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Academic Quality and Standards

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Vice-Provost (Education Programs)
Vice-Provost (Graduate Education)


Academic Standards and Quality 

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Education Policy


All coursework courses and units and any coursework unit component/s of applicable graduate research programs.

As per the Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations, credit will not be granted towards a thesis or alternative research component of a graduate research degree.

Where courses and units are delivered at locations outside of Australia, local regulatory requirements must also be met (eg, Malaysian Qualifications Framework).


This policy outlines the principles for determining credit towards Monash qualifications.


1.  A course that leads to a Monash award or degree is an academically coherent and cumulative program of specific units that contribute to the acquisition of knowledge, skills and other learning outcomes, including the development of Monash graduate attributes. The granting of credit must  support  this  educational  objective.

Credit Processes

2.  The university will determine credit for previous types of learning (formal, informal and non-formal learning) where, subject to the conditions and limits stated below, this is assessed as equivalent to

  1. Monash University study, or
  2. Prerequisite qualification for admission to a course.

3.  Credit for previous learning may be obtained through the process of articulation, credit transfer and recognition of prior learning or a combination of these processes.

4.  Credit applications are made to the managing faculty. The managing faculty will arrange for credit assessment by the degree awarding faculty. (Where the degree awarding faculty is not the teaching faculty, the degree awarding faculty will obtain the credit assessment from the teaching  faculty.)  The  Dean  of  the  managing  faculty  (or  delegate)  will  then determine the credit granted for the course in consultation with the degree awarding faculty.

Note: The "managing faculty" and "degree awarding faculty" and "teaching faculty" will often be the same faculty. For a double degree, there are two degree awarding faculties. One of these will be nominated as "managing faculty" and is responsible for administering the course of study.

5.  Eligibility for credit towards a course does not guarantee admission to that course.

Forms of credit

6.  Credit outcomes are expressed as specified credit, block credit and unspecified credit.

Block Credit:

7.  Block credit is credit granted towards whole stages or components of a qualification. Block credit is normally considered to fulfil any progression requirements for a stage of a course.

8.  For coursework Master courses, entry credit (a form of block credit) may be granted to students. Entry credit is used following an assessment of the student's previous learning and indicates the student's point of entry into a coursework Master's course (i.e. for an expert Master's course  96  credit  points,  72  credit  points  or  48  credit  points,  for an extended Master's course it would typically be 144 credit points or 96 credit points). It is the student's choice whether to apply for, or accept, entry credit.

Specified Credit:

9.  Specified credit is credit granted towards a specific unit or component in a qualification. Credit is given for a specific Monash unit, as identified by its unit code. When making credit decisions, Monash will seek to allocate specified credit where possible.

10.  An exemption is a type of specified credit where the student is waived the requirement to complete a unit but is required to complete another unit of the same credit point value

Unspecified Credit:

11.  Unspecified credit is credit granted where only the credit point value and the unit level are identified, instead of a specific Monash unit code.

Credit Assessments

12.  Credit is assessed on the basis of equivalence of content and learning outcomes between the previous learning and a Monash unit, subject to the limits on credit. In granting credit, the degree awarding faculty will ensure that all the requirements of the course are fulfilled and that  other  relevant  matters,  such  as  professional  accreditation  requirements,  are  taken  into account.

13.  Equivalence of content and learning outcomes is measured by:<

13.1  In the case of previous formal learning, the volume, depth and breadth of content and assessment requirements between the previous successfully completed component of study and the Monash unit and/or agreed relativities between a previously completed qualification and a Monash qualification.

13.2  In the case of previous informal and non-formal learning, an evidence-based assessment made by the teaching faculty (which will determine a variety of methods for the purpose) between the previous learning and the Monash unit.

14.  A near pass grade or terminating pass at another institution (or where previously awarded by Monash) will not be considered successful completion, and will not be considered for credit or exemption

15.  For credit to be granted towards a specific higher degree research or coursework unit, the previous learning must be equivalent to at least 80% of the content, learning outcomes and weighting of the Monash unit.

