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Course and Subject Approval Procedures (Faculty Delegated Course and Subject Amendments)

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Section 1 - Introduction/background

(1) Pursuant to the Course Policy, the Course Policy Framework sets out the overall framework for managing course-related matters at UOW, to ensure all courses are amended, offered and reviewed in line with the principles of quality, viability and strategic alignment.

(2) These Procedures, in conjunction with the Course and Subject Approval Procedures - New Offerings and Discontinuations, support the University’s approach to course and subject approvals under the UOW Course Policy Framework.

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Section 2 - Scope/purpose

(3) These Procedures apply to all proposals relating to amendments to existing courses, as defined in section 3.

(4) These Procedures are provided to assist staff to:

  1. develop proposals for faculty delegated course and subject amendments;
  2. consult stakeholders, obtain and consider feedback; and
  3. obtain approvals for faculty delegated course and subject amendments.

(5) All award courses offered at International Branch Campuses or by other collaborative delivery partners on behalf of UOW, and in respect of which a UOW testamur is issued, must be developed, approved and maintained in accordance with the Course Policy and with this and other related procedures.

(6) For award courses within scope of these Procedures and approved for delivery at an International Branch Campus or other offshore partner delivery locations, approved customisation and contextualisation of courses and subjects is permitted, consistent with the Principles of Equivalence outlined in the Course Design Procedures.

(7) Faculty delegated course and subject amendments may occur in isolation, or in conjunction with a new offering and discontinuation proposal.

(8) These Procedures do not apply to the proposals relating to non-award courses. All amendments to existing non-award courses are approved by either the relevant Executive Dean or the Director, Future Education as outlined in Section 5 of the Short Course and Microcredential Management Procedure. All approved changes must be submitted to the Future Education Division (Future Ed) for inclusion in the Central Register.

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Section 3 - Proposal types

(9) A faculty delegated course and subject amendment can be a proposal for an amendment to a course, specialisation, major study, minor study and/or subject (collectively, referred to as academic items in COSMOS).

Amendments at course level

(10) An amendment at course level comprises one or more of the following:

  1. addition of a new session(s) of delivery for a course;
  2. amendment to intake session(s);
  3. amendment to course delivery method(s) (other than a proposal for a new UOW Online delivery for an existing course, which is a new offering – see clause 11 below);
  4. amendment to honours grade method for an existing honours course;
  5. amendment to CRICOS registration for a course, major study or specialisation due to changes to the course, major study or specialisation that impact on the registration of the course, major study or specialisation (as detailed in clause 15 below);
  6. amendment to course learning outcomes;
  7. amendment to curriculum mapping (course, specialisation, or major study);
  8. amendment to structure (course, specialisation, major study, or minor study);
  9. addition of an existing specialisation or major study to an existing course, provided that the specialisation or major study is already available at the proposed delivery location (in any other case the Course and Subject Approval Procedures – New Offerings and Discontinuations applies);
  10. amendment to course rules not otherwise covered in this section (e.g. creation, cessation or amendment to minimum course performance requirements);
  11. creation of a new minor study;
  12. discontinuation of a minor study;
  13. amendments to admission requirements forming part of the annual admissions threshold review of admissions (see clause 12 below);
  14. amendments to course assumed knowledge, recommended study and/or course prerequisites (see clause 13 below);
  15. suspension (course, specialisation, major study, or minor study); and/or
  16. reinstatement of a previously suspended course, specialisation, major study or minor study.

(11) A proposal to change the course delivery method and to offer an existing course, major study, minor study or specialisation at UOW Online is a proposed new offering, as defined in clause 14 of the Course and Subject Approval Procedures – New Offerings and Discontinuations. A new UOW Online delivery for an existing course proposal requires the endorsement of Course Portfolio Development Group (CPDG), Quality Assurance Review Group (QARG) and final approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) (DVCA) or Academic Senate (Senate).

