1. Objective

The objectives of this policy are to:

(a) provide the framework for the awarding of academic credit for prior study or learning while maintaining academic standards for University of Melbourne courses;

(b) set clear responsibilities and accountabilities for academic credit decisions;

(c) ensure that academic credit processes are transparent and decisions are consistent and fair; and

(d) facilitate movement of students between institutions and courses.

2. Scope

This policy applies to:

(a) all University of Melbourne courses;

(b) students of the University; and

(c) individuals applying to study at the University who consider they have had prior learning experiences which would potentially attract credit, advanced standing or accelerated entry to a University of Melbourne course.

3. Authority

This Policy is made under the University of Melbourne Act 2009 (Vic), the University of Melbourne Statute and the Academic Board Regulation and supports compliance with the AQF Qualifications Framework and the TEQSA Standards.

4. Policy

4.1. The University recognises and grants advanced standing and accelerated entry to its courses where specified conditions are met, with or without the concurrent granting of credit points.

Advanced standing

4.2. Advanced standing is the waiving of the need to take a subject or subjects, with or without the concurrent granting of credit points. It is granted in relation to a course of study and in particular is applied to compulsory or core subjects but may be granted for other subjects.

4.3. A dean may grant advanced standing on the basis of:

(a) prior studies undertaken as part of a complete or incomplete university-level award course;

(b) high-level additional work completed at secondary school level;

(c) studies undertaken in non-award and non-accredited programs at the University;

(d) substantial relevant, documented professional work experience for students in some graduate programs;

(e) Australian Qualification Framework study in diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree, bachelor degree, or approved overseas equivalent towards an undergraduate course at the University; or

(f) Polytechnic study where specific articulation into undergraduate degree programs have been agreed.

4.4. The University may establish agreements with partner institutions, or provide undertakings to students, that specify pre-approved credit arrangements. These arrangements will comply with this policy except where the University has approved otherwise. Examples of programs include:

(a) Student exchange or  overseas study programs;

(b) Cross-institutional study arrangements;

(c) Group of Eight Credit Transfer Agreement;

(d) Special arrangements established with polytechnics; and

(e) Dual programs established by the Board.

4.5. Students may not decline the award of advanced standing or accept it without credit points for subjects completed in an approved overseas study program. 

4.6. A student may decline credit except where a student has previously completed University of Melbourne subjects, and those subjects are available in their currently enrolled course. In those cases a student may only:

(a) accept advanced standing with credit; or

(b) accept the advanced standing without credit and replace it with an approved alternative subject of equivalent credit point value.

4.7. For the avoidance of doubt, no student can make a second attempt at a passed subject, or a subject for which they have been given advanced standing, in any course. 

4.8. Grades for subjects taken at other institutions are not recorded on a student’s record.

4.9. Changes to academic credit arrangements must not disadvantage any applicants with a current offer.

4.10. Credit can only be granted and retained within the timelines for granting credit in a course detailed at 4.19. Any credit will be removed when the timelines are passed. For the avoidance of doubt, if a student has been granted credit for an equivalent subject, and later in their enrolment that subject exceeds the credit limitation (in time) the credit will be removed, and the student will then need to complete an equivalent subject.

Types of advanced standing with credit arrangements

4.11. Two types of credit may be granted:
(a) exempt advanced standing is credit granted in relation to successful completion of a subject or subjects, or studies, which are deemed substantially equivalent to the subject being waived;
(b) general advanced standing is credit granted in relation to an unspecified discipline area, subject, or group of subjects.
4.12. The type of credit granted will be determined with reference to the following:
(a) course requirements;
(b) content;
(c) learning outcomes;
(d) assessment methods;
(e) contact hours;
(f) volume of learning; and
(g) credit point weighting.
4.13 Exempt advanced standing is granted for a subject or subjects common to both the previous and current/new course in the following circumstances:
(a) the subject completed in the first course is a compulsory or core subject in the second course, whether or not the first course was completed in its entirety; or
(b) the first and second courses together constitute an approved combined course.

4.11. Two types of credit may be granted:

(a) exempt advanced standing is credit granted in relation to successful completion of a subject or subjects, or studies, which are deemed substantially equivalent to the subject being waived;

(b) general advanced standing is credit granted in relation to an unspecified discipline area, subject, or group of subjects.

