Awards Nomenclature and Qualifications Issuance Policy

Policy Learning and Teaching Awards Nomenclature and Qualifications Issuance Policy

Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly


That qualification requirements and Award nomenclature are guided by clearly identified principles, which are consistently applied across the University and align with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

This policy outlines:

  • Nomenclature requirements to ensure that qualification titles unambiguously identify qualification types, level and field of study/discipline

  • Requirements for graduates to receive the certification documentation to which they are entitled

  • Qualification specifications and principles consistent with the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy (2nd Edn January 2013).


  • Official academic records, testamurs and the Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS)

  • AQF courses at levels 5 to 10: Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas, Bachelor Degrees, and Bachelor Honours Degrees, Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas, Masters Degrees and Doctoral Degrees

  • Non-AQF qualifications

  • Honorary Awards

  • Post-nominals


The definitions used in this policy are found in the: Glossary of Terms for Policies in the Student and Teaching & Course Management chapters of the Policy Library


1.   Qualification specifications

The University’s Academic Board has authority for accrediting a course of study leading to an Award.

1.1   A course of study leading to an Award will have approved learning outcomes that are consistent with the level classification for that qualification in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF 2nd Edn 2013).

1.2   The course of study leading to the Award will meet professional accreditation standards, where appropriate.

1.3   A qualification that does not align with a qualification that is recognised in the AQF is not described using the nomenclature of the AQF or implied to be a qualification recognised in the AQF or an equivalent qualification.

1.4   Students who have completed one or more subjects that do not lead to the award of a qualification will have access to an official record of results for the subjects successfully undertaken.

2.   Award nomenclature

2.1   Award titles are the representation of the qualification type, level and field of study/discipline of the qualification.

2.2   Award titles are shown on the testamur.

2.3   The following elements do not form part of an Award title:

  • The name of a major

  • The name of a minor

  • Location (for example, Mt. Isa)

  • Mode of study (for example external, flexible)

2.4   Awards may have a generic title or a specific title:

  • A generic title comprises a broad term that represents the integration of a range of   disciplines within an area of study, for example Bachelor of Arts.

  • A specific title promotes a distinct study area, for example Bachelor of Multimedia Journalism.

2.5   JCU may use descriptors following an Award title where the descriptor provides clarification and assists students in identifying the different attributes of a course. The descriptors do not form part of an Award title. For example, the descriptors below are shown in italics:

  • Bachelor of Planning (Honours) embedded

  • Bachelor of Planning (Honours) end-on

  • Bachelor of Nursing Post-Reg

2.6   Titles inconsistent with the requirements of the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy (2nd Edn Jan 2013) may not be used, for example: Master (Honours) and University Certificate.

3.   Award details

3.1   Students who have fulfilled the conditions of the requirements for the Award in which they are enrolled, and have complied with all statutes and other requirements are eligible to be granted the Award.

3.2   Graduates are entitled to use the official Award nomenclature once the Award has been conferred by the University Council.

3.4   Specific course rules may permit a student to be eligible to receive an Award ‘with distinction’ in recognition of outstanding performance.

3.5   An intermediate Award may be granted at a recognised exit point in a nested qualification. For example, a Graduate Diploma may be granted as an intermediate award in a Masters (coursework) qualification, where the course rules permit exit awards. A fee may be charged to grant an intermediate Award.

3.6   A posthumous Award may be granted, in certain circumstances, to a student who has died while admitted to a course at JCU. The University may bestow an undergraduate or postgraduate coursework Award posthumously if the student had, at the time of death, successfully completed a minimum of 66% of the total credit points required for the Award (including credit points awarded by advanced standing) and would have successfully completed the course of study had death not occurred.

4.   Testamurs

4.1   A testamur is a document that certifies the conferral of a qualification. It states correctly:

  • The registered name of the higher education provider awarding the qualification and issuing the testamur.

  • The Award type, which may be reflected through the generic title, for example Bachelor of Arts, or the specific title, for example Graduate Certificate of Education.

  • The full name of the person who has been awarded the qualification.

  • The date of conferral.

  • The name and office of the person authorised by the higher education provider to issue the testamur.

  • Corporate Identifier(s).

4.2   Graduates of a joint Award receive one testamur.

4.3   Graduation with distinction is recorded on testamurs where Award rules allow, but does not form part of the Award nomenclature. For example:

Master of Public Health

with Distinction

4.4   For Bachelor Honours Awards, Honours appears on the testamur after the Award title and in brackets, for example:

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

The award of Class 1 Honours is acknowledged on the testamur. For example:

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Class 1

4.5   A major or field of study may appear on a testamur where Award rules allow. The major appears on the testamur after the Award title, and after Honours nomenclature, for example:

Bachelor of Arts

Majoring in History

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Majoring in History

  • A double major will appear as:

Bachelor of Arts

Majoring in History and Geography

4.6   Surrender of testamurs

Students are not required to surrender their testamurs when progressing through a series of nested qualifications. Surrender of testamurs is required in the following instances:

  • If the testamur is damaged and a replacement testamur is requested.

