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General Rules

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) These General Rules provide those rules that are generic to the general Student population (with some exceptions as detailed at Rule 3) that are not covered by specific course rules or academic rules or policies.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) These Rules apply to:

  1. all UNE Representatives and Students; and
  2. all courses awarded by the University unless excluded below.

(3) These Rules do not apply to:

  1. higher degree by research Students and courses except where marked by an *asterisk; and
  2. in the event of any conflict between this Rule and any Joint Medical Program (JMP) Rule, Policy or Procedure, the provisions of the JMP Rule, Policy or Procedure will take precedence.
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Section 3 - Rule

Access to Theses*

(4) These rules shall apply to all theses, dissertations, exegeses and/or portfolios submitted as part of the requirements for a higher degree by research.

(5) Section 51(2) of the Copyright Act 1968 gives the Director Library Services and University Librarian the right to copy theses under the stated conditions. However, the University has the right to restrict access to theses held by the Director Library Services and University Librarian and is prepared to allow the author of a thesis to restrict access to the thesis for certain purposes. The options open to a Student who submits a thesis are set out in the Right of Access to Thesis Form, which the Student is required to complete on submission of the thesis.

(6) A Student who submits a thesis shall complete the Form stating the restrictions, if any, that the Student wishes placed on access to the thesis. A copy of the Form will be held by the University in the institutional repository.

(7) As a condition of submitting a thesis for examination in the absence of a restriction, the Student shall grant to the University a non-exclusive licence to publish the thesis in whole or in part in the institutional repository.

(8) In consultation with the Head of School, and where it is decided that it is in the University's best interests, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may direct the Director Library Services and University Librarian to withhold a thesis from unauthorised inspection for a specified period. The specified period shall not be less than the period that may have been requested by the Student under Rule 6.

(9) In cases where a restriction is placed on a thesis, all copies of the thesis held by the University, regardless of format, shall be deposited in the Library Services, which shall be responsible for ensuring that the conditions of the restriction are complied with.

Aegrotat Award*

(10) The University may, under certain circumstances, confer an aegrotat award under the following conditions:

  1. the Student has suffered a permanent, incapacitating illness or injury that will prevent the completion of their course;
  2. the Student was enrolled in the course at the time of illness or injury;
  3. the Student has not more than one trimester of full-time study or equivalent to complete to satisfy the requirements for graduation; and
  4. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor; Executive Principal Student Experience; Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research or Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer confirms that the Student would successfully have completed all requirements of the course for graduation.

Communication with Students*

(11) The University uses email to officially communicate with Students. The University issues Students with a University email address. Students are responsible for checking their University email address at least once a week.

(12) A Student is required to provide a reliable mailing address for correspondence with the University. Students must ensure that the mailing address held in the University's Student Management System is the correct and current mailing address for them.

(13) A notice emailed by the University to a Student's University email address or to the mailing address last advised by the Student shall be deemed to have been received by the Student.

Compulsory Withdrawal from a Unit or Course

(14) The University may withdraw a Student with failure from a unit or course or may have conditions imposed on their subsequent unit/course enrolment on the grounds of unsatisfactory progress or unprofessional conduct. Unsatisfactory progress or unprofessional conduct includes:

  1. actions or inactions of Students which raise serious doubts as to their status as bona fide Students, such as failure to submit assigned work, failure to attend compulsory lectures, mandatory intensive schools, seminars, tutorials or other compulsory activities; and
  2. breaches or failure to meet professional standards, as detailed in course rules or appropriate for professional accreditation, not covered by the Student Behavioural Misconduct Rules or unsatisfactory progress during the practical experience component of a unit or course including;
    1. the Student is unable, after due instruction and guidance, to perform satisfactorily without an inappropriate or an impracticable degree of supervision with respect to:
      1. skills involving a client's comfort or safety within a host organisation;
      2. the performance of technical procedures already taught, demonstrated and practised in a prior clinical or practical situation; and/or
      3. the range of skills and abilities necessary in professional practice;
    2. the Student performs in a manner detrimental to the practical experience of other Students;
    3. the Student breaches legal, ethical or professional codes of the organisation providing the placement or of the industry concerned; and/or
    4. the Student demonstrates negligence in the performance of an assigned duty.

(15) The Executive Principal Education Futures shall consider appeals against a unit or course withdrawal applied under this Rule. The decision of the Executive Principal Education Futures is final.

Discretionary Powers of Heads of Schools*

(16) The Head of School has the discretion to:

  1. grant a Student a retrospective withdrawal (W) in lieu of any grade of fail (successful applications must meet the same criteria as required for special assessment);
  2. approve compulsory withdrawal from a unit or course due to unsatisfactory progress and/or unprofessional conduct in the unit and/or course requirements in accordance with Rule 17; and
  3. waive temporarily a restriction to permit enrolment in a unit (but not waiver of a unit from a course).

