This policy ensures that award nomenclature for courses offered by the Australian Catholic University (ACU) is applied consistently and in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
2. Policy Scope
This policy applies to all awards offered by ACU.
3. Schema for Award Classifications
3.1 The following descriptors will be used for the respective course categories:
Associate Degree in
Graduate Certificate in
Postgraduate Certificate in
Graduate Diploma in
Postgraduate Diploma in
3.2 "Postgraduate [Certificate or Diploma]" may be used for non-AQF compliant courses1only, and when:
there is a demonstrable industry, professional, community or student need;
there is a sound educational rationale as the basis for offering the course; and
there is comparability with AQF qualifications. This will be achieved through describing the course requirements using the AQF taxonomy of learning outcomes.
1See TEQSA Qualification Standard 1.5.9 (2015)
4.1 Terms used in this policy and the associated procedures are consistent with the ACU Glossary of Terms. In addition, the following words and expressions in this policy have the meanings listed below.
Award Title or Course Title: the title of the award as approved by Senate and, where relevant, subsequently amended by Academic Board and/or Senate.
Stream: a discipline or field of study, representing not less than one-third of the total credit points required for a postgraduate course.
5. Award Titles
5.1 Approval of the title of an award forms part of the course approval and review processes of the University.
5.2 The course title will represent the broad discipline or recognised generic field of study.
5.3 Where there are specific prescriptions associated with professional accreditation or registration with a professional body, or where the title proposed reflects common usage (nationally and/or internationally) or alignment with the ACU Mission, a case may be made, in the course approval and review process for identification, within the course title, of a specialisation, or for approval of a specific discipline title.
5.4 The formal award title may be in the form of the course category together with:
a broad discipline/field of study title; or
where variation from the broad discipline title is approved through the course approval and review process:
a broad discipline/field of study title followed, in brackets, by the specialisation descriptor; or
a specific discipline title.
5.5 Where a course offers more than one specialisation, each specialisation will be recognised by a distinct course title.
5.6 Where the broad discipline is the same for different course categories, the discipline descriptor used will be consistent across all course categories.
5.7 When more than one course is offered in a particular discipline, the differences will be clearly identified in the title (principally through the specialisation).
6. Award Abbreviations
6.1 Approval of the formal abbreviation of an award forms part of the course approval and review processes
6.2 The following abbreviations will be used for course categories:
6.3 Discipline abbreviations will be consistent with ACU guidelines, industry norms and common practice. Approval for any variation must be sought as part of the course approval and review process.
7. Register of Award Titles and Abbreviations
Student Administration will maintain a register of approved award titles and abbreviations, ACU guidelines, and maintain the ACU Nomenclature Schedule.
8. Recording Specialisations, Majors and Streams on Academic Documents
8.1 Specialisations and majors will be recorded on the testamur, academic transcript and AHEGS in accordance with the Academic Documents Policy. .
8.2 Where specialisations, other than those forming part of the course title, and/or streams are clearly defined within course requirements and nominated as such by the Course Coordinator at the time of certification of course completion, they will be recorded on the academic transcript and AHEGS.
8.3 No more than one specialisation or stream, and up to two majors, may be recorded on the academic transcript.
8.4 Minors will not be recorded on the academic transcript.
Where a degree is awarded with Honours, the format will be the title of degree followed, where relevant, by the discipline descriptor in brackets, with the Honours level in brackets:
Example: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Second Class, Division A)
10. Double Degrees
10.1 The sequence in which course titles are listed to form a double degree title will be determined as part of the course approval, amendment and review process.
10.2 Where a double degree includes an award leading to registration (e.g. Teaching) then the name of that award will normally appear first (e.g. Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts), with the exception of the Bachelor of Laws.
10.3 Where a double degree includes two awards leading to registration, the order of names will normally be alphabetical.
11. Research Master's programs
For research Master's degrees other than the Master of Philosophy, the descriptor (Research) will be normally used in the title.
12. Coursework Master's programs
For coursework Master’s degrees, the descriptor (Coursework) must not appear in the title.
13. Changes to Nomenclature
In any case where award nomenclature for an existing course is changed, the course review documentation submitted to Academic Board must include details of transitional arrangements to apply to existing students.
14. Printed standards
14.1 The following standards will apply when referring to an award in printed form.
The title and abbreviation text entries will use a mixture of upper and lower case characters. Example: Bachelor of Arts
Punctuation will not be used in award title abbreviations. Example: BA, not B.A.
There will be no spaces between components of an abbreviated title. Example: BA(Hons)
14.2 In the case of a double degree in the award title and title abbreviation, the two award names will be joined by the symbol “/” Example: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business Administration Example: BA/BBA.
14.3 Where a specialisation is included in the course title, it will be recorded in brackets, preceded by a space. Example: Master of Psychology (Clinical)