4.12. The type of credit granted will be determined with reference to the following:

(a) course requirements;

(b) content;

(c) learning outcomes;

(d) assessment methods;

(e) contact hours;

(f) volume of learning; and

(g) credit point weighting.

4.13. Exempt advanced standing is granted for a subject or subjects common to both the previous and current/new course in the following circumstances:

(a) the subject completed in the first course is a compulsory or core subject in the second course, whether or not the first course was completed in its entirety; or

(b) the first and second courses together constitute an approved combined course.

Limitations on the granting of credit

4.14. The maximum credit which may be granted for study completed at another institution is 50% of the total credit points of the course unless the Board approves otherwise in the course approval instrument. 

4.15. A completed University of Melbourne two-year diploma or associate degree may attract a maximum credit of 200 points towards a three-year bachelor degree. This will normally include 25 points towards the breadth component of a bachelor degree. For associate degrees and advanced diplomas completed elsewhere the 50% maximum credit rule applies.

4.16. The maximum amount of credit available in a bachelor honours program is 25 points towards the coursework component. Honours students cannot undertake overseas study programs and students seeking to do a component of their honours program overseas will be limited to a short term program only.

4.17. Credit will not be awarded:

(a) where the content of a subject (or equivalent) taken in the previous course/program has become out of date; this limitation also applies to students resuming their studies in a course following discontinuation or termination of enrolment;

(b) on the basis of failed or incomplete subjects;

(c) where a conceded or compensatory pass has been awarded;

(d) on the basis of studies completed at another institution while a student is deferred or on leave of absence from the University of Melbourne; 

(e) where granting the credit would conflict with the requirements of professional accreditation, or would mean the student would not meet the course inherent requirements; or

(f) where the subject was taken outside the maximum time allowed to complete a course; this includes where the subject falls outside the credit limitation during the student’s enrolment.

4.18. The Courses, Subjects, Awards and Programs Policy (ss 4.5 – 4.111) sets out the limits for granting credit across qualification types. 

4.19. The table below sets out the time limitations which apply to the granting of credit for previous study/subjects. The time limitations relate directly to the maximum time allowed to complete each qualification type and volume of learning and no subject, studies, or credit for a subject or studies, can be retained in any qualification type beyond these time limits.

Degree type

UoM credit points in 
course, or EFT where time-based (100 credit point = 1 EFT)

Subjects in the previous course are eligible for credit for up to the limits specified below in the currently enrolled course

Diploma 100 Up to 4 years
Advanced diploma 150 Up to 5 years
Associate degree 150 Up to 5 years

Bachelor

300
400

Up to 8 years
Up to 10 years

Bachelor Honours year 100 Up to 2 years

Graduate certificate

50

Up to 2 years

Graduate diploma

50
100

2 years
4 years

Master (coursework/research)

100
150
200
300
400

4 years
5 years
6 years
8 years
10 years

Doctor

300 (EFTSL 3 years)
400 (EFTSL 4 years)

6 years
6 years

 

4.20. The relevant dean may waive the credit time limitations at 4.19 and allow subjects/studies taken up to 10 years prior to the completion date of the enrolled course to be recognised.

4.21. The President of the Board, at the request of a dean, may waive the credit limit in accordance with the Academic Board Regulation s27(2).

4.22. If there is any doubt as to a student’s ability to progress to higher level studies following award of credit, the dean may require a student to demonstrate their competence in the relevant subject area.

4.23. Credit will only be granted for entire subjects, not part subjects.

4.24. Credit towards graduate programs on the basis of studies undertaken at undergraduate level may only be granted in the following circumstances:

(a) where the graduate program is a master degree of more than 150 points, and the credit is granted for matching relevant subjects that are not part of the final 150 points of the master degree;

(b) where the graduate program is at graduate certificate or graduate diploma level and students have undertaken matching relevant subjects at an appropriate level as part of a bachelor degree.

4.25. A student cannot rescind credit points for subjects already completed in their course in order to replace them with credit granted under this policy.

Nested programs

4.26. Students moving from an earlier stage of a nested program to a later stage at the University will receive full credit for studies undertaken in the earlier stage, whether or not they have taken out the earlier award, subject to the time limitations rule at 4.19. 

