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Selection and Admission Policy (MPF1295)

  • Category: Student Management and Support
  • Version: 15
  • Document Type: Policy
  • Document Status: Published
  • Approved On: 25 August, 2022
  • Audience: Staff, Students, Academic
  • Effective Date: 29 August, 2022
  • Review Date: 12 May, 2024
  • Policy Approver: Academic Board
  • Policy Steward: Academic Secretary
  • Supporting Process: Student Management and Support Processes

1. Objective

The objectives of this policy are to: 

(a) provide a framework to ensure the integrity of selection and admissions decisions;

(b) set clear responsibilities and accountabilities for selection and admissions decisions; and

(c) ensure that selection and admissions processes are transparent and decisions are consistent and fair.

2. Scope

This policy applies to the selection and admission of applicants to all University accredited courses.

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: 

(a) Higher Education Support Act 2003

(b) Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000

(c) National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018

(d) Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011; and

(e) Defence Trade Controls Act 2012

4. Policy

Principles of selection

4.1. The University is committed to maintaining internationally recognised high academic standards in its courses. To this end the University:

(a) selects students from among the pool of applicants those who are deemed most likely to be able to succeed in its courses; and

(b) selects academically capable students into research programs only where appropriate supervisory expertise and resources are available.

Minimum entry requirements

4.2. The Board approves minimum entry requirements and English language requirements for University courses.

4.3. Minimum entry requirements are set ensure that a student is only selected and admitted to a course when the Board believes that the student can undertake the course with a reasonable prospect of success.

4.4. Minimum entry requirements for consideration for selection including the University’s English language requirements are published in the Handbook.

4.5. Meeting the minimum entry requirements allows an applicant to be considered for selection. Not all applicants who meet the minimum entry requirements for a course will be selected as selection is competitive.

4.6. Minimum entry requirements are specified in the relevant course approval instrument approved by the Board.

4.7. The criteria for minimum entry requirements are provided in the Academic Board Regulation, Part 4, section 20.

4.8. When approving minimum entry requirements, the Board expects to see:

(a) evidence-based selection;

(b) no unfair or unnecessary barriers for student access, including access by students with disabilities, to the University’s courses;

(c) facilitation of recognition or credit of prior study or work experience for entry into the University’s courses;

(d) clear and consistent selection requirements that are appropriate to the level of the relevant course within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF); and

(e) clear and consistent information for applicants of non-academic requirements for entry, including regulatory requirements, Police checks and Working with Children checks, where required.

4.9. Minimum entry requirements may be waived only with the permission of the President of the Board, except where 4.10 applies.

4.10. The relevant dean may waive English language requirements for graduate research and graduate coursework courses consistent with the rules published by the Board.

4.11. The Board will monitor the effectiveness and appropriateness of minimum entry requirements.

Guaranteed entry

4.12. The Board may establish guaranteed entry schemes for a student or class of students who meet approved eligibility and selection criteria for the particular scheme. The Board may change or discontinue such schemes from time to time.

Graduate research courses entry requirements

4.13. To be eligible for consideration for selection into a graduate research course, an applicant must:

(a) meet the minimum entry requirements for the course;

(b) agree to complete the minimum residency requirement for the course as defined in section 4.14;

(c) agree to commit at least 40 hours per week towards completion of their course if enrolling on a full-time basis or 20 hours per week if enrolling on a part-time basis;

(d) be unconstrained by any obligations to employers from pursuing independent research consistent with the learning outcomes and graduate attributes of their course;

(e) agree to abide by the University’s Code of Conduct for Research; and

(f) agree to the terms and conditions specified by the University and complete all declarations required in the application process.

4.14. All students, including those who transfer from a graduate research course at another institution, must complete at least one-third of the course duration through study at the University of Melbourne unless studying at an approved outside institution.

4.15. The minimum residency requirement may be waived only by the President of the Board if the President is satisfied the following conditions apply:

(a) exceptional circumstances exist that prevent the applicant from complying with the residency requirement in section 4.14;

(b) the applicant has a demonstrated professional background in the area of their proposed research; and

(c) the applicant provides a plan for their regular attendance at the University that has been endorsed by their supervisors.

4.16. To be eligible to undertake a jointly awarded Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), whereby a student is supervised jointly by academics from the University and a nominated partner institution, an applicant must:

(a) be selected into a University of Melbourne PhD course in accordance with this policy; and

(b) spend at least one-third of the course duration as specified in the Handbook at each university.

