concept proposals and undertakes concept validation.

(18) The College Provost is responsible for recommending prioritised lists of course ideas, on advice from the College Portfolio Development Group, to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)for approval to proceed to business case development.

(19) New courses involving third party teaching arrangements have additional requirements under the Educational Partnerships Policy and associated procedures.

Development of Business Case

(20) The College General Manager in each College is responsible for the development of the business case, in consultation with all relevant Heads of School, and with support from the Finance and Marketing and Recruitment Divisions.

(21) The following course types do not require a business case, where the College General Manager confirms that no additional resources will be required, outside normal administrative overheads:

  1. nested awards within existing courses that involve only the current subjects within the relevant course
  2. double degrees and combined degrees involving existing approved courses


(22) The College Provost reviews and endorses final business cases on the recommendation of the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework) for submission to the University Course Portfolio and Scholarships Committee.

(23) Proposing colleges must have at least one member present at the Course Portfolio and Scholarships Committee to speak to submissions.

(24) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or nominee approves business cases, normally on the advice of the Course Portfolio and Scholarships Committee. The business case must be approved prior to submission of the New Course Proposal to the University Coursework Committee.

Academic Approval of Courses

School and College Review

(25) Head(s) of School or their delegates are responsible for overseeing and approving the development of course proposals.

(26) Head(s) of School or delegates submit course proposals to the College Coursework Committee for review.

(27) The College Provost or nominee of the relevant college is responsible for approving courses for submission to the University Coursework Committee. This normally follows:

  1. confirmation from the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework) of alignment of the course proposal with the approved business case
  2. the recommendation of the College Coursework Committee

(28) If the proposal is not aligned with the approved business case, the College Provost may seek approval from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) for amendments to the approved business case.

University Review and Approvals

(29) The University Coursework Committee will consider the academic merit of the proposal and its compliance with University policies and external regulatory requirements.

(30) Proposing colleges must have at least one member present at the University Coursework Committee when a proposal is being considered. Where deemed appropriate the proposing college may request the attendance of an additional person at the meeting to speak to the proposal.

(31) The University Coursework Committee may:

  1. endorse and refer the submission to Academic Board for approval
  2. endorse pending further information and Chair’s out-of-session approval
  3. refer the submission back to the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework) for further action.

(32) Academic Board may approve course proposals or refer submissions back to University Coursework Committee where required.

(33) Courses are approved for a maximum period of seven years from the date of the relevant Academic Board meeting. Courses may only be re-approved as an outcome of an Academic Course Review as outlined in the Course Review Procedure.

Out-of-Session Approval Processes

(34) In exceptional circumstances one of the management and/or one of the academic governance approval or endorsement processes can be undertaken out of session.

(35) The College Provost or nominee should present the submission to the relevant committee Chair with a memo explaining the circumstances of the request.

(36) Outcomes of out-of-session submissions are included in the agenda and minutes of the subsequent committee meeting as items for ratification.

Part C - Commencement Date for New Courses

(37) Following Academic Board approval of a new course the relevant Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework) reviews the course implementation and marketing plans and the readiness to proceed with the course with the course proposer and relevant Head(s) of School or nominee.

(38) Where the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework) is satisfied that all requirements for implementation are able to be met all key stakeholders are advised to proceed with plans for implementation of the course on the agreed date.

(39) Where there is likely to be a significant variation the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework) will advise the College Provost. The College Provost notifies the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and makes a request to either continue with the changed arrangements or seek approval for an amended business case where required.

(40) If more than one year elapses between the approval of the business case and the approval to deliver, the College Provost must submit an updated version of the original business case for the approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or nominee.

Part D - Course Information and Promotion

(41) Colleges are advised of course and subject approval outcomes by report of the relevant Committee. In the case of courses, outcomes are final only after Academic Board approval.

(42) College Education Teams are responsible for updating the University’s official course register following advice of any subject and course approvals, with any amendments where required by the approving committee.

(43) Content for any publications, including Tertiary Admissions Guides, handbooks and websites, will be drawn from the Course Register by staff with appropriate authorisation.

(44) No new courses may be included in publications prior to approval of the agreed delivery commencement date by the AAssociate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Coursework) or College Provost where relevant, and, where required:

  1. CRICOS code allocation
  2. professional body approval

(45) In exceptional circumstances, and normally following University Coursework Committee endorsement, the University’s intent to offer a new course(s) may be advertised with approval by email from the Executive Director, Quality and Standards. Advertising implying that a course is open for applications may not be undertaken for any course prior to its approval by Academic Board.

(46) Where a course is deemed eligible for professional recognition only recognition statements approved by the Quality and Standards Office may be included in any publications.

(47) The owning School is responsible for:

  1. seeking authority and/or notifying professional bodies
  2. providing updated information to the Academic Quality Team in the Quality and Standards Office 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

Forms and Guidelines

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

  1. New Course Proposal
  2. Course Learning Outcomes Mapping Template
  3. Sample New Course Proposal