(12) In exceptional circumstances, amendments to admission requirements can be made outside the regular comprehensive course review cycle or the annual admissions threshold review cycle. These amendments require additional approval from the delegated authority as specified in the Coursework Rules and the Delegations of Authority Policy. The proposal for such an amendment must justify the need for it outside the two regular review cycles.

(13) Any amendments to course assumed knowledge and/or course prerequisites will take affect so as to not disadvantage prospective students who have entered the final phase of high school education (year 11 onshore or equivalent) with no notice of the changes and who would have satisfied the previous course assumed knowledge and/or course prerequisites (if any).

(14) Due to reporting, conferral and systems requirements, the following course amendments require the University to issue a new course, major or specialisation code, as such the procedure for new offerings applies for those amendments:

  1. amendment to course, major or specialisation name;
  2. amendment to course duration in part-time or full-time years impacting equivalent full-time study load (EFTSL);
  3. amendment to total credit points;
  4. amendment to AQF qualification level; and/or
  5. amendment to AQF qualification type.

(15) CRICOS related amendments to courses include the following changes:

  1. approval to offer a course to onshore international students where it was previously not on offer to onshore international students;
  2. approval to cease to offer a course to onshore international students where it was previously on offer;
  3. approval to commence a third party arrangement for delivery of a course, major study or specialisation on offer to onshore international students;
  4. approval to cease a third party arrangement for delivery of a course, major study or specialisation on offer to onshore international students; or
  5. introduction or removal of a compulsory work component (e.g. compulsory internship, placement or other form of professional WIL) as part of a course, major study or specialisation on offer to onshore international students.

Amendments at subject level

(16) An amendment at subject level comprises one or more of the following:

  1. creation of a new subject, or discontinuation of a subject;
  2. amendment to existing subject, comprising:
    1. amendment to subject name;
    2. amendment to delivery location;
    3. amendment to delivery session;
    4. amendment to delivery method;
    5. amendment to restrictions and/or exclusions;
    6. amendment to subject equivalents;
    7. amendment to subject learning outcomes;
    8. addition of a new session(s) of delivery for a subject;
    9. significant amendment to subject content such as a change to subject topics and/or subject preparation requirements;
    10. significant amendment to assessment i.e. amendment to assessment type or changes to assessment requiring re-mapping of assessment to learning outcomes; and/or
    11. significant amendment to WIL to that effect the WIL classification, as outlined in the UOW WIL Curriculum Classification (WILCC) Framework, changes.

(17) Amendments to the weighting of existing assessment types within a subject may be made, with regard to any limits on assessment weighting in UOW policy or in local faculty protocols, with the approval of:

  1. in the case of UOW subjects delivered by UOW faculties or collaborative delivery partners other than UOW College, the Head of School (HoS) or their nominee; or
  2. in the case of subjects delivered by UOW College the UOW College Academic Program Manager (UOW College Australia) or their delegate.

(18) Approved amendments to assessment task weightings within a subject must be recorded and reported on in summary annually to the Associate Dean Education (ADE).

(19) The Faculty Education Committee (FEC) may determine on review of proposals to amend a subject that the proposed changes to a subject are so substantial that a submission of a discontinuation proposal and of a new subject proposal is required, in accordance with the Course and Subject Approval Procedures – New Offerings and Discontinuations.

(20) A subject may be approved as a pre-requisite subject, or a co-requisite subject provided the delegated authority is satisfied there is academic justification for requiring students to enrol in the subject as a pre-requisite or co-requisite subject.

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Section 4 - Managing the impact of amendment proposals

(21) A suspension of a course, specialisation, major study or minor study is to be for a period of 1 calendar year only. A calendar year is a period of 12 months starting from the end of the session in which the course is running at the point of approval of the suspension or that ended most recently prior to the point of approval of the suspension. It is the responsibility of the relevant course owning faculty to approve any further 1-year course suspensions.

(22) Proposals for amendments that impact cognate or nested courses may be submitted as a single proposal. (e.g.: pass bachelor, dean’s scholar, and double degrees, graduate diploma and masters). It is the Faculty’s responsibility to provide accurate information and distinguish course specific changes.

