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Curtin University
Courses Handbook 2014

This handbook contains information for courses and units at Curtin in 2014.
Information for the previous year's courses and units is available at Courses Handbook 2013.

Academic Requirements


Admission requirements

The University requires that all applicants for courses meet the University’s admission requirements.

To be considered for admission to Curtin, applicants must attain a prescribed minimum University English competency standard and academic qualification or result. Qualifying for admission does not guarantee a place in the chosen course. Applicants are selected on merit and assessed, subject to any adjustment for special consideration as outlined in the relevant University policy, using their calculated Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER). Other qualifications may also be acceptable but the University reserves the right to determine the appropriate level of acceptability.

For more information on qualifications that can be used to meet course entry requirements and course prerequisites, refer to:

International applicants

For information on all aspects of admission, including entry requirements, refer to:

Students with disabilities and/or medical conditions

Many of Curtin’s courses have essential requirements that include:

If you are a future student for whom any of these sample requirements might pose a difficulty as a consequence of a disability or a medical condition, you are strongly encouraged to enquire about the exact requirements of the course before you seek enrolment.

If you are a future student who, for the purposes of admission, has been disadvantaged as a consequence of a disability or a medical condition please read the information in the alternative entry and special consideration entry sections to follow.

Alternative entry pathways

Curtin offers a range of alternative entry pathways. These include bridging and enabling courses for selected students who fail to satisfy normal admission requirements for selected courses. Application for these courses is made directly to the University or through the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC). Not all courses have alternative entry programs.

For more information on bridging and enabling courses, and other alternative entry pathways, refer to:

Special consideration entry

Applicants who believe they warrant special consideration due to their studies being affected beyond their control, or who fall within the definition of a listed equity group, should review the guidelines for special consideration application, available from:

For more information, contact the University Admission Centre on + 61 8 9266 7805 or email

It is recommended that applicants have details of their special circumstances prepared at the time of enquiry, as it is useful when seeking advice from the staff. For first semester intake, applicants for special consideration entry are required to submit an application for admission through TISC in conjunction with an application for special consideration, which is made directly to the University Admission Centre.
The details of every conversation regarding special consideration will be treated respectfully and confidentially.


Applications for admission to Curtin at undergraduate level are made to TISC. The only exceptions to this requirement are: international fee-paying students, applicants who have previously studied or are currently studying at Curtin and mid-year entry applicants.

For more information regarding the TISC application process, refer to:

Deferral of studies

Applicants who receive an offer may defer commencement of their studies in the course originally offered for a period of up to 12 months, subject to the course being available in the desired academic period (semester). You will be contacted by Curtin University and given information on how to take up your offer in the next semester. A place of study for the same course will only be guaranteed for a period of 12 months subject to availability.

If you have a deferred Curtin University place, you may wish to apply for courses other than your deferred course. You will have to apply through TISC for any such courses. You will be considered in competition with other applicants for these courses.

Admission into honours degree courses

It is possible to undertake honours study in a number of areas at Curtin University. Students already enrolled in one of the University’s courses may be invited to undertake honours within their existing course or in a separate honours degree course if their semester weighted average is more than 65 per cent in at least the previous two study periods of full-time study.

Pass level degree graduates from other recognised higher education institutions may be considered for admission provided their academic record is equivalent to or better than that required for Curtin students. Applicants should write to the head of school for the discipline in which they wish to study, providing detailed information on academic performance.

Each school has its own deadline and criteria for selecting honours-year students. In general, graduates from other institutions should write to the head of school before the end of October for selection in the following academic year. The head of school will advise future students on the status of their application including dates for enrolment in the event of being successful.

For more information, refer to:

Postgraduate admission and selection

Future students should consult the head of school in which they wish to study regarding eligibility for admission. It should be noted that while they might meet eligibility requirements for admission, entry into a postgraduate course may not be possible in a particular year because appropriate staff members are not available to supervise specialist areas of research, or suitable facilities are not available.

For more information, refer to:

Some courses with specific requirements have developed application guidelines to help future students prepare their applications. These guidelines are available for download from the postgraduate website at:


For more information on admission to Curtin University, contact the University Admission Centre on + 61 8 9266 7805, email or refer to:

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Higher degrees by research

Curtin offers a wide range of master and doctoral degrees by research. To qualify as a research degree, at least two-thirds of the required work for the award must be research. The award of a Master of Philosophy or a Doctor of Philosophy indicates that a student has contributed substantially to the knowledge or understanding in a field, and is capable of carrying out independent research.

For information about current procedures, rules, guidelines and appropriate forms required for each stage of the research degree process, refer to:

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Fees and charges

Fees and charges are approved by the Council of the University. For Commonwealth supported students, the maximum amount of student contribution for each unit is determined by the University within a range set by the Australian Government. The range that applies to a unit depends on the student contribution band in which the unit is classified. The maximum student contribution that can be charged by the University also depends on when students began their course of study.

For more information, refer to:

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Failure to meet deadlines for enrolment may result in the loss of a place or the application of late fees. It is the responsibility of students to confirm their details are correct.

Amendment to enrolment

Students may enrol or withdraw from units by specified deadlines. Withdrawal after the relevant census date will not remove the fee liability for that unit(s).

For more information, refer to:

Cross-institutional enrolment

Cross-institutional enrolment is when a student, already enrolled at one institution, wishes to enrol in a unit(s) at another institution and have that study credited towards their degree. Cross-institutional enrolment enables a Curtin University student to remain enrolled in their principal course at Curtin University and undertake unit(s) from another Australian university. This is called outbound enrolment. Cross-institutional enrolment also enables a student from another Australian university to remain enrolled in their principal course at their home institution but undertake some unit(s) at Curtin University. This is called inbound enrolment. In both cases, the universities agree to the enrolment and the student obtains credit for the units in their principal course.

For more information, refer to:

Credit transfer through Recognition of Prior Learning

Credit transfer through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the recognition of a student’s relevant prior study, experience or skills before undertaking the course. Students who believe they should not be required to study some units in a course, either because they have covered the work in other academic areas or because they have undertaken relevant employment activities, may apply for exemption from specified units.

Refer to the Application for a Credit Transfer form for the University policy and procedure for RPL, which is available for download at:

Online access to student information services (OASIS)

OASIS is Curtin University’s student portal. Through OASIS, students are provided with access to their student record (eStudent), the official communications channel (OCC), and a range of other online services including a student email account and learning support systems.

It is a condition of enrolment at Curtin University that students activate their OASIS account and access OASIS at least once a week to receive official communications from the University via OCC. Students may be granted exemption from the requirement to access OASIS in exceptional circumstances only.

For more information, refer to:

Curtin Student Guild

The Curtin Student Guild is an important part of the University environment and plays an active role in representing student interests, providing welfare and other support services to students, and organising many of the social, sporting and club-based activities that make Curtin University such a vibrant community.

Under the Curtin University of Technology Act 1966 (WA), all students automatically become members of the Student Guild on enrolment. However, students may elect at the time of enrolment not to become a member of the Student Guild or may subsequently resign from Student Guild membership at any time.

Students are not required to pay a fee for Student Guild membership but if they wish to access the full range of Student Guild services (including access to discounts at on and off campus outlets), they may choose to pay a Student Guild financial membership fee. Other than the discounts, payment of this fee will provide access to: personal injury insurance; the Student Guild's legal assist service and student assist plus service (assistance with assessment and academic status appeals); and eligibility to participate in Student Guild-organised intervarsity sport and the Australian University Games.

Alternatively, students may choose to pay an amenities and services fee, which will give them access to these additional services but not the discounts. The amenities and services fee is collected by the University and passed to the Student Guild to pay for these services.

For more information on Student Guild services, and what is available on payment of the Student Guild financial membership fee or the amenities and services fee, refer to:

Leave of absence

Once enrolled, students may apply for specified periods of absence from their studies. This is called a ‘leave of absence’.

For more information, refer to:

Placements and exclusion from clinical and practical units

Where completion of satisfactory clinical/practical experience is a compulsory part of the course, the University will endeavour to arrange a placement, but accepts no responsibility should agencies refuse to accept any student. Where there is concern that a student may be a danger to others when carrying out required practical or clinical training, for example, for health reasons, the student may be excluded from further study.

For more information on possible exclusion please contact the relevant head of school.

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Students will be assessed, and receive results for units in which they are enrolled. Centrally scheduled examinations are conducted during the official examination period as outlined in the academic calendar. Refer to:

Students enrolled in units externally will be informed early in each semester of arrangements for external examinations. Depending on location, some external students may be responsible for organising the examination venue.

More information on external examinations is contained in the distance education handbook, and at:

Deferred assessments and supplementary examinations

For more information on deferred assessments and supplementary examinations, refer to:

Student academic status

The Board of Examiners ratifies the results of each student at the end of each study period. The Board of Examiners also determines a course status for each student: Good Standing, Conditional or Course Terminated.

To retain a status of Good Standing, students must achieve a satisfactory level of performance in their studies. A student who does not perform satisfactorily may be placed on Conditional status, for which conditions may apply.

Students, whose performance indicates to the Board of Examiners that they are unlikely to complete their course satisfactorily, will be advised that their studies are terminated.

For information on appeals against status, refer to the appeals section below.

Notification of results

Results will be made available at the completion of each study period. Students will receive a complimentary academic transcript on conferral of their award.

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Results grading system

Results are generally given in the form of grades.

Grade Descriptor/AVCC Descriptor

10 100 High Distinction
9 90 - 99 High Distinction
8 80 - 89 High Distinction
7 70 - 79 Distinction
6 60 - 69 Credit
5 50 - 59 Pass
F 00 - 49 Fail
PASS Pass Grade Only
FAIL Fail Grade Only
PC Conceded Pass
PX Pass after Supplementary Assessment
FX Fail after Supplementary Assessment
F-IN Fail - Incomplete/Insufficient Assessment
ANN Result Annulled due to Academic Misconduct
WD Withdrawn Late
X Outstanding Supplementary Assessment
DA Deferred Assessment
OA Ongoing Assessment
GNS Grade Not Submitted

For more information, refer to:

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To be eligible to graduate, students must have satisfied all the requirements of their course. Conferral is the date on which the University approves the conferral of an award on a graduand, and this date appears on the award and the academic transcript. After the conferral of their award, students will receive an academic transcript, a graduation statement and an award certificate free of charge.

For more information, refer to:

Intermediate awards

An intermediate award is an approved exit point from a higher-level award course. It recognises completion of units that make up the requirements of an approved course where the student has completed these units as part of a higher-level course.

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Students have a right of appeal against academic or administrative decisions affecting them. Before using a formal appeal procedure, students should discuss any disputed decision with their course coordinator or head of school. A student may seek assistance and advice from Counselling and Disability Services or the Student Guild in preparing an appeal. If a student believes they have been unfairly or improperly treated in the appeals process, they have the right to lodge a grievance with the manager, Conflict Resolution as outlined in the grievance resolution policy.

For more information on all appeals, refer to:

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Penalties for plagiarism

Plagiarism means knowingly presenting the work or property of another person as if it were one’s own without appropriate acknowledgment or referencing.

Academic honesty is crucial to a student’s credibility and self-esteem, and ultimately reflects the values and morals of the University as a whole. A student may work together with one or a group of students discussing assignment content, identifying relevant references and debating issues relevant to the subject. Academic investigation is not limited to the views and opinions of one individual, but is built by forming opinion based on past and present work in the field. It is legitimate and appropriate to synthesise the work of others, provided that such work is clearly and accurately referenced.

The University regards any acts of cheating or dishonesty by way of plagiarism very seriously. Penalties for such incidences have been defined within the University’s acts and statutes. There are many penalties that may be imposed on a student for academic dishonesty. Depending upon the severity of the act of plagiarism, or the number of any similar offences that have previously occurred, a student may have one or a combination of the following penalties imposed against him/her by the University:

(Curtin University of Technology Act, 1966 - Statute 10 Student Disciplinary Statute)

Staff are required to make students aware of the University’s expectations with respect to academic honesty. All unit outlines distributed by the University are required to contain reference to the University Statement on Plagiarism. It is the responsibility of staff members to report incidences of plagiarism immediately to ensure appropriate action is taken.

For more information, refer to:

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Criminal record screening and clearance

Many Curtin courses require students to undertake an external clinical placement, practicum or other fieldwork. Hospitals, schools, welfare agencies and other organisations that have substantial dealings with people, require employees and associates to be subject to criminal record screening. Students who are enrolled in courses in education, community and public health and human service areas, or where stipulated in the Curtin Courses Handbook, are required to undergo a criminal record screening and obtain clearance prior to undertaking their placements or practicum.

A criminal record does not necessarily preclude a student from participating in an external placement, clinical practice or practicum. However, external agencies have advised that convictions leading to 12 months imprisonment or more for crimes:

are likely to lead to a refusal to provide any placement involving contact with the public.

Full details about the criminal record screening and clearance will be issued to successful applicants in appropriate courses with an offer of a student place, or at the time of enrolment. Students undertaking double degrees in education (especially with Health Sciences) should ensure the Department of Education and Training (WA) accept their type of clearance. The clearance is performed by The CrimTrac Agency for a cost of approximately $33.

Applicants should use the industry-specific forms available at:
or at:

Applicants should be aware that if they apply for a clearance and have a conviction relating to offences listed above, this information will be placed on a national database and made available to other authorities.

Applicants can obtain confidential advice from the following agencies:

Working with children

The Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 came into effect on 1 January 2006. The legislation aims to protect children by preventing unsuitable people from working with them. As a responsible organisation, Curtin University is committed to ensuring the wellbeing and safety of children with whom students work throughout the course of their studies or work. Students who are required to obtain a Working with Children (WWC) check will be advised of Curtin’s procedures by their course coordinator and/or their fieldwork coordinators. WWC checks apply if the student will be participating in activities that involve interaction with children for five or more days a year.

For full details of the Working with Children Act 2004 and legislative requirements, refer to:

Communicable diseases

Prospective students, who are carriers of communicable diseases such as hepatitis B or C, HIV or tuberculosis, and are seeking admission to specific courses at Curtin, are strongly advised to seek advice on the University policies and procedures in this area from the relevant course coordinator or the University Health Service before making an application for the course.

Youth Allowance and Austudy payments

Students need to meet specific criteria to be eligible for benefits.

To assess their entitlement, students should contact 132 490 or visit the Centrelink Student Services Centre at the Bentley Campus (Building 106).

For more information, refer to:

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Handbook Disclaimer

The online handbook is the repository of Curtin University of Technology (“Curtin”) course information. While Curtin makes all reasonable endeavors to keep its online courses handbook up-to-date, information within this website is subject to change from time to time. Curtin reserves the right to change the contents and/or the method of assessment, to change or alter tuition fees of any unit of study, to withdraw/any unit of study or program which it offers, to impose limitations on enrolment in any unit or program, and/or to vary arrangements for any program without notification via the website.

For course overviews and enrolment information please visit our future students website.