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Course Name and Award Title Nomenclature Policy

Purpose

Scope

Principles

Policy statements

Policy ownership and support

Definitions

Approval information

PDF version

References


1. Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the course name, testamur award title and abbreviation of a course are established in accordance with clearly identified standards, and that these standards are applied consistently across the university.

2. Scope

1.2 This policy applies to:

  • all levels of award courses as identified in Rule 13.7, Student Rules, and
  • all staff and affiliates involved in the development and management of award courses.

3. Principles

3.1 All UTS award courses must have a course name, an award title and an award abbreviation approved by the Provost (as the Vice-Chancellor’s delegate) in accordance with the principles and statements in this policy, and following the Course Name and Award Title Nomenclature Procedures (the procedures).

3.2 Course name, award title and award abbreviation must be easily understood by stakeholders (including students, employers and the general community), accepted on a national and international level, and indicative of a graduating student’s achievements.

3.3 All award course nomenclature must be consistent with the provisions of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

4. Policy statements

Generic title requirements

4.1 The course name and award title are usually the same and should generally reflect the level of award plus generic field of study, for example, Bachelor of Engineering, Master of Science.

4.2 The award abbreviation must reflect the level of award and generic field of study, for example, the award abbreviation for Master of Arts is MA.

4.3 Generic titles are usually not used for graduate diplomas and graduate certificates. Award titles at these levels reflect the specific market for the award and the course content and design.

4.4 For all masters by thesis awards, the course name for the masters degree by research will be Master of (generic field of study) (Research). ‘Research’ will be included in the award title. The word ‘Research’ in brackets, ie (Research), must appear in both the award title and in the course name immediately after the field of study, not the descriptor. The fact that a masters is a research course is reflected in the abbreviation. For example:

  • Master of Science (Research) in Computing Sciences is the award title and course name, and
  • MSc(Res) is the abbreviation.

4.5 Doctoral degrees usually have the generic title of Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated PhD.

4.6 For professional doctorates, the title would usually be Doctor of (generic field of study or specific field of study).

4.7 For bachelor honours degrees, the word ‘Honours’ in brackets, ie (Honours), must appear in both the award title and in the course name immediately after the field of study, not the descriptor. The fact that a course is an honours course is also reflected in the abbreviation. For example, at a bachelor level:

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Communication is the award title and course name, and
  • BA(Hons) is the abbreviation i.

i. See also section 4.17 in this policy on classification and grading of bachelor’s degree with honours.

4.8 For combined degrees involving an international studies component, the professional component of the degree should precede the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies in the course name. For example, Bachelor of Engineering Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (BE BA) or Bachelor of Laws Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (LLB BA).

4.9 Approval of the use of a generic title should be based on the following considerations:

  • accurate description of the level of award
  • recognition of the principal discipline of study with regard to:
    • the course objectives and learning outcomes
    • the structure and content of the course
    • the extent of the recruitment or marketing demands for the title
    • the extent of the professional or employment demands for the title, and
    • the extent of the use of titles in the national and international community
  • the number of generic titles in the general academic or professional area being used by the university
  • consistency and articulation of the title with those being utilised at the higher or lower degree level
  • government requirements for grouping courses of study.

Exceptions to normal nomenclature requirements

4.10 Where no generic field of study obviously reflects the subject matter of a course, a specific field of study may be approved as part of the course name and award title. The specific field of study is also reflected in the award abbreviation. In these circumstances, the course and award nomenclature format is level of award plus specific field of study, for example, Master of Professional Accounting, abbreviated MProfAcc.

4.11 Descriptors may be approved as part of the course name and/or award title of a course to reflect a specialisation or major. The descriptor is not reflected in the award abbreviation. For example, Bachelor of Design in Interior and Spatial Design is abbreviated BDesign, Master of Business in Finance is abbreviated MBus.

4.12 A course may have a course name and award title that differ. This is usually to reflect the further division of a specialisation. For example, the course name of the Bachelor of Engineering is different from the award title, which includes the major of specialisation: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.

4.13 Approval of a specific title and inclusion of descriptors in award titles should be based on the following considerations:

  • the extent of specialisation within the degree program, compared with the full requirements of the program in terms of course objectives, learning outcomes, structure, duration
  • the extent of the professional or employment demands for the specific title and/or descriptors
  • the possibility of misunderstanding and/or misinterpretation by students and employers
  • the life expectancy of the title, especially if it is market driven at a particular time in a specific environment
  • the perception of usage of the specific title from a national and international perspective
  • the number of specific degree titles in the general academic and professional areas used by UTS
  • the assessment of the full impact if the proposed title is not approved, for example, its effect on any agreements with external partners.

