Governance

Policies and procedures

Policy No.
UP14/9
Function
Student Administration
Authoring Organisational Unit
Academic Secretariat (University Secretariat)
Date Approved
04/06/2014 Revised 23/02/2015
Next Review Date
04/06/2017
Approving Body
Academic Council

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Waiver of rules and policies applying to courses

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

The waiving of rules and policies apply to courses where the rules and policies do not specifically provide for exceptions to be exercised by the University.

This policy aims to provide a framework for an efficient and consistent approach to considering and, where satisfied, approving the waiving of rules and policies applying to courses.

Definitions:

In this policy and any associated procedures,

the University means The University of Western Australia

academic board delegate means a position with authority to carry out the function concerned under delegated authority of the Academic Board.

additional units are units which, if undertaken within a course, would result in the student exceeding the minimum number of points required to complete the course

changes to the structure of a course include, but are not limited to, changes resulting from the introduction of the New Courses framework in 2012

rules or policies are those approved by the Academic Board

a unit set refers to a sequence of units within a course (e.g. a major or a specialisation)

Policy statement:

1 General Principles

1.1 Within the context of maintaining standards at the highest international levels, the University seeks to:

  • minimise disadvantage to prospective and existing students, as appropriate; and
  • ensure consistency and fairness in the waiving of rules and policies applying to courses.

1.2 Applications must be submitted in writing to the relevant Academic Board delegate for consideration of waiver of rules and/or policies applying to:

a) admission to courses in the case of a prospective student;

b) coursework course requirements relating to:

  • enrolment in additional units for degree completion;
  • variation to approved unit sets; and

c) other issues relating to courses.

1.3 The rules for an award course set out its structure and the number of units and/or credit points required for its completion.

1.4 Students are not permitted to enrol in a unit which is not permitted by rules for their course.

1.5 The University has a responsibility to enable a student enrolled in an award course to complete the requirements in accordance with the rules for the course.

1.6 Students have a responsibility to familiarise themselves with the rules, structure and requirements of their course and to seek advice as necessary in planning their enrolment.

2 Admission to courses

2.1 A request for waiver of policies / rules that apply to admission to courses in the case of a prospective student must be recommended by the following, as appropriate, for approval by the Chair of the Academic Board:

  • recommendation on waiver of University Policy on admission to undergraduate degree courses by the Dean, Coursework Studies (or nominee);
  • recommendation on waiver of University policy on admission to postgraduate degree coursework courses by the Dean, Coursework Studies (or nominee);
  • recommendation on rules or policies for higher degrees by research administered by the Board of the Graduate Research School by the Dean, Graduate Research and Postdoctoral Training;
  • recommendation on rules or policies for higher degrees by research administered by Faculties by the relevant faculty.

3 Requests for units additional to coursework course requirements

3.1 A request, submitted at a reasonable stage, for enrolling in additional units to enable course completion may be approved by the relevant Academic Board delegate only on academic grounds (e.g. change in academic direction).

3.2 Consistently excellent academic performance and/or a desire to increase the breadth of studies in a course that already provides for such breadth are not in themselves strong academic grounds for approving requests to enrol in additional units.

3.3 Where appropriate and possible, the relevant Academic Board delegate may offer students, seeking to undertake additional units, options for taking the units within another award course either concurrently or in the future.

3.4 Where it is not appropriate or possible for a student wishing to take additional units to enrol in an award course concurrently or in the future, the relevant Academic Board delegate may advise the student of the option of enrolling in units through the University Extension on a fee-paying basis.

3.5 Students who have already completed the requirements of a course are not permitted to re-enrol to undertake an additional unit within the award course.

3.6 Students who are eligible to enrol and who have completed units to the value of the minimum number of credit points specified for their course but have not satisfied all other requirements, must enrol in units prescribed by the University.

3.7 Faculties may waive up to two points required for degree completion for students who commenced their degree course prior to 2004 and who are affected by curriculum changes resulting from the conversion to a six point unit structure.

4 Requests to vary unit sets

4.1 A request to vary an approved unit set requires approval by the relevant Academic Board delegate. Requests may include:

a) students seeking to enrol in a higher level unit:

  • without completing its relevant prerequisite (a lower level unit) / corequisite;
  • concurrently with a lower level unit.

b) students seeking to enrol in a special/other unit in cases where the unit offered within the unit set is not available in a particular semester or trimester.

4.2 The request specified in 4.1(i) may be considered in cases where a student has been:

  • granted credit for a prerequisite/corequisite, based on demonstration of completion of sufficient prior studies in the subject area or having acquired an equivalent level of knowledge;
  • assessed to have the academic capabilities to enrol in a unit concurrently with its prerequisite.

4.3 The waiving of prerequisites/corequisites is granted on the understanding that the student:

  • is fully responsible for their own academic performance; and
  • will not be entitled to any special treatment on the grounds of their being enrolled in a unit for which they have not completed the prerequisite or which they are completing concurrently with its prerequisite.

4.4 The waiving of prerequisites is not to be used in instances where a student has taken and failed a required unit of study. In such cases, a request may be considered for allowing, on strong educational grounds, to concurrently enrol in the unit and its relevant prerequisite.

4.5 Faculty Deans may approve the identification of equivalent, alternative and substitute units for students enrolled in courses that do not form part of the new courses framework and are being phased out.

5 Other waivers of rules and/or policies applying to courses

5.1 Other requests for waiving rules and/or policies applying to courses, not already covered by this policy, may be submitted through the Dean of Coursework Studies or the Dean of Graduate Research and Postdoctoral Training, as appropriate, for consideration by the Chair of the Academic Board on a case by case basis.

6 Approval of waivers of rules and/or policies applying to courses

6.1 The waiving of a rule and/or policy applying to courses may occur only on the following grounds:

a) There are strong compassionate or educational reasons, where relevant, for waiving the rule or policy in a particular case or cases.

b) A prospective or existing student is able to demonstrate that the student was not responsible for the circumstances that gave rise to the request for a waiver.

c). Changes have been made to units or courses that impact unfairly on existing students.

d) The Faculty or other body responsible for a course intends to propose a change to the relevant rules or policy as soon as possible.

e) The requested waiver would not impact on the University's commitment to maintaining standards at the highest international levels.

f) Any waiver would be equitable for other prospective or existing students, as appropriate, taking into consideration the circumstance of the case.

6.2 Approval of waivers of rules and / or policies applying to courses is the responsibility of the Academic Board. Delegation of these decisions, which are final within the University, is detailed in the attached Schedule ( Appendix A ).

Procedures - see Appendix B

6.3 The relevant Academic Board delegate waiving rules and/or policies applying to coursework course requirements under delegated authority must submit an annual report to the Chair of the Academic Board via the Dean of Coursework Studies.

Procedure

• An annual report must be submitted using the form provided in Appendix C.

• The annual report must be submitted to the Academic Secretary, Academic Policy Services in the first week of December of each year.

Related forms:

The link to the online Rule Waiver form is available on the following page: Policy attachments for UP on Waiver of rules and policies applying to courses

TRIM File No:

F59501

Contact position:

Academic Secretary

Related Policies or legislation:

University Policy on admission to undergraduate degree courses

University policy on admission to postgraduate degree courses

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