(17) Except where an appeal is provided for under other University rule or policy, the Head of School's decision is final.

Discretionary Powers of Executive Principal Education Futures *

(18) The Executive Principal Education Futures has the discretion to:

  1. suspend for up to two calendar years a major from new enrolments.

(19) The Executive Principal Education Futures' decision is final.

Elite Athletes, Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserve and Emergency Services Volunteer Students*

(20) The University supports Students who are Elite Athletes, members of the ADF Reserves and/or an Emergency Services Volunteer undertaking continuous full-time call-out service, and provides strategies that ensure that they are not unduly disadvantaged academically or financially as a consequence of participation in these activities.

(21) Some adjustments and modifications to course and/or unit requirements may be approved consistent with any applicable University Rule, Policy or course rules and the Student satisfying all requirements for the course. A Student subject to this Rule may be granted special assessment for the duration of the Student's sporting or voluntary commitment.

(22) If a Student is forced to withdraw from unit/s after the census date of the unit/s to participate in training, competition commitments or in order to undertake full-time ADF Reserve or voluntary emergency service, they may apply for special consideration to withdraw from the unit/s without academic penalty and remission of their FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP debt and/or, a refund of their student contribution and tuition fees (if paid up-front), in accordance with University policy and legislation.

Completion of Qualifications More Than Once

(23) Where the rules for a course include specialisations, which represent discrete programs of study and are identified on an academic record (transcript) and testamur as such, then a Student shall be permitted to be awarded with the course more than once.

Information and Communication Technologies Access*

(24) The University requires all Students to have access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to:

  1. manage all aspects of their enrolment;
  2. receive and send electronic communications; and
  3. be able to participate in teaching, learning and assessment activities.

(25) The University does not provide ICT facilities excepting those available to Students who are on campus or at a University Regional Study Centre. The University requires all Students to make suitable arrangements prior to enrolment to meet the requirements of Rule 35.


(26) Students may apply for intermission (approved leave of absence) of up to two years. It may not be possible to approve intermission for courses which have external accreditation requirements.

(27) Intermission will not be approved retrospectively other than in exceptional circumstances (i.e. where a Student was completely incapacitated for the period when they were not enrolled).

(28) Students who apply for intermission before the census date will not have that trimester counted for the Student's maximum period of candidature. Intermission granted after census date will have that trimester counted.

(29) A Student who resumes study after intermission will remain under their existing course rules. However, where a course has been revised during the period of intermission a Student may be required to transfer to the current course rules. The Course Coordinator may exercise discretion in the application of the course rules that may have changed during intermission. The Course Coordinator's decision is final.

(30) The University is not responsible for any reduction or withdrawal of income support or similar benefits, or visa issues after grant of intermission.

(31) Students retain access to their University email account for the duration of their intermission, but entitlement to some services and facilities only available to enrolled Students will be suspended (e.g. Library).

(32) Students who do not apply for intermission and do not enrol for a period of two years will be withdrawn from their course and will need to re-apply for admission to the University.

Non-Award and Cross-Institutional Students

(33) A Student who is enrolled as a non-award or cross-institutional Student shall be subject to these General Rules and any other University Rule or Policy, where applicable.

Period of Candidature

(34) Periods of full time candidature for courses are based on the normal full-time study load of 24 credit points in a trimester.

(35) Unless specified in course rules, periods of full-time candidature are based on the following:

24-credit point course one trimester
48-credit point course two trimesters
144-credit point course six trimesters
192-credit point course eight trimesters
240-credit point course ten trimesters
The maximum period for satisfying the requirements for completion of a course are as follows:

Bachelor Degrees

144 credit points or 192 credit points 10 years
240 credit points 12 years
end-on honours (48 credit points) 2 years

Undergraduate Diplomas and Associate Degrees

48 credit points 4 years
72 credit points 6 years
96 credit points 6 years

Graduate Certificates

24 credit points 2 years
48 credit points 4 years

Graduate Diplomas

48 credit points 4 years
72 credit points 6 years
96 credit points 6 years

Masters degrees by Coursework or Coursework and Dissertation

48 credit points 4 years
72 credit points 6 years
96 credit points 6 years

(36) Periods of candidature for higher degrees by research courses are detailed in the respective course rules.

(37) Periods of candidature for part-time candidature are based on half the normal study load for a full-time Student in the course such that the period of candidature for part-time Students will normally be at least double that of full-time Students.

(38) Honours and postgraduate coursework Students will be advised of their period of candidature on admission to the course as either a full-time or part-time Student.

(39) Periods of candidature are calculated pro-rata by trimester for Students whose enrolment varies between part and full-time study.

