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Policy Learning and Teaching Framework for Postgraduate Courses Policy

Framework for Postgraduate Courses Policy

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To specify the framework for postgraduate courses at James Cook University.


All postgraduate courses.

Policy and Procedures


James Cook University offers graduate-level courses in the following categories:

Coursework offerings

  • Graduate Certificate
  • Graduate Diploma
  • Postgraduate Certificate
  • Postgraduate Diploma
  • Masters degree by coursework (including joint degrees where appropriate)
  • Professional Doctorate (coursework component >33.3%)

Research offerings

  • Masters degree by research (coursework component <33.3%)
  • Professional Doctorate (coursework component < 33.3%)
  • PhD (coursework component < 33.3%)
  • Higher doctorate

Graduate level coursework courses

The graduate level coursework qualifications are themselves offered in the following categories:

Graduate courses - expect graduate-level generic skills, and are available to students with a degree, or equivalent professional experience, including students with prior training or experience in a field other than that of the course. Such courses typically develop knowledge and skills in a professional area new to the student, and may supplement first degree minor studies.

Postgraduate courses - expect graduate-level knowledge and skills in a specified field of study, and are generally available only to students with a degree in the field of the course or a cognate discipline. They broaden and develop knowledge and skills already gained in a cognate undergraduate program, and may develop vocational knowledge and skills in an associated professional area.

Transfer between categories of postgraduate coursework

Students who undertake a diploma course after completing an appropriate certificate at JCU may apply to have the credit points credited to the diploma, subject to the approval of the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor.

Students who undertake a coursework Masters degree after completing an appropriate certificate or diploma course at JCU may apply to have the credit points credited to the degree, subject to the approval of the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor.

Concurrent enrolment

Students are not permitted to enrol concurrently for any other degree, diploma or certificate at this or any other institution without the written permission of the Higher Degrees by Research Sub Committee. Concurrent enrolments will normally only be considered where the total enrolment does not exceed the equivalent of a full-time load.

Thesis examination

Examination procedures for coursework offerings, including dissertations, shall be determined by the Academic Board and administered by the relevant Division.

The examination of all Masters degrees by research, PhD degrees and professional doctorates shall be administered through the Graduate Research School under the following standard procedures:

  • Masters - three copies submitted, two external examiners,;
  • PhD - four copies submitted, at least two external examiners, no more than three examiners.
  • Professional doctorate - as for PhD

Rules relating to transfer from a research degree to a coursework degree and vice versa

Students who are enrolled in a research degree and who wish to transfer to a postgraduate coursework diploma or degree should expect to pay fees from the date of transfer. Students who wish to transfer from a graduate coursework program to a research degree will be subject to the quota restrictions for research students at this University.

Appendix 1

Appendix 1 - Coursework courses

Appendix 2

Appendix 2 - Research and doctoral degrees


Approval Details

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

Policy Sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic

Approval Authority:

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review:


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






Minor amendments to align with current organisation structure and current delegation practice

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer





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