Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Student Administration
Authoring Organisational Unit
Date Approved
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Academic Council

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Course Quotas

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

The purpose of this policy is to establish the principles that apply to the setting of course quotas for enrolments in coursework degree courses.


In this policy and any associated procedures,

The University means The University of Western Australia

Course quota is an upper limit imposed on the number of enrolments entering a particular course or a major.

Course sub-quota is an upper limit imposed on the number of enrolments in a particular sub-group of students in a particular course or a major.

a direct pathway refers to a pathway into one of the professional postgraduate degree courses which provides a limited number of places reserved for appropriately qualified students at the time they are admitted to their undergraduate course at UWA, subject to making satisfactory progress and meeting prerequisites as defined in the relevant policies.

Policy statement:

1 General Principles

1.1 The University exercises control over its enrolment profile by enforcing

  • minimum entry standards, as detailed in relevant admissions policies;
  • rules or policies on course structures, content, and progression requirements; and
  • course and unit quotas and sub-quotas

1.2 Entry to courses is not normally restricted by way of course quotas where avoidable (e.g. as a preference for smaller classes).

1.3 Where high numbers pose a challenge, course coordinators are expected to make flexible arrangements where possible, such as scheduling repeat classes.

1.4 Course quotas and sub-quotas may only be imposed on enrolments in specific courses when specific conditions warrant their imposition, such as:

a) ensuring a high-quality student profile;

b) student mix considerations, including equity considerations (e.g. sub-quotas for under-represented groups);

c) discipline mix considerations;

d) Labour market considerations (e.g. major over-supply of graduates in a specific field);

e) impact of enrolments on teaching quality;

f) constrained specialist learning spaces (e.g. laboratory or studio space);

g) restricted student placements (e.g. clinical training placements);

h) supervision of dissertations, theses or off-campus fieldwork;

i) occupational health and safety considerations; or

j) Commonwealth Government policies and constraints, including, but not limited to, specific limitations imposed on student load in Funding Agreements and undertakings given to the Commonwealth Government in relation to the University's enrolment profile (e.g. as specified in the Mission-Based Compact).

1.5 The impact of imposing a course quota must be considered and, where appropriate, take account of student progression from undergraduate to postgraduate, including students in direct pathways.

2 Student Selection Principles for Courses Subject to Quotas

2.1 Where a course quota has been approved, the allocation of quota and sub-quota places must be clear and transparent.

2.2 To inform potential students, the University publishes the admission requirements and the criteria applied to select students for admission to courses subject to quotas prior to the commencement of the student applications for an admissions period.

2.3 Students in direct pathway places are, subject to meeting any specified academic requirements, automatically allocated quota places in the initial professional postgraduate degree, or to end-on honours bachelor's degree course.

2.4 Students must meet the minimum admission requirements specified for a course that is subject to quota before being considered for selection to that course.

2.5 As outlined in the University Policy on: Admissions - Coursework (UP16/5), a range of criteria may be applied in selecting students for courses that are subject to quotas. Examples include, but are not limited to, selection based on:

  • academic merit;
  • standardised selection tests (e.g. UMAT, GMAT, GAMSAT, LSAT)
  • interviews;
  • auditions;
  • portfolios of work;
  • relevant work experience;
  • defined equity group (e.g. Indigenous, low SES); and
  • results achieved in pre-requisite secondary school subjects or tertiary units.

3 Course Quota Reporting and Approval Requirements

3.1 Course quotas and sub-quotas, and subsequent changes to quotas, are approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or delegate, following consultation between the Load Issues and Operations Network (LION group) and relevant Faculties.

3.2 Courses that have been approved with quotas or sub-quotas must have, prior to student enrolment, a course-specific selection plan approved by the University's Curriculum.

3.3 Information on course quotas and sub-quotas are incorporated into the annual Student Enrolment and Load Plan which is approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or delegate.


The process for approving and reporting course quotas is set out in Appendix 1.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Associate Director, Performance Analytics, Office of Strategy, Planning and Performance

Related Policies or legislation:

University Policy on Admission to undergraduate degree courses

University Policy on Admission to postgraduate coursework courses

University Policy on Conditions applying to admission to postgraduate courses of the university

University Policy on Unit Quotas

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