Program duration and maximum time (coursework programs) instruction

Instruction statement

Section 3 of the Program design procedure states that:

1. full-time and part-time normal durations of programs are set out in the Program duration and maximum time instruction, and that

2. students are required to complete all study to fulfil the requirements of their program within certain time-limits, to ensure

  • currency of knowledge for RMIT graduates and
  • that the University has the capacity to accept new students.

This instruction also sets out rules for calculating students’ maximum time to complete a program, and tables of normal durations and maximum times.

Students who cannot complete the program within the maximum time, can be classified by the Program Assessment Board as at risk, in accordance with the Assessment: academic progress (coursework programs) procedure.

Exclusions

  • Foundation Studies
  • Higher degrees by research
  • Non-award courses
  • Vocational education programs

Instruction steps and actions

1. Where students are required to study full-time as a visa condition or as a condition of enrolment in the particular program, the maximum time for completion is the normal full-time duration plus 50% of the normal full-time duration.

2. For all other students, the maximum time for completion is defined as follows.

2.1.In an undergraduate coursework program, the maximum time is the normal part-time duration plus 50% of the normal part-time duration, up to a maximum total time of 20 teaching periods or 10 years.

2.2.In a postgraduate coursework program, the maximum time is twice the normal part-time duration.

3. To calculate the time a student has been enrolled in a program (the time enrolled), the time starts on the first day of the first teaching period in which the student is enrolled in the program.

4. Teaching periods in which it is optional for the student to enrol, such as the Spring and Summer semesters in Melbourne, are not included in the calculation of the time enrolled. Where, however, the program structure requires students to enrol in those semesters, they are counted in the calculation.

5. Work experience in industry or Co-op years that are part of the approved program structure are included in both the program’s normal duration and the student’s enrolled time.

6. The following periods of time are excluded from the calculation of a student’s time enrolled:

  • periods of approved leave of absence.
  • periods of exclusion for sustained unsatisfactory academic performance, and
  • periods of suspension under the Student Conduct Regulation.

Where, however, a student fails to re-enrol, their enrolment is discontinued and they subsequently apply for readmission to the program or to a replacement program that is considered by the University to be the same program, all of the intervening time is considered to be part of the student’s time enrolled (as the University has not initiated or approved the student’s absence).

7. Where a student is transitioned to a new version of a program or a replacement program, the student’s time enrolled is still considered to have started from the first day of the first teaching period in which they were enrolled in their original program. This should be made clear to students in the letter informing them of the transition arrangements. Where a student is admitted to an unrelated program, the count of time enrolled starts from the first day of the first teaching period in which the student is enrolled in the new program.

8. Where it becomes apparent that a coursework student cannot complete the program in the maximum time, they may be classified as At Risk: see the Assessment: academic progress (coursework programs) procedure.

9. The following tables set out the normal durations and maximum times for all students in the types of program listed.

Full-time duration and maximum time (applies to students on international student visas in Australia or where full-time study is required as a condition of enrolment in the program)

Notes:

For clarity, a maximum years figure is also provided: this is the maximum time permitted where a program is delivered in two standard semesters a year.

If a program has a non-standard volume of learning because all students enter on the basis of a qualification for which they would otherwise have to receive a substantial block of credit (e.g., a 192 credit points bachelor degree or a 96 credit points masters degree), then the maximum time for completion is calculated as described in section 2 above.

Type of program

Normal duration (in teaching periods

Maximum time (in teaching periods)

Maximum time (in years – see note above)

Higher education diploma (96 credit points)

2

3

1.5

Associate degree

4

6

3

Three year bachelor degree

6

9

4.5

Four year bachelor degree (includes double degrees, bachelor honours degrees)

8

12

6

Five year double degrees

10

15

7.5

One year bachelor honours degree

2

3

1.5

Graduate certificate

1

2

1

Graduate diploma

2

3

1.5

Masters by coursework

4

6

3

Part-time duration and maximum time (applies to students who are not on international student visas in Australia or where full-time study is not required as a condition of enrolment in the program)

Notes:

For clarity, a maximum years figure is also provided: this is the maximum time permitted where a program is delivered in two standard semesters a year.

If a program has a non-standard volume of learning because all students enter on the basis of a qualification for which they would otherwise have to receive a substantial block of credit (e.g., a 192 credit points bachelor degree or a 96 credit points masters degree), then the maximum time for completion is calculated as described in section 2 above.

Type of program

Normal duration (in teaching periods

Maximum time (in teaching periods)

Maximum time (in years – see note above)

Higher education diploma (96 credit points)

4

6

3

Associate degree

8

12

6

Three year bachelor degree

12

18

9

Four year bachelor degree (includes double degrees, bachelor honours degrees)

16

24

12

Five year double degrees

20

30

15

One year bachelor honours degree

4

6

3

Graduate certificate

2

4

2

Graduate diploma

4

8

4

Masters by coursework

8

16

8

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