Policy Academic Governance Subject Outline Procedure

Subject Outline Procedure

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(effective from 1 Jan 2021)


This Procedure supports the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy (LTA Policy).  The purpose of this Procedure is to provide direction and guidance to staff around Core Principle 3 (CP3) of the LTA Policy.  CP3 requires staff to provide clear instructions and information around assessment items and learning activities in every subject.

This Procedure provides guidance and direction to staff in the development, publication and amendment of subject outlines in all subjects.

This Procedure addresses HESF Standard 7.2.2 (d).


This Procedure applies across all campuses of the University and to all modes of course delivery.

This Procedure does not apply to subjects undertaken in a higher degree by research.


Except where otherwise indicated in this procedure, the definitions used in this procedure are found in the Learning Teaching and Assessment Policy or the Policy Glossary.


The Subject Outline is a critical resource for students, detailing the subject description and learning outcomes, consultation and contact details, learning resources, how learning outcomes in the subject will be assessed and other general assessment expectations and penalties.


1.  Use of Subject Outline template

1.1   Subject Coordinators must generate a Subject Outline for each study period availability for each subject.  That Subject Outline must follow the JCU endorsed template and comply with the requirements of this Procedure and the Learning Teaching and Assessment Procedures.

1.2   Subject Coordinators must perform an annual revision of the Subject Outline and must monitor teaching and assessment against the Subject Outline as key teaching quality assurance measures.

1.3   Divisions and Colleges can include additional relevant items in the Subject Outline.

1.4   The Subject Outline template may be incorporated into a more detailed Study Guide, but each core section that would be contained in a subject outline must be identified clearly within the Study Guide.

1.5   Instances where it may be appropriate to integrate the subject outline into a detailed study guide include (but are not limited to):

a) Honours programs.

b) Chained subjects.

1.6   Academic Heads must ensure:

a) Subject Outlines are archived by the College once published on LearnJCU.

b) The Subject Outline accurately reflects the description of the subject contained in the Coursework Subjects DataBase (CSDB).

c) The Subject Outline is updated to reflect any changes made to the subject in response to Student Evaluation of Subjects and Teaching (SEST) feedback and other data provided by a previous cohort.

2.  Subject information appearing in the Subject Outline

2.1   The Subject Outline must include, but is not limited to:

a) General subject information:

  • Subject code and title in full.
  • The credit points attributable to the subject.
  • Name of the Subject Coordinator/s, Division and College. Year and study period of offer, campus and mode of offer.
  • Name/s of teaching staff.
  • Consultation times and contact details of teaching staff.
  • Subject description, as reflected in the CSDB.
  • Student participation requirements.
  • Subject and course learning outcomes  to be developed in the subject.
  • Clear instructions to access learning activities and the subject timetable.
  • The amount of time to be spent on the subject each week. For example, a three credit point subject run over 13 weeks generally assumes 10 - 12 hours per week of learning activities, including class and/or content engagement and self-directed study.
  • Information about how students can register for support from  AccessAbility Services for students  who require reasonable adjustments in their subject delivery or assessment due to a disability, injury or long term illness.
  • Links to any inherent requirements for that course (as is appropriate for the subject) as appearing on the JCU website, a pre-enrolment checklist or handbook.
  • Key dates. For example, census dates for the study period and due dates for assessment.
  • Details of all must pass requirements for the subject, including hurdle assessments and professional/technical competencies and transferable skills which students are required to attain on the successful completion of the subject.
  • Information on how students can provide feedback on the subject through the YourJCU Subject and Teaching Surveys

b) Subject resources

  • A list of texts, readings and online and electronic resources using the appropriate referencing style for the discipline or area of study. Teaching staff may later supplement this list with additional resources on the LearnJCU subject site.
  • Any additional resources which must be purchased, including cost where practical.

