UWA Handbook 2017

Postgraduate coursework or coursework and research

  1. Enrolment—commencing students
  2. Credit
  3. Course structure
  4. Special approval
  5. Assessment
  6. Satisfactory progress, unsatisfactory progress and progress status

Enrolment—commencing students

Student Rules 5, 6, 7 and 8

Application for enrolment following offer of a place

Prospective students who receive an Offer of a Place must complete their enrolment online through studentConnect and submit associated material as set out in the Student Procedures by the closing date for enrolment specified in the Offer of a Place.

Associated material may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • evidence of English competency;
  • Commonwealth Assistance Notice or payment of tuition fees;
  • original or certified documents as requested by the University;
  • evidence of citizenship.

Prospective students may only enrol in the course specified in the Offer of a Place.


Information on enrolment procedures can be obtained from the relevant faculty office or refer to the information provided on the UniStart website and guidelines on managing your enrolment.

Closing date

The closing date for enrolment is specified in the Offer of a Place.

Fee for enrolment

No fee for enrolment applies. However, students are invoiced for their unit fees online through an electronic Statement of Account (eSOA) via studentConnect. International students enrolling for the first time are expected to have already paid at least the first instalment of their annual tuition fee. For more details follow the links on the postgraduate coursework webpage.

Further information

Commencing postgraduate students will receive information in their Offer of a Place that will guide them through the enrolment process.

Students should contact Student Administration (Student Central) or make an appointment with their faculty student office if any further advice is required regarding enrolment procedures and rules.

Failure to enrol following receipt of an offer

If an offer of a place is not accepted by the closing date specified in the Offer of a Place the offer may lapse and the offer of admission may be withdrawn. The place may be re-allocated to another applicant.

Authority to amend a proposed enrolment program

If a proposed enrolment program does not comply with the Student Procedures or faculty-specific rules, or otherwise contravenes a University policy, it may be altered by an authorised officer of the University. In most cases students are contacted to discuss the matter prior to the alteration being made.

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Student Rule 19; University Policy on: Credit transfer, advanced standing and recognition of prior leaning

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Course structure

Student Rule 15; University Policy on: Full-time and part-time enrolment and overload

Be aware that

Faculties may have specific rules and/or policies concerning the course structure.

Further information

Contact the relevant faculty student office.

Credit points

The University assigns a credit point value to each unit of study (normally six points but there are some exceptions). Credit points reflect a common measure of load in courses. The total number of credit points completed by a student assists the University to calculate the student's academic progress and course completion.

Standard annual full-time enrolment

A standard full-time load usually consists of 36 to 48 points in one calendar year (18 to 24 points each semester).

Part-time enrolment

Part-time enrolment for domestic students is enrolment in less than 36 points in one academic year (18 points in a semester). The availability of classes outside of working hours (i.e. after 5pm) varies from faculty to faculty and is sometimes dependent on the degree program. Students considering part-time study should consult the academic timetable to see whether the units they need to complete are available at times they are able to attend.

Part-time enrolment for international students

Student visa holders should be aware that if, as a result of approved part-time enrolment, they require a visa extension to complete their course, a new visa can only be issued in certain limited circumstances. For more information, refer to the ESOS Act: Information for students. International students should be aware that a change from full-time to part-time enrolment does not result in a refund of international tuition fees already paid. For further information, contact the International Student Adviser (help-international@uwa.edu.au).


International students wishing to study on a part-time basis must discuss this with the International Students Adviser prior to changing their enrolment or withdrawing online through studentConnect.

Be aware that

A change to part-time enrolment does not result in a refund of international tuition fees already paid.

Further information

Contact the Student Support Services and/or Student Administration

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Special approval

The Student Rules and faculty rules have been designed for the good governance of the University and apply in most cases. However, the rules make provision in some cases for standard requirements to be varied in instances where good reasons exist.