16.  Partial credit for Monash units will not be granted.

17.  Credit granted by another provider is not transferable to Monash, therefore a new credit application must be made.

18.  Credit will not be granted towards a thesis or equivalent research component of a Monash course of study. A student enrolled in a coursework Masters may be exempted from a research thesis component if the student has completed an Honours level qualification with a research component.

18.1  An exception to this requirement may be made when assessing and granting entry credit for coursework Masters courses. Students that have previously undertaken an Honours level qualification with a research component may receive entry credit for the research thesis units (see section  13.2  above).

19.  The Dean of the degree awarding faculty (or delegate) may specify where credit may be allocated within the course of study.

20.  The Dean (or delegate) may nominate units or components of the course structure (such as capstone units) for which credit will not be given.

Recency of previous learning

21.  The Dean (or delegate) of the degree awarding faculty will set recency requirements for previous learning. In setting this requirement, the Dean (or delegate) must:

21.1  take into account the rate of change in discipline knowledge and practices and any external accreditation requirements.

21.2  ensure that the previous learning was undertaken in a timeframe that enables the student to achieve the learning outcomes of the course and its constituent units, and;

21.3.  publish the principles used to determine recency requirements.

Credit Limits

See Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations Part 3 - regulation 15

22.  For graduate research degrees, credit is assessed on a case-by-case basis, subject to Faculty specific requirements.

23.  There are limits on the maximum credit which will be granted in a Monash course of study, excluding graduate research degrees. The maximum credit granted with double degree courses will be applied to each of the component awards, ie, for a double degree course a student must complete  at  Monash  at  least  48  credit  points  towards  each  component  degree.

The maximum credit limits are set out in Tables A and B below.

Table A: Maximum Allowable Credit Calculation Table:

Credit may be given for all units for which equivalence of learning is established up to the following limit:

Length of course of study (FTE) Credit Points Maximum Credit Granted*
1 semester 24 credit points 6 credit points
1 year 48 credit points 12 credit points
1.5 year 72 credit points 36 credit points
2 year 96 credit points 48 credit points
3 year 144 credit points 96 credit points
4 year 192 credit points 144 credit points
* The maximum credit for double degree courses will apply to component awards of the course.

Exceptions to Maximum Credit Limits

24.  Limits on maximum credit do not apply to:

24.1  When the study has been completed at Monash in:

  1. Monash nested programs; or
  2. alternative exits; or

24.2.  Where students have been admitted to a graduate certificate on the basis of completing two single units at Monash.

25.  Limits on maximum credit may be waived at the discretion of the managing faculty dean (or delegate) (in consultation of the Dean of the degree awarding faculty where relevant) where a student is being transferred from one Monash course to another closely related Monash course.

26.  The Dean (or delegate) may reduce the allowable maximum credit for a course to fulfil professional accreditation requirements.

27.  Exceptions to Credit Limits for Coursework Master's courses:

For coursework Masters' courses, the student will be assessed for entry (block) credit at admission (see above). Further credit may be granted towards the remaining credit points required to complete the course of study up to the limits set out in Table B. Once this has been determined and accepted,  the  student  will  complete  the  outstanding  sequence  of  units  and  credit  points  needed  to  meet the course requirement.

Table B: Coursework Masters' Credit Calculation Table

Required credit points to complete course requirements Limit Maximum Credit Granted (credit points)
48 credit points 12 credit points
72 credit points 36 credit points
96 credit points 48 credit points
144 credit points 96 credit points
192 credit points 144 credit points

Diagram 1. Coursework Masters' Credit Example

credit example

Credit Limits and Collaborative Coursework Arrangements

28.  Deans are responsible for approving articulation and credit transfer agreements with other education providers. The Dean (or delegate) may apply to CAPC to increase the maximum credit available to students through this arrangement, where the faculty demonstrates:

  1. that the credit transfer or articulation arrangement is with a partner that offers advanced technical or specialist skills not available at Monash; and
  2. how it determined that the relevant study is at an equivalent level to that provided by Monash.