Re-enrolment in a Unit and Satisfying Completion of Course Requirements

(40) A Student who has twice failed a unit may not enrol again in that unit without permission of the Course Coordinator.

(41) A Student who has passed a unit may not re-enrol in that unit except by permission of the Course Coordinator and acceptance that Commonwealth fee support may not be available.

(42) A unit can only be counted once towards a course (except for repeatable units e.g. reading or special options units).

Relaxation of a Rule*

(43) The Academic Board, on the delegated authority of Council, may relax a Rule by application from the Executive Dean, Associate Dean, or Head of School through the respective Executive Principal. The Academic Board's decision is final.  

Student Visa Holders*

(44) University Representatives and Student visa holders must consult with UNE International before actioning any of the General Rules that will affect a Student visa holder's enrolment status, including but not limited to: study load, compulsory withdrawal from a unit, intermission and transfer.

Study Load*

(45) The normal maximum study load for a full-time Student is 24 credit points in one trimester.

(46) A Student enrolled in 18 credit points or more in a trimester is deemed to be a full-time Student for that trimester.

(47) A Student who is enrolled in less than 18 credit points in a trimester is deemed to be a part-time Student for that trimester.

(48) A Student granted permission by the Course Coordinator to exceed the normal maximum study load will not be granted any concession or special assessment arising from the excess study load. The Course Coordinator's decision on an application for excess study load is final.

(49) Where a Student is enrolled in more than one course, the Student's total enrolment in a trimester is subject to the joint agreement of the Course Coordinators concerned.

(50) Student visa holders must:

  1. maintain a study load (usually 24 credit points each compulsory trimester of enrolment, unless they have a reduced study load as part of an Early Intervention Strategy, have an agreed non-standard enrolment plan or other conditions as specified by the Course Coordinator) which will enable them to complete their course within the expected duration as specified by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and:
  2. be enrolled in at least one on-campus unit in any compulsory trimester unless the student is completing the last unit of their course; and must not complete more than one-third of the total units in their course by distance or online learning.


(51) On the recommendation of the Academic Board, the UNE Council may approve the incorporation of a UNE partner's logo, heraldic achievement [coat of arms] and/or name into an official testamur of the University of New England. Approval shall not be granted by the Council unless the partner's governing body or Chief Executive Officer has officially approved in writing the use of its logo, achievement and/or name and that this approval is provided to the Council at the time of the application to it for its incorporation. The award represented by the testamur remains an award of the University of New England.

Records Management*

(52) Electronic records relating to any action or decision made under these rules must be recorded in accordance with the University's Records Management Rule.

Authority and Compliance*

(53) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW), makes this University Rule.

(54) University Representatives and Students must observe it in relation to University matters.

(55) The Rule Administrator is authorised to make Policies and associated information for the operation of this University Rule. The Policies and associated information must be compatible with the provisions of this Rule.

(56) This Rule operates as and from the Effective Date.

(57) Previous General Rules and related documents are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Rule.

(58) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this University Rule, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this Rule where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of the Rule would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(59) Aegrotat award is an award of a University course awarded without classification (such as 'with Credit' or 'with First Class Honours') as a result of a Student being unable to complete their course by reason of a permanent, incapacitating illness or injury.

(60) Conferral is the act of officially bestowing an award, where a graduands academic achievement is recognised. Students are not considered to have graduated from a course until the University has officially conferred the award at a graduation ceremony, either in person, or in absentia.

(61) Effective Date is the date on which this Rule will take effect.

(62) Elite Athlete is a Student who is identified and recognised by one of the following organisations as an Elite Athlete representing Australia, or a State or Territory of Australia:

  1. Australian Institute of Sport
  2. State Institutes or Academies of Sport
  3. Australian Cricketers' Association
  4. Rugby Union Players' Association
  5. AFL Players Association
  6. Rugby Union Players' Association
  7. Rugby League Professionals' Association
  8. Australian Professional Footballers' Association
  9. alternatively, they must be a national squad member from Australian Sports Commission funded sports

(63) Emergency Service Volunteer means any Student who is registered as a member of any formally endorsed state, territory or federal emergency services or humanitarian organisation or other competent authority under a State Disaster Plan.

(64) Graduand means a Student who has completed their award and been deemed eligible to graduate.

(65) Graduate means a Graduand who has had their award conferred on them by the University Council.

(66) University Representative means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent), contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories

(67) Student means an Admitted Student or an Enrolled Student, at the relevant time.

  1. Admitted Student means a Student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study and who is entitled to enrol in a unit of study or has completed all of the units in the UNE course of study.
  2. Enrolled Student means a Student who is enrolled in a unit of study at UNE.

(68) UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW).