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Advanced Standing Policy

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) Learning takes place in a broad range of contexts including work-based experience, life experience, self-tuition, non-accredited professional development programs, or higher education provider programs. Granting advanced standing for prior learning ensures that students commence study at a level that appropriately recognises their previous learning experiences, and are not required to repeat within their UNE course equivalent learning successfully undertaken in another context.

(2) This policy accords with the principles of the Australian Credit Transfer Guidelines and aims to achieve that grants of advanced standing conforms to the outcomes of the Australian Qualifications and Training Framework.

(3) A grant of advanced standing is an acknowledgement that student has the knowledge, understanding and skills equivalent to the stated learning outcomes of courses and units of study offered by UNE.

(4) Advanced standing is granted once an applicant has demonstrated that he/she has achieved a thorough understanding of the theoretical underpinnings as well as the skills and experiential aspects of the unit(s) of study for which advanced standing is sought.

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Section 2 - Scope

(5) This policy applies to all UNE awards except:

  1. the Joint Medical Program; and
  2. research and professional higher degrees.

(6) Eligibility for advanced standing does not guarantee a place in any course.

(7) Completion of a course is subject to individual course rules.

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Section 3 - Policy

Bachelor courses

Maximum credit

(8) The maximum advanced standing that shall be granted towards any 144 credit points or more UNE undergraduate course is 67% of the credit points required.

(9) The maximum advanced standing that shall be granted towards any 143 credit points or less UNE undergraduate course is 50% of the credit points required.

Minimum requirements of UNE courses

(10) The minimum requirements of UNE study are:

  1. 144 credit points undergraduate courses require at least 48 credit points from UNE units;
  2. 192 credit points or more undergraduate courses require at least 66 credit points from UNE units;
  3. All bachelor courses require at least 36 credit points from UNE in units at 200/300/400 levels or above.

Course admission requirement

(11) Advanced standing is not granted for units taken to meet course admission requirements with the exceptions of:

  1. units completed as part of the UNE Pathways Enabling Course; or
  2. the TRACKS tertiary preparation program; or
  3. an approved articulation in the course concerned.

Joint and Combined Undergraduate Courses

(12) The maximum advanced standing that may be granted for joint or combined courses is 67% of either of the two courses contributing to the joint or combined UNE course.

Bachelor Honours Courses

(13) At least 50% of the total credit points required to complete a UNE Bachelor Honours course must be from UNE units. Advanced standing may not be granted for thesis components.

Coursework Postgraduate Courses

(14) At least 50% of the total credit points required to complete the postgraduate course must be from UNE units.

(15) Advanced standing is not granted for units undertaken to meet the admission requirements except for approved articulations and nested awards as indicated in individual course rules.

(16) Individual postgraduate course rules may specify additional limits on the maximum of advanced standing that can be awarded.

Specified, Unspecified and Block Advanced Standing

(17) Specified Advanced Standing (advanced standing for a named UNE unit) will be granted where prior learning is regarded as having reasonable correspondence to the learning outcomes of a specific UNE unit that is a compulsory or named elective unit in the applicant's UNE course.

(18) Specified advanced standing is granted using the UNE unit code and credit point value.

(19) Unspecified Advanced Standing may be granted where the prior learning is deemed broadly consistent with the outcomes of the course being undertaken without it being directly equivalent to the learning activities and outcomes of specific UNE units.

(20) Unspecified advanced standing will be granted as a total number of credit points and may be designated as meeting part(s) of a course (typically elective requirements) according to the course rules.

(21) Block advanced standing will be granted for successful completion of an approved award that contained subject matter at a level deemed appropriate for the UNE course. Block advanced standing does not require exact UNE unit equivalence. Rather, it will require reasonable correspondence to the learning objectives of the UNE course such that the graduate attributes of the UNE course will be achieved.

Concurrent candidature

(22) Advanced standing may be counted towards only one UNE course at any one time unless a student is permitted to enrol in two UNE courses concurrently and is granted permission by both Course Coordinators to count the advanced standing twice.

Expiry of Prior Learning

(23) Prior learning must normally be less than 10 calendar years old to be eligible for advanced standing. In exceptional circumstances and at their discretion, Course Coordinators may allow a grant for prior learning older than 10 calendar years providing no currency of knowledge issues apply.

Conceded Pass Results, and Grades and Grade Point Averages

(24) Advanced standing is not granted for prior learning for which the results of Conceded, Conditional, Concessional or Terminating Pass or their equivalents have been awarded.

