Past Handbooks (2000 to 2009) - JCU



This Handbook provides information on the University’s courses and subjects that students need prior to enrolling and during their studies.

Other policies, procedures and rules of relevance to students are published at the following web address:

Published Information Subject to Change

The information contained in this publication was correct as of 28 November 2008 but is subject to change. The University reserves the right to amend or modify without notice the content of the Handbook and the University’s web pages. The University will endeavour 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 subjects40 20
Second year subjects20 10
Third and fourth year subjects (excluding Honours subjects)105

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.

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. The University is under no obligation to replace classes which would have fallen on a day that is a public holiday or is otherwise lost by circumstances beyond the University’s control. However, where classes are scheduled to be held on a day that is lost, faculties and schools may make alternative teaching or study arrangements if they believe that achievement of student learning outcomes will be adversely affected.

For Further Information

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


The following information details the basic principles according to which the University’s Awards are structured. It is important that students also read the Requirements for Undergraduate Coursework Awards, Faculty Award Requirements and the Award Requirements for the course in which they are enrolled, to ensure familiarity with the conditions of the degree regulations.


The University’s subject structure is based on multiples of 3 credit point subjects.

Most subjects have a credit point value of 3. However, some subjects - generally at honours or postgraduate level - may have a higher credit point value such as 6, 9 or 12.


2.1 A three-year degree normally requires 72 credit points based on eight subjects of three credit points at each of levels 1, 2 and 3. A four-year degree normally requires 96 credit points. The minimum duration and required number of credit points for each level of Award offered by the University is shown below.
Certificate 6 months part-time6 credit points
Advanced Diploma and Diploma2 years 48 credit points
Undergraduate Degree 3 years 72 credit points
Undergraduate Degree 4 years 96 credit points
Honours Degree final year 1 year 24 credit points
Graduate or Postgraduate Certificate6 months12 credit points
Graduate or Postgraduate Diploma1 year24 credit points
Masters Degree by Coursework18 months or 2 years36 credit points or  48 credit points
Masters Degree by Research18 months 36 credit points equiv.
Doctor of Philosophy 3 years
Professional Doctorate3 years

2.1 Faculties may allow students, with the approval of the appropriate officer, to graduate where the student is within one or two credit points of completing the prescribed requirements for the Award, including joint degrees.

2.2 The normal enrolment for a full-time student is 24 credit points in an academic year, or 12 credit points in each teaching period. Thus, a three credit point subject should be planned to require a quarter of a full-time student’s available time and effort in a teaching period. Further information on full- and part-time status is given at section 7, below.

2.3 The maximum enrolment normally permitted is 18 credit points per teaching period.


3.1 Subjects may not have different credit points for the same content at the same level.

3.2 Subjects that have substantial overlap in content are listed as inadmissible combinations.

3.3 LEVEL 1

3.3 The first year of an undergraduate degree normally requires the equivalent of eight 3 credit point subjects at level 1.

3.4 LEVEL 2, 3 OR 4

3.4 The second, third and fourth years of the degree normally require the equivalent of eight 3 credit point subjects, but may include subjects with a higher credit point value at levels 3 and 4. Honours and professional subjects can be any size in multiples of three credit points up to 24 credit points.


3.5 Postgraduate subjects are normally three or six credit points.


4.1 Degrees should be designed with the expectation that the average student undertaking 24 credit points in a year can reasonably expect that the workload including contact and non-contact hours will be between 40 and 48 hours per week.

4.2 At the undergraduate level, each 3 credit point subject requires up to the equivalent of six hours of contact time per week for thirteen weeks. The maximum contact for a 24 credit point year should be 24 hours per week. Fieldwork and practicums can be conducted outside the designated teaching weeks.


5.1 Definitions

  • 5.1.1 A prerequisite is a subject or subjects or a set of conditions which must be met before enrolment in a subject is approved.

  • 5.1.2 If there is significant overlap in content for two or more subjects, they may be defined as anti-requisites for each other. Students will not be able to enrol in, or gain credit for, any subject that is an anti-requisite for one of their existing subjects.

  • 5.1.3 Co-requisites are two or more subjects that must be undertaken in the same Study Period.

5.2 Prerequisite subjects should be kept to a minimum and used only where sequential learning is involved. Prerequisite subjects may be implied in program structures.


6. The University has adopted the terms course, major and minor as the terminology used to describe the content of its Awards (refer to policies of relevance to students page at the following web address:



7.1 A full-time student normally enrols for 12 credit points in each teaching period and 24 credit points in each academic year. It is important to note that a student must be enrolled in at least nine credit points in a teaching period to be regarded as full-time; those whose enrolment drops below nine credit points at any stage in the teaching period normally will no longer be eligible for Centrelink purposes, for Commonwealth Learning Scholarship requirements, for full-time Student ID card or, if an overseas student, for a student visa.


7.2 A part-time student normally enrols for fewer than nine credit points in a teaching period and fewer than 18 credit points in an academic year. Part-time study in most courses is available, but classes during the evening can be offered in only a limited number of subjects. Students who foresee difficulty in attending classes during the day should therefore take note of published lecture times in planning their enrolment.

7.2 A part-time student is normally permitted to enrol in a workload that suits the student’s requirements provided that any specifications within degree requirements concerning minimum enrolment and/or maximum period of candidature are complied with.


7.3 Without approval from the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor, students are not permitted to undertake more than:

  • the normal full-time study load of 24 credit points in a year; or

  • the number of credit points required to complete their course.

7.3 Commonwealth supported students taking subjects in excess of course requirements will not receive Commonwealth support for these subjects; instead they will be required to pay tuition fees for any subjects beyond course requirements.