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Section 5 - Developing amendment proposals

(23) The Faculty, in consultation with Future Ed is responsible for developing the proposal for an amendment, consistent with the Course Policy and the Course Design Procedures in order for Future Ed to progress the amendment Proposal.

(24) Future Ed is responsible for undertaking appropriate consultation on amendment proposals and for managing any identified impacts arising from amendment proposals.

(25) Consultation is to occur with other faculties, academic staff (in conjunction with faculty teaching and learning staff), collaborative delivery partners at onshore and offshore delivery locations, and other members of the University community who may be affected by the amendment proposal. This includes:

  1. ensuring proposals are communicated via standard course and subject approval channels and that affected stakeholders are given access to proposals and an opportunity to comment upon them; and
  2. considering the impact of amendment proposals on students, including on the impact of students’ capacity to progress in their course.

(26) Evidence of the consultation process, as well as the incorporation of any feedback or otherwise, should be included with the proposal documentation.

(27) Future Ed should initiate consultative processes as early as possible to allow sufficient time for the identification and resolution of issues arising from the proposal.

(28) Future Ed is responsible for submitting the course and subject amendment proposals by way of following the approved workflow in COSMOS.

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Section 6 - Approval stages for onshore campuses and other collaborative delivery partner campuses

(29) The approval stages for amendments to courses and subjects offered at UOW owned and operated campuses onshore, and for third party collaborative delivery partner campuses are set out in this clause.

(30) In order to ensure the quality of UOW’s academic offering, a proposal will be reviewed and approved through the following stages, depicted in figure 1 below.

(31) Depending on the faculty governance structure, there may be additional groups or sub-committee(s) that are required to endorse the proposal before the FEC. Those additional governance activities are not prescribed within the scope of this Procedure.

(32) For UOW courses offered through UOW College Australia, this approval process is in addition to any necessary approvals from the UOW College Australia Academic Board.

(33) At the faculty endorsement stage, the Faculty must have addressed any outstanding issues raised by stakeholders, to the satisfaction of the FEC.

Figure 1 – Approval stages for UOW onshore campuses and other collaborative delivery partner campuses

Development stage
Subject Coordinator, Academic Program Director, Discipline Leader (if applicable) as appropriate.
 
Endorsement
Head of School or locally delegated academic leader
 
Faculty endorsement stage
A sub-committee or working group of the Faculty Education Committee (if required – see clause 31).
 
Endorsement
Faculty Education Committee
 
Faculty approval stage
Associate Dean Education or Executive Dean
Approval
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Section 7 - Approval stages for International Branch Campuses

(34) International Branch Campuses will work in partnership with Future Ed, the relevant faculty in Wollongong, and in consultation with the Global Strategies Division (GSD) in developing any proposals for amendments for academic items offered at an International Branch Campus.

(35) If an International Branch Campus, in consultation with Future Ed is developing proposals, that campus, working with GSD, is responsible for undertaking appropriate consultation with other faculties, academic and support units, and to manage any identified impacts arising from the proposal.

(36) International Branch Campuses, in consultation with Future Ed, are responsible for developing the proposal, pursuant to the Course Policy, Course Design Procedures, and the requisite course approval forms.

(37) Where possible and applicable, UOW faculties will include International Branch Campus changes in the proposal for amendments. If UOW is developing proposals that affect an International Branch Campus, then it is the UOW Faculty’s responsibility for undertaking appropriate consultation with the International Branch Campus and to manage any identified impacts arising from the proposal.

(38) International Branch Campuses, and other collaborative delivery partner campuses do not require UOW Faculty approval for amendments they have approved of for courses or subjects offered at that or those campuses, comprising of the following:

  1. amendment to delivery session;
  2. amendment to restrictions and/or exclusions; or
  3. any course or subject amendments relating to courses or subjects that are only offered at that campus.

