Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Teaching And Learning
Authoring Organisational Unit
Academic Secretariat (University Secretariat)
Date Approved
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Academic Council

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Creating Special Units

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy deals with creation of special units for a specified teaching period.


In this policy and any associated procedures,

the University means The University of Western Australia

relevant board(s) means a Board of the University relevant to the case in point. In this case the relevant board means the relevant one of the boards referred to in 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 of this policy. The relevant board may include a position or a body of people with authority to carry out the function concerned.

teaching period is a scheduled duration, within an academic year, in which a unit of study is offered and includes approved non-teaching study breaks, pre-examination study breaks and examination periods

a special unit is a unit approved by a "Fast Track" approval process for one teaching period in limited circumstances as set out in this policy

Policy statement:

1 General principles

1.1 Special units can only to be created in a very limited range of circumstances.

1.2 A special unit must not be a core unit except in exceptional circumstances.

1.3 A special unit must have comparable academic standards to a unit of an equivalent level approved for offering on an ongoing basis.

1.4 Special units are approved through a 'Fast Track' approval process.

2 Creating special units

2.1 The relevant board may approve the creation of a special unit in one of the following categories of exceptional circumstances:

Category 1: to take advantage of an unforeseen opportunity, such as the expertise of a visiting academic; or

Category 2: to cater for the needs of an individual student or a group of students:

(a) in a transition period where a unit previously offered is no longer available;

(b) where a student who is transferring from one course to another course may have completed work previously that is not in exact alignment with a required unit or units; or

(c) where incoming exchange students need to undertake a research project.

2.2 The content of a special unit may be entirely new or may include content from an existing approved unit or units.

2.3 A special unit may be an undergraduate or a postgraduate unit.

2.4 A special unit must not have the same title as a unit approved for offering on an ongoing basis.

2.5 Undergraduate and postgraduate special units to be offered only in courses that are not part of the new courses structure may be approved by the relevant faculty.

2.6 Special units to be offered in a new undergraduate degree course may be approved by delegation within the DVCE Portfolio.

2.7 Special units to be offered in a postgraduate course that forms part of the new courses structure may be approved by delegation within the DVCE Portfolio.

2.8 Details of all special units must be published in an addendum to the relevant edition of the University Handbook.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Academic Secretary

Related Policies or legislation:

University Policy on Credit Point value of units (UP11/12)

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