29.  Where Monash offers a course of study as part of a joint award, double degree course, or dual award course with another institution, at least half of the required credit points of the course of study must be completed at Monash University.

30.  The above limits on maximum credit for courses of study offered through collaborative arrangements may be waived with the approval of Academic Board.

Supporting Procedures

Credit procedures

Responsibility for implementation

Vice-Provost (Education Programs)
Vice-Provost (Graduate Education)
Director, Admissions
Director, Student and Education Business Services
Deans (or delegates)



Approval Body

Name: Academic Board
Meeting: 1/2016
Date: 24-February-2016
Agenda item: 12.2

Endorsement Body

Name: Education Committee
Meeting: 5/2011
Date: 28-September-2011
Agenda item: 13.4


Articulation: is a process that enables students to progress from one completed qualification to another with admission and/or credit in a defined pathway. (AQF)

AQF: Australian Qualifications Framework

Block Credit: is credit granted towards whole stages or components of a qualification. Block credit does not involve individual student assessment but is usually arranged through a credit transfer or articulation agreement with another education provider. Block credit involves credit being granted for a whole section of a course such as a semester or year of full-time study in the course, rather than for specific units.

Cognate award: A qualification in a related field of study.

Credit: is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications which reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification. Credit may be through credit transfer, articulation, recognition of prior learning or advanced standing. (AQF) (Note: In Callista, the term advanced standing” refers to credit”.)

Credit points: A standard system of credit points based on a student workload is used throughout the university for coursework degrees. One credit point implies a student workload of approximately two hours per week over a standard semester; a six credit point unit taught in a semester therefore implies twelve hours of work a week by the student in varying combinations of formal class contact and self-directed study.

Credit transfer: is a process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes for components of a qualification based on equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications. (AQF)

Course of study: means a number of units of study extending over a period of time leading to a degree or other Award (Academic Board regulations).

Degree awarding faculty: is the faculty that is responsible for ensuring that the requirements for an award have been met.

Entry credit: Entry credit assesses the student's previous learning (based on formal qualifications and work experience) and determines the student's point of entry into a coursework Masters course (ie: 96 credit points, 72 credit points or 48 credit points). It is the student’s choice whether to apply for, or accept, entry credit.

Exemption: A student may receive credit for previous learning and be waived the requirement to complete a core unit but is required to complete another unit of the same credit point value. (On Callista, the term ‘preclusion’ is used.)

Formal learning: is the learning that takes place through a structured program of learning and assessment that leads to the full or partial attainment of a recognised AQF qualification or other formally recognised qualification. (AQF)

Informal learning: refers to learning gained through work-related, social, family, hobby or leisure activities and experiences. Unlike formal and non-formal learning, informal learning is not organised or externally structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support. (AQF)

Managing Faculty: The faculty responsible for managing the course of enrolment.

Nested Programs: Closely related Monash University courses where, on successful completion of the lower level course, the student may be eligible for block credit towards the higher level course: eg a graduate diploma for which the student may receive 48 credit points towards the related masters course

Non formal learning: refers to learning that take place through a structured program of learning but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification. (AQF).Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): is a process that involves assessment of the individual’s relevant prior learning to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit. (AQF)

Specified Credit: is credit granted towards core and/or particular components in a qualification, identified by the Monash unit code.

Teaching Faculty: is the faculty responsible for teaching a unit.

Unspecified Credit: is credit granted towards components in a qualification where the Monash unit code is not specified. Credit is given for the credit point value and level of a Monash unit.

Legislation Mandating Compliance

Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations

Related Policies

Coursework Courses and Units Accreditation Policy

Coursework Course Accreditation Procedures

Collaborative Coursework Arrangements Policy

Collaborative Coursework Arrangements - Articulation Procedures

Collaborative Coursework Arrangements - Joint Degree Program Procedures

Related Documents

Credit Application Form

Cross-institution/complemenatry studies application form

Monash University Institute of Graduate Research - Automatic H2A Equivalence Procedures -Monash qualifications