Academic Credit Policy

Summary

This policy describes the requirements and principles governing the determination and granting of academic credit for Swinburne courses.

Objectives

This policy aims to:

  • Provide the framework for the awarding of academic credit for prior study or learning whilst maintaining academic standards for graduates completing Swinburne courses
  • Set clear responsibilities and accountabilities for academic credit decisions
  • Ensure that academic credit processes are transparent and decisions are consistent and fair
  • Facilitate movement of students between institutions and between various types and levels of courses

Scope

This policy applies to all Swinburne courses.


1. Academic credit principles

When determining academic credit the University should be guided by the principles of:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Maintenance of academic integrity
  • Evidence-based decisions, including the use of precedence
  • Eliminating unfair or unnecessary barriers for student access to Swinburne courses
  • Enabling flexible qualification pathways
  • Reasonable prospect of success for the student
  • Regular review, monitoring and continuous improvement processes

2. Granting of academic credit

Swinburne is committed to the provision of access through a range of qualification and articulation pathways that reflect the diverse learning experiences of applicants.

Students may be granted academic credit on the basis of:

  • Previous post-secondary studies
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training.

Applications for academic credit may be considered from:

  • Prospective or potential students who are seeking entry into a Swinburne course
  • Current students who are enrolled in a Swinburne course (subject to University defined deadlines for submission of applications)

When making decisions on applications for academic credit, factors that the University should consider include:

  • The relevance, nature, currency and authenticity of the evidence provided by the applicant
  • The equivalency of learning or competency outcomes in the relevant unit or module curriculum documents for any matched exemptions
  • Regulatory requirements for international students
  • Minimum studies requirements for a Swinburne award.
  • Time limits for past studies
  • Requisites relating to core units in the students course
  • Professional body accreditation requirements
  • Regulations relating to credit for conceded passes or previous fails
  • Comparability of overseas qualifications with Australian qualifications

In addition to the above, when making decisions on applications for academic credit through RPL, the University should consider:

  • Previous credentialed and uncredentialed learning
  • Evidence including interviews, written tests, resumes, letters of endorsement and other supporting documentation
  • Government requirements

Academic credit may be granted as block credit specified as a number of credit points or as matched exemptions for particular units.  Partial credit for a unit is not permitted for Higher Education.    

Matched exemptions are not normally provided on the basis of competency-based assessed units from TAFE qualifications.

Matched exemptions are generally not granted for Higher Education Outcome Units.

The University and Academic Senate monitor the implementation of academic credit, including the performance of students through various academic credit channels.  The validity of academic credit decisions that form precedence should be reviewed by the University at least every 3 years.
Changes to academic credit arrangements must not disadvantage any students with a current offer.

Roles and Responsibilities (VC delegation)

Role/Decision/ActionResponsibility*Conditions and limitations
Specifying maximum credit to be granted for a course Head of the accrediting Academic Unit Must be consistent with the above, and documented in the course accreditation instrument for approval by Academic Senate
Specification of form and due dates for applications for academic credit and publication of academic credit information and deadlines

Vice President (Students)
Registrar for SUTS

Must be consistent with the above
Approval of applications for academic credit where a precedent exists

Vice President (Students)
Registrar for SUTS

Decisions must be consistent with approved precedence
Approval of applications for academic credit in cases where precedence is not determined, or for applications for RPL Head of Academic Unit
Academic positions specified by the Head of the Academic Unit and approved by the relevant DVC
Must be consistent with the above, and in accordance with criteria specified by the relevant DVC
Monitoring and review of academic credit Pro Vice Chancellor (Education and Quality) A regular report must go to Academic Senate
Exemption from time limits Head of Academic Unit 
Academic positions specified by the Head of the Academic Unit and approved by the relevant DVC
Must be consistent with the above
Regular review of validity of academic credit precedence decisions Head of the accrediting Academic positions specified by the Head of the Academic Unit and approved by the relevant DVC Must be consistent with the above

*(Staff holding, acting in or performing the responsible position or office)


3. Articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements

Articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements that document formal agreements for provision of academic credit or qualification recognition for previous post-secondary studies or prior learning (through RPL) may be made between:

