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University Medal Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy defines the criteria for nomination and assessment of the award of a University Medal.


(2) The University Medal is awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic excellence throughout their University studies and meet the criteria described below.


(3) This Policy applies to all students at all campuses and locations of the University, together with all Academic and Professional staff involved in the University Medal nomination, assessment and awarding process.

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Section 2 - Policy

Nomination Criteria

(4) Subject to the exemptions below, students will be eligible for nomination for the University Medal if they have:

  1. met the requirements of, either:
    1. an undergraduate Bachelor Honours degree (AQF level 8), whose standard duration is no less than four (4) years, inclusive of double major / degree;
    2. a Postgraduate course (AQF level 9), whose standard duration is no less than one and a half (1.5) years, and which can be shown to include a substantial piece of independent work; or
    3. a Master of Research course; and
  2. completed the majority of their studies at Macquarie University, namely:
    1. an undergraduate Bachelor Honours degree (AQF level 8), – at least 160 credit points must be completed at Macquarie University;
    2. a Postgraduate course (AQF level 9) - at least 120 credit points at postgraduate level must be completed at Macquarie University;
    3. a Master of Research course  - at least 120 credit points must be completed at Macquarie University; or
    4. for studies completed prior to 2020 - at least 48 credit points of their studies must be completed at Macquarie University;
  3. demonstrated sustained excellence throughout all levels of their University studies (both undergraduate and postgraduate level studies if applicable); and
  4. not been found responsible for serious misconduct in accordance with the University’s Student Conduct Rules and Student Conduct Procedure.

(5) Students who have met the requirements of a Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil), a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, or PhD are not eligible for nomination.

Assessment of Nominations

(6) The University Medal Committee will assess all eligible nominations and must consider:

  1. the nominated student’s performance throughout their University studies, including their grades, Weighted Average Mark (WAM) / Grade Point Average (GPA), any University prizes and awards, and assessor reports / comments for the substantial piece of independent work. The University Medal Committee will consider the nominated student’s entire academic performance but may place greater weight on academic performance in later years or at a more advanced level; and
  2. how the nominated student’s performance compares with their cohort; and
  3. how the nominated student’s performance compares with prior University Medallists in the discipline.

Multiple Nominations

(7) Only in exceptional circumstances should more than one nomination be made from a cohort in any given discipline. In cases where more than one nomination is brought forward from a single discipline, justification must be provided.

Number of University Medals

(8) There is no limit to the number of University Medals that may be awarded each year. The University reserves the right not to make an award within any given discipline or to withdraw an award.

(9) A student may only be awarded the University Medal once in any particular discipline area unless it can be shown that the second degree was of a substantially different nature to the first degree where a Medal was awarded.

Timing of Award of University Medal

(10) Nominations for the University Medal will be called for in alignment with completion dates for a course and the relevant deadlines for ensuring inclusion of medallists at a graduation ceremony.

(11) Nominations must be submitted within twelve (12) months of the student’s completion date. Only in exceptional circumstances will nominations be accepted later than this date and justification must be provided.

(12) The University Medal will be awarded to the recipients at a graduation ceremony or in absentia, after consultation with the recipient.

Confidentiality of Nominations

(13) All nominations shall remain confidential. Students must not be informed of any nominations.

Outcome of Nominations

(14) The University Medal Committee will provide a recommendation on the nominations to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) who is the final authority for the awarding of a University Medal.

(15) The University Medal Committee will report the outcomes to Faculty Boards including feedback regarding unsuccessful nominees.

(16) In the event it becomes clear that a nomination included incorrect or missing data, the correct information should be submitted to the Chair of the University Medal Committee from the relevant Head of Department/ School.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(17) Refer to the University Medal Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(18) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(19) The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Substantial piece of independent work means a piece of work where the student plans and executes the creation of new knowledge or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way and involves completion of a thesis, major creative work or project. This forms the majority of the assessment in one or more units with a value of at least 10 credit points. Typically, an independent examiners report or similar will be available for the piece of work.