(25) The grades achieved in prior learning are not recorded in the grant of advanced standing nor is advanced standing counted towards a UNE Grade Point Average.

Whole Units

(26) Advanced standing is granted for whole units only; that is, advanced standing will not be granted for part of a UNE unit.

Projects, Dissertations, Minor Theses, Practical/Professional Experience and WorkReady

(27) Advanced standing for projects, dissertations and minor theses, and practical/professional experience (including clinical periods, teacher practicum and nursing praxis) will be granted only with the permission of the Course Coordinator and subject to individual course rules.

(28) Advanced standing will not be granted for professional or work experience directly related to a UNE course once the student has been enrolled in that course, except in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Course Coordinator.

Native Language Speakers

(29) Advanced standing will not be granted for UNE language units to native speakers of that language. Native speakers may seek exemption from specific language units at the discretion of the Head of School concerned to permit enrolment in advanced level language units.

Experiential and Informal Learning

(30) A maximum of 24 credit points may be granted as advanced standing on the basis of experiential or informal learning.

(31) Applications will be subject to the evidentiary requirements of the school concerned, which may include submission of a detailed portfolio and/or satisfactory completion of a Challenge Examination.

Articulated Awards

(32) Articulated award rules and course structures will comply with the advanced standing maxima listed in these rules.

Period of Candidature

(33) The maximum period of candidature for the course will be adjusted pro-rata according to the credit point value of the advanced standing granted.

Student Learning Entitlement

(34) Awards of advanced standing will be notified to the appropriate Commonwealth agency for the adjustment of the Student Learning Entitlement.

International Students

(35) It is a legal requirement that international students complete their courses in the standard period of candidature for their courses. Accordingly, advanced standing grants to international students must include a post-advanced standing enrolment plan that allows completion of the course within standard time and with the required minimum study load in every teaching period of study.

Enrolment and Retention of Advanced Standing

(36) Applications for advanced standing will be made before enrolment in the UNE award concerned.

(37) Advanced standing will lapse if the student fails to complete unit(s) in the UNE course and does not remain enrolled in that course beyond one statutory census date.

(38) Where advanced standing has lapsed, a student may re-apply for advanced standing but retention of the original advanced standing is not guaranteed.

(39) Students who change a major within their course may apply to the Change and Release Manager to have their original application for advanced standing re-assessed for the new major in that course.

Permission to Enrol Elsewhere

(40) UNE students may apply to their Course Coordinator to enrol in units at another institution as cross-institutional to have those units counted towards the UNE course. Applications must be made under Clause 21i of the General Rules.

(41) Permission to Enrol Elsewhere grants are subject to this policy.

(42) Permission to Enrol Elsewhere grants must be sought prior to cross-institutional studies or advanced standing will not be granted.

Relinquishing Advanced Standing

(43) Permission may, at the discretion of the Course Coordinator, be granted to students wishing to relinquish advanced standing to allow them to complete a UNE unit.

(44) Any reduction to advanced standing already granted will be notified to the appropriate Commonwealth agency for an adjustment to the Student Learning Entitlement.

Rescission of Advanced Standing

(45) A student is not required to rescind a UNE award to be eligible to seek advanced standing towards another UNE course although the limits under this policy to advanced standing shall continue to apply to the new UNE course.

Alternate Course Exit

(46) Where an alternate exit for graduation for a student is approved, the units that comprised the graduating course will be noted on the student's academic record as advanced standing.

Transfer between UNE courses

(47) Subject to individual course rules, there is no maximum of advanced standing granted where a student transfers units from an incomplete UNE course to another UNE course.

AQF Certificate I, II and III Courses

(48) As these courses provide vocational training skills below the minimum level of outcomes required of university-level study, advanced standing will not be granted for prior learning below the AQF Certificate IV level.


(49) The following applies to Articulation Agreements:

  1. UNE may approve Articulation Agreements with partner institutions as formal arrangements to provide for an abbreviated and specified UNE course plan in designated UNE courses on the basis of equivalency between UNE units and a partner's units. UNE has three types of articulation agreements: Advanced Standing; Advanced Standing (packaged offer) and Partner Pathways.
  2. Articulation Agreements with UNE undergraduate courses require compliance with paragraphs 8-10 of this policy.
  3. Where any Agreement provides for unspecified advanced standing, it is the responsibility of the proposing Head of School to provide a course enrolment plan that can be made available to students.
  4. Unless renewed or otherwise determined by the agreement, the currency of an Agreement will lapse after 10 years in accordance with paragraph 15 of this Policy.


