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Course of Study Accreditation Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy supports Macquarie University’s mission as a public university with self-accrediting authority.

(2) This Policy documents the process through which a new course of study (‘course’), including its constituent units of study (‘units’) and course components, is approved (accredited) for delivery by the University.

(3) This Policy is part of Stage 2 Accreditation of the Curriculum Lifecycle Framework and should be read in conjunction with all policies and procedures specific to this Stage and the Curriculum Lifecycle Framework.

Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all Macquarie University award courses that align with the categories of the Australian Qualifications Framework including Combined Degrees and the Master by Research courses, but excluding:

  1. Double degrees where each core zone is accredited separately; and
  2. Other Postgraduate Higher Degree Research awards.

(5) This Policy applies to the approval of all new units and, where applicable, new course components offered within a new or accredited award course.

(6) This Policy does not apply to existing courses requiring Reaccreditation (see Course of Study Reaccreditation Policy). Revisions to an existing course must be conducted in accordance with the Course of Study Revision Policy unless the revision requires the course to be considered as a new course (see Course of Study Revision Policy).

(7) This Policy does not apply to non-award programs of study.

(8) The Micro-credentials Policy should also be consulted if the educational product is a micro-credential (refer to Micro-credentials Policy).

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Section 2 - Policy

(9) Course accreditation is designed to ensure that all new courses:

  1. are subject to an evaluation of their academic suitability as a Macquarie University offering;
  2. are approved for delivery through an approved academic governance process;
  3. comply with all institutional policies and strategies relating to learning and teaching; and
  4. meet agreed institutional, disciplinary, professional and regulatory standards regarding their expected quality in teaching,  learning and the student experience.

(10) Course Accreditation is informed by;

  1. the Delegations of Authority;
  2. the Curriculum Architecture Policy;
  3. the Assessment Policy;
  4. the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021;
  5. the latest pedagogical and professional developments in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the specific discipline field(s) relevant to each course; and
  6. course-specific benchmarking against national and, where appropriate, international comparators.

(11) Course Accreditation is conducted after the strategic and business case for a proposed new course has been approved for academic consideration through the Ideation Stage (Stage 1) of the Curriculum Lifecycle Framework (see the New Educational Products Policy).

(12) Course Accreditation is conducted through the Curriculum Management System.

(13) A Course is accredited for seven (7) years and will be subject to regular monitoring and review (see Course of Study Annual Monitoring and Review Policy, Unit of Study Periodic Review Policy, and Unit of Study Monitoring and Grade Ratification Policy) before being subjected to Reaccreditation (see Course of Study Reaccreditation Policy).

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Section 3 - Procedures

Part A - Course Accreditation

(14) A proposal for a new course will be completed by the relevant Course Authority in the Curriculum Management System.

(15) The design of the new course must comply with the design rules in the approved Curriculum Management System (see the MQ Curriculum Manual Wiki for further guidance) and comply with all relevant University policies and procedures, including but not limited to:

  1. the Curriculum Architecture Policy; and
  2. the Assessment Policy.

(16) A new course will only be accredited when the course, all of its core zone units and, where applicable, course components, have been approved for delivery.

(17) In exceptional circumstances Conditional Accreditation may be considered where the new course has not yet met all of the requirements for full Accreditation to the satisfaction of the Academic Standards and Quality Committee.

(18) The Academic Senate will only approve Conditional Accreditation if:

  1. the Chair, Academic Senate and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) depending on the course in question, have agreed that a case for conditional accreditation should be considered;
  2. all units of study, and where applicable, course components are in proposal form within the Curriculum Management System;
  3. all relevant curriculum mapping related to learning outcomes and assessment can be completed to inform Faculty Board, the Academic Standards and Quality Committee, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) / Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) recommendations; and
  4. the matter has been considered by the Academic Standards and Quality Committee and terms and timings for the transition to full accreditation have been recommended to the Academic Senate.

(19) The terms of a Conditional Accreditation of a course and the timings required to meet the conditions set by the Academic Senate will be recorded in the Curriculum Management System at the time of approval. The Academic Standards and Quality Committee will monitor the completion of the conditions within the timings set by the Academic Senate.

(20) All Curriculum Lifecycle Framework monitoring and review requirements will commence upon the granting of Conditional Accreditation including the timing for reaccreditation.

(21) A course with Conditional Accreditation may be promoted for future student enrolment.

(22) A course with Conditional Accreditation may commence delivery if, in the opinion of the Academic Senate, its conditional status will not impact on the student experience.

Part B - New Unit of Study Approval

(23) A proposal for a new unit within an existing accredited course must be developed in accordance with the Course of Study Revision Policy.