(39) International Branch Campuses should highlight any customisation and contextualisation of courses and/or subjects in an amendment proposal and seek approval from the UOW Faculty, consistent with the Principles of Equivalence outlined in the Course Design Procedures.

(40) International Branch Campuses, in consultation with Future Ed are responsible for ensuring all information in any proposal is complete and accurate prior to submission for faculty endorsement.

(41) At the faculty endorsement stage, the Faculty is to have addressed any outstanding issues raised by stakeholders, to the satisfaction of the FEC.

(42) Depending on the faculty governance structure, there may be additional groups or sub-committee(s) that are required to endorse the proposal before the FEC. Those additional governance activities are not prescribed within the scope of this procedure.

(43) In order to ensure the quality of UOW and each International Branch Campus’s academic offerings, a proposal will be reviewed and approved through the following stages, depicted in figure 2.

Figure 2 –Approval stages for International Branch Campuses

International Branch Campus development stage
Subject Coordinator, Academic Program Director, Discipline Leader (if applicable) as appropriate.
 
Endorsement
Locally delegated academic leader
 
UOW Faculty endorsement stage
A sub-committee or working group of the Faculty Education Committee (if required – see clause 42).
 
Endorsement
Faculty Education Committee
 
UOW Faculty approval stage
Associate Dean Education  or Executive Dean
Approval
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Section 8 - Key dates

(44) Future Ed is responsible for producing an annual calendar to assist faculties with planning course approval activities in line with the various student recruitment, marketing and student systems deadlines throughout the year. Course related activities must be conducted having regard to these dates so as to optimise marketing and post-approval implementation activities.

(45) The activities and deadlines included in this calendar are:

  1. governance meeting dates and agenda deadlines;
  2. course database rollover deadlines; 
  3. subject outline production timeline;
  4. course handbook production timeline;
  5. government reporting requirements;
  6. UAC Guide production deadlines;
  7. production of domestic and international marketing material;
  8. course and subject approval activity deadlines; and/or
  9. on-campus recruitment activity timetables.
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Section 9 - Implementation activities

(46) The Faculty (working where applicable with collaborative delivery partners for course and subject amendments applying at UOW College or at offshore delivery locations) is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the implementation of faculty delegated course and subject amendments.

(47) International Branch Campuses and other collaborative delivery partners are responsible for coordinating and overseeing the implementation of subject amendments set out in clause 38, including updating student information and coordinating with GSD and Future Ed on any updates to COSMOS.

(48) Implementation timelines for approved amendment proposals affecting offshore delivery locations may vary due to local accreditation or regulatory requirements. Faculty staff and collaborative delivery partners will work together on an implementation timetable having regard to these factors.

COSMOS

(49) Future Ed will maintain, via COSMOS, a repository of all approved faculty delegated course and subject amendments.

Course database

(50) For amendments which impact upon the course database, the Faculty will work with the Course Portfolio Operations Team within Future Ed to action the amendment upon approval. These amendments include but are not limited to:

  1. discontinuation of an existing delivery location (course, specialisation, major study, or minor study);
  2. amendment to course delivery method(s);
  3. discontinuation of a minor study;
  4. suspension (course, specialisation, major study, or minor study);
  5. addition of an existing specialisation, major study, or minor study to an existing course; and
  6. creation of a new minor study.

(51) Any subject amendments arising from these Procedures must either be recorded in COSMOS by an authorised faculty staff member or by a faculty staff member in collaboration with the Course Portfolio Operations Team within Future Ed.

Offshore course delivery

(52) If the amendment proposal involves offshore delivery locations, and the timeline for offshore implementation differs from onshore implementation, Future Ed in consultation with the relevant faculty should maintain in COSMOS:

  1. the different structures for the offerings onshore and offshore;
  2. instance level variations to subject data including assessments and subject learning outcomes (where applicable); and
  3. communication and implementation plan for affected offshore locations.

CRICOS and ESOS compliance

(53) The Academic Quality and Standards Division maintains UOW courses on CRICOS.