Application for special approval


Students seeking special approval to vary rules, where provision is made in the rules to approve variations, should download a Special Approval form from student administration forms or obtain a hard copy from Student Administration (Student Central) or their faculty student office. Students should clearly indicate on the form what they are seeking special approval for. They should contact the relevant faculty office to discuss their request and, if necessary, make an appointment to speak with the appropriate authorised officer.


Usually at the time of lodging an Enrolment, Change of Enrolment or Withdraw from Course form. However, an application for special approval may be made at any point during a degree program.

Be aware that

The faculty's authority in relation to matters requiring special approval is vested in the dean of the faculty but in practice these matters are usually determined by the faculty administrative officer, associate dean, sub-dean and/or student adviser. In most cases heads of schools may not grant special approval, although the above authorised officers will usually obtain their views and recommendations.

Further information

Contact the relevant faculty student office.

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Assessment and examination


Student Rules 28 and 29; University Policy on: Assessment , University Policy on: Special Consideration, University Policy on: Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions Relating to Students, University policy on: Academic progress (other than in courses administered by the Graduate Research School)

Coursework master's degrees, graduate diplomas and graduate certificates require attendance at, and completion of, assessable tasks (e.g. essays, mid-unit and final examinations) for prescribed units of study each semester. In order to complete a unit a student must attend the qualifying lectures and tutorials as required by the faculty, perform satisfactorily the prescribed class work and assignments and satisfy the examiners at any final examinations. Students whose attendance or work has not been satisfactory may be refused admission to the final examinations.

Final results (release of, not available or incorrect)

Many units have a number of components (e.g. assignments, literature review and final examinations) which are assessed at different stages of the year (or semester). The final unit result or the grade that a student receives once the unit has finished is made up of a combination of these components. More information on how a final result is derived from the individual components completed is found under the heading 'Assessment'. Refer also to the 'Faculty policies and guidelines' in the relevant faculty section.

Final results for units taken in postgraduate coursework courses are released following the faculty's Board of Examiners meeting (usually once a year). Final results for students who have taken deferred or supplementary examinations are usually released following the meetings of the relevant faculty's Board of Examiners (usually in February).

If a final result for a unit is unavailable it is reported as 'not available' (NA). Every effort to obtain the result is made by the faculty for release at the next scheduled Board of Examiners meeting.

When an incorrect result comes to light the mistake is rectified by the faculty and ratified by the relevant Board of Examiners or faculty board, as appropriate.

Grades and marks

The following classifications are used for final results:

Grades Marks
Higher Distinction (HD) 80–100
Distinction (D) 70–79
Credit Pass (CR) 60–69
Pass (P) 50–59
Fail (N+) 45–49
Fail (N) 0–44

Board of Examiners

A faculty's Board of Examiners is responsible for considering assessments made by schools following the application of special consideration and/or other procedures (see also 'Assessment' below). The Board of Examiners has the responsibility for considering and reporting final assessments to the Registrar for publication and recording. A Board has the power to question whether the results awarded to all students in a particular unit or units are too high or too low, when taken in the context of overall results in other units at the same level or in the context of results in the same unit over a period of years. It is possible, therefore, for Boards of Examiners to ask schools to adjust groups of results upwards or downwards, though such action is relatively unusual.


Academic assessment in a unit is a judgment made by an appropriately qualified person or persons of the worth of a piece of work submitted. Assessment of postgraduate students' academic work is normally made by the academic staff of the school which offers the unit.

The assessment is made relative to established standards and to the assessment of the work of other students (both current and former) in the unit and in the context of the assessor's experience, often gained over many years, of the standards appropriate at the level at which a student is enrolled.

Guidelines on academic assessment

The University has comprehensive guidelines on academic assessment which are for staff and students. Students must take the time to read them carefully and to note in particular the responsibilities of students.

Understanding assessment and obtaining feedback

In many cases the initial mark awarded by the assessors is the one eventually awarded to the student. However, there are other factors which may change the assessor's initial mark. These include scaling, deduction of marks for late work or having a second marker consider the work.

It is very important that a student's assessors explain how the assessment of their work was arrived at as this is part of a student's learning experience at the University. This explanation might be through written feedback or by talking with the supervisor.