Accelerated subject entry

4.27. Accelerated subject entry is a type of advanced standing.

4.28. A dean may grant students accelerated subject entry, with or without credit points, where the student has demonstrated mastery of the content of a first-year subject through:

(a) outstanding results in relevant secondary studies or other tertiary studies;

(b) completion of work at an equivalent level to the subject through other means, often higher-level work associated with but additional to a secondary school educational program, such as the University of Melbourne Extension Program, the Maths Olympiad, or advanced language studies; and/or

(c) completion of specified additional work, or an exemption examination set by the relevant academic unit, to a high standard (usually 70% or equivalent).

4.29. Accelerated subject entry is most commonly granted where:

(a) the subject for which advanced standing is sought is offered in place of a Year 12 prerequisite for another subject; or

(b) the University offers several different undergraduate sequences of study with different entry points and educational outcomes; for example, in languages.

4.30. Students may decline the award of accelerated subject entry.

Cross-institutional study

4.31. Credit may be given on the basis of cross-institutional study at another Australian tertiary institution with the prior approval of the relevant dean. Any subsequent changes must be approved by the dean.
4.32. The standard maximum credit limits apply to cross-institutional study.

4.31. Credit may be given on the basis of cross-institutional study at another Australian tertiary institution with the prior approval of the relevant dean. Any subsequent changes must be approved by the dean.

4.32. The standard maximum credit limits apply to cross-institutional study.

Student exchange and overseas study programs

4.33. Credit may be granted on the basis of studies undertaken at an overseas institution as part of a student exchange or overseas study program.

4.34. Students in student exchange or overseas study programs must have their credit arrangements approved by the dean before the program commences, and negotiate any subsequent changes with the dean.

4.35. The standard maximum credit limits apply to student exchange and overseas study programs. 

4.36. The following minimum limits apply to credit in a student exchange program:

(a) 37.5 points for a 6-month program (or one semester), and

(b) 75 points for a year equivalent program (or two semesters).

4.37. For study aboard programs and overseas study programs of less than six months duration, there is no minimum credit limit.

4.38. Credit point (load) equivalents for studies undertaken as part of an overseas study program are determined by Global Learning.

5. Procedural principles

Applying for advanced standing or accelerated subject entry

5.1. Persons seeking advanced standing or accelerated subject entry must apply on entry or in the first year of study in the form prescribed by the Academic Registrar.

5.2. Applications for advanced standing:

(a)   will not be considered if the student has completed more than half of the credit points for their current course, and

(b)   may not be considered if not submitted in the timeframe required.

Credit and advanced standing for polytechnic students

5.3. Students admitted under arrangements for polytechnic students must undertake as a minimum 100 points of study in a bachelor degree, including 25 points of breadth study, and must meet all degree requirements, taking account of any credit granted.

5.4. The maximum credit for polytechnic students that can be granted towards a bachelor degree is distributed as:

(a) 150 points towards core discipline requirements at first and second year level, depending on the comparability of prior study, and

(b) 25 points towards the breadth requirements at first and second year level.

5.5. Students completing a concurrent diploma may be offered up to 50 points of credit towards the diploma. However the maximum credit awarded in total towards the concurrent diploma and a bachelor degree will be 200 points.

5.6. The relevant dean must determine the credit to be granted towards the core disciplinary or major study components of the degree.

5.7. The relevant dean may award exempt advanced standing where the student has completed studies deemed approximately or effectively equivalent.

5.8. The credit to be granted will depend on the major study a student wishes to undertake, but must be the same regardless of the degree within which the major is undertaken.

5.9. Students will not be required to continue studies begun within their polytechnic diploma. However, a student’s choice of major may affect the amount of credit to which they are entitled.

5.10. Credit will be awarded on a discipline-specific basis, rather than an unspecified or block basis, except where block credit is granted towards the breadth component.

5.11. Credit for the breadth component of a bachelor degree will only be granted where the dean determines that the student has completed studies which are deemed equivalent to subjects offered at tertiary level.

Complaints, reviews and appeals

5.12. A student who is dissatisfied with a decision made under this policy may lodge a request for review of the decision in accordance with the Student Complaints and Grievances Policy.

5.13. A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review may lodge an appeal with the Academic Secretary in accordance with the Student Appeals to the Academic Board Policy.

