A-Z Policy Listing


Date first approved:
9 October 2015

Date of effect:
9 October 2015

Date last amended:
(refer Version Control Table)
9 October 2015

Date of Next Review:
December 2018

First approved by:

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address

Course Management Coordinator, Academic Quality and Standards Unit, quality@uow.edu.au

Responsible Division & Unit

Director, Academic Quality and Standards

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy

Course Design Procedures and the Course Review Procedures
Course and Subject Approval Procedures – New Courses and Significant Amendments to Existing Courses

Course and Subject Approval Procedures - Less Significant Amendments to Existing Courses

ESOS Compliance Policy

CRICOS Registration and CRICOS Amendments Procedures

AQF Validation Procedures

AQF Implementation Procedures

Credit for Prior Learning Policy

General Course Rules

Delegations of Authority Policy

Relevant Legislation & External Documents:

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

Higher Education Support Act, 2003 (Commonwealth)

Australian Qualifications Framework

Standards - Commission for Academic Accreditation, UAE


Public – accessible to anyone

Submit your feedback on this policy document using the Policy Feedback Facility.


1 Purpose and Scope 2

2 Background 2

3 Definitions 2

4 Course Policy Framework 3

5 Course Attributes 3

6 Course Design 4

7 Course Approval 4

8 Course Review 4

9 Roles & Responsibilities 5

10 Version Control and Change History 5

Appendix 1 6

      1 Purpose and Scope

        1. The Course Policy provides the framework for the management and quality assurance of courses at UOW. It provides guidance to staff who design, develop, approve, monitor and review courses to ensure their ongoing viability, quality and strategic alignment.

        2. This Policy operates in conjunction with the General Course Rules and the procedures regulating course design, course approval and course review.

        3. This Policy supports the UOW Standards and Quality Framework for Learning and Teaching.

        4. This Policy applies to all UOW courses (award and non-award) including courses that are approved by UOW and delivered by a third party provider at either an onshore or offshore delivery location

      2 Background

      • 1. UOW is a registered self-accrediting higher education provider with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, with authority to self-accredit courses of study that it offers or confers.
      • 2. UOW is responsible under the TEQSA Act, 2011 for ensuring that all self-accredited courses of study comply with the Higher Education Standards Framework.
      • 3. The Higher Education Standards Framework includes the following requirements:
            • a. There are processes for internal approval of the delivery of a course of study, or, where a provider has authority to self-accredit, internal accreditation, of all courses of study leading to an Australian Higher Education Qualification.
            • b. Course approval and self-accreditation processes are overseen by peak institutional academic governance processes and they are applied consistently to all courses of study, before the courses are first offered and during re-approval or re-accreditation of the courses.
            • c. A course of study is approved or accredited, or re-approved or re-accredited, only when:
              • i. the course of study meets, and continues to meet, the applicable Standards of the Higher Education Standards Framework
              • ii. the decision to (re-)approve or (re-)accredit a course of study is informed by overarching academic scrutiny of the course of study that is competent to assess the design, delivery and assessment of the course of study independently of the staff directly involved in those aspects of the course, and
              • iii. the resources required to deliver the course as approved or accredited will be available when needed.

      3 Definitions




Award course

A course recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework and approved by the Delegated Authority as an award or degree offered at the University of Wollongong. An award course leads to a higher education award as detailed in the General Course Rules.


The Australian Qualifications Framework


A program of study offered by the University leading to an AQF qualification, or a non-award course.

Course Structure

Refers to the specific program of subjects which a student undertakes to meet the requirements of a course as specified in the Course Handbook for the year the course was commenced.

Delegated Authority

A person or body granted decision-making authority as detailed in the Delegations of Authority Policy

Non-award course

Any courses that is not an award course, and the successful completion of which does not lead to a higher education award.


Pathways allow students to move through qualification levels with full or partial recognition for the qualifications and/or learning outcomes they can demonstrate.

    4 Course Policy Framework

      • 1. The Course Policy Framework (Appendix 1) describes the policy framework on all curriculum related activities at UOW, and how they related to the UOW Quality Framework.

      Course Design

      • 2. The Course Design Procedures regulate course design for all proposed and approved UOW courses.
      • 3. The Credit for Prior Learning Policy and accompanying procedures set out provisions relating to qualification pathways and recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes, and the governing principles and processes for credit.
      • 4. The AQF Validation Procedures and the AQF Implementation Procedures detail the AQF validation and implementation processes for courses that were suspended as at 1 January 2015 and are yet to be validated against the AQF.