  • If an administrative error has resulted in incorrect conferral of an Award.

4.7   Revoking a testamur

A testamur may be revoked where it is proven through student disciplinary or other action that a student is guilty of cheating, plagiarism or other fraudulent activity and obtained the degree under false pretences.

4.8   Integrity and Security

JCU will have documented and approved processes to ensure the accuracy, integrity and security of testamurs issued by the University.

5.   Official Academic Record

An Official Academic Record records correctly:

  • The registered name of the higher education provider issuing the record of results and the date of issue.

  • The name and office of the person authorised to issue the record of results.

  • The full name of all courses and subjects undertaken, and when they were undertaken and completed. Course and subject codes are included.

  • Details of advanced standing issued, including credit granted through recognition of prior learning.

  • The credit point value of subjects.

  • All enrolments in subjects which proceed beyond the last date for withdrawal without academic penalty.

  • The grades and/or marks awarded for each subject undertaken and, if applicable, for the course overall.

  • Where grades are issued, an explanation of the grading system used.

  • An approved specialisation, a major of study, or a minor, as identified in the Award rules.

  • For research students, the name of the thesis and the date of submission.

  • University prizes and medals awarded on the basis of academic merit.

  • Names of modules completed as part of the JCU Professional College.

  • The full name of the person to whom the record applies and their student identification number.

  • Identification of any parts of a course or subject or assessment that were conducted in a language other than English.

  • Disciplinary decisions resulting in formal exclusion from the University.

6.   Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS)

The Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) is issued in addition to the testamur upon graduation. JCU complies with Government guidelines for the presentation and content of its AHEGS.

7.   Honorary Awards

An Honorary Award is not an AQF qualification. It is usually awarded by JCU to recognise a person’s public service or service to the organisation, or in recognition of distinguished contribution by the person in a field of academic endeavour.

  • Honorary Awards will meet the criteria presented in the Honorary Awards Requirements Policy

  • Honorary Awards may not use the AQF logo, or make any reference to the AQF

  • The title ‘Doctor’ will not be used by those who hold an Honorary Award

  • Documentation issued with the award of an honorary qualification will unambiguously identify the qualification as an honorary qualification.

8.   Non-AQF qualifications

Courses and programs that are not recognised by the AQF are described at 1.4 and include, for example: preparatory programs and tertiary access pathways, the Postgraduate Qualifying Program, professional development opportunities and Masterclasses.

9.   Non-Award enrolments

One or more subjects can be offered as stand-alone units of study. A subject successfully undertaken for academic credit has a JCU subject code and appears on the students’ academic record. Enrolments in single units of study (not a course of study) are known as Non-Award enrolments, or Non-Award programs. They may be promoted and marketed as short courses.

10.   Post-nominal/ Award Abbreviation

A post-nominal (or award abbreviation) is the abbreviation displayed after a person’s name to denote the qualifications that person has achieved.

  • The University’s Academic Board has authority for approving award abbreviations

  • Approved abbreviations are listed under Awards of the University

  • Majors and minors do not appear in post-nominals

  • The accepted abbreviation for James Cook University is JCU

Related documents and legislation

Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement April 2013: (AHEGS) Guidelines

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy

Higher Education Standards Framework

TEQSA Act 2011, as amended 2013

Related policies and procedures

Academic Dress

Academic Progression Policy

Awards of the University

Course and Subject Handbook

Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students

Honorary Awards Requirements Policy

Recognition of Academic Excellence

University Seal Policy


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

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review (in accordance with the Policy Handbook)

1 October 2018

Revision History

NOTE: A minor amendment will not result in a change of the next major review date.

Approval date - the date the approval authority approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment

Implementation Date - the date the policy was published in the Policy Library and is the date the policy takes effect


Approval date

Implementation date






Implementation date amended – Refer to Academic Board minutes (8/15) 9 November 2015

University Secretary

14-1 (1.0)



Policy established

Gill Cowden, Standards


Nomenclature, awards, award titles, qualification titles, course titles, testamurs, testamur, parchment, Honours, Honorary awards, AQF, AHEGS, abbreviations, short courses, post-nominals, awards with distinction, non-award, non-AQF, qualifications issuance policy, posthumous award.

There are no other related documents.