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Welcome to James Cook University. This Handbook is an important reference guide to the administrative and academic services provided by the University. Please take time to go through it carefully as it contains not only details of all the essential procedures and information necessary for undergraduate and postgraduate enrolment but also information on how to make the most of JCU’s services and facilities.

As a dynamic university in a unique region of Australia, JCU has a great deal to offer students embarking on or continuing a tertiary education. It has developed a well deserved national and international reputation for its teaching and research programs, while taking a leading role in the social and cultural life of the northern Queensland community.

To assist you as much as possible during your studies the University offers a comprehensive range of student services, including counselling, guidance for overseas students, assistance for people with disabilities, financial assistance and career advice. Contact details for these services can be found in this Handbook.

Currently there are more than 1100 staff working at the Douglas Campus and Vincent Centre in Townsville and the Cairns Campus to serve the needs of more than 12,000 students.

The University’s outstanding growth in recent years has opened the way for a diverse range of new courses previously unavailable in Australian regional centres such as Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Mount Isa. In addition the University’s research opportunities have been enhanced through involvement in eight of the nation’s Cooperative Research Centres.

What you make of the opportunities presented to you in the coming years is very much in your hands but there is no doubt a university education will give you distinct advantages and open up many career possibilities which you may not previously have even imagined.

Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge to tackle a wide range of challenges that you may face as you pursue your chosen profession. I invite you to make the most of the outstanding facilities and resources available to you at James Cook University and I wish you every success during 2003.

Professor Bernard Moulden, Vice-Chancellor and President


This Handbook provides information on the University’s policies, procedures, rules, course requirements and subject details that students need prior to enrolling and during their studies.

Published Information Subject to Change

The information contained in this publication was correct as of 11 October 2002 but is subject to change. The University reserves the right to amend or modify without notice the content of the Handbook. The University will attempt to inform students of changes which may affect their enrolment.

Cancellation of or Variation in Requirements of Subject(s)

The University reserves the right to not offer subjects which do not meet indicative minimum enrolment numbers. These enrolment numbers are:
    Townsville Cairns
First year subjects 40 20
Second year subjects 20 10
Third and fourth year subjects (excluding Honours subjects) 10 5

Subjects are offered on condition that staff and resources are available. The University reserves the right to cancel or vary the requirements of a subject at any time if for reasons beyond its control (including withdrawal of funding) in the reasonable opinion of the University the staff and resources available for the subject fall below the level required for the proper delivery and teaching of the subject. The University will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the cancellation, or variation to the requirements, of any subject will not impede the progress of students towards the completion of their course.

Restrictions on Enrolment in Subjects

The University may restrict enrolments in subjects where numbers are in excess of those that a School can teach efficiently or for which it can provide adequate physical resources. Where a subject is oversubscribed, students adversely affected should consult their Associate Dean, Faculty Registrar or Academic Adviser.

Maximum Tuition Contact Hours

The hours of tuition for any subject may be modified or combined but in total will not exceed the hours published in this Handbook. Unless otherwise advised, classes should commence on the hour and finish at or before ten (10) minutes to the hour. For students studying on campus, the published Lecture Timetable must be consulted for the days and times when lectures, tutorials, workshops etc. are scheduled.

Standardisation of Undergraduate Subject Unit Values

Students enrolled in undergraduate courses should note that the University is moving to a system based on multiples of 3-units, a process expected to be completed by the commencement of the 2004 academic year. The total minimum unit requirements for each award will not change. There will be no adverse impact on a student’s ability to graduate. The University will make every reasonable effort to ensure that students are not financially disadvantaged during the conversion process.

For Further Information

Students are encouraged to contact the University through the school or faculty offices or Student Administration for further information if required.

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