      Course Approval

      • 5. The Course and Subject Approval Procedures (New Courses and Significant Amendments to Existing Courses and the Course and Subject Approval Procedures - Less Significant Amendments to Existing Courses) detail course approval procedures for all courses at UOW.
      • 6. The ESOS Compliance Framework Policy and the CRICOS Registration and CRICOS Amendments Procedures set out the University’s procedures to meet ESOS requirements.

      Course Review

      • 7. The Course Review Procedures set out the processes for monitoring, review and re-approval of existing courses.

      5 Course Attributes

      • 1. All courses offered by UOW will reflect the following attributes:
          • 1.1. Quality – judged by reference to relevant sector and disciplinary standards and through benchmarking and other comparators;
          • 1.2. Viability – judged by reference to financial and academic sustainability measures, and
          • 1.3. Strategic Alignment – judged by reference to the strategic priorities of the University and of the faculty.

      6 Course Design

      • 1. The University will:
            • a. develop, adopt and implement a set of procedures for course design for the UOW course portfolio that is in line with and supports the course attributes for a UOW course;
            • b. include within the procedures specific details relating to:
              • i. appropriate entry standards and entry and exit pathways, including articulation from other studies and to further studies,
              • ii. AQF qualification levels criteria and qualification type descriptors,
              • iii. structural requirements of all courses by qualification type,
              • iv. processes for effective assurance of Course, Major and Subject Learning Outcomes,
              • v. appropriate engagement by students in intellectual inquiry consistent with the nature and level of the units being taught and the expected learning outcomes of the course of study;
            • c. provide staff with guiding or explanatory material to support and implement the process of course design;
            • d. ensure that course design takes account of the credit students may gain for prior learning, subject to preserving the integrity of learning outcomes and/or discipline requirements of the award to which it applies; and
            • e. adopt strategies to monitor, review and improve the course design through the course approval and course review processes.

      7 Course Approval

      • 1. The University will:
            • a. maintain an effective framework to ensure all approved UOW courses reflect the course attributes for a UOW course;
            • b. implement a strategic and efficient governance process for course approval;
            • c. adopt procedures that describe and regulate the approval process;
            • d. adopt procedures to appropriately manage amendment and discontinuation of courses;
            • e. include within the procedures specific details relating to the assessment of relevant matters in course approval; and
            • f. adopt strategies to monitor, review and improve faculty managed processes for course approval.

      8 Course Review

      • 1. The University will:
            • a. maintain effective processes to monitor, review and re-accredit the course portfolio;
            • b. support the course review process through annual course performance monitoring;
            • c. adopt procedures to support both internal and external course and subject reviews;
            • d. provide guiding and explanatory materials to support and implement the process of course and subject review; and
            • e. adopt strategies to monitor, review and improve course review processes.

      9 Roles & Responsibilities

      • 1. The University is responsible for:
            • a. establishing effective processes to take into account new or amended legislation, national standards, discipline standards and relevant external benchmarks that may affect the Course Policy;
            • b. ensuring that compliance with legislation, standards and benchmarks is taken account of within procedures where detailed actions need to be taken for business continuity and/or risk management purposes;
            • c. providing guiding or explanatory materials to support and implement the process of compliance with this policy.
      • 2. The Academic Quality and Standards Unit is primarily responsible for the administration of this policy, and is responsible for administering course-related procedures, processes and systems in accordance with this policy.
      • 3. Learning, Teaching & Curriculum is responsible for providing information, advice and consultation to faculties and individual academics to facilitate the design of subjects, major study areas and courses which are constructively aligned and reflective of research-based educational practice.


      • 4. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) has executive oversight of the implementation of this policy.
      • 5. Each Faculty Executive Dean and each Associate Dean (Education) are jointly responsible within their respective faculties for:
            • a. ensuring that faculty processes and governance arrangements are in place and operating as required to contribute to course related activities outlined in this policy;
            • b. overseeing course activities in accordance with the provisions of this policy; and
            • c. reporting the outcomes of these activities as required under the strategic planning process and the course portfolio planning process. .


      • 6. The Strategic Course Development Committee, the Quality Assurance Review Group and the Academic Senate provide general oversight of course approval and course review.
      • 7. The Strategic Course Development Committee is responsible for overseeing the development of new courses and significant amendments to existing courses.
      • 8. Academic Senate is responsible for final approval of new courses, significant amendments to existing courses and the review and re-approval of existing courses.
      • 9. Faculty Education Committees have the oversight of less significant amendments to existing courses.

      10 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By




9 October 2015

University Council

New Policy arising from a review and re-orientation of the Standard on Courses to become the Course Policy.

      Appendix 1


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