1.1. All units offered within ACU must be assigned a unit code, to enable the unit and its associated details, including student enrolments, to be recorded in the student system. ACU has adopted an alphanumeric coding system consisting of four alpha characters and three numerals (for example, ECON101).
1.2 The unit coding system must be meaningful, simple, flexible, intelligible to students and consistent with Australian Government requirements.
1.3 Each unit has a discrete unit code and unit codes cannot be re-used for units with different academic content or learning outcomes.
1.4 A unit may only have one unit code.
2. Alpha characters
2.1 The four character alpha prefix identifies the discipline of the unit. Units are coded on the basis of the discipline of the area of study encompassed in the unit, not on the basis of the academic organisational unit (normally School) offering the unit.
2.2 Discipline descriptors associated with a unit are aligned with the Australian Government field of education codes. Where units in like disciplines fall in different bands or funding clusters, they should be distinctively coded.
2.3 he alpha characters should not end in "I" or "O", in order to avoid possible confusion with the numerals one and zero respectively.
2.4. University awards (eg Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy, Graduate Certificate in Higher Education) will be coded with a university, rather than discipline-related, prefix.
3. Numeric characters
3.1 The three numeric characters
reflect the level of the study (in the first of the three numerals); and
provide a unique identifier for the unit (in the second and third numerals).
3.2 The following schema will be used for the first of the three numeric characters, to identify the level of study:
first year, introductory or first level undergraduate unit
advanced level undergraduate unit
third year or third level undergraduate unit; to be used only where it is desirable to differentiate from other advanced level units
fourth year or fourth level undergraduate unit, or Honours unit
Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma unit
any other postgraduate unit (other than at Doctoral level)
Doctoral level unit
These are internal student systems codes and will be consistently applied.
3.3 If a unit is available in a suite of related postgraduate courses, it should be assigned a single code, at the level of the course with which it is primarily associated. If there is any uncertainty, it should be coded at the higher level.
4. Assignment of unit codes
4.1 Where a Faculty needs to create a new unit, following formal Faculty Board approval of that unit the Faculty must consult with the National Manager, Student Systems Operations, to have an appropriate code created and assigned to the unit. The alpha/discipline codes will normally be assigned by Student Systems.
4.2 If a Faculty wishes to establish a new discipline descriptor for an existing discipline, in lieu of that previously used, it must forward to the Academic Registrar a request outlining
the proposed alpha code;
the proposed start date;
the rationale/justification for introduction of a new discipline descriptor;
the relevant academic organisational unit.
4.3 Where all available numeric characters have been used, it may be necessary for Systems, in consultation with the Faculty, to assign a new alpha code for the discipline.
5. Length of unit titles
Unit titles must fit within the character limits in the student system for both long and abbreviated titles (100 characters and 30 characters respectively).
6. Approval of unit codes
The Executive Dean or nominee will approve the allocation of unit codes and ensure compliance with these Guidelines in respect of units and courses offered within their Faculty.
7. Revisions made to this Guideline
Major, Minor or Editorial
Description of Revision (s)
16 July 2014
Updates to reflect current processes and correct Government titles
26 July 2019
Updates to position titles and amendments in line with Policy Development and review Policy