Policy Directory


Date first approved:

4 December 2015

Date of effect:

1 January 2016

Date last amended:
(refer to Version Control Table)

1 July 2017

Date of Next Review:

1 January 2019

First Approved by:

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Director, Academic Quality and Standards Unit



Manager, Academic Quality and Policy
Academic Quality and Standards Unit

Responsible Division & Unit:

Academic Quality and Standards Unit
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Portfolio

Supporting documents, procedures & forms:

Schedule A - Checklist for Developing New Joint & Dual Awards
Schedule B - Partner Institution Selection Criteria
Schedule C - List of UOW Joint & Dual Awards Courses 2016
Collaborative Delivery of a UOW Course Policy (under development)
Joint Doctor of Philosophy Agreement Policy

Course Policy
Course and Subject Approval Procedures - New Offerings and Significant Amendments to Existing Courses

Relevant Legislation &

External Documents:

UOW Standards and Quality Framework for Learning and Teaching
Higher Education Standards Framework

TEQSA’s Approach to the Assessment of Joint and Dual Awards




1 Introduction and Scope

  • 1. The University of Wollongong (UOW) enters into arrangements for the delivery of courses jointly with other institutions in the following ways:

    a. A Joint Award, under which a course is delivered jointly by UOW and one or more partner institutions and upon completion of the course a student receives a single award conferred jointly by those institutions; and

    b. A Dual Award, under which a student is enrolled concurrently at two institutions and is conferred an award from each institution.

  • 2. This policy applies to all courses that lead to a Joint or Dual award with the exceptions noted below. All proposals to offer a Joint or Dual award with one or more other institutions will be developed and approved in accordance with this policy.
  • 3. All proposals to offer a Joint or Dual award with an international partner institution will be developed in consultation with the Transnational Education and Alliances Unit.
  • 4. This policy does not apply to:

    a. Cotutelle arrangements and jointly badged PhD awards which are covered by the Joint Doctor of Philosophy Agreement Policy;

    b. Collaborative courses where the University of Wollongong is the sole awarding institution, which are covered by the Collaborative Delivery of a UOW Course Policy; and

    c. Articulation and Twinning arrangements which are covered by the Credit for Prior Learning Policy.

  • 5. The availability of study abroad or exchange studies at another institution within an award course does not, by reason of this alone, constitute a Joint Award program.

2 Definitions


Definition (with examples if required)

Award course or course

A program of study consisting of a combination of subjects and other requirements, leading to a UOW award.

Collaborative course

A program of study leading to a UOW award, which is solely conferred by UOW, and which is either, wholly or partially collaboratively designed, delivered and/or assessed by UOW and one or more partner institution(s) with or without degree awarding powers.

Dual Award

A Dual Award involves UOW and another entity offering a course of study which results in two separate qualifications being conferred by the two institutions. A dual award may involve one AQF level, or two sequential AQF levels - for example, two Masters degrees or a Bachelor and Diploma award. Dual awards may provide students with the opportunity to complete two awards in a shorter timeframe than if completed separately. (TEQSA 2013)

Joint Award
(may also be referred to as a Jointly Conferred Award)

A Joint Award involves the awarding of a single qualification which is jointly conferred by UOW and one or more higher education providers. Joint Awards typically involve close cooperation in curriculum development, design, organisation, course delivery, and assessment of learning outcomes as well as requirements necessary for awarding the qualification. (TEQSA 2013)

Partner institution

Another institution or organisation (typically another higher education provider or registered training provider) with whom the University has a partnership arrangement to deliver a joint or dual award. This includes affiliated entities under the management of UOW Enterprises (UOWE): UOW Dubai (UOWD), UOW College (UOWC) and Community College of City University (CCCU) in Hong Kong.

Third Party

Any other legal entity contracted to deliver a service on behalf of the University.


An arrangement between UOW and an overseas university/institution to offer a program of study whereby a student can complete part of the UOW course at their home institution and then transfer to UOW to complete the remainder of the course. Typically, this involves a 2+1 arrangement whereby the student completes their final year of an undergraduate degree at UOW. A Twinning arrangement typically involves close cooperation in curriculum development and design between UOW and the partner institution. It is this which distinguishes it from an articulation or credit transfer arrangement. Twinning arrangements are regulated under the Credit for Prior Learning Policy.

3 Purpose

  • 1. The Joint and Dual Awards Policy establishes the framework under which Faculties can apply to offer Joint or Dual Award programs with other partner institutions.
  • 2. UOW is responsible for ensuring the academic standard of any course offered or conferred by it, whether or not this is in collaboration with one or more other higher education providers. This Policy aims to protect the integrity of UOW’s higher education awards.

