Governance

Policies and procedures

Policy No.
UP14/12
Function
Teaching And Learning
Authoring Organisational Unit
Academic Secretariat (University Secretariat)
Date Approved
23/09/2014
Next Review Date
23/09/2017
Approving Body
Academic Council

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Teaching Periods

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy defines teaching periods and deals with the creation of non-standard teaching periods.

Definitions:

For the purposes of this policy and any related procedures,

the University means The University of Western Australia

end date for a teaching period is the date on which the relevant assessment period finishes and in the case of units with final examination it does not include the deferred examination period

teaching period is a scheduled duration, normally within an academic year, which, for a standard six point unit, provides for a student workload of 150 hours, including student contact hours, personal study time and examinations, and for a unit that is a multiple of six points, provides for a proportionately greater student workload

census date refers to the last date by which the study load for the teaching period is finalised.

relevant board(s) means a Board of the University relevant to the case in point. The relevant board(s) may include a position or a body of people with authority to carry out the function concerned

start date of a teaching period means the date on which teaching in a unit commences and may be the date on which students are provided with preparatory reading material and/or details of their first assignment for the unit

non-standard teaching period means a teaching period of which the start and end dates do not coincide with the University's standard semesters or trimesters or with the summer session.

Policy statement:

1 Teaching periods

1.1 The University determines teaching periods during which a unit is taught and assessed.

1.2 A teaching period is either standard or non-standard.

1.3 A teaching period must not span more than one academic year unless in exceptional circumstances where there are persuasive justifications.

1.4 Teaching periods must be determined:

  • taking due account of students' potential concurrent enrolment in other units as part of a course; and
  • with a view to enabling students to complete award courses within the specified time-frame with maximum efficiency.

1.5 New teaching periods are only created where there are persuasive justifications.

2 Standard teaching periods

2.1 The University's standard teaching periods:

  • for units taught in undergraduate courses are: Semester One; Semester Two; and Summer Session
  • for units taught in postgraduate courses are: Semester One, Semester Two, Trimester One, Trimester Two, Trimester Three and Summer Session.

2.2 The start and end dates for semester one and semester two are determined by the Academic Year Planning Committee in accordance with the University Policy on Structure of the Academic Year.

3 Summer session

3.1 Faculties may offer units in the summer session in accordance with the University Policy on Summer Session.

3.2 The summer session is a period of eight weeks during January and February the dates of which are set in accordance with the University Policy on Summer Session.

4 Creation of a non-standard teaching period

4.1 A non-standard teaching period is a period for which the start and end dates do not coincide with the start and end dates of a standard teaching period.

4.2 Non-standard teaching periods enable:

(a) schools to take advantage of the availability of expert external teaching staff whose availability does not coincide with the University's standard teaching periods;

(b) units to be taught offshore or in facilities external to the campus, such as hospitals, where the availability of resources and staff do not coincide with the University's standard teaching periods;

(c) practicums, internships and intensive study programs to be undertaken;

(d) teaching to be linked to specific events/circumstances (e.g. relating to climate, animal behaviour, requirements of offshore campuses); and

(e) better use of the University's facilities.

4.3 A school proposing a non-standard teaching period must provide a persuasive justification and ensure:

(a) that there is no potential impact on students in relation to such issues as:

  • ability to graduate that year;
  • receiving results;
  • assessment of academic progress for the year;
  • management of several different census dates;
  • allocation of load in the case of international students and students on Centrelink payments,

(b) where there is potential impact on students, it is minimal and can be addressed without disadvantaging those students.

4.4 A proposal to offer a unit in a non-standard teaching period requires approval by the relevant board which must be satisfied that:

(a) the proposed teaching period meets academic standards comparable to those for units taught in a standard teaching period;

(b) the proposed teaching period meets the standard student workload requirement of 150 hours per six credit points including contact hours, personal study time and examinations; and

(c) a non-standard teaching period for a unit is no longer than the standard duration of a semester, unless approved otherwise by the relevant board on the basis of sound reason.

Procedures

The creation and approval of a new non-standard teaching period must be undertaken in accordance with the process outlined in Appendix 1 .

5 Changing a teaching period

5.1 A change to teaching period must occur in accordance with the University Policy on Changes to units.

5.2 The teaching period must not be amended after students have enrolled, unless the Chair of Academic Board approves a request from the dean of a faculty in exceptional circumstances which include but are not limited to:

(a) an illness, injury to, or the unavoidable absence of, the staff member teaching the unit and where no other staff member is able to teach the unit;

(b) significant damage to facilities or equipment which prevents the unit from being taught; or

(c) other unforeseen circumstances.

Procedures

The submission and approval of changes to non-standard teaching period must be undertaken in accordance with the process outlined in Appendix 2.

5.3 The relevant faculty has responsibility to advise all affected students if a teaching period is amended after enrolments have commenced.

5.4 The relevant faculty must take any appropriate action to minimise any disadvantage experienced by a student as the result of a change to a teaching period which occurs after the student has enrolled in the unit.

6 Release of examination results for a non-standard teaching period

6.1 Unless there is good reason otherwise, the date of release of final results for units offered in a non-standard teaching period must coincide with the date of release of final results for units taught in the closest standard teaching period.

7 Census date

7.1 A teaching period must have only one census date which must be calculated in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act.

Related forms: (Link)

University Policy on Changes to Units (UP11/46)

University Policy on Structure of the Academic Year (UP14/4)

University Policy on Summer Session (UP 07/133)

TRIM File No:

F40619

Contact position:

Academic Secretary

Related Policies or legislation:

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