4.17. For a jointly awarded PhD, the terms of the student's enrolment, joint supervision and examination will be defined in an agreement between the two institutions. The student will be required to pay fees at one institution only.

Selection, offer and acceptance into coursework degrees

4.18. Except where the Board has approved guaranteed entry schemes, entry to coursework courses is competitive and subject to:

(a) the selection committee's judgment of the relative merit of eligible applicants;

(b) access and equity provisions approved by the Board;

(c) any quotas that the University may apply; and

(d) for applicants who will be aged less than 17 years old at the first census date following the commencement of study, the selection committee may require attendance at an interview to determine whether their age may adversely affect their ability to successfully undertake the course.

4.19. Each course will have a selection committee comprising the relevant dean and other members nominated by the dean. Selection committees must have at least 3 members, and at least as many academic staff as professional staff.

4.20. A selection committee may be responsible for selection into more than one course.

4.21. The Academic Registrar may withdraw an offer or cancel the admission and enrolment of a person.  

4.22. The Academic Registrar or the dean must provide all information necessary for applicants to accept an offer.

Selection, offer and acceptance into graduate research degrees

4.23. The relevant dean is responsible for selection into graduate research courses.

4.24. Entry to graduate research courses is competitive and subject to judgment of relative merit of eligible applicants and availability of appropriate supervisor/s.

4.25. Assessors must take into account all relevant legislation when assessing applications.

4.26. All shortlisted applicants must be interviewed as part of the selection process.

4.27. The dean must endorse the selection of an applicant before an offer of admission is made.

4.28. The dean is responsible for ensuring that appropriate supervision, facilities and resources are able to be provided to the applicant in accordance with the principles for infrastructure support.

4.29. The dean or the Academic Registrar may withdraw an offer or cancel the admission and enrolment of a person in accordance with this policy, the Academic Board Regulation, the Graduate Research Training Policy or the Enrolment and Timetabling Policy.

4.30. The Academic Registrar or the dean must provide all information necessary for applicants to accept an offer, including where it is a requirement of acceptance that the applicant be onshore to accept the offer. 

Conscientious objection to animal use

4.31. The dean must include appropriate information about animal use activities in particular courses and subjects in course and subject Handbook descriptions and other course and subject materials. This is particularly important where it is not possible to make alternative arrangements for students with conscientious objections.

4.32. Applicants must make themselves aware of course and subject requirements as set out in the Handbook and other materials, and identify instances where they may be asked to participate in animal use activities to which they have a conscientious objection.

4.33. In some courses and subjects it is not be possible to make alternative arrangements to accommodate a conscientious objection to animal use activities. Factors that are considered when determining whether alternative arrangements are possible include, but are not limited to:

(a) the academic integrity of the course or subject;

(b) professional, accreditation and registration requirements and the need to certify that graduates have particular professional competencies;

(c) whether the subject in question is core or elective (for electives, a possible alternative arrangement is selecting a different subject);

(d) legal requirements (including equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation);

(e) the practicality of alternative arrangements, including the impact on resources in assessing and preparing alternatives and developing alternate assessments as may be required (for example, different exam questions); and

(f) the impact of alternative arrangements on other students.

4.34. It is not normally be possible to make alternative arrangements to accommodate a conscientious objection to animal use activities in graduate research courses and programs. Alternative arrangements may only be made in exceptional circumstances after taking into consideration the items in section 4.33, and whether a revised graduate research project could be completed within the period of candidature, availability and expertise of supervisors.

4.35. Applicants who choose to take up an offer and enrol in a course or subject must participate in all required activities.

Access programs

4.36. The University facilitates equitable access through its Access Melbourne and Graduate Access Melbourne programs.

4.37. The Board approves access schemes for coursework courses.

4.38. Access Melbourne is available for all undergraduate degrees except Bachelor Honours programs and the Chancellor’s Scholars program.

4.39. Graduate Access Melbourne is available for places in specified graduate coursework courses.

4.40. Eligibility for consideration for an Access place does not guarantee selection.

4.41. The Board may apply quotas for places in the Access schemes. A quota of approximately 20% of the Australian Government Subsidised places for school-leavers in each course are reserved for applicants who meet one or more of the Access Melbourne criteria established by the Board.