c) Assessment

  • The result type for the subject must be clearly articulated in the Subject Outline.
  • The assessment components for which it is a requirement to pass or perform satisfactorily in order to gain a pass for the subject are identified clearly.
  • For each assessment item:
    • Title that aligns with the approved assessment method and description in the CSDB
    • Subject learning outcomes
    • Assessment method and sub-category
    • Weighting for each component of the assessment in determining the final result
    • Individual or Group task
    • Task Description
    • Generative AI acceptable and responsible use statement
    • Marking criteria/rubric
    • Details for students to obtain feedback
    • Criteria for standards of achievement for marking assessment items be included, well aligned to learning outcomes. If examinations are a form of assessment, then details of the relevant learning outcomes should be detailed as part of the Subject Outline.
  • The principle by which raw marks gained in part or all of the assessment will be modified, for example   through moderation).
  • Whether supplementary assessments or examinations are available to students undertaking the subject.
  • The statement: “It is important to be aware that assessment results must always undergo final ratification for each study period. No single grade or mark represents a final result in a subject”.
  • Minimum attendance requirements or participation-based assessment methods. Where attendance at specified classes is to be a mandatory requirement for satisfactory completion of a subject, this must be stated in the Subject Outline. In such cases, accurate attendance records must be kept. Attendance alone must not be a component of graded assessment in any subject.
  • Whether contributions to learning activities such as tutorials or seminars are taken into account and the criteria for assessment of such contributions.
  • Procedures for working in groups, if applicable.
  • Other details of assessment components deemed necessary by the Subject Coordinator for the successful completion of the assessment item.
  • Dates for submission of material for assessment and the penalties applied for late submission, as per Learning, Teaching and Assessment Procedures.
  • Procedures for secure submission of material for assessment, including procedures for electronic submission through the Learning Management System (LearnJCU), and how assessed materials will be returned. Colleges must provide a secure system (including via LearnJCU) for submission and return of work to safeguard against plagiarism and claims of non-receipt and non-return.
  • A requirement for an assessment declaration when submitting assessment items under the Academic Integrity Policy.

d) Policies and guidelines

3.  The Subject Outline and students

3.1   The Subject Outline and Introductory Video must be available through the Learning Management System (LearnJCU) five University working days before the prescribed study period commencement date. A Subject Outline which is uploaded to LearnJCU earlier than the commencement date is considered a draft that is open to amendment up until the date of publication.

Where a Subject has been approved to begin teaching earlier than the prescribed study period commencement date, the Subject Outline and the Introductory Video must be uploaded five University working days before teaching commences and is considered published at this time.

3.2   Students are responsible for:

a) Reading the subject outline and making sure they are familiar with all subject requirements.

b) Complying with subject requirements as published in the subject outline and any additional assessment information or any JCU College or course specific information.

4.  Amendments to the Subject Outline

4.1   The date the Subject Outline was last revised must be included in the Subject Outline. After publication on LearnJCU, the Subject Outline is final and cannot be modified unless there are exceptional circumstances which require an amendment. In such exceptional circumstances, changes to subject outlines after publication can occur. Those changes require the approval of the relevant College Dean. Where those changes relate to subject learning outcomes or availabilities, then the Dean must seek advice from the relevant Director, Academic Program Quality before exercising their delegation.  The Subject Coordinator must ensure that notice of the change is provided to all students affected by it.

4.2 Any substantial variation to the structure and flow of the Subject Outline Template, before publication, must be authorised by the respective Dean or the Director, Academic Program Quality.

Related policy instruments

Learning Teaching and Assessment Policy

Learning Teaching and Assessment Procedures

Related documents and legislation

Australian Qualifications Framework, 2nd Edition, 2013.

Disability Discrimination Act – Education Standards 2005.

Human Rights Act (Qld) 2020
Guidance Note: Diversity and Equity 1.2, October 2017.
TEQSA Higher Education Threshold Standards Framework, 2021


Academic and Student Delegations Register

Charter of Responsibilities for Academic Quality and Governance


NOTE:  Printed copies of this Procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance
Policy Sub-domainLearning and Teaching

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor Education

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date



24-105/02/202406/02/2024Minor amendment to clause 3.1 to incorporate the Introductory Video and clarify Subject Outline requirements for subjects approved to begin teaching early.DVC Education
23-131/07/202302/08/2023Procedure amended to action recommendation from the internal auditDean, Centre for Enhancement and Engagement



1 January 2021

Procedure established to support Learning Teaching and Assessment Policy

Dean, Learning Teaching and Student Engagement


Subject outline, assessment, subject information, marking rubrics