(50) The following applies to appeals:

  1. The University provides the right of appeal against decisions on advanced standing.
  2. The decisions of the Advanced Standing Appeals Panel are final.
  3. Unsuccessful appellants have the right to raise matters of maladministration with the the NSW Ombudsman.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(51) Advanced Standing - credit granted toward a UNE course in recognition of prior learning. Eligible prior learning may include formal study, informal study or experiential learning. Advanced standing may be specified in terms of particular UNE units, or it may be granted as a number of unspecified credit points, or as block advanced standing at an appropriate level.

(52) Advanced Standing Agreement - an agreement where UNE may guarantee admission to those students who complete study at the partner institution and advanced standing is specified. There is no requirement for UNE to provide additional services or for the partner to provide a minimum number of students.

(53) Advanced Standing Agreement (Packaged Offer) - A version of the above agreement where UNE provides a conditional offer with advanced standing prior to completion of the partner's course.

(54) Articulation - The specific design of education and training programs in ways which facilitate and maximise opportunities for, and/or for students to proceed from one level of education/training to the next.

(55) Agreements - A means by which pathways for students are developed between UNE and another tertiary provider eg TAFE in the context of designated programs or study sequences to assist students proceed from one course level to another with or without advanced standing depending on the nature of the agreement. Currently three types of agreement are used at UNE; Pathway Partner Agreement, Advanced Standing Agreement and Advanced Standing Agreement (Packaged Offer).

(56) Australian Qualifications Framework - The Australian Qualifications Framework (commonly known as the AQF) is a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFEs and private providers) and the higher education sector (mainly universities).

(57) Australian Credit Transfer Guidelines - guidelines to provide organisations involved in determining structured cross-sector qualification linkages with a framework to guide and facilitate these arrangements.

(58) Block Advanced Standing - exemption from a period of study expressed as credit points, in recognition of successfully completed periods of equivalent study. Such advanced standing is particularly applicable to highly structured professional courses which have few or no elective units and which are relatively uniform across Australia.

(59) Challenge Examination - an examination which a school/discipline may require a student to successfully complete before granting advanced standing on the basis of non formal prior learning for a specific UNE unit. Students will incur a fee in accordance with the Challenge Examination procedures of the Examinations Unit.

(60) Credit - recognition granted towards meeting the requirements of an award course, either on the basis of prior study, or of prior experience. See 'advanced standing' which is the term used for 'credit' at UNE..

(61) Exemption - a term used when a student has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the relevant Faculty, School or Course Coordinator competence in the subject matter of a particular UNE unit such that the student is not required to complete that unit. Exemption may be granted when the previous learning would not attract advanced standing or where the rules of the particular award do not allow for advanced standing. Exemption does not count as advanced standing towards a course and has no credit point value.

(62) Experiential Learning - see Informal Learning

(63) Formal learning - programs or courses undertaken with recognised universities, TAFE and other approved higher education providers. Such learning has already been assessed by an educational establishment.

(64) Informal learning - learning that has been gained from working or life experience. Such prior learning may have been gained through work based programs, self tuition, non-accredited professional development programs, TAFE or University programs.

(65) Life Experience - see Informal Learning

(66) Nested Awards - a sequence of courses offered at different levels which enable students to progress from introductory to advanced level, examples include subject areas which allow students to begin study at the Graduate Certificate level ,progress to Graduate Diploma and then to Masters level in the same subject area.

(67) Other types of formal learning - programs or courses undertaken within the workplace, professional organisations or other training contexts other than recognised universities, TAFE and other approved higher education providers. Such prior learning has already been assessed by an organisation or recognised training body.

(68) Pathway Partner Agreement - this is an agreement where UNE has an obligation to provide services to a partner apart from guaranteeing admission and advanced standing, in return for which the partner agrees to provide a certain number of students to UNE.

(69) Recognition of Prior Learning - recognition of an individual's knowledge and skills whether from formal studies or professional work or life experience. Assessment may include testing or various other techniques including examination of a profile or portfolio of learning and/or experience.

(70) Skills recognition — see Informal Learning

(71) Specified Credit - credit granted for a particular course component when the student has completed part of a course in which the curriculum is substantially the same, which constitutes at least the same proportion of full-time study and the standard attained is substantially the standard required for a pass in the specified course component offered in the receiving institution.

(72) Unspecified Advanced Standing - credit granted for work completed elsewhere for which there is no equivalent component in the receiving institution's award program, but which is nevertheless considered relevant to the award. Usually granted as a credit point value towards electives for the course.