4.42. The selection committee considers the relative academic merit and likelihood of success of Access applicants.

4.43. Applicants must meet English language requirements and the minimum entry requirements for the course, except where section 4.45 applies.

4.44. Applicants to undergraduate programs who do not already have an undergraduate degree and meet one or more of the conditions listed below are eligible for consideration under Access Melbourne:

(a) difficult family circumstances;

(b) hardship caused by socio-economic circumstances;

(c) disability or long-term illness;

(d) non-English speaking background;

(e) year 12 undertaken at a Victorian school that is under-represented in the tertiary sector and at the University;

(f) school completed in a rural or isolated area; or

(g) recognition as an indigenous Australian.

4.45. Access Melbourne applicants may be selected at Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) scores below normally advertised minimum scores.

4.46. Applicants to graduate programs who meet one or more of the conditions listed below are eligible for consideration under Graduate Access Melbourne in specified graduate courses published on the University’s website:

(a) recognition as an Indigenous Australian;

(b) previous status as a refugee or current holder of a humanitarian visa;

(c) rural or isolated background;

(d) disadvantageous socio-economic circumstances;

(e) disability or chronic medical condition; or

(f) personal difficulties.

Indigenous applicants

4.47. The Board may establish quotas for indigenous intakes to promote diversity and equity.

4.48. Preference may be given in selection in order to fill quota places.

4.49. An indigenous Australian who is not otherwise selected must be admitted if the selection committee decides that the applicant is likely to succeed in the proposed course of study.


4.50. The Board may establish extended courses leading to degrees or diplomas for students who would not normally be eligible for admission.

4.51. The Board may also establish pathways into courses for applicants who have studied successfully at colleges of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) in Australia, or at other tertiary institutions (with or without completing a formal qualification), and may establish quotas for such applicants.

4.52. Applicants who have completed a polytechnic diploma program approved by the Board and meet the normal degree prerequisites, or have completed recognised equivalents within their diploma studies, may be eligible for selection into University bachelor degree courses.

4.53. Applicants admitted under the polytechnic articulation programs are admitted with credit in accordance with Board approved policy.

4.54. The Board sets a common minimum level Grade Point Average (GPA) for the admission of polytechnic students, but may approve a specific GPA where the usual entry level (e.g. corresponding to the ATAR “clearly-in” rank) for students is higher.

4.55. The Board may establish alternative entry pathways where a person has satisfactorily passed a program approved by the Board. The Academic Registrar publishes a list of approved programs.  

Concurrent diplomas

4.56. Selection and admission into concurrent diplomas cannot occur until the student has enrolled in an undergraduate degree.

4.57. Entry to the Diploma in Music Practical is only available at the commencement of a student’s undergraduate degree.

4.58. Applications to concurrent diplomas in Languages, Informatics and Mathematical Sciences may be made at any time before the commencement of the final semester of study for the bachelor degree and should be made to the student centre.

4.59. Closing dates for applications will be published each semester. Subject to the availability and sequencing of relevant subjects, there may be two intakes into the diploma in any each teaching year.

Transfer between courses

4.60. A dean may approve an application to transfer into a course for which they are responsible from another course at the University.

4.61. When making decisions on applications to transfer between courses, factors that the dean considers include:

(a) the availability of places;

(b) prerequisites and other admission requirements for the course;

(c) any regulatory requirements;

(d) the minimum entry requirements for the course; and

(e) the academic competitiveness of the applicant.

Nested suites of courses

4.62. The Board may establish a nested suite of two or more courses at different AQF award levels with specific advanced standing arrangements that allow students to easily articulate between courses at different award levels.

4.63. The following entry requirements apply to a nested suite:

(a) the minimum entry standards for entry to a lower level course and for direct entry to a higher-level course in the nested suite must be identical; and

(b) students who have successfully completed the lower level course seeking to enter the higher level course must not be subject to performance hurdle requirements that are not also present as progress requirements at the appropriate point in the higher level course for those applicants who enter the higher level course directly.

Conflict of interest

4.64. Members of the University Executive Committee must disclose in writing to the Academic Secretary any close personal relationship, personal, significant philanthropic or financial interest pertaining to any applicant for admission to the University prior to the selection of students.

4.65. Staff must not participate in any decisions affecting applicants where a potential, perceived or actual conflict of interest arises due to a relationship with an applicant.

