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Admissions Standard - Credit

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Section 1 - Key Information

(1) This Standard applies to students enrolling in courses new to them from 1 January 2020. Students enrolled in courses prior to 1 January 2020 are subject to the provisions in the Advanced Standing Policy.

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

(2) This document outlines the standards for the granting of credit in accordance with the Admissions Policy and the Admissions Procedure - Credit

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) Refer to the Admissions Policy.

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Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key Decisions  Role
General oversight of this Standard Director, Student Administration
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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(4) Refer to the Admissions Policy.

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Section 6 - Standards

Part A - Overview

(5) Credit in a La Trobe University course is granted for:

  1. a block component of a course (for example, a completed VET diploma may entitle the holder to exemption from the first year of a cognate La Trobe three- year degree course);
  2. individual subjects.

(6) Credit may result from an individual application by a student or through an articulation agreement between institutions.

(7) Information on credit precedents, where they exist, is provided to students on the University website via a credit search tool.

(8) All credit is granted in accordance with the principles and conditions for the granting of credit outlined in this Standard.

Part B - Principles For the Granting of Credit

(9) Credit is granted towards an individual course at La Trobe University for activities and studies that would form an acceptable part of that course.

(10) Credit is granted in La Trobe courses in ways that:

  1. support student progress and success;
  2. avoid the duplication of material wherever possible;
  3. ensure that students can meet the learning outcomes and the award requirements of the course to which they are admitted.

(11) The University ensures that decisions regarding applications for credit are: 

  1. timely
  2. evidence-based and transparent
  3. fair and consistent
  4. academically defensible

(12) The assessment of credit at La Trobe takes account of:

  1. learning outcomes
  2. volume of learning
  3. content of study
  4. course level

Part C - Standard Conditions for Granting of Credit

(13) Where all other conditions are met, eligibility for credit is not affected by:

  1. the location or mode in which the destination course is taught;
  2. the grades received in a subject, providing a pass grade has been achieved. A Conceded Pass does not constitute a pass for this purpose.

(14) Credit is only available for learning that is deemed current, that is learning that took place no more than eight years ago from the proposed year of commencement in the La Trobe course. This is applied as follows:

  1. for prior credentialed studies the relevant year is the year of completion of a subject or group of subjects;
  2. for non-credentialed learning, this is taken from the most recent year of the experience or learning.

(15) Shorter timeframes may apply in some courses in order to meet professional registration/accreditation requirements, or where there have been significant discipline advances. These are set by the Course Coordinator and approved by the Dean or nominee of the relevant School.

(16) Credit may only be granted towards whole subjects.

(17) Subjects completed at another institution for which credit has been allocated towards a La Trobe University course are not counted towards a student’s Weighted Average Mark (WAM).

Part D - Limits to Granting of Credit

(18) Some factors may limit the credit that may be granted towards a La Trobe University course. These include:

  1. recommended baselines for the percentage of credit that may be granted at each course level, as outlined in the Australian Government AQF Qualifications Pathways Policy;
  2. minimum requirements for the award of a La Trobe qualification;
  3. entry restrictions on designated courses;
  4. professional accreditation requirements.

(19) Students may not be granted credit for:

  1. the capstone of any course, including a capstone of a major;
  2. the thesis components of any course;
  3. any studies completed at another institution during a period of suspension that has been applied as a penalty arising from a finding of academic misconduct, in accordance with the Student Academic Misconduct - Schedule of Penalties and Actions.

Minimum Requirements for the Award of a La Trobe Qualification

(20) In order to be awarded a La Trobe qualification students must meet a minimum proportion of the relevant course, thereby limiting the total amount of credit that may be granted.  Students applying to enter a new course at La Trobe University, including students who have already taken out a previous award at the University, must complete the following minimum proportions of the destination course at the University:

  1. for a diploma and associate degree awards, a student must complete at least 50 per cent of the destination course at La Trobe University;
  2. for a bachelor’s degree and bachelor’s double degrees, a student must complete at least 33 per cent of the destination course at La Trobe University (in the case of a double degree this applies to each course);
  3. for Professional Certificate, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master’s awards a student must complete at least 50 per cent of the destination course at La Trobe University.

