Procedures

Course Coding - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures are intended to give effect to the uniform implementation of PPL – 3.20.02a Course and Program Design Principles - Policy.  In particular, the application of the common standardised alphanumeric coding system adopted to manage the allocation of unique identifiers for each course offered by the University.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Academic programs – sequence of study leading to the award of a qualification such as an undergraduate degree or diploma, and/or postgraduate coursework qualification.

AQF – Australian Qualifications Framework

Course (formerly known as subject) – a distinct unit of study within a program, for which a result is given. Each course is identified by its alphanumeric code, a title and a fixed unit value. Courses are normally completed in one or two semesters.

Units (#) – represent the value of individual courses which contribute to the total unit requirement of an academic program.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to the coding system for all courses offered in undergraduate and postgraduate coursework awards.

4. Procedures Statement

The course coding system must be:

  • meaningful;
  • transparent;
  • simple;
  • flexible;
  • intelligible to students;
  • consistent with Commonwealth Government legislation; and
  • compliant with AQF guidelines.

The alphanumeric course coding system is comprised of the components described below.

4.1 Principal elements

The principal elements of the course coding system are:

  • the course code comprises 8 characters;
  • the 8 characters comprise 4 alpha and 4 numeric characters;
  • the 4 alpha characters represent the discipline;
  • the alpha characters should not usually end in "I" or "O", to avoid confusion with the numeric "one" or "zero";
  • the 1st numeric character represents the level of the course offering;
  • the 2nd to 4th numeric characters may be allocated at the discretion of the Faculties, provided that each course has a unique identifier; and
  • previously allocated codes may not be used again.

4.2 Discipline descriptors

The 4-digit alpha characters identify the discipline. Courses are coded on a discipline basis (i.e. discipline descriptors), not on the organisational unit offering the course.

Discipline descriptors for course coding are aligned with the Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) codes. There is a direct relationship between the discipline descriptor, Student Contribution Amount bands and funding clusters.

A list of approved discipline descriptors, Student Contribution Amount band and funding cluster is found in the Academic Board-approved Table of Discipline Descriptors and Alpha Codes.

5. Course Level Identifiers

1 = 1st year or 1st level undergraduate course 
2 = 2nd year or 2nd level undergraduate course
3 = 3rd year or 3rd level undergraduate course
4 = 4th year or 4th level undergraduate course
5 = 5th year or 5th level undergraduate course
6 = 16 unit honours program or graduate certificate or graduate diploma course
7 = masters coursework course (i.e. 5th or later year postgraduate course)
8 = professional doctorate course
9 = enrolment in a masters research, PhD or higher doctorate program

6. Administrative Practices

6.1 Establishing new discipline descriptors

Faculties wishing to establish a new discipline descriptor must obtain the approval of the Academic Registrar. The following information must be included in the submission:

  • proposed alpha code;
  • proposed start date (note: for inclusion in University publications, requests for new discipline descriptors should be submitted along with rule changes);
  • statement of justification;
  • academic organisation (school or other approved organisational unit that will be responsible for administration of the course); and
  • 6-digit field of education code (used to determine Student Contribution Amount liability).

Once approval of a discipline descriptor is granted, the requesting faculty has responsibility for the management of the descriptor for all courses carrying that descriptor in the Course Catalogue within SI-net.

6.2 Maintenance of course codes in the course catalogue (SI-net)

Faculties are responsible for maintenance of the Course Catalogue including:

  • allocation of course codes to courses offered by the faculty, the faculty's schools, and the faculty's centres by reference to the approved Table of Discipline Descriptors and Alpha Codes;
  • creation and activation of new courses;
  • inactivation of redundant courses; and
  • changes to existing courses.

Faculties are responsible for ensuring that all details pertaining to courses for which it is responsible are up to date and accurately presented in the Course Catalogue.  Faculties must liaise with all course contributors when updating Course Catalogue entries.

7. Guidelines

Please see PPL 3.20.03c Course Coding – Guidelines for further information.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson

Guidelines

Course Coding - Guidelines

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1.  Purpose and Objectives

These guidelines are intended to assist in the preparation and review of course codes, consistent with the requirements of the University’s alphanumeric coding system.

2.  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Academic Programs – sequence of study leading to the award of a qualification such as an undergraduate degree or diploma, and/or postgraduate coursework qualification.

AQF – Australian Qualifications Framework

Course (formerly known as subject) – a distinct unit of study within a program, for which a result is given. Each course is identified by its alphanumeric code, a title and a fixed unit value. Courses are normally completed in one or two semesters.

Units (#) – represent the value of individual courses which contribute to the total unit requirement of an academic program.

3.  Guidelines Scope/Coverage

These guidelines apply to the coding system for all courses offered in undergraduate and postgraduate coursework awards.

4.  Guidelines Statement

This document provides guidance on the coding of courses, as a complement to and extension of the details and instruction found in PPL 3.20.03b Course Coding – Procedures, informed by PPL 3.20.02a Course and Program Design Principles – Policy.  In most instances, it is advised to consult also PPL 3.20.01a Academic Program Approval – Policy and related procedures and guidelines.

5.  Course Coding System Guidelines

Information relating to course code, course title and unit value as well as offering details and description is displayed in the course profile.  The course profile system is configured and maintained in SI-net.

5.1 Courses offered in more than one level in an undergraduate program or programs

If the same course is available at more than one level but requires the same level of academic rigour, only one code should normally be assigned – at the level of the program to which the course is primarily associated, or at the higher level if there is any uncertainty. If there are different expectations/outcomes, different course codes should be assigned.

5.2 Courses offered in both an undergraduate and a postgraduate program

If the same material is taught both in an undergraduate program and in a suite of postgraduate programs, there should be two course codes assigned to reflect the more rigorous level of assessment expected of postgraduate students (see PPL 3.20.02a Course and Program Design Principles – Policy). Course codes should be allocated with due recognition to principles of postgraduate coursework program design.

5.3 Courses offered in a suite of postgraduate programs

Where the same course is available in a suite of postgraduate programs, the course should be coded at the level of the program to which it is primarily associated. If this is unclear or if there is a choice, the course should be coded at the higher level.

5.4 Year-long courses

Wherever possible, year-long courses should be separated into single semester courses. However, where a year-long course is academically justified and can commence in any semester, separate codes must be created.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson

Forms

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Discipline Descriptor Information Table - Form

Discipline Descriptor Information Table - Form

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Description: 

The Discipline Descriptor Information Table includes approved discipline descriptors, ASCED code, Student Contribution Amount band and funding cluster. See PPL 3.20.03 Course Coding for further information.

Attached File: 
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson