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Award Eligibility and Graduation Policy

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To establish the requirements for Award eligibility and conferral.

2 Scope

This policy applies to all Students enrolled in an Award Program.

This policy does not apply to Honorary Awards. Please refer to the Honorary Award and Title Policy for information on Honorary Awards.

3 Policy Statement

The University grants Awards on the basis of merit to Students who have satisfied the requirements of the Award program in which they are enrolled.

To be eligible for an Award a Student normally should have satisfactory academic standing for the Award Program in which they are enrolled. The Executive Dean of a faculty, having due regard for information concerning each particular Student's situation, may recommend to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor that a Student who does not have satisfactory academic standing be permitted to graduate from a program of that faculty.

Once a Student has satisfied the requirements for the Award Program in which they are enrolled, the Student will become a Graduand of the University.

Awards and medals are conferred by the University at a graduation ceremony.

4 Principles

The following principles and requirements apply for all Award Programs:

  1. Students must satisfy all the requirements for the Award within the maximum time allowable as specified in the program accreditation documents and the University Handbook.
  2. Students who have had a break in their study that requires them to apply for readmission must, if readmitted, resume study under the Award Program requirements which are in place at the time they are readmitted.
  3. In exceptional circumstances, the Executive Dean of the Faculty offering the program, or the Director (Research Training and Development) in the case of Research Higher Degree programs, may extend the time to complete the Award Program beyond that specified in the program accreditation documents.
  4. A Student who has been admitted to and partially completed an Award Program and who has completed all the requirements of a second Award Program, may, subject to any specific Faculty or program restrictions, transfer and graduate from the second Award Program without undertaking any further study.
  5. Any Student who has a debt of any type to the University will not be permitted to graduate.

5 Award Eligibility specific criteria

To be eligible for an Award of the University, a Student must have satisfied the requirements for the Award Program in which they are enrolled. Specific criteria for Award eligibility is set out as per the Award Eligibility Specific Criteria Schedule.

6 Medals and Awards with Distinction

The University recognises outstanding academic achievement by conferring University Medals, Faculty Medals, Awards with Distinction and Awards for Excellence upon graduating Students. Specific eligibility criteria for Medals and Awards with Distinction are set out as per the Medals and Awards with Distinction Schedule.

7 Posthumous Awards

The University may recognise the achievements of a Student who has died after the completion of the requirements for an Award, and is yet to graduate from the University, by posthumously conferring the Award.

The University may also recognise a Student who has died whilst in the final stages of his or her program of study by posthumously conferring the Award in which they were enrolled or a lesser/embedded Award. If the Student is not eligible to receive a lesser/embedded Award, then the Student may be posthumously awarded a Certificate of Achievement by the University.

Upon the recommendation of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor will recommend the appropriate course of action to the Chancellor for approval on behalf of Council. All Posthumous Awards approved will be reported by the Chancellor at a subsequent meeting of Council.

8 Graduation

All Awards will be conferred by Council at a University graduation ceremony.

The University holds a number of graduation ceremonies throughout the year. By the end of February, July and December in each calendar year, the Executive Dean of the Faculty will confirm those Students who have completed the requirements to graduate.

Students who have been confirmed as having completed the requirements of an Award Program and who wish to attend a graduation ceremony must submit their request to attend the prescribed date.

At graduation ceremonies Graduands, processing academic staff and members of the University Council must wear academic dress as per the Academic Dress Schedule.

The University may limit the number of people who accompany a Graduand to a graduation ceremony.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Communities) is responsible for graduation ceremonies and all communication with Students in relation to graduation ceremonies.

Graduands unable to attend a graduation ceremony shall have their Award conferred by Council 'in absentia'.

Graduates will be presented with a Testamur at the graduation ceremony. Graduates who have their Award conferred 'in absentia' will receive their Testamur after the relevant graduation ceremony.

Upon conferral of an Award, the Student will become a Graduate of the University and will become eligible to join the University's Alumni Network.

9 Students with debts to the University

Any Student with debts of any type to the University will not be permitted to graduate until the debt is cleared. It is the responsibility of the Student to clear any debts to the University before the cut-off date to graduate for the relevant graduation ceremony.

A Testamur will not be issued to any Student with a debt to the University.

10 Revocation of Award

The University Council reserves the right to revoke an Award that has been conferred on the basis that the individual:

  • did not complete the necessary requirements for the Award; or
  • achieved conferral through Academic Misconduct, fraudulent or dishonest means.

Upon revocation of the Award by the University Council, the individual is advised in writing that they are no longer permitted to cite or imply that they are a recipient of the Award and a noting including the date the Award was revoked is placed on the individual's academic record.

11 Replacement Testamur

In certain circumstances, the University may replace a Graduate's Testamur.

Applications to replace a Testamur shall be made to the Graduations Office.

The University will normally only replace a Testamur in the following circumstances:

  • A change of name is required on the Testamur.
  • The original Testamur is damaged.
  • The original Testamur was issued by the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (DDIAE) or the University College of Southern Queensland (UCSQ) and the Graduate wishes the Testamur to be re-issued by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).
  • The original Testamur is lost.

Fees may be charged by the University for a replacement Testamur.

12 References


13 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

14 Policy Information

Subordinate Schedules

Academic Dress Schedule

Award Eligibility Specific Criteria Schedule

Medals and Awards with Distinction Schedule

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Communities)

Policy Type

Academic Quality Policy

Approved Date


Effective Date


Review Date


Relevant Legislation

Related Policies

Related Procedures

Examination and Award of Research Higher Degrees Procedure

PhD Dissertations by Publication Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites


Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct involves providing aid or assistance in relation to, creating or making, obtaining or acquiring, or using information, services or equipment that may unfairly give a Student an unauthorised advantage relative to other Students with regard to a Formal Examination or other Assessment Item. 'Unauthorised advantage' includes any advantage not identified for the Formal Examina...more


The qualification conferred upon a Student following the successful completion of an Academic Program. The categories of Award include: Associate Degree, Diploma, Bachelor Degree, Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Master Degree (both Coursework and research), Doctoral Degree (both Coursework and research) and Higher Doctorate....more

Award Program

A sequence of study which leads to an academic qualification granted by the University and conferred by Council....more


Council means the governing body, the University of Southern Queensland Council....more


The basic unit of study and assessment for which a Student may be awarded a grade, and may accumulate credit units towards completion of a Program....more


A method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component....more


A Student who the Executive Dean, or Director (Research Training and Development) in the case of Research Higher Degrees programs, has certified as having completed all the requirements of an Academic Program but upon whom Council has not yet conferred that Award....more


A Student upon whom Council has conferred an Award....more

Research Higher Degree

A Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the student load for the program is required as research work....more


A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....more


A certificate issued by the Council of the University to signify that a Student has satisfied the requirements of a specific program and has graduated....more


This is an indicator of the value of a Course. Most Courses are valued at one Unit. Units are used to track progress towards completing a program. (The term used prior to 2002 to describe a Course)...more

Definitions that relate to this policy only


Graduation, Award, Award Eligibility

TRIM Record No


Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.
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