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Award Nomenclature Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure specifies the approval of and naming conventions for courses of study that lead to the conferral of awards and associated testamur and is designed to assure:

  1. compliance with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
  2. consistent and clear naming of course components
  3. recognition by prospective students, students, employers, and other stakeholders
  4. alignment with the Curriculum Architecture Principles within the Education Strategy.


(2) This procedure applies to all awards accredited by the University within a course of study from 2023.

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Section 2 - Policy

(3) This procedure supports the Course and Subject Policy and the Conferral and Graduation Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedure

Award nomenclature approval

(4) New award nomenclature and postnominals are approved by Academic Senate when:

  1. a new course of study is accredited
  2. a change to nomenclature is requested via the course accreditation process.

(5) Course nomenclature will accurately describe critical elements of the course. Additional factors that may influence the selection of a course nomenclature are effectiveness in the marketplace and/or the meeting of any professional requirements.

(6) Course nomenclature, including major/specialisation sequences, must not exceed the maximum character limit requirements for the approval of and printing to a testamur.

Components of the nomenclature

(7) The nomenclature of an award is created from components. Not all components are required for naming an award:

  1. course level descriptor (AQF)
  2. preposition
  3. discipline area
  4. course-specific content
  5. undergraduate major(s)
  6. postgraduate specialisation(s)
  7. separators
  8. designations
    1. Honours Class
    2. With Distinction
    3. Honorary Award
    4. Higher Degree

Course level descriptor

(8) The following course level descriptors and prepositions will be used:

  1. Doctor of
  2. Master of
  3. Graduate Diploma of
  4. Graduate Certificate in
  5. Bachelor of
  6. Associate Degree in
  7. Diploma of
  8. Undergraduate Certificate in

Discipline area

(9) A discipline area is sufficiently broad to be identified as applying to more than one course at the same level, for example, Arts, Education. This component will appear as the discipline area component in the nomenclature of several courses and may, at the same time, be the award name for a broadly structured course, for example:

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Master of Education

Course-specific content

(10) This component (together with the course level descriptor) may comprise the name of the award where all subjects in the course contribute to the essential set, for example, Master of Marketing, or it may be used in conjunction with a discipline area where the course specific component refers to a significant area of study in the course, for example:

  1. Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology)

Undergraduate major(s)

(11) An undergraduate major is an optional sequence of study in the essential set of an undergraduate course. (See also Curriculum Architecture Principle 11).

(12) An elective set major may be available only if an essential major has been completed.

(13) All majors are included in a major schedule list.

  1. A major schedule is listed in the University Handbook.

(14) Majors which are incompatible are added to a major exclusion list.

  1. Major incompatibility is listed within the major sequence’s documentation.

(15) A major will be added to award nomenclature as follows:

  1. For a major completed in the essential set of a course. For example, Bachelor of Arts in History.
  2. For a double major, the elective set major is listed last. For example, Bachelor of Arts in History, Marketing.

Undergraduate specialisation(s) – professional accreditation

INTERIM – it is expected that all courses in this category on their next professional accreditation process are aligned with new nomenclature.

(16)  Where a course has professional accreditation, and the award nomenclature is a requirement for the registration of the course, the nomenclature should follow as per postgraduate specialisation at subclauses (18) a-b., for example:

  1.  Bachelor of Information Studies (Children’s Literature)

Postgraduate specialisation(s)

(17)  A postgraduate specialisation is an optional sequence of study in a postgraduate course. (See also Curriculum Architecture Principle 12).

(18) A postgraduate course may contain additional specialisations. A specialisation will be added to award nomenclature as follows:

  1. For a single specialisation. For example, Master of Agricultural Science (Biology).
  2. For multiple specialisations, listed alphabetically. For example, Master of Agricultural Science (Agribusiness, Biology).

Designations included on a testamur

(19) Honours Class and With Distinction designations are included under the award nomenclature on the testamur, or as approved by the University Secretary in accordance with the Conferral and Graduation Policy.


(20) Award nomenclature for some types of courses may require the use of separator characters. The following characters are used as stated:

  1. “ / “ is used either to:
    1. separate nomenclature of a combined course, such as Bachelor of Veterinary Biology / Bachelor of Veterinary Science, or
    2. separate multiple postgraduate specialisations, such as Master of Information Technology (Business Analysis / Web Development).
  2. “ - “ is used to separate a postgraduate specialisation from the course specific component, such as Master of Management (Information Technology - System Architecture).


(21) The following element(s) do not form part of the nomenclature of an award and are not included on a testamur (see guidelines for transcript usage):

  1. A minor

Approved nomenclature and postnominal terms

(22) Approved nomenclature and postnominals are recorded in the Award Nomenclature Register.

(23) All words and postnominals of approved nomenclature are recorded in the Award Term Register:

  1. Abbreviations are not used in an awards nomenclature.
  2. Each word has an abbreviation – a postnominal term.
  3. Where an existing word has been approved the postnominals should be used unless a rationale is provided for creating a new postnominal.
  4. Additional postnominal terms include:
    1. ‘&’ (ampersand) for ‘and’
    2. separators
    3. standard industry abbreviations, such as HR for Human Resources
    4. removal of commas ‘,’
  5. To reference a major, the term ‘in’ is replaced by ‘-‘, for example:
    1. Bachelor of Arts in History = BA-Hist
    2. Bachelor of Arts in History, Philosophy = BA-Hist-Phil
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Section 4 - Guidelines


(24) Award nomenclature and postnominals (including major, minor or specialisation) are referenced on a student transcript as follows. A minor is not included on a testamur.

  1. A minor is referenced on a transcript, for example:
Bachelor of Arts with minor in History 
  1. A major is referenced on a transcript, for example:
Bachelor of Business in Accounting
  1. A specialisation is referenced on a transcript, for example:
Master of Science (…)
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Section 5 - Glossary

(25) Nil.