(54) Future Ed must contact Academic Quality and Standards Division (AQS) for any course and subject amendment proposals that impact upon CRICOS or UOW’s obligations under the ESOS legislation. These are detailed in this Procedure and set out in the CRICOS Registration and Amendment Procedures.

(55) Marketing activities and promotional materials for courses that are to be offered to international students studying onshore on a student visa cannot commence until the course has been registered on CRICOS.

Course Finder

(56) The Student Operations Team within the Student Administration Services Division (SASD) manages the Course Finder.

(57) The process for updating the information reflected on the Course Finder is not scoped by these Procedures.

Online Applications / offer letters

(58) SASD is responsible for setting up the online applications, intake sessions and issuing offers to students. Accordingly, when a course, major or specialisation is proposed for suspension, Future Ed must contact SASD to make arrangements to manage the applications and offers.

(59) The Admissions Team in the Admissions, Fees and Scholarships (AFS) within SASD maintain the eCOEs.

(60) When a course is approved for suspension, faculties are responsible for identifying alternate offers for students seeking to commence in the year of suspension, or indicating whether the Admissions Team should cancel offers when there is no suitable course of study available to students.

(61) Subjects may still continue to be offered for suspended courses in which case students may be able to complete the course.

Course handbook

(62) Future Ed is responsible for the overall production of the course handbook.

(63) The Faculty, in consultation with Future Ed, is responsible for checking the accuracy of the information displayed on the course handbook pages for their faculty’s courses.

Admissions

(64) For amendments which impact upon admissions, Future Ed must contact the Admissions Team, within the AFS and any other relevant downstream teams to action the amendment upon approval. These amendments being:

  1. deletion of an existing delivery location (course, specialisation, major study, or minor study);
  2. amendment to intake session;
  3. amendment to admission requirements (approved in accordance with clause 12 of these Procedures); and
  4. amendment to CRICOS registration.

Session management

(65) Sessions are managed by the Student Administration Team in SASD.

(66) For course and subject amendments which impact upon sessions, Future Ed will contact the Student Administration Team, within SASD, to action and implement the amendment as soon as possible. These amendments are:

  1. discontinuation of an existing delivery location (course, specialisation, major study, or minor study); and
  2. amendment to intake session.

Fee information

(67) Fee information and administration is maintained by the Financial Services Division (FSD), and SASD.

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Section 10 - Roles and responsibilities

(68) Faculty staff are responsible for the following:

  1. the timely and effective development and approval of course and subject amendment proposals; and
  2. providing AQS with advice on any CRICOS implications arising from course and subject amendment proposals.

(69) Pursuant to the Faculty Academic Governance Policy, the FEC is responsible for considering and endorsing faculty delegated course and subject amendments. The FEC is an advisory committee and not a decision-making committee for faculty delegated course and subject amendments.

(70) Pursuant to the Delegations of Authority Policy, the Faculty Executive Deans and Associate Dean Education have the delegated authority to approve faculty delegated course and subject amendments.

(71) AQS is responsible for managing changes to CRICOS arising from courses and subject amendments approved pursuant to these Procedures and notified to AQS by faculties.

(72) Future Ed is responsible for the following:

  1. facilitating and administering the course approval process;
  2. reviewing amendment proposals approved by the faculties;
  3. implementing approved course and subject change proposals;
  4. consultation with stakeholders and resolving identified issues;
  5. process, with approval from the relevant course owning faculty, any additional one-year suspensions to courses, specialisations, major studies and/or minor studies;
  6. facilitating access to COSMOS to support the implementation of approved amendment proposals;
  7. publishing the annual course and subject amendment approval calendar; and
  8. annual quality assurance of the course handbook content and publication and updating of the overall course handbook.
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Section 11 - Definitions

(73) The key terms used in these Procedures are defined in the Course Policy.

(74) Course and Subject Approval Procedures - Process Map Faculty Delegated Course and Subject Amendments