Policy Awards Titling Procedure

Awards Titling Procedure

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This guide expresses the requirements for naming Awards to ensure that qualification titles clearly identify qualification types, level and field of study/discipline and meet the requirements set out by the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy.

This guide should be read in conjunction with the Awards Finalisation and Graduation Policy.


  • 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 guide are found in the: Glossary of Terms for Policies in the Student and Teaching & Course Management chapters of the Policy Library

Course Title: The title of the course which may include descriptors to clarify different attributes of the course eg Bachelor of Planning (Honours) embedded. This may differ from the official Award Title.

Cum Laude: academic level of distinction

Cotutelle: A formal agreement or contract between James Cook University and another university that enables a HDR candidate to be enrolled in a higher degree by research at both institutions concurrently.


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

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

Graduates are entitled to use the official Award Titles and Post-nominals once the Award has been conferred by the University Council.


  1. Award titles
    1. Award titles are shown on the testamur.
    2. The following elements do not form part of an Award title:
      1. The name of a major
      2. The name of a minor
      3. Location (for example, Mt. Isa)
      4. Mode of study (for example external, flexible)
    3. Awards may have a generic title or a specific title:
      1. 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 Science.
      2. A specific title promotes a distinct study area, for example Bachelor of Marine Science
    4. 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 but may be used in the course title. For example, the descriptors below are shown in italics:
      1. Bachelor of Planning (Honours) embedded
      2. Bachelor of Planning (Honours) end-on
      3. Bachelor of Nursing Science Post-Reg
    5. Specific course rules may permit a student to be eligible to receive an Award ‘with distinction’ in recognition of outstanding performance.
    6. Titles inconsistent with the requirements of the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy may not be used, for example: Master (Honours) and University Certificate.
  2. Testamurs
    A testamur is a document that certifies the conferral of a qualification.
    1. A testamur states correctly:
      1. The registered name of the higher education provider awarding the qualification and issuing the testamur.
      2. 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.
      3. The full legal name of the person who has been awarded the qualification.
      4. The date of conferral.
      5. The name and office of the person authorised by the higher education provider to issue the testamur.
      6. Corporate Identifier(s).
    2. In the instance of a course completion occurring more than 24 months prior to conferral, the testamur will specify both the year that the student met the course requirements of the Award and the date of conferral.
    3. Graduates of a joint Award receive one testamur. For example:
      1. Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws
    4. Graduation with distinction is recorded on testamurs where Award rules allow, but does not form part of the Award title. For example:
      1. Master of Public Health with Distinction
    5. For Bachelor Honours Awards, Honours appears on the testamur after the Award title and in brackets. For example:
      1. Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
        The award of Class 1 Honours is acknowledged on the testamur. For example:
      2. Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - Class 1
    6. 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 titling.  For example:
      1. Bachelor of Arts,
        Majoring in History
      2. Bachelor of Arts (Honours),
        Majoring in History

        A double major will appear as:
      3. Bachelor of Arts 
        Majoring in History and Geography
    7. Testamurs for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) graduates (Research Masters and Doctorates) include the Award title without the field of education. For example:
      1. Doctor of Philosophy
    8. HDR courses undertaken as a cotutelle are identified as such on the testamur. For example:
      1. (award made as a consequence of a co-tutelle agreement with the College of Charleston, South Carolina, USA
    9. HDR Cum Laude Awards are identified on the student’s testamur. For example:
      1. Doctor of Philosophy
        (Thesis passed ‘Cum Laude’)
    10. Testamurs issued for Posthumous Awards are identified as such on the testamur.  For example:
      1. Master of Public Health
        (Posthumous Award)
  1. Official Academic Record
    1. An Official Academic Record states 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 or currently enrolled, 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 results and/or marks awarded for each subject undertaken and, if applicable, for the course overall.
      • Where results are issued, an explanation of the result 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 or enrolled as part of the JCU Professional College.
      • The full name of the person to whom the record applies and their student identification number.
  1. Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS)
    1. The AHEGS is issued in addition to the testamur upon graduation. JCU complies with Government guidelines for the presentation and content of its AHEGS.
    2. An AHEGS for a HDR graduate also states:
      • if the award was undertaken as part of a cotutelle or conjoint award with another University;
      • if the graduate undertook an industry internship; and
      • the HDR professional experience undertaken as part of the degree.
  2. Honorary Awards
    1. An Honorary Award is issued in accordance with the criteria in the Honorary Award Requirements Procedure.  With regard to award titles and qualifications issued:
      • Honorary Awards may not use the AQF logo, or make any reference to the AQF
      • The title ‘Doctor’ will not be used external to the University 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.
  1. Post-nominal/ Award Abbreviation
    1. 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

University Awards

Higher Education Standards Framework TEQSA ACT 2011, as amended 2013


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

Approval Details

Policy DomainStudent Matters

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education

Approval Authority

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Procedure established

Manager Student Finance and Examinations