Abbreviations

4.14 Abbreviations will:

  • be considered for appropriateness, consistency and effectiveness of course identification
  • be clear and simple to avoid possible misinterpretation.

Classification and grading of awards

4.15 Classification and grading of awards shall be in accordance with the levels of award outlined in Rule 13.7.

4.16 Criteria for classification and changes to these criteria shall be approved as part of the course and award nomenclature approval.

4.17 The grading of an award course must be indicated in the award title on the testamur and not in the course name or award abbreviation. The level of honours or grading will appear at the end of the award title, for example, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with First Class Honours, Master of Engineering with Distinction.

Number of testamurs

4.18 For all combined degrees, including combined degrees involving an international studies component, two testamurs are issued, one for each award component of the combined degree. For example, for the Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, graduates receive a testamur for the Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies and a testamur for the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.

4.19 The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies can only be awarded when the other component degree has been completed and awarded.

4.20 For dual programs of study, UTS issues a testamur only for the UTS course award completed as part of the program. The course name, award title and award abbreviation for the UTS course are approved in accordance with this policy.

4.21 For doctoral degrees completed under a cotutelle agreement, successful candidates receive a doctoral award from each of the two participating institutions. The UTS testamur and official academic record states that the degree was obtained under a cotutelle agreement with the <named> institution. The course name, award title and award abbreviation for the UTS course are approved in accordance with this policy.

Editorial conventions

4.22 For bachelors degrees, masters degrees and doctoral degrees, the field of study should be indicated by using ‘of’, for example, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Laws.

4.23 For diplomas and certificates, the field of study should be shown by using ‘in’, for example, Diploma in Languages, Graduate Diploma in Engineering.

4.24 Descriptors should be reflected by using ‘in’, for example, Bachelor of Design in Architecture.

4.25 In exceptional circumstances, brackets may be used in the award title for a further division of a specific field of study, for example, Bachelor of Communication (Journalism).

4.26 There is no space between the level of award and the descriptor, for example, BBus, BEngSc. There is a space between the two qualifications for combined degrees, for example, BSc BA, BE(Hons) BSc, BE(Hons) DipEngPrac.

4.27 Acronyms must not be used in course names, award titles and award abbreviations, unless specially approved by the Provost (as the Vice-Chancellor’s delegate).

4.28 The short form for ‘electronic’ is ‘e’ in lower case, with a hyphen, for example, ‘e-learning’.

4.29 The language of instruction or range of languages of instruction should not be included in the course name nor in the award title. Instead, it should be specified in the academic transcript and the AHEGS.

4.30 The following information is not to be included in the course name nor in the award title:

  • location of offer (eg Shanghai)
  • mode of delivery (eg distance, block)
  • study pattern (eg part-time, full-time)
  • payment arrangements (eg fee-paying, scholarship)
  • admission standards/requirements (eg graduate entry).

This information is recorded in CASS (the university’s curriculum and student system) as appropriate.

4.31 There should be no punctuation mark (for example, full stop, comma, colon or slash) in a course name or award title. A hyphen is allowed only where this is part of a commonly accepted discipline area, for example, ‘e-learning’, ‘cross-border’.

4.32 The only information that can be shown in brackets in course names is:

  • (Honours) for honours degree
  • (Research) for masters degree by research
  • when there is a need to use the brackets in a course name for a further division of a specialisation of a generic degree, for example, Bachelor of Communication (Journalism), as outlined in statement 4.25 of this policy.

Use of descriptors ‘Advanced’ and ‘Extension’ for Masters degree (Coursework)

4.33 Assessment and consideration of whether the use of ‘Advanced’ or ‘Extension’ is suitable for a particular course resides with the Courses Accreditation Committee (CAC), for advice to the Provost (in line with the normal approval process).

4.34 The use of the descriptor ‘Advanced’ in the course name, award title and award abbreviation, in the form of Master of XXX (Advanced) (abbreviation MXXX(Adv)), is allowed:

  • where a shorter version of Master of XXX also exists, and
  • where a case can be made by the faculty that the additional length of the Master of XXX (Advanced) involves more advanced study and knowledge and skill acquisition than the shorter version of the course, possibly through research options or more advanced subjects, either in terms of a higher level of knowledge and/or greater depth in the specialisation.

