General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates

These General Regulations are to be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University and the Qualification Regulations specific to each Postgraduate Degree, Diploma and Certificate offered by the University.

Admission

1. Admission to a Postgraduate certificate, Postgraduate diploma, 120-credit Bachelor (Honours) or a Master's degree requires that the student will:

(a) have made formal application for admission to postgraduate study for the specified programme; and

(b) (i) have qualified for the award of a relevant Bachelor's degree with a grade average that demonstrates an adequate level of preparation for the postgraduate programme; or

(ii) have an approved academic qualification of similar standing to the relevant Bachelor's degree; or

(iii) have been granted admission with equivalent status as entitled to proceed to the specified Postgraduate degree, diploma or certificate; and

where appropriate to a specific qualification:

(c) (i) provide evidence of practical/professional experience of an acceptable standard in an area(s) relevant to the qualification; or

(ii) on the request of the Academic Board, carry out such work and satisfy such assessments as the Board may determine to be necessary for admission.

Academic Requirements

2. (a) A postgraduate qualification will consist of a number of credits accumulated from taught courses and/or research courses, at 700-level or above, as specified in the Qualification Regulations.

(b) For the award of the degree, diploma or certificate a pass is required in each course in the qualification. A student may re-enrol and be re-examined only once in a failed course.

Research Reports and Theses

3. (a) A research report will consist of a minimum of 30 credits; a thesis will consist of a minimum of 90 credits.

(b) The research component of postgraduate programmes will be 0, 30, 45, 60, 90 or 120 credits with the proviso that the Bachelor (Honours) degree will have a minimum research component of 30 credits and those Master's degrees that require a research component will have a minimum of 45 credits of research.

(c) Postgraduate diplomas and certificates may have a research component of zero credits and consist entirely of taught courses.

(d) For thesis courses that are offered for enrolment as Part One and Part Two, candidates are required to precede their enrolment in Part Two with enrolment in Part One.

Student Progression

4. (a) Students will have completed their 700-level course requirements prior to enrolling in the thesis course.

(b) (i) 120-credit Bachelor (Honours) degrees will be awarded as First Class Honours, Second Class Honours Division I, Second Class Honours Division II or Third Class Honours. Bachelor (Honours) degrees must be completed within one year of first enrolling in full-time study or within three years of first enrolling in part-time study.

(ii) Postgraduate diplomas and 120-credit Master's degrees will carry the award of Distinction if completed at a superior standard (equivalent to First Class Honours), or Merit (equivalent to Second Class Honours, Division One) within one year of first enrolling in full-time study or within three years of first enrolling in part-time study.

(iii) 180-credit Master's degrees will carry the award of Distinction if completed at a superior standard (equivalent to First Class Honours), or Merit (equivalent to Second Class Honours, Division One) within eighteen months of first enrolling in full-time study or within four years of first enrolling in part-time study.

(iv) 240-credit Master's degrees will be awarded with First Class Honours, Second Class Honours Division I, Second Class Honours Division II or a pass. To qualify for the award of honours, 240-credit Master's degrees must be completed within two years of first enrolling for full-time study or within five years of first enrolling for part-time study.

(v) These periods may, in special circumstances, be amended/extended by the Academic Board. The Academic Board may also in special circumstances permit students to suspend their programme of studies for an approved period.

Specialisations

5. Qualifications for which specialisations, such as endorsements or subjects, are listed may have these specified as specialisations at the time of programme approval. The degree, diploma, or certificate completed by the student will state the specialisation.

Maximum Time to Completion

6. Unless otherwise specified in the Qualification Regulations there will be time limits for completion as follows:

(a) 60-credit Postgraduate Certificates must be completed within a maximum of two years.

(b) 120-credit Postgraduate Diplomas must be completed within a maximum of four years.

(c) 120-credit Masterates must be completed within a maximum of four years.

(d) 180-credit Masterates must be completed within a maximum of five years.

(e) 240-credit Masterates must be completed within a maximum of six years.

(f) 120-credit Bachelor (Honours) must be completed within one year of first enrolling for full-time study or within three years of first enrolling for part-time study.

Where credit has been transferred in accordance with Recognition of Prior Learning Regulation 2(c), the above time limits may be pro-rated when calculating maximum time limits for completion.

Time limits may be waived, at the discretion of the University, where a student exits with a qualification of lesser credit.

7. Students who have been inactive for a period of three consecutive years will be deemed to have abandoned their qualification. Abandonment releases the University from its obligation to ensure a qualification can be completed. Students may be permitted to re-enrol in a subsequent current qualification should they meet the entry requirements; credits previously achieved will be assessed and applied in accordance with current regulations.

Variations and Personal Programme Approvals

8. The Academic Board may, in such cases as it thinks fit, approve a personal programme of study which does not conform with the General Regulations or the Regulations for that degree, diploma or certificate while still conforming to the academic standards of the qualification.

The following rules will apply:

(a) There must be a compelling academic case to merit the variation, or;

(b) There must be evidence of exceptional circumstances and/or hardship to the student.

(c) Variations will receive appropriate academic authorisation under delegation from Academic Board and be formally documented.

(d) The variation will be recorded on the student's academic record.

(e) Personal programme approvals will not permit a reduction in the total amount of credit required to complete a qualification.

(f) The extent of variation cannot jeopardise the integrity of the qualification. To this end there will be a limit on the extent to which a qualification can be varied. The maximum amount of credit variation is as follows:

120 credit qualification 30 credits
180 credit qualification 30 credits
240 credit qualification 30 credits

(g) Variations will not be permitted in 60-credit qualifications.

(h) Except where the special circumstances apply to a cohort of students (for example when transitioning students as a result of programme closure or course unavailability) variations will only be considered on a case-by-case basis and will not set a precedent.

Transitional Provisions

9. The University reserves the right to introduce such changes as it may judge to be necessary or desirable, including the addition, restructuring or withdrawal of qualifications, regulations and/or courses. Reasonable provisions will be made to enable students to complete any qualification which is discontinued or has its structure substantially altered, but such provision will not extend beyond the permitted time for completion.

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