4 Policy Principles

  • 1. The academic standards of Joint and Dual awards will be equivalent to those of comparable awards conferred solely by the University.
  • 2. Partner institutions will have the demonstrated capability to deliver the program to the academic standards required by the University and to sustain those programs financially and the legal standing to enter into an agreement with the University.
  • 3. Typically partner institutions will be an Australian registered higher education provider or training provider, an international institution with which the University has an agreement under the International Alliances Policy, or an institution assessed under the Federal Department of Education and Training Country Education Profiles assessment process as offering university standard qualifications.
  • 4. The student learning experience in Joint and Dual awards will be comparable to those of students in sole UOW programs and enable students to achieve the required course learning outcomes.
  • 5. Except in special circumstances approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), the University will not partner with more than two other institutions in any one Joint Award. A Dual Award, by definition, involves the University partnering with one institution.
  • 6. For Joint postgraduate programs, each partner's contribution to the coursework component of the program should be approximately equal. Where the research component of a coursework program is 30% or greater, the research component should be supervised jointly by each partner institution.
  • 7. For Joint Awards, there will be evidence of collaborative curriculum design leading to the joint award with all institutions involved.

5 Approval and Administration of Joint and Dual Awards

  • 1. Arrangements for establishing, delivering, monitoring and reviewing Joint and Dual Award programs will be specified in a legally binding agreement between the partner institutions.

    2. The agreement will be approved at a faculty level by the Executive Dean and at a central level by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy.

    3. The agreement will set out clearly the responsibilities of each partner institution and address the matters listed in the Checklist for Developing New Joint & Dual Awards (Schedule A).

    4. Selection of Partner Institutions will be guided by the Criteria for Partner Institution Selection (Schedule B).

    5. The course of study that is the subject of the agreement will be approved by Academic Senate through the process set out in the Course Policy and Course and Subject Approval Procedures - New Offerings and Significant Amendments to Existing Courses.

    6. Where the course has previously been approved for offering as a UOW course, approval by Academic Senate will be required before the course can be offered as a dual or joint course.

    7. The agreement will provide for comparable rules and policies to be applied by the partner institution(s) to students undertaking the Joint or Dual course regarding matters including, but not limited to, assessment and academic misconduct, as applicable.

    8. In the case where University policies need to have their application modified to suit the needs of partnership arrangements, all variations from standard University policies will to be brought to the attention of the relevant Policy Custodian and the Governance Unit. Exceptions to University policies will be approved by the relevant Delegated Authority. Exceptions are not permissible if, in the opinion of the Delegated Authority, they will compromise the University's standards, reputation or assets.

    9. All promotional and marketing material related to a Joint and Dual Award will be approved in accordance with the Marketing, Media and Communications Policy and will reflect all partner institutions as specified in the agreement.

6 Review and Monitoring

  • 1. A Joint or Dual Award course will be reviewed in accordance with the University's Course Review Procedures.

    2. The course review process will involve input and feedback from the partner institution(s).

    3. Before a renewal of the legal agreement, the arrangement will be reviewed to ensure that the contractual obligations of each partner are being effectively implemented and that the academic, business and strategic case for continuing the arrangement is considered.

7 Roles and Responsibilities


  • 1. The Executive Dean, Associate Dean (Education) and Associate Dean (International), if applicable, will ensure that all proposed arrangements advance faculty education objectives, and that academic standards and quality can be achieved and maintained.

    2. The Executive Dean will confirm in writing that the faculty will be able to resource the arrangement.

    3. The Executive Dean will approve the Joint or Dual Award course at the faculty level prior to submission of the course approval documentation to the Strategic Course Development Committee.

    4. The Executive Dean will approve the partnership agreement at the faculty level prior to submission of the signed agreement to the Delegated Authority for final approval.

    5. The Executive Dean will ensure that the course and partnership arrangement is reviewed in accordance with clauses 7 (1, 2, 3) above.

    6. Faculty staff involved in negotiating with partner institutions are required to consult with the relevant Professional Units as listed below in conjunction with those negotiations.

Legal Services Unit

    7. Legal Services will work with relevant faculty staff to prepare the legal agreement.

    8. A number of standard terms and conditions are also likely to be required in the Legal Agreement. While these may be the subject of negotiation, it is likely to be between the legal officers of partner institutions, rather than Faculty-based academic staff. These standards terms and conditions normally cover matters relating to insurance, indemnities, severance, dispute resolution, etc.

Transnational Education & Alliances Unit (TNE&A)

    9. TNE&A will advise on and assist with due diligence checks for international partner institutions.

Academic Quality & Standards Unit (AQS)

    10. AQS will advise on academic standards and quality matters and manage the course approval and course review processes through the relevant central committees.

Governance Unit

    11. The Governance Unit will work with relevant faculty staff to arrange Council approval of joint testamurs (where applicable) and advise on governance issues more broadly, including referring any request for variation of the application of University policies to the relevant Policy Custodian.

Financial Services Unit

    12. The Financial Services Unit will advise on matters relating to tuition fee setting and disbursement.

Student Services Division

    13. The Student Services Division will advise on matters relating to student admission, enrolment, student record keeping, graduation and conferrals.

8 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By



1 January 2016

University Council

First Version.


22 April 2016

University Council

Reference to Production of Marketing Materials and Use of the UOW Brand Policy updated to Marketing, Media and Communications Policy.


31 March 2017


Where Course approval has previously been approved for offering as a UOW course, approval by Academic Senate will now be required before the course can be offered as a dual or joint course, not the Strategic Course Development Committee.

Removal of Schedule C – List of Join and Dual Award Courses approved for offering in 2016.


1 July 2017

University Council

Consequential amendment – Section 6 Testamur for Joint Awards removed as these provisions are included within the new Conferrals and Issuance Policy.

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