Policies and procedures

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

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Unit 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 quotas to units taught in coursework degree courses.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual Student Enrolment and Load Plan, which has as its primary purpose the delivery of a student load mix that is consistent with the University's strategic direction and plans and Commonwealth funding.


In this policy and any associated procedures,

the University means The University of Western Australia

unit quota is an upper limit imposed on the number of enrolments in a particular unit.

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 principal control over its enrolment profile through the imposition of:

  • minimum entry standards as detailed in relevant admissions policies; and
  • course quotas where specified in the Student Enrolment and Load Plan.

1.2 Entry to individual units is not restricted by way of unit quotas where avoidable (for example, as a preference for smaller classes).

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

1.4 Unit quotas are only imposed on enrolments in specific units when specific conditions warrant their imposition, such as:

  • constrained specialist learning spaces (e.g. laboratory or studio space);
  • restricted student placements;
  • required intensive supervision of off-campus fieldwork; or
  • occupational health and safety considerations.

1.5 Unit quotas are not normally applied to level 1 units or core units.

1.6 The impact of imposing a unit quota must be considered and, where appropriate, take account of (but not limited to) the following:

  • students in direct pathways;
  • student progression, both within a current course and from undergraduate to postgraduate;
  • enrolments in co-requisite and pre-requisite units.

2 Student Selection Principles for Restricted Units

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

2.2 To inform students and potential students, Faculties must publish the allocation mechanism that will be applied to units with quotas prior to commencement of student enrolment.

2.3 A range of criteria may be applied in selecting students for units that are subject to quotas. Examples include, but are not limited to, allocation based on:

  • academic merit;
  • first-come, first serve basis;
  • defined equity group (e.g. Indigenous, low SES);
  • students in specific majors admitted first;
  • results achieved in pre-requisite units.

3 Quota Reporting and Approval Requirements

3.1 The University's annual curriculum approval processes ensures, within the context of this Policy, approval by the relevant board of unit quotas for new units and changes to existing quotas, and consequent allocation mechanisms for the following:

  • quotas for new units;
  • new quotas for existing units;
  • changes in quotas, both increase or decrease, for existing units; and
  • removal of unit quotas.

3.2 The Student Enrolment and Load Plan for a given year must record the details of all quotas applied to enrolments in units in that year, and outline the allocation mechanism used to administer unit quotas.

3.3 Late changes to unit quotas or related allocation mechanisms can only be proposed and implemented, with the approval of the relevant board's delegate, prior to:

  • commencement of enrolment; and
  • publication of the allocation mechanism.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Academic Secretary

Related Policies or legislation:

University Policy on: Admission to undergraduate degree courses

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

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