  • Swinburne Higher Education courses and Swinburne Vocational Education courses
  • Swinburne and other recognised Australian educational institutions
  • Swinburne and other recognised international educational institutions
  • Swinburne and providers of employer-based programs, professional bodies, employers and recognised private institutions in recognition of non-award programs

When making decisions on the approval of articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements, factors that the University should consider include:

  • The strategic importance of the proposed arrangement, and the appropriateness of the proposed partner
  • The relevance, nature, currency and authenticity of the evidence
  • The equivalency of learning or competency outcomes in the relevant unit or module curriculum documents for any matched exemptions
  • Regulatory requirements for international students
  • Minimum studies requirements for a Swinburne award
  • Prerequisites relating to core units in the students course
  • Professional body accreditation requirements
  • Comparability of overseas qualifications with Australian qualifications

Articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements may be specified as block credit arrangements and/or as matched exemptions for particular units. 

Matched exemptions are generally not granted for Higher Education Outcome Units.

The University and Academic Senate monitor articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements by reviewing the performance of student cohorts.  The validity of articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements should be reviewed by the University at least every 3 years.

Changes to articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements must not disadvantage any students with a current offer.

Roles and Responsibilities (VC delegation)

Role/Decision/ActionResponsibility*Conditions and limitations
Applications for articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements with Australian and international institutions Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for articulation arrangements into Higher Education courses
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (PAVE) for articulation arrangements into Vocational Education courses
Must be consistent with the above, and in conjunction with the Pro Vice Chancellor (International) for international arrangements
Determination of academic processes for articulation, pathway and credit recognition arrangements Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for articulation arrangements into Higher Education courses
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (PAVE) for articulation arrangements into Vocational Education courses
Must be consistent with the above
Publishing articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements

Vice President (Students)
Director, Business Development and Communications, Swinburne Sarawak

 
Monitoring of articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements PVC (Education and Quality) A regular report must go to Academic Senate
Regular review of validity of articulation agreements and credit recognition arrangements Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for articulation arrangements into Higher Education courses
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (PAVE) for articulation arrangements into Vocational Education courses
Must be consistent with the above, and criteria determined by the SDVC and Provost

*(Staff holding, acting in or performing the responsible position or office)


4. Cross-institutional studies

Swinburne students are normally expected to complete all their studies with Swinburne.  In special circumstances permission may be granted for Higher Education students to undertake part of his or her course at another institution through cross-institutional studies.

Applications for cross-institutional studies must be submitted in the form and by the date specified by the University.

Circumstances where cross-institutional studies may be approved include:

  • The unit(s) to be studied at the other institution are determined to be related and beneficial for the student’s course, and are not available with Swinburne
  • Circumstances where a student needs to relocate to regional Victoria, interstate or overseas due to employment and or significant personal reasons.
  • As a condition of enrolment
  • Where a student has failed a core unit which is not available with Swinburne in the following teaching period and would inhibit normal course progression

The maximum amount of academic credit for cross-institutional studies is:

  • 50 credit points for undergraduate students
  • 25 credit points for postgraduate students
  • 100 credit points for language majors (where the language is not available with Swinburne)

Approval for cross-institutional studies will only be granted if:

  • The student has completed 100 credit points (excluding exemptions and RPL) with Swinburne in their current course, apart from language majors.

When making a decision on an application for cross-institutional studies at another institution, factors that the University should consider include:

  • The appropriateness of the proposed institution
  • The requirements of the course that the student is enrolled in
  • The equivalency of learning or competency outcomes in the relevant unit curriculum documents for any cross-institutional unit that is a core unit in the student’s course
  • Regulatory requirements for international students
  • Minimum studies requirements for a Swinburne award
  • Professional body accreditation requirements

Cross-institutional studies are generally not granted for Higher Education Outcome Units.

Cross-institutional studies may result in academic credit specified as a number of credit points or as matched exemptions for particular units.

