In developing this procedure the University had regard to the provisions of section 40B(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
New Course Development Procedure
1.1. This document sets out the University's procedures regarding the new course development process.
2.1. These procedures apply to all new University of Canberra courses, irrespective of delivery location and mode.
The Course Development process has two stages:
Stage One: Market Viability and Concept Development
Stage Two: Course Proposal
The procedure described in this document must be used for all new course proposals: new courses delivered through, or in conjunction with, third party providers, internally at UC, and in proposing an existing University of Canberra course to be extended to a partner (whether onshore or offshore), or for courses to be offered in a different mode (face-to-face, online, distance, flexible, intensive etc.).
The Course Manager will provide updates to each University Education Committee meeting on the progress of any new course proposals.
Stage One – Market Viability and Concept Development
Upon receiving a proposal, the Course Manager will convene a concept development workshop for the Course Development Group and relevant faculty staff.
The Faculty or Proponent will send as much information as possible to AQD on the Rationale form who will circulate prior to the workshop, to assist attendees in working with the Proponent to develop the new course and inform discussion on the day.
If the Proponent has a proposed start date for the course, this must be included with the Rationale to inform timescales for the concept and course development.
The course development workshop will involve the following:
Academic Quality and Development;
the Learning and Teaching Centre;
Marketing (and International Marketing where appropriate); and
other areas of the course development group as necessary.
The workshop process will support the faculty in identifying markets for the course, appropriate course structures and learning approaches, and resource implications, opportunities and synergies for other areas of the University.
In the course development workshop, the points below should be discussed, where appropriate to the new course.
The business units included in the Course Development Group have a role in providing advice to the Proponent/Faculty.
Delivery Methods and Course Design – Developed in collaboration with the TLC
The Proponent must consider the content, delivery and approach of the proposed course.
Among other innovative delivery models appropriate to the target market, the Proponent must evaluate the appropriateness of online, intensive or conventional course models.
Advice on work-integrated learning should be included in the fundamental aspects of course design.
As appropriate, the proposed duration, intensity and flexibility of the new course must comply with AQF requirements and market influences as appropriate.
Proponents are expected to research what major competitors are doing in similar discipline areas in terms of delivery models.
The proposed education delivery model must be sustainable.
Policy Compliance – Role of AQD
Where a new course is proposed, Proponents must ensure that all relevant UC policies are followed, and policy exceptions sought from Academic Board where necessary.
Where a new course is proposed that aims to open offerings to international students, AQD will manage the process of applying for a CRICOS code for the course.
Proponents must take account of external standards and requirements, including relevant external stakeholders and advice from relevant Course Advisory Group members.
Proponents may explicitly state if approval and implementation needs to be provided within a defined timescale, AQD will facilitate the process to work towards the proposed start date.
Role of International Marketing and Recruitment
Where a new course is proposed which aims to recruit international students, international demand should be considered via Australian Education International (AEI) data, and Hobson’s data.
Where other higher education institutions offer a similar course, the proposal should include information from such courses regarding student numbers, delivery mode and design, as well as any other useful information which provides points of differentiation from competitors’ courses.
When developing a new course, Proponents should have consideration for:
feedback from international education agents;
the target market;
the potential size and demand from the international market.
method of delivery;
specific admissions requirement for this course, if applicable; and
the proposed cost of the course.
When developing a new course, Proponents should provide information to International Marketing regarding:
key selling points;
any internship opportunities;
national and/or international professional/peak body accreditation;
academic and non-academic career pathways available; and
Marketing – Development in collaboration with Marketing
When submitting a new course for review, Proponents must consider the following for the proposed course:
If the new course can be developed for cross-faculty/disciplinary learning.
If the new course is accredited by a nationally or internationally recognised industry body; and
The potential demand from the market.
The potential size of the market.
A competitive analysis (using desk research):
What competitors are offering?
How the course is being offered?
To whom is the course being offered?
Who is offering it?
The competitor’s unique selling points?
How the new course differs from the competitors?
Review if a similar course has been tried before and its success.
Industry feedback for the proposed course.
Method of delivery? Does the method suit the target market?
The unique selling points.
The target market.
Strategy, Planning and Performance
Proponents should use internal enrolment data to inform the new course proposal. Some data sources include Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC); and Australian Education International (AEI). Existing satisfaction data from similar courses
Stage Two – Course Proposal
The relevant faculty will assess the outcomes of, and responses to, the course development workshop, before the new course proposal is submitted to the relevant faculty’s board for endorsement. Upon receiving such endorsement, the second stage of the process begins which works towards presenting a completed proposal for committee approval. New Course Proposal Form.
Process and Timescale
This stage must only be completed once the Concept Development and Market Viability stage is completed. This is necessary to provide appropriate information gathering for the development and viability of a new course and to ensure quality in new course development to strengthen the UC brand in developing and initiating successful and innovative courses.
Failure to gather required information and work with AQD, Marketing and TLC may result in omissions in the proposal that will delay the new course proposal being submitted to the committee structure.
The process of how information is adequately gathered and prepared for the proposal is owned by the faculties. This process may be conducted by any method that the faculty prefers.
Faculties should consider the timescales for new course proposals. The start date and mode in which the course is being delivered are major considerations. Proponents should discuss their faculty’s proposal review processes with the appropriate person(s) to ensure the proposal timescale is understood.
Proponents may present questions to a professional organisation to determine what type of support the professional organisation can provide. By working together and gathering this information, the relevant information is collated to complete the New Course Proposal form to submit to committee.
To provide the highest standards of support for the new course and provide the Proponent with the information requested, professional staff must understand the full needs of the course and prospective students.
Once consultations have begun, faculties can expect to have requested information and input from the Course Development Group within the agreed timescales (unless it is a distinct course that may require policy change, specialised equipment, technologies, systems or educational resources, or extensive market research which may necessitate extended time to complete).
Irrespective of method and frequency, it is imperative that each area is consulted during this stage to gather all necessary information for development of the new course.
Course Development Group
Academic Quality and Development (AQD) – Course Manager and Manager of AQ
Domestic Marketing – Director of Advancement, Marketing and Communications
Finance – Project Analysis and Costing Manager
Information Technology Management (ITM) – Deputy Director, Operational Management
Library – Faculty Liaison Librarian
International Recruitment – International Director or Deputy Director of International
Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) – Manager, Innovation, Curriculum and Business Development
Proponents’ responses to each Course Development Group unit's questions will also allow Proponents, and their respective business units, to determine what level of service is required for the new course and whether there is a need for any additional service or systems to be implemented or considered within existing working structures.
The aim of gathering the information is to ensure that upon approval and accreditation of the new course, the relevant areas are already aware and prepared for the opening of the course and may have had a chance to put things into practice in anticipation of approval. The points below are a guide for faculties and business units to work together to find a solution, and are an indication of what discussion would normally be undertaken in the development of a new course, new mode or new provider.
Industry Representatives and External Parties
Where there is an industry need for the qualifications and training that the new course will provide, Proponents may wish to approach the public service or private industry to create a partnership program development.
Input from external persons/bodies is a requirement of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021. Evidence of such external consultation/review and input is a mandatory requirement for courses (Higher Education Standards Framework, Threshold Standard 6.1). This is an inherent part of University quality assurance processes for the development of new courses.
Information and Technology Management
In consultation with ITM, the following must be considered:
Where the new course uses, or significantly relies upon the use of, information and telecommunication technology, Proponents should provide information in the new course proposal form that outlines how the new course will:
adopt, promote or hinge on any novel technologies, systems or information telecommunication solutions not currently in existence at the University; and
significantly impact existing University technologies, systems or information telecommunication solutions to the extent of requiring a revision of (for example, by adding to or modifying) capacity or capabilities.
Proponents must provide a full scope and costing of implementing any changes (including ongoing support) as programmed and quantified as a project or agreed-to body of work with ITM.
Strategy, Planning and Performance
In consultation with Strategy Planning and Performance, a Proponent’s Proposal must include:
Proponents’ proposals outline the types of students that will be admitted to the new course, such as Commonwealth Supported, Domestic Fee Paying, International, and others.
Geographic delivery location(s) of the new course must be provided in the Proposal.
Proponents must outline any requirements for the new course.
Proponents should discuss any particular issues related to University policies, such as Admissions, Credit, Assessment, etc., with Student Connect.
Academic Quality and Development
In consultation with the AQD a new course Proposal must provide information to indicate:
appropriate consideration of entry and exit pathways, including articulation from other studies and to further studies ;
an overall coherence of the course;
compliance with the proposed AQF level and qualification type;
UC generic skills;
graduate learning outcomes, clearly identified and mapped to the course (and proposed unit structure – with attached map);
the proposed assessment moderation process as required under UC policy (please attach process);
how has the proposed course specifically addresses English language proficiency;
if the course has multiple delivery locations, how the course of study designed to ensure equivalent student learning outcomes regardless of a student’s place or mode of study; and
where Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is included within the proposed course, measures to support these activities and placement partner organisations should be detailed in the Proposal.
In consultation with the UC Library, a Proponent’s Proposal must indicate:
the location of students during the course (for purposes of identifying delivery mode for library services);
proposed student numbers;
any anticipated special requirements for development and support of research skills/information literacy (beyond the existing programs and online tools offered by Library staff);
how the new course interacts with other courses in the same discipline (award level, subject coverage), identifying the extent to which existing information resources may be adequate or may need to be supplemented (which would require additional start-up and/or recurrent funding);
how, if the proposed course is in a new subject area/discipline within the academic program, the initial and recurrent cost of information resources is to be managed; and
if postgraduate, the extent to which students will be expected to undertake research.
While other consultations may indirectly involve financial details, Proponents should seek financial advice regarding development costs, irrespective of funding source. Furthermore, in consultation with Finance, proposals will include costing details for:
library costs, as agreed with the Library staff/University Librarian;
additional permanent or sessional staff who may need to be engaged (included in the financial viability template);
the costs of any specific IT requirements additional to those usually provided, as agreed with Information and Technology Management staff;
setting the student load with some direction from Student Connect, as well as Advancement, Marketing and Communications; and
the full-time equivalent (FTE) numbers for staff time to deliver courses, taking account of the current workload of existing staff.
Proponents should discuss and obtain agreement from International and Advancement, Marketing and Communications to:
establish the fee level for fee-paying students (domestic and international);
determine staff time for consultation meetings; and
agree on marketing costs with International and Advancement, Marketing and Communications business unit staff.
The Faculty, working with Finance, will also need to complete the Finance Viability Template which gives detailed information on the outcome of the initial research and consultations, and provides statistical support for the proposal form, helping those involved to give an informed decision on supporting a new course; this needs to be submitted with the New Course Proposal form.
After consultations have been completed, the information should be presented in the New Course Proposal form. The New Course Proposal should be reviewed and endorsed by the relevant faculty board(s), or in the cases where this is not possible due to the timeframe, by the relevant faculty dean(s).
The New Course Proposal form is submitted to AQD to review, before forwarding for submission to the International and Third Party Providers (ITPP) Committee, and/or University Education Committee (UEC). AQD confirms all required information is present and supports the Proponent in submitting the documentation and proposal through the committee structure.
Where the new course is to be delivered at a partner institution, the proposal be presented to the ITPP Committee initially, and then to UEC and finally Academic Board.
For Masters by Research courses, the proposal will be submitted to the University Research Committee, followed by Academic Board.
All other proposals will be presented to UEC, directly followed by Academic Board.
Where a faculty seeks to start a new course in the following year, Proponents must ensure that they work backwards from Committee dates, and present their new course proposal at the appropriate UEC meeting to be effective in implementing the course within desired time scales. It is the responsibility of the Proponent to assess these timescales.
The ownership of this process and of the overall decision to promote a new course, through submission to a committee, rests with the Proponent or faculty on behalf of a Proponent.
Although Proponents can opt against advice given by the Course Development Group, the new course will be examined through the Committee approval structure.
Once the new course Proposal has been submitted the faculty/Proponent will be kept updated on its progress through the committee, and will be informed via the Course Manager (AQD)/Secretary of the Committee of any problems or issues that were highlighted by the committee.
Should problems or issues arise, the proposal will be returned to the faculty for comment/amendment, and cannot be resubmitted until the highlighted issues/omissions are resolved.
Once the new course has been approved by Academic Board, the faculty can begin implementing the new course with the relevant parties and should initiate a Course Advisory Group.
Responsibilities for new course development, review and approval are as follows:
Monitor existing courses and consider new courses and course components to ensure they are aligned with the strategic aims of the Faculty, and make recommendations to the UEC.
Faculty Board Terms of Reference
Academic Quality and Development
Assess the compliance of the new course with UC policy and legislation.
Assess the compliance of the new course with AQF, TEQSA and other requirements.
Facilitating the overall approval process.
New Course Development Policy and Procedure
University Education Committee
Make recommendations to Academic Board on policies and procedures relating to the development and delivery of new courses and course components.
Monitor the integrity and coherence of the academic program.
Assess the quality of new courses and course components and recommend the accreditation and reaccreditation of courses to Academic Board.
Monitor and assure the quality of units and courses delivered through Third Party Provider and transnational education arrangements, and academic programs delivered by the University of Canberra College.
University Education Committee Terms of Reference
Accredit courses under delegated authority from Council.
Approve new courses, changes to academic requirements through Determination of Course Particulars (DCPs) of existing courses, majors and minors, and units.
Council Resolution No. C32/3 of 25 May 1994 UC Courses and Awards (Courses of Study) Rules Rule 6 Course Reaccreditation Policy