4.66. Selection committee members must:

(a) disclose to the chair of the selection committee, before the selection process starts, any circumstances where a potential conflict of interest could arise;

(b) complete the disclosure statement in accordance with the procedural principles of this policy; and

(c) not participate in any way in decisions affecting the selection and admission of an applicant where a potential or actual conflict of interest has been identified.

4.67. Staff involved in selection into graduate research courses must:

(a) disclose to the dean, before the selection process starts, any circumstances where a potential conflict of interest could arise;

(b) complete a disclosure statement stating that they have, or do not have a conflict of interest and that they will follow the requirements of this policy; and

(c) not participate in any way in decisions affecting the selection and admission of an applicant where a potential or actual conflict of interest has been identified.

4.68. This exclusion extends to any influence on the rank ordering of lists where comparisons between applicants are made or on any cut-off scores used to determine which applicants are selected and which are rejected.

4.69. Members of staff who fail to disclose a potential or actual conflict of interest, or who are found to have participated in a selection or admission process where a conflict of interest arises, may be subject to disciplinary proceedings under University policy. 


4.70. Where an applicant prefers not to have a current employer made aware of their plans to undertake study before they have been offered a place this must be clearly stated in the application. The request will be accommodated except where employer references are required or work samples can only be verified by a current employer of the applicant.

4.71. The University retains the right to contact the employer after the student has been offered and accepted a place if concerns as to authenticity of evidence arise.

4.72. Except as required by law:

(a) all material related to the application supplied by persons other than the applicant, including referee reports and employer references, is regarded as confidential and is not available except to university staff with a genuine need to access it for the purposes of selection, quality assurance, or unsatisfactory progress investigation;

(b) all material supplied by the applicant in connection with the application, including personal statements, folios and work samples, is regarded as confidential and is not available except to university staff with a genuine need to access it for the purposes of selection, quality assurance, or unsatisfactory progress investigation; and

(c) confidential application-related material that the university does not seek to retain will be either disposed of in a manner appropriate for confidential material, or returned to the person who supplied it.

5. Procedural principles

Selection committees' composition and procedures – coursework courses

5.1. Selection decisions must be made on the authority of a selection committee with due attention to equity and consistency.

5.2. The selection committee selects only from among applicants: 

(a) eligible for consideration under the minimum entry requirements approved by the Board, including the English standard for the course; or

(b) who do not meet the English language requirements but for whom the Board has authorised the dean to waive these requirements; or

(c) for whom the President of the Board has agreed to waive requirements after consideration of an applicant-specific case presented by the selection committee.

5.3. In determining eligibility, and in ranking eligible applicants, the selection committee will take into consideration: 

(a) the Board's guidelines on the interpretation of resolutions on selection; 

(b) the Board's rules for ranking applicants; and  

(c) the Board's schedule on use of selection instruments.

5.4. Selection committees may be held as face-to-face meetings, by the circulation of documentation (serial processing), or a combination of the two.  

5.5. The dean must ensure that formal records documenting selection committee decisions are kept in accordance with the Records Management Policy.

5.6. The selection committee may assign the task of applying the entry-standards and processes determined by the selection committee to decide which applicants clearly do, or do not, meet these parameters and provide an outcome. 

5.7. If the selection committee selects in accordance with section 5.6 it must establish entry standards and processes (i.e. processing rules) in line with the University’s Principles of Selection for managing quantitative selection instruments (i.e. not for personal statements, portfolios, etc) for each course for which it is responsible. These rules include: 

(a) setting minimum entry scores from specific providers; 

(b) determining cognate disciplines; and

(c) establishing the parameters for the assessment of course entry points. 

5.8. When selection is undertaken in accordance with section 5.7, the selection committee must ensure a record of all such decisions is retained. A report must be provided to the Academic Board on request. 

5.9. All applications are assessed and one of the following selection decisions made:

(a) unconditional offer;

(b) conditional offer;

(c) packaged offer of qualifying course/s leading to the principal course;

(d) limited offer;

(e) an offer into an alternative course; or

(f) no offer.

5.10. A conditional offer may be made if an applicant:

(a) has not completed a course which is required for academic entry;

(b) meets academic entry requirements, but has not met the English language entry requirements;

(c) has failed to provide required documentation;

(d) has not yet satisfied requirements relevant to the delivery of a course; 

(e) has not yet satisfied regulatory or administrative requirements; or

(f) is required to be onshore at the time of accepting the offer. 