6. Roles and responsibilities

Role/Decision/Action

Responsibility

Conditions and limitations

Considering and determining requests for advanced standing and accelerated subject entry, with or without credit

Dean of relevant faculty or person authorised by the dean to act

 

Require a student to demonstrate their competence in the relevant subject area following granting of credit

Dean of relevant faculty or person authorised by the dean to act

Only where there is doubt as to a student’s ability to progress to higher level studies, demonstrated by performance in the subject for which credit was given.

Waiver of the time limitations for credit

 

Dean of relevant faculty or person authorised by the dean to act

Waivers may be granted up to the maximum 10 year time limit only, except in coursework courses in accordance with Academic Progress Review Policy s5.37(b)

Waiver of the 10 year time limit for credit

President, Academic Board

On the request of the dean

Waiver of the requirements of this policy

President, Academic Board

 

Approving specific programs exempt from the requirements of this policy

Academic Board

 

Approving articulation pathways from specific completed polytechnic diplomas into bachelor degrees

Academic Board

 

Prescribing form, timeframe and other requirements for advanced standing and accelerated subject entry applications

Academic Registrar

 

 

7. Definitions

accelerated subject entry means advanced standing with or without credit points granted for a subject at the University on the basis of having demonstrated mastery of the content of that subject through secondary studies or other prior work, or an exemption examination in the subject, or prior tertiary studies. Where accelerated subject entry is granted without credit points a student is required to complete a subject with equivalent credit points to that subject for which the advanced standing was granted.

advanced standing means the waiving of subjects in relation to a University of Melbourne degree, granted on the basis of studies/work completed outside of the course and/or the University. Where advanced standing is granted without credit points a student is required to complete a subject with equivalent credit points to that subject for which the advanced standing was granted.

breadth means a compulsory component in some bachelor degrees comprising subjects drawn from areas of study outside those offered within the core component of the degree, allowing students to gain an understanding of one or more disciplines that are distinct from the field of their core studies.

compulsory subject means a subject required for completion of a course

core subject means a subject required for completion of a major or specialisation and can also mean a subject required to complete a core component of a degree, such as foundation studies.

credit means advanced standing granted with credit points

cross-institutional study is non-award studies undertaken by a student enrolled in a University of Melbourne award course at another Australian university, for credit towards the University of Melbourne award course.

overseas study program is where a student studies at an overseas institution where no bilateral exchange agreement exists (or placements exceed the number agreed) between the two institutions, for credit towards their award course. Overseas study involves the payment of tuition fees to the host overseas institution, either by the student, home institution or a third party provider. Duration of study is the equivalent of 1 semester; full year, or a short term program of 3-6 weeks equivalent to 1 or 2 subjects.

student exchange program is a formal study program where a student studies at an overseas institution where a bilateral student exchange agreement exists. In accordance with the reciprocal agreement, students receive credit towards the award course in which they are enrolled at their home institution and duration of study is the equivalent of 1 semester; full year, or a short term program of 3-6 weeks equivalent to 1 or 2 subjects.

student mobility program is any program under which students study overseas for credit towards their University of Melbourne award course.

University of Melbourne Extension Program (UMEP) is a program in which secondary school students can complete University subjects in parallel with normal school studies.

POLICY APPROVER

Academic Board

POLICY STEWARD

Academic Secretary

REVIEW

This policy is to be reviewed by 12 May 2021.

VERSION HISTORY

Version Approved By Approval Date Effective Date Sections Modified
Academic Board  26 Feb 2015  26 Feb 2015  New policy replacing Credit, Advanced Standing and Accelerated Entry Policy (MPF1037) 
2 President, Academic Board 12 May 2016  21 July 2016  New version arising from the Policy Consolidation Project. 
3 Academic Board 5 December 2019 3 January 2020

Changes to allow the dean to grant credit for TAFE subjects deemed equivalent.
Change to allow the dean to grant credit for award, non-award, non-accredited studies/programs undertaken at the University of Melbourne.
Change to allow student to decline credit for previously completed study undertaken at the University of Melbourne.
Clarification that no subject can be retained as credit towards a degree where it is older than the maximum time to complete the degree or older than 10 years.
Clarification that credit cannot be granted where granting the credit would conflict with the requirements of professional accreditation, or would mean the student would not meet the inherent requirements of the award, or the subjects were used to meet the course entry requirements.

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