To provide procedural detail to enable the
University to bestow a posthumous Award of the University where a student/ HDR
candidate has died while admitted to a course at the University.
applies to any person admitted to a course at the time of their death.
- A posthumous Award may be awarded in accordance with the Awards Nomenclature
and Qualifications Issuance Policy, to a student/ HDR candidate who has died
while studying at the University.
- By awarding a posthumous Award the University acknowledges that,
but for death, the student would have been expected to complete their studies.
- The decision to bestow a posthumous Award should take into
account the wishes of the immediate family.
At all times interactions with the family must be undertaken sensitively
and with discretion, avoiding the possibility of giving the family unreasonable
or incorrect expectations as to the eventual outcome.
- The number of University staff contacting the family must be
kept to a minimum and such contact should be coordinated through the Deputy
Vice Chancellor Academic.
- The Academic Board will review and determine requests for
posthumous Awards in accordance with the criteria specified below.
- In urgent circumstances, the Chairperson of the Academic Board
can make an executive decision and any such decision shall be notified to the
Academic Board at its next meeting.
- 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 .
- If the Academic Board
decides not to bestow a posthumous Award in which the student had been
admitted, they may decide on the recommendation of the relevant Deputy Vice Chancellor,
to bestow an alternative or intermediate Award where the student had completed
a minimum of 66% of the total credit points required for the alternative or
intermediate Award (including credit points awarded by advanced standing).
- Where no posthumous
coursework Award is to be bestowed, the family of the deceased student is to
receive a Certificate of Achievement.
- Requests for
consideration of a posthumous Award by coursework may be made to the Deputy
Vice Chancellor, Academic by the student’s immediate family, the Course
Coordinator, the relevant College Dean or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
- Before a recommendation
to the Academic Board is made, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic must
consult with the Director, Student Services and the relevant Deputy
Vice-Chancellor to confirm that the criteria have been met.
Degree by Research Awards
- The University may bestow a higher degree by research (HDR) Award posthumously if a HDR candidate had, at the time of death:
- successfully completed the confirmation of candidature and mid-candidature review; and
- undertaken design, data collection and preliminary analysis of findings in such a form that, when collated by the Advisory Panel and reviewed by two examiners external to the university, the determination is that the HDR candidate had progressed to a point representing 66% completion of their thesis, portfolio, or exegesis, and would have successfully completed this output from their research, had death not occurred.
2) The Advisory Panel may
be requested to insert supplementary and/or explanatory material to facilitate
the examiners’ understanding of the HDR candidate's research
contribution. A statement should then be appended to the thesis
indicating the work undertaken by the Advisory Panel on the HDR candidate's
3) Each examiner, having
determined that the required academic progression had been achieved, must also
make a recommendation on whether sufficient evidence exists to indicate that
had the HDR candidate lived, in the normal course of events the requirements
for the Award would have been satisfied within the prescribed time limits. For the Award to be bestowed, both examiners
must be in agreement.
4) If the Academic Board
decides not to bestow a posthumous Award in which the HDR candidate had been
admitted, they may decide, on the recommendation of the Dean, Graduate Research,
to bestow an alternative or intermediate Award where the HDR candidate had
progressed to a point representing 66% completion of the alternative or
5) Where no posthumous
higher degree by research Award is to be bestowed, the family of the deceased HDR
candidate is to receive a Certificate of Achievement.
6) Requests for
consideration of a posthumous higher degree by research Award may be made to
the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic by the HDR candidate’s immediate family,
the relevant College Dean or Deputy Vice Chancellor, the student’s supervisor
or the Dean, Graduate Research.
7) Before a recommendation
to the Academic Board is made, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic must consult
with Dean, Graduate Research to confirm that the criteria have been met.
of a Posthumous Award
- There are several options available to the family of the deceased/HDR candidate for the conferral of the posthumous Award:
- conferral in absentia where the Testamur is issued direct to the family; or
- conferral at a graduation ceremony where a family member representing the deceased student or HDR candidate is presented with the Testamur on behalf of the deceased student/HDR candidate; or
- conferral at a private ceremony where a University representative presents the Testamur to a family member on behalf of the deceased student/HDR candidate.
- The records will indicate that the award is posthumous. The decision as to the timing and method of conferral of the posthumous Award will be at the sole discretion of the family.
Related policy instruments
Awards Nomenclature and Qualifications
for next review
Contact: Chair Academic Board