See University Policy on: Assessment.

Assessment Mechanism Statement

An Assessment Mechanism Statement provides the details of the way in which the final result for the unit is arrived at. The Statement should be issued at least one working day prior to the commencement of the semester or relevant teaching period in which the unit is offered. Students should ask for a copy if they have not received one from the relevant faculty.

Assessment of theses and dissertations in master's degree courses and in professional doctorates

An academic assessment of a thesis or dissertation is a judgment made by the appropriate faculty committee, on the advice of qualified experts appointed by the committee, of the worth of the thesis or dissertation a student has submitted relative to standards appropriate for the degree in which they are enrolled.

The final assessment for a thesis or dissertation is therefore the result awarded by the appropriate committee of the faculty (the higher degrees committee or equivalent for a master's degree and a specialist committee for a professional doctorate). Theses and dissertations are initially assessed by at least two examiners appointed by the appropriate committee (taking into account the recommendations of the head of school), at least one of whom, in the case of a thesis, must be external to the University. On receipt of the examiners' reports the committee considers the comments and recommendations in the reports and determines the result for the dissertation or thesis. If a committee requires further comment, it may appoint one or more additional examiners.

Review and appeals against academic assessment

If a student believes that the initial assessment given for any piece of work which contributes to the final result in the unit or course does not fairly represent the worth of the piece of work, they may formally request a review, and appeal in accordance with the policy if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of that review, against the assessment.


Students will need to follow the relevant procedure as set out on the web.


Submission of a review and/or appeal must be in accordance the University policy on: Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions Relating to Students.

Further information

Contact the relevant faculty office.

Assessment difficulties

If a student experiences difficulties with study at University and they do not take early action to address those difficulties, this may have an impact on later assessment.


In the first instance a student should make an appointment to see the head of school concerned, or the sub-dean, associate dean or student adviser of the faculty responsible for the course in which they are enrolled.


A student should seek help from an appropriate person as quickly as possible if they experience problems of this kind so that, where possible, action can be taken to remedy the situation.

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Student Rules: Part 4, Divisions 1 and 2 inclusive; University Policy on: Academic Progress (other than courses administered by the Graduate Research School); University Policy on: Assessment

Formal University examinations are held in the examination periods following each semester.


All examinations are held on the University campus and are generally scheduled for 9am and 2pm, Monday to Saturday inclusive. Dates of official examination periods are included in University-wide dates and on the exams, assessments and results web page.

A student should be aware that faculties may permit schools to hold examinations outside the official examination periods.

Be aware that

Students must sit an examination in a unit in a venue on the campus on which the unit was taught unless the Registrar (or delegated authority) permits otherwise in recognition of extreme mitigating circumstances.

Examination rules

Examinations are governed by the University's Exam rules.

Examination timetable

The University is required to produce an examination timetable which contains the dates, times and places of examinations, deferred and supplementary examinations. Students are responsible for consulting this timetable to find out the date, time and place of examinations for the units in which they are enrolled.

Students can access their personal examination timetable at studentConnect.

Be aware that

No information about examination times is given over the telephone by Student Administration, schools or faculties.

Alternative arrangements for central examinations

Special arrangements may be made for students requiring alternative arrangements for examinations on grounds of disability.


A student must register with the UniAccess officer(s) (Student Support Services) to discuss the arrangements.

Further information

Refer to University Policy on: Alternative Examinations and alternative exam arrangements.

Deferred examinations

University Policy on: Deferred examinations; University Policy on: Special Consideration

In special circumstances a student who is unable to sit formal examinations through illness or for other exceptional reasons may be granted a deferred examination. A student for a deferred examination in a unit must sit the examination in a venue on the campus on which the initial examination in the unit was scheduled to take place unless the Registrar, after receiving advice from the faculty concerned, authorises otherwise in recognition of extreme mitigating circumstances.


