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Curtin University
Courses Handbook 2015

This handbook contains information on courses and components (majors, minors, streams and units) at Curtin in 2015.
Information for the previous year's courses and units is available at Courses Handbook 2014.

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 and/or experience. Qualifying for admission does not guarantee a place in the chosen course.

For more information on admission requirements applicable to different groups of students, 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 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.

Find out more about bridging and enabling courses, and other alternative entry pathways at the Future Students website.

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:


Applications for admission to Curtin at undergraduate level are made to the Teriary Institutions Service Centre (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 for a course from Curtin University may want to defer commencement of their studies in the course, subject to the course being available in the desired academic period (semester). Find out more about this at the Future Students website.

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 they have demonstrated high achievement in designated units. Some courses, such as the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), have met the requirements for the Australian Qualification Framework Level 8 Bachelor Honour degrees. All students in these courses are enrolled in honours.

Pass level degree graduates from other recognised higher education institutions may be considered for admission provided their academic record is equivalent to that required for Curtin students. Applicants should seek further information from their enrolling teaching area/faculty.

Postgraduate admission and selection

Future students should consult the enrolling teaching area/faculty 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:


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

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 Curtin's research website.

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:


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 provides for a student already enrolled at one institution who wishes to enrol in a unit(s) offered at another institution and have that study credited towards their degree.

Find out more about cross-institutional enrolment.

Credit transfer through Recognition of Prior Learning

Credit for a student’s current, relevant prior study, experience or skills may be awarded to suitable applicants, reducing the amount of learning required to complete a 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