4.35 The use of the descriptor ‘Advanced’ in course name, award title and award abbreviation, in the form of Master of Advanced XXX (abbreviation MAdvXXX), is allowed:

  • in circumstances where a case can be made that the design and coverage of knowledge, skills, etc., in the course are at a level higher and with greater depth than if a course Master of XXX were offered, even if UTS does not offer a Master of XXX, or
  • in circumstances where the masters degree is not of longer duration than the standard masters degree (ie between 48 and 72 credit points), but the course design clearly demonstrates that the majority of content aligns with the ‘Advanced’ claim

noting that:

  • the ‘Advanced’ degree might or might not include a research pathway, but where it does, this might be a clear differentiator of the ‘Advanced’ claim
  • the case presented by the faculty should include reference to industry and/or sector expectations of what a standard Master of XXX would be like, and that the Master of Advanced XXX is clearly positioned to deliver a higher value learning and qualification outcome.

4.36 The use of the descriptor ‘Extension’ in the course name in the form of Master of XXX (Extension) is allowed:

  • where a shorter version of Master of XXX also exists, and
  • where the greater length of the masters degree is about increased breadth of study (eg more subjects at similar level, or additional specialisations, or more general options) rather than more advanced study and knowledge and skill acquisition.

4.37 Where the descriptor ‘Extension’ is used, the descriptor ‘Extension’ is not included in the award title and award abbreviation.

Procedures for approval

4.38 The Provost (as the Vice-Chancellor’s delegate) approves course names, testamur award titles, abbreviations and classifications of awards for award courses in line with this policy and its procedures.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Responsible owner: The Provost is responsible for:

  • policy enforcement and compliance, ensuring that its principles and statements are observed, and
  • approval of any associated university level procedures.

5.2 Policy contact: The Manager, University Academic Programs Office in the Institute for Interactive Media and Learning is responsible for the implementation of this policy and acts as a primary point of contact for advice on implementing its provisions.

5.3 Others

Faculty boards endorse proposed course name, award titles, award abbreviations and classifications for award courses for submission to the Provost (as the Vice-Chancellor’s delegate) for approval in accordance with this policy and its procedures.

Courses Accreditation Committee (CAC) is the committee of Academic Board that, where applicable, assesses and advises the Provost whether the use of ‘Advanced’ or ‘Extension’ in the course name and award title is suitable for a particular course.

Courses Planning Committee is the committee of the Vice-Chancellor that assesses the strategic and commercial soundness of a course proposal, and endorses course names, award titles, award abbreviations and the classification of award for all award courses in accordance with this policy and the Award Course Approval Policy.

The Provost (as the Vice-Chancellor’s delegate) approves course names, award titles, award abbreviations and the classification of award for all award courses in accordance with this policy and the Award Course Approval Policy.

University Academic Programs Office maintains, updates and publishes the register of abbreviations for courses and subjects.

6. Definitions

Many of the terms used in this policy are defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules. In addition, the definitions outlined in the Student Rules, the following definitions apply for this policy and all associated procedures.

Articulation is defined in the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

Award abbreviation means the official abbreviation for the award, as approved by the Provost, used by graduates when displaying their academic credentials after their name.

Award title means the ‘name’ of the award which appears on the testamur and the AHEGS. A given award can have many award titles, for example: Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering Diploma in Engineering Practice or Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering Diploma in Engineering Practice.

The award title is also referred to as testamur title or testamur award title.

Course name means the name used in official correspondence (academic transcript, Handbook, AHEGS, correspondence with students and external bodies). Usually identical to the award title, it is recorded in CASS as the ‘Full Title’ for the course.

Dual programs of study is defined in the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

Nomenclature refers to a system of names used by UTS, including course names, award titles, award abbreviations and, where applicable, criteria for classification and grading of award.

Approval information

Policy contact Manager, University Academic Programs Office
Approval authority Academic Board
Review date Three years after point of approval
File number UR18/2483
Superseded documents Course Name and Award Title Nomenclature Policy 2013 (UR10/895)

Version history

Version Approved by (resolution number) Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Academic Board (by flying minute) 21/11/2018 01/01/2019 New policy.
2.0 Academic Board (AB/19-1/7) 27/03/2019 18/04/2019 Modifications to reflect development of new procedures.

PDF version

Course Name and Award Title Nomenclature Policy (PDF)

References

Course Name and Award Title Nomenclature Procedures

Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

Australian Qualification Framework

Award Course Approval Policy and Procedures

Cotutelle Doctoral Program: Framework and Conditions (PDF, Staff Connect)

List of abbreviations for courses and subjects (Staff Connect)

Online Course Approval Process (OCAP) system (Staff Connect): for approval of changes to award course nomenclature (ONOMC) template

Student Rules: