Program and course design policy


To ensure the quality and relevance of RMIT University programs and courses by providing a single University-wide policy for their design.


  • Higher degree by research programs and courses
  • RMIT accredited coursework programs and courses
  • Nationally recognised training package qualifications and accredited courses
  • Customised delivery of education for enterprises


  • VCE and VCAL programs
  • Short courses and non-award courses


To state the principles that form the basis of the University’s approach to the design of programs and courses.

Policy provisions


1. Programs and courses provide students with an inclusive, engaging, coherent experience which achieves the relevant learning outcomes and graduate attributes.

This principle is achieved when:

1.1. programs and the courses required for programs are designed to enable students to achieve program learning outcomes and graduate attributes (see the RMIT Graduate Attributes)

1.2. learning activities are designed to allow students to draw on their previous education or life experiences

1.3. programs and courses include a range of content that engages students from diverse backgrounds

1.4. programs and courses are developed and reviewed in consultation with the relevant industry, profession and professional bodies

1.5. programs comply with the qualification specifications of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and with the qualifications framework and regulations of any other country in which programs are offered

1.6. programs and courses comply with relevant Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) standards and the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations

1.7. program and course design takes stakeholder feedback and data from quality assurance systems into account

1.8. associate degree and bachelor degree programs (other than one year bachelor honours programs) provide students with opportunities to include open electives

1.9. RMIT accredited coursework programs at AQF levels 6 to 9 provide students with:

    1.9.1. a global experience through the opportunity to undertake exchanges, study tours, intensive courses at transnational campuses or partner programs, and

    1.9.2. a capstone experience to integrate the learning outcomes of the program.

2. Programs and courses are designed to facilitate coherent pathways for students.

This principle is achieved when:

2.1. design of programs takes into account the need of entrants for discipline and employment-related literacies, numeracy and information literacy

2.2. programs provide articulation opportunities and pathways to other programs, both at the same level and at higher levels

2.3. where one program is a pathway to another, both programs are designed to ensure the students make a successful transition between the programs

2.4. double degrees are designed so that students can achieve the learning outcomes for each component of the double degree within a reduced total volume of learning;

2.5. disciplines include at least one coursework program that can serve as a pathway to related research programs.

3. Programs are designed to enable positive employment prospects for students.

This principle is achieved when programs:

3.1. are delivered in English, except where an exception is approved, and facilitate the development of appropriate communication skills

3.2. provide students in coursework programs with a Work Integrated Learning experience (if they are at AQF levels 3 to 9)

3.3. are consistent with industry and/or professional standards and are endorsed or accredited by the relevant professional association

3.4. integrate career development learning to build explicit links between the program, RMIT graduate attributes and graduate employability.

4. Programs are designed to support institutional priorities.

This principle is achieved when programs:

4.1. are aligned to priorities identified in university strategy

4.2. are designed to support efficiency of delivery and administration.

Overview of supporting procedures

To ensure that these principles are achieved, the following procedures are provided in support of this policy.

5. Program design procedure

The Program design procedure sets out the requirements for design of programs, including:

  • use of stakeholder feedback and quality assurance data in program design
  • language of instruction
  • program volume of learning, duration and maximum time
  • inherent requirements
  • program structure
  • majors and minors
  • transition
  • global mobility
  • university undergraduate electives
  • capstone experience
  • career development
  • benchmarking of coursework programs
  • research pathways
  • bachelor honours
  • masters by coursework
  • work integrated learning
  • intermediate awards
  • RMIT versions of nationally recognised VET training package qualifications and accredited courses
  • associate degrees
  • double degrees
  • dual awards
  • joint awards
  • partnered coursework awards
  • program guides
  • program configuration
  • award titles
  • award level and grade point average.

6. Course design procedure

The Course design procedure sets out the requirements for design of courses, including:

  • key definitions
  • use of stakeholder feedback and quality assurance data in course design
  • standard course sizes and systems for defining volume of learning
  • course guides
  • assessment in course guides
  • requirement of early assessment task with prompt feedback in introductory courses (coursework programs)
  • course requisites
  • different locations, delivery modes and courses involving travel.

7. Work integrated learning procedure

The Work integrated learning procedure sets out the processes to be followed by schools and colleges in delivering WIL activities.

[Next: Supporting documents and information]