Selection into graduate research courses

5.11. The relevant dean appoints appropriately qualified staff to assess eligible applications.

5.12. Applications must be assessed by a minimum of two persons, at least one of whom is a registered supervisor at the University.

5.13. Interviews are undertaken as part of the selection process. These interviews:

(a) may be conducted in person, by audio-visual means, by videoconference, or by telephone;

(b) must assess the applicant’s suitability to undertake the course and the likelihood they will complete;

(c) must ensure the applicant is made aware of the requirements of the project including, where relevant, any animal use, in particular where animal use is intrinsic to the particular field of research and essential to the development of relevant skills and attributes or to the research questions being investigated;

(d) advise the applicant of any regulatory requirements that must be satisfied, such as ethics approvals or police checks;

(e) where relevant, advise the applicant of any limitations on intellectual property rights or authorship arising from the proposed research; and

(f) advise the applicant of the supervision, facilities and resources that will be available to them.

5.14. If an applicant wishes to vary the terms of an offer of admission, including a change in the research project, supervisory arrangements or study rate, the request:

(a) must be made to the dean; and

(b) will be considered in good faith, but there is no guarantee that the request can be accommodated.

Conflict of interest

5.15. All admissions officers and selection committee members must complete the University's Disclosure Statement indicating all cases, including those arising from close personal relationships or business and philanthropic interests that potentially lead to a conflict of interest. 

5.16. For selection conducted through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) system, admissions officers must complete and sign the VTAC Omega Selection System Declaration form provided by the Associate Director, Admissions.

5.17. If at any stage during the selection and/or admissions process a staff member becomes aware or is made aware of a potential conflict of interest:

(a) the disclosure statement must be updated to reflect the change in circumstances; and

(b) appropriate action taken to prevent any improper influence on the selection and admission process.

5.18. Where a selection committee member becomes aware of a conflict of interest after the selection process is underway they must inform the chair of the selection committee immediately.

5.19. The chair of the selection committee, acting on advice of the committee members, must determine an appropriate course of action.

5.20. The chair must ensure that the agreed course of action is accurately recorded in the committee minutes. 

5.20A All disclosure statements, declarations of conflicts of interest, and meeting records, must be retained in accordance with the University's Records Management Policy (MPF1106).

Elite athletes and performers

5.21. Applications from persons seeking entry as elite athletes or performers must be submitted concurrently with the application for entry to a degree at the University.

5.22. Applications are considered in conjunction with the application to the relevant degree. Applicants must: 

(a) apply using the appropriate application form; and

(b) supply appropriate documentary evidence to verify their Elite Athlete or Performer status and participation level.

5.23. The Board appoints a panel to assess complete applications where the elite status of the athlete or performer has been established by Melbourne University (MU) Sport’s Elite Athlete Advisory Group or by the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. 

5.24. For undergraduate courses:

(a) The panel rates applicants and recommendations regarding elite status for consistency, equity and due process.

(b) A conditional offer of entry is made to approved Elite Athletes or Performers, subject to applicants meeting the prerequisite requirements.

5.25. For graduate programs: 

(a) Approved applications are forwarded to the selection committee for the program or graduate programs. The panel reviews complete applications where the elite status of the athlete or performer has been established by MU Sport’s Elite Athlete Advisory Group or by the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. 

(b) The selection committee considers the Elite Athlete or Performer status together with the criteria specified in the course's resolution on selection in determining whether the applicant will be selected.

Use of selection instruments

5.26. Where a selection committee uses selection instruments, other than academic merit based on past results, it must follow the Board rules on the use of selection instruments unless otherwise authorised by the Board.

Cancellation or withdrawal of offer

5.27. The Academic Registrar or a dean may withdraw an offer or cancel the admission and enrolment of a student where:

(a) the person fails to provide documents or to fulfil other requirements specified in the offer of admission by the specified date;

(b) the offer of admission has been made based on incomplete, inaccurate or fraudulent information provided by the person or a third party on behalf of the person;

(c) the person fails to enrol in accordance with the offer of admission by the specified date;

(d) the person arrives late for a teaching period or does not engage with or genuinely begin studies before a date determined and advised by the University;

(e) the person is not onshore by the offer lapse date specified in the offer letter;

(f) in the reasonable opinion of a dean or the Academic Registrar the person is holding open, or intends to hold open, the offer or enrolment for purposes other than genuine study;

(g) a dean or the Academic Registrar determines that it is necessary or reasonable to withdraw the offer in order to fulfil regulatory or administrative requirements or guidelines; or

(h) a dean becomes aware that appropriate supervision or other resources are no longer available to support the applicant’s admission; or

(i) the course is withdrawn from offer as a result of a University decision.

5.28. Any action taken under this section must be notified in writing to the student.

Quality assurance and record keeping

5.29. Selection committees must keep minutes of their meetings, including a record of their decisions.

5.30. The Board, through its committees, undertakes quality assurance activities for student selection and receives and reviews the following reports:

(a) for undergraduate courses, an annual report from the Academic Registrar based on VTAC data and summary data for students accepted from other than VTAC pathways; and an additional annual report provided by the relevant selection committee for undergraduate performing arts courses in which auditions have been used as part of the selection process;

(b) an annual report from the Academic Registrar on Access Melbourne;

(c) the number of applications for entry into degrees under the elite athletes and performers scheme, including the number of adjustments made and number of applicants who receive an offer for a place in a particular degree;

(d) annual reports on selection into concurrent diplomas provided by the relevant dean;

(e) reports from selection committees into graduate coursework courses, including details of selection under Graduate Access Melbourne where appropriate;

(f) selection reviews for graduate and honours programs with each faculty or graduate school being reviewed on a four-year cycle; and

(g) reports from the relevant dean on selection into graduate research degrees, including the allocation of scholarships.

Review and Appeal

5.31. A person who is dissatisfied with a selection decision may lodge a request for review of the decision with the Academic Registrar.

5.32. A person who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review conducted by the Academic Registrar may lodge an appeal with the Academic Secretary in accordance with the Student Appeals Policy.

6. Roles and responsibilities



Conditions and limitations

Specifying minimum entry requirements, selection criteria and entry scores for Academic Board approved courses

Dean or an academic staff member authorised to act by the dean

Minimum entry requirements must be consistent with policy, and documented in the appropriate course accreditation instrument for approval by Academic Board

Approval of minimum entry requirements, selection criteria and entry scores for University accredited courses, approved by the Academic Board.

Academic Board on recommendation of the relevant Board Committee.

The President may approve executively.

Minimum entry requirements must be consistent with policy, and documented in the appropriate course accreditation instrument for approval by Academic Board.

Where the President gives executive approval it must be given in accordance with the Academic Board Regulation, section 7.

Publication of minimum entry requirements

Academic Registrar

Minimum entry requirements must be published in the Handbook

Monitoring and review of minimum entry requirements

Chair, Selection Procedures Committee

Chair, Research Higher Degrees Committee

A regular report must go to Academic Board

Approval of pathways

Academic Board on recommendation of the Selection Procedures Committee or relevant Board committee


Approval of guaranteed entry schemes

Academic Board on recommendation of the Selection Procedures Committee or relevant Board committee


Specifying course quotas

Vice Chancellor


Applying entry standards and processes May be undertaken by a single person, or approved automated system, authorised by the relevant selection committee or the dean to act.  Must be in accordance with section 5.6 – 5.8 of this policy

Application processing – coursework courses

Associate Director, Admissions; authorised to act by the Academic Registrar


Appointment of selection committee members

Dean, or person authorised by the dean to act

Members to be appointed in accordance with sections 5.1-5.8 of this policy

Selection of students into coursework courses

Selection committee

Must be consistent with approved minimum entry requirements and selection criteria, entry scores and quotas and consistent with the selection rules published by the Board.

Appointment of staff to assess applications to graduate research courses

Dean, or associate dean – or equivalent – authorised by the dean to act.

To be appointed in accordance with sections 5.9-5.12 of this policy

Selection of students into graduate research courses

Two staff appointed by the dean, at least one of whom is a registered supervisor.

Must be consistent with approved minimum entry requirements and selection criteria and other factors included in sections 4.13-4.17 of this policy

Selection of students in cases where applicants present grounds for entry outside of the approved minimum entry requirements

President, Academic Board


Waiver of English language requirements for graduate research and coursework courses.

  1. Dean
  2. President, Academic Board
  1. Consistent with the rules published by the Board.
  2. All other cases

Offer of a place in coursework courses

Academic Registrar

Offer may contain conditions, in accordance with policy

Offer of place in graduate research course


Offer may contain conditions, in accordance with policy.
Must be consistent with sections 5.9-5.12 of this policy.
Offer may only be made where appropriate research project and supervisors are available.

Variation to offer of admission to graduate research course



Variation to research project, supervisory arrangements or study rate.


There is no requirement to approve changes.

Declare conflict of interest, or that there is no conflict of interest.

All staff members involved in selection and offer of places to students.

Must be in accordance with sections 4.64 -4.69 and 5.13 - 5.18 of this policy.

Quality assurance of selection processes

President, Academic Board through Selection Procedures and research Higher Degrees committees

Receive reports and make recommendations to faculties/Academic Services as appropriate

Record keeping of selection processes, and decisions, declarations of conflict of interest and disclosure statements. 

Dean, or a person authorised by the dean to act.

Academic Registrar, where selection decisions undertaken centrally (VTAC)


7. Definitions

“Access Melbourne” means a program approved by the Board to promote cohort diversity and equity by improving the prospects for selection of high-potential applicants from disadvantaged or under-represented groups

“Board” means the Academic Board of the University of Melbourne.

“conflict of interest” arises when a staff member's personal interests are perceived to potentially or actually interfere with the staff member's primary obligations to act in the interests of the University. It exists where a reasonable person could assume that a staff member's personal interest could improperly influence the performance of duties conducted on behalf of the University. Personal interest reflect the inappropriate benefit or disadvantage to the staff member or to others the staff member wishes to advantage or disadvantage and is not limited to financial interests.

“elite athlete” in this policy means a student who is a sportsperson representing the state or country or participating at the highest level of their sport.

“elite performer” in this policy means a student who is operating at the highest level in their field of activity in the performing arts, scholastic achievement or leadership and where the activity is not associated with the student’s area of tertiary study.

“Graduate Access Melbourne” is a program approved by the Board that is intended to provide access to graduate courses for applicants of high potential whose personal circumstances have had a sustained adverse effect on their academic achievement at undergraduate level, or who are members of a specified group known to be under-represented in higher education.


Academic Board


Academic Secretary


This policy is to be reviewed by 12 May 2024.



Authorised by

Approval Date

Effective Date

Sections modified


Academic Board

26 February 2015

26 February 2015

New policy.


President, Academic Board

12 May 2016

21 July 2016

Revised policy arising from the changes to the University’s legislation and the policy consolidation project.

2 Academic Secretary 12 April 2018 12 April 2018 Editorial amendment to header, "Review and Appeal", formerly "Complaints, reviews and appeals" 
3 Academic Secretary 6 June 2018 6 June 2018 Editorial amendment to update the National Code at section 3. Authority
4 Policy Officer 6 June 2018 21 June 2018 Fixing minor errors to document information
5 Academic Secretary 9 September 2019 13 September 2019 Editorial – changes to remove gendered pronouns at s5.26 (e) and (f) and one definition.
6 Academic Board 5 December 2019 17 December 2019 Changes to section 5.6 and addition of new sections 5.7 and 5.8 such that academic input is not required in the processing of individual applications where the selection instruments are quantitative (eg a WAM of X and a test score of Y) and where there is no ambiguity.
7 Academic Board 26 July 2018 9 January 2020 Addition of section 4.18(d)
8 Academic Board 14 May 2020 25 May 2020 Revision of the procedural principles section related to elite athletes and performers to align with the process approved by Selection Procedures Committee in October 2016.
9 Academic Secretary 19 August 2020 31 August 2020 Editorial - added hyperlink to 5.31. 
10 Policy Officer N/A N/A made in error
11 Academic Secretary 5 October 2020 7 October 2020 Amended Section 4.64 to change "University senior executive" to "University Executive Committee".
12 President, Academic Board 16 November 2020 17 December 2020 Updates to address diversity and inclusion requirements - 4.7 (b).
13 President, Academic Board 10 May 2021 11 June 2021 Cyclical review undertaken. Minor editorial amendments made.
14 President, Academic Board 26 October 2021 27 October 2021 Inclusion of additional requirements for conditional offers. Clarifying conflict of interest requirements. 
15 President, Academic Board 25 August 2022 29 August 2022 Amendment to cl 4.37.