Roles and Responsibilities (VC delegation)

Role/Decision/ActionResponsibility*Conditions and limitations
Applications for Cross Institutional Study

Head of Academic Unit
Academic positions specified by the Head of the Academic Unit and approved by relevant DVC

Must be consistent with the above
Specification of form and due dates for applications for cross institutional studies

Vice President (Students)
Registrar for SUTS

 

*(Staff holding, acting in or performing the responsible position or office)


5. International exchange programs

Applications from current Swinburne students for an International Exchange program must be submitted in the form and by the date specified by the University.

Granting of approval for an International Exchange program will be guided by the following requirements:

  • Studies are to be undertaken at an overseas partner institution approved by the University
  • The student has a proven academic record
  • The student has completed all requisites for the studies to be undertaken at the partner institution
  • The student has completed at least 50 credit points of studies with Swinburne in their enrolled course (not including any exemptions or RPL) or similar course specific requirements for Vocational Education
  • The student will have at least 50 credit points of studies to complete their enrolled course when they return from the International Exchange program, or similar course specific requirements for Vocational Education
  • Any Higher Education Core Units and/or Outcome Units in the student’s enrolled course to be replaced by International Exchange studies must have a study plan approved by the University to ensure that the International Exchange studies contribute to the course learning outcomes in an equivalent manner

The University may determine other eligibility requirements and conditions of enrolment in an International Exchange program.

The maximum amount of academic credit for an International Exchange program is 100 credit points for a student enrolled in a Higher Education course, and no more than 50% of a Vocational Education course.

When making decisions on the approval of an application for International Exchange, the factors that the University should consider include:

  • The learning or competency outcomes in the relevant unit curriculum documents
  • Regulatory requirements for international students
  • Minimum studies requirements for a Swinburne award
  • Professional body accreditation requirements
  • Comparability of overseas qualifications with Australian qualifications

International exchange studies may be granted as block credit and/or as matched exemptions for particular units. 

The University and Academic Senate monitor the academic performance of students undertaking International Exchange programs. 

Roles and Responsibilities (VC delegation)

Role/Decision/ActionResponsibility*Conditions and limitations
Approval of partner institutions for International Exchange Pro Vice Chancellor (International) Must be consistent with the above
Applications for International Exchange where there is a standard study plan Pro Vice Chancellor (International) Must be consistent with the above
Applications for International Exchange without a standard study plan Head of Academic Unit 
Academic positions specified by the Head of the Academic Unit and approved by the relevant DVC
Must be consistent with the above
Approval of a study plan for replacement of HE Core or Outcome Units. Head of Academic Unit 
Academic positions specified by the Head of the Academic Unit and approved by the relevant DVC  
Must be consistent with the above
Additional eligibility requirements and conditions of enrolment in an International Exchange program Pro Vice Chancellor (International)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Sarawak)
Must be consistent with the above
Monitoring of academic performance of students in International Exchange programs Pro Vice Chancellor (International) A regular report must go to Academic Senate

*(Staff holding, acting in or performing the responsible position or office)


6. Complaints, reviews and appeals

A person dissatisfied with a decision under this policy may lodge a complaint (or in some instances students may apply directly for a review), subject to the requirements of the complaints, reviews and appeals provisions of the People, Culture and Integrity Policy and the Review and Appeals Regulations 2012.


7. Transition provision

This Policy and the other Policies commencing 1 January 2014 promulgated by the University under the University-wide “Policy Review Project” replace all University policies in existence before 1 January 2014.

Before 1 January 2014 policies were coupled with procedures and many policies included procedural aspects.

Transitional arrangements will apply from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 under which:

  • Procedures coupled with policies and procedural components within policies that were in effect as at 31 December 2013 will continue to apply to provide direction as to procedure until 31 December 2014 unless replaced by new procedures or guidelines or otherwise repealed
  • Such procedures and procedural components are subordinate to and must be read in conjunction with new Policies
  • New Policies prevail to the extent of any inconsistency.

Delegations

This policy includes, where indicated in the tables of roles and responsibilities, delegation of power by the Vice-Chancellor under section 26(7) of the Swinburne University of Technology Act 2010.

Approvals

VersionDateApproverContact
V 1.0 27 Nov 2013 Academic Senate Chair of Academic Senate
V 1.1 17 Dec 2013 Academic Senate Chair of Academic Senate