(24) A proposal for a new unit within a new course must be completed by the relevant Unit Authority in the Curriculum Management System and will be approved in accordance with the New Educational Products Policy.

(25) All fields for the proposal must be completed in the Curriculum Management System before submission.

(26) Only one proposal for the new unit will be permitted to be under consideration (active) in the Curriculum Management System at one time.

(27) The design of the new unit must comply with the design rules in the Curriculum Management System (see the MQ Curriculum Manual Wiki for further guidance) and comply with all relevant University policies and procedures, including but not limited to:

  1. the Curriculum Architecture Policy; and
  2. the Assessment Policy.

(28) In completing the proposal for approval, the relevant Unit Authority will consult with:

  1. the relevant Course Component or Course Authorities to ensure that the new unit contributes to student acquisition of the learning outcomes of the course(s) for which it has been designed;
  2. other Course Component or Course Authorities who may utilise the new unit in their core zone; and
  3. other Unit Authorities to ensure that the new unit will not impact on the successful the  successful delivery of an approved unit.

Part C - New Course Component Approval

(29) A proposal for a new course component within an existing accredited course must be developed in accordance with the Course of Study Revision Policy.

(30) A proposal for a new course component for a new course must be completed by the relevant Course Component Authority in the Curriculum Management System and will be approved in accordance with the New Educational Products Policy.

(31) All fields for the proposal must be completed in the Curriculum Management System before submission.

(32) Only one proposal for the new course component will be permitted to be under consideration (active) in the  Curriculum Management System at one time.

(33) The design of the new course component must comply with the design rules in the Curriculum Management System (see the MQ Curriculum Manual Wiki for further guidance) and comply with all relevant University policies and procedures, including but not limited to:

  1. the Curriculum Architecture Policy; and
  2. the Assessment Policy.

(34) In completing the proposal for approval, the relevant Course Component Authority will consult with:

  1. the relevant Course Authority to ensure that the new course component contributes to student acquisition of the learning outcomes of the course for which it has been designed; and
  2. other Course Component or Course authorities to ensure that the new course component will not impact on the successful delivery of an approved course component.

Part D - Responsibilities

(35) Responsibilities related to the approval of a course's accreditation and the approval of new course components or  new units of study are specified in the Delegations of Authority Register (section 5).

(36) Responsibilities related to this Procedure are as follows:

  1. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will:
    1. approve the templates and processes within the Curriculum Management System;
    2. approve the knowledge articles and other sources of information and training which support engagement with the Curriculum Management System;
    3. approve the institutional timetable for the accreditation process; and
    4. ensure that the Curriculum Management System is regularly reviewed.
  2. the Academic Standards and Quality Committee will review and note any revisions to the templates and processes approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) within the Curriculum Management System;
  3. the relevant Course Authority will propose the case for course approval;
  4. the relevant Course Authority will propose the case for new course component approval;
  5. the relevant Unit Authority will propose the case for new unit approval;
  6. the Chair, Academic Senate will approve a course for Conditional Accreditation following endorsement by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research); and
  7. the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Research and the Director, Macquarie University International College and English Language Centre may, if required and when not in conflict with the Delegations of Authority, fulfill the same responsibilities as an Executive Dean in the finalisation of a course proposal.
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Section 4 - Guidelines

(37) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(38) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Accreditation means the process within the Curriculum Lifecycle Framework where the design of a new academic item (course, course component or unit) is undertaken followed by the submission of an academic case through the pertinent academic governance process.
  2. Conditional Reaccreditation means an action resulting from the implementation phase of a course review, when the Academic Senate cannot grant full reaccreditation due to the course still working through some of the proposed remediation actions as part of the success plan.
  3. Course Authority is the person assigned by a Faculty or equivalent to perform certain roles within the Curriculum Lifecycle processes at a course level, for example Course Director, Head of Department, Program Director.
  4. Course Component Authority is the person assigned by a Faculty or equivalent to perform certain roles within the Curriculum Lifecycle processes at a course level, for example Head of Discipline, (Deputy) Head of School.
  5. Curriculum Management System refers to Macquarie University’s repository for all curriculum information including courses, course components (majors, specialisations, and minors), and units.
  6. Unit Authority is the person assigned by a Faculty or equivalent to perform certain roles within the Curriculum Lifecycle processes at a unit level, for example Unit Convenor.
  7. Reaccreditation means the process, within the Curriculum Lifecycle Framework, where the formal appraisal of a course against institutional and course specific domains takes place, involving a group of academics, professional experts, and stakeholders.