Students wishing to apply for a deferred examination in terms of Student Rule 33 must—

  • complete an application form for Special Consideration, available from Student Administration (Student Central), faculty offices or student administration forms;
  • if the application is made on medical grounds, have the relevant section of the application form completed by a doctor or other medical health practitioner or attach a medical certificate including the specific information requested on the application form;
  • submit the application form plus attachments to the relevant faculty officer.


As soon as it becomes evident that a deferred examination is required, and no later than three University working days after the date of the relevant scheduled examination.

Further information

Contact Student Administration (Student Central) or the relevant faculty office.

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Supplementary assessment

University Policy on: Assessment

Students who obtain a mark of 45 to 49 inclusive in a unit may be provided with an opportunity for supplementary assessment in that unit, if they are currently enrolled in the unit and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course. Other opportunities for supplementary assessment may be available. A faculty may provide additional opportunities for supplementary assessment in an undergraduate unit if the unit is being taught for the last time and no unit with similar content will be available in the next academic year. The Assessment Mechanism Statement for a unit will indicate whether or not supplementary assessment is available.

Special consideration

University Policy on: Special Consideration

If examination preparation or performance in an examination is seriously affected by illness or other significant circumstances, a student may apply to the faculty for special consideration.


The student must complete an Application for Special Consideration form and contact the appropriate faculty student office. A medical certificate or written statement explaining the circumstances must be provided.


It is important that the faculty student office is made aware as soon as possible if a student has serious medical condition or other problems which are affecting performance. The student should make an appointment to see the sub-dean, associate dean, student adviser or senior faculty administrative officer at an early stage. This helps to ensure that the student is given special consideration if it is warranted.

Be aware that

Details of students who have requested special consideration are sent to unit coordinators as appropriate.

Satisfactory progress, unsatisfactory progress and progress status

Student Rules 34 to 40, 43 to 45; University Policy on: Academic progress (other than in courses administered by the Graduate Research School)

Satisfactory progress

Satisfactory progress is defined as passing units with a point value of at least 50 per cent of the total points value of units in which the student is enrolled (excluding units withdrawn without penalty) plus any approved faculty requirements. A student who has not made satisfactory progress in the course may not re-enrol unless permission is granted by the faculty.

Some faculties may have requirements over and above this general requirement. These are stated in the faculty rules for the relevant course.

A student who does not make satisfactory progress has 'unsatisfactory progress' recorded on their academic record.

Progress status

The progress status to be allocated in particular circumstances is set out in the rules for an individual course. The categories of progress status used are set out below.

Good Standing: This status is allocated to students who have made satisfactory progress.

On Probation: Students may re-enrol in the course subject to conditions to be determined by the faculty. Students applying to re-enrol following allocation of a status of 'on probation' may be required to see a faculty adviser.

Suspended: Students may not re-enrol in the course for 12 months.

Excluded: Students are excluded from further study in the course.

Be aware that

Students may request a review and/or raise an appeal the award of a progress status if they believe it has not been awarded in accordance with the relevant rules.

(1) A student who has been assigned the status of 'Suspended' or 'Excluded' may request a review in accordance with the University Policy on: Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions.

(2) If the relevant faculty or board permits a student who has requested a review under (1) to re-enrol, the student is assigned the status of 'On Probation'.

Students who have been excluded and who later believe their circumstances have changed and who wish to return to their studies must re-apply for admission. Students who are re-admitted will be considered as commencing students as from the date of re-admission.

Decisions on progress status

Normally the allocation of progress status is automatic, based on the rules governing progress status in the course concerned. The allocation of progress status is then ratified by the faculty's Board of Examiners. However, in some cases the Board of Examiners may make special decisions on progress status within relevant policy.

For students in combined courses, decisions on results and progress are the responsibility of a special committee (usually called an Academic Progress Committee). For more information contact the faculty or board involved in the combined course.

Options after unsatisfactory progress in a combined course

A student who has made unsatisfactory progress in a combined course has the option to apply for a place in a single degree course.


A student must submit a letter to the relevant faculty or board outlining their request, with a copy to the other faculty involved in teaching the combined course.

Further information

Contact the relevant faculty student office.