(21) Students who seek to enrol concurrently in any two separate courses are subject to the same minimum completion requirements and must complete the relevant number of discrete subjects in each course in order to qualify for each award.

Cognate Entry to Masters Awards

(22) Where a student with a cognate background applies for admission to a Master’s award the length of the Master’s course is determined by the credit points required after recognition of the cognate learning has been applied. For example, the course length for a student admitted with a cognate Graduate Certificate (AQF Level 8) to a Master’s degree requiring 240 credit points would be reduced by 60 credit points (240 CPs - 60 CPs = 180CPs). In this instance the student must complete a minimum of 90 credit points (50% x 180) at La Trobe for the award to be conferred.

(23) Where a student who has been granted recognition of cognate learning at the point of admission into a Master’s award seeks to exit early with a Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate, the recognition of cognate learning will need to be re-calculated. The student will be required to complete a minimum of 60 credit points for the Graduate Diploma (50% x 120) or 30 credit points for the Graduate Certificate (50% x 60) at La Trobe in order to qualify for the award.


(24) Students who have completed the relevant subjects at La Trobe either as part of a course or as a Single Subject enrolment, are exempt from the minimum requirements above. This exception does not apply to students enrolled in concurrent courses and is limited to:

  1. current La Trobe students who have not taken out the award for their current course, and who apply for an internal transfer into another La Trobe course with subjects in common (unless that course is a Restricted Entry Course); 
  2. students who apply and gain re-admission to their prior course of study at La Trobe;
  3. La Trobe students who have completed a nested or alternate exit qualification, and subsequently seek entry to the associated higher qualification. 

Restricted Entry Courses

(25) The University may designate courses where there is only admission into first year. In such courses, for example those where the number of clinical placements is restricted, the University may offer any of the following options in relation to the assessment of credit for prior studies:

  1. no credit may be granted;
  2. partial credit may be granted.

(26) In circumstances where students cannot be granted the full value of credit for any content previously mastered, they will be given the option of repeating content through enrolment in La Trobe University subjects and/or of choosing alternative subjects through the credit application process.

(27) Information on limited credit in Restricted Entry Courses is provided to prospective applicants on the La Trobe website and in letters of offer.


(28) For the purposes of this Standard:

  1. articulation agreement: an arrangement that specifies the amount of credit to be allocated as an outcome of a pathway between two courses at two or more educational institutions.
  2. capstone: any subject teaching, evaluating and providing feedback that consolidates learning from across the course, and evaluates the level of student achievement towards achieving the standard set for the capstone.
  3. cognate course: courses in the same or related discipline or specialisation.
  4. Conceded Pass: A pass, represented by the grade NC, that counts towards a qualification but does not satisfy a prerequisite. 
  5. course: a course of study leading to the award of a degree, diploma, or other award.
  6. credentialed studies: studies undertaken within an accredited higher education or vocational education provider for which a credential is received following assessment of achievement. These are typically award courses under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) but may also include other award courses and assessed non-award courses offered by accrediting bodies. 
  7. credit: the recognition of prior learning outcomes resulting in a reduction of the number of subjects or credit points required to successfully complete the course.
  8. destination course: the course in which an applicant is seeking to have credit awarded on the basis of former experience or relevant study.
  9. nested qualification: where two or more courses of different levels in the Australian Qualifications Framework(AQF) are combined in a way where sub-qualification categories are fully articulated within the higher qualification categories.
  10. non-credentialed (informal): learning achieved through structured activities outside the environment of an accredited higher education or vocational education provider that does not result in a formal record of achievement such as a qualification.
  11. volume of learning: identifies the normal duration of all activities required for the achievement of the learning outcomes specified for a particular Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification type. It is expressed in equivalent full-time years.
  12. WAM (Weighted Average Mark): A score representing student performance across a course of study. It is calculated by:
    1. multiplying the percentage score for an individual subject by the subject's credit point value;
    2. summing the individual results of Step 1 for all subjects taken;
    3. dividing the result of Step 2 by the sum of credit point values for all subjects taken.
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Section 7 - Authority and Associated Information

(29) This Standard is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.

(30) The following information is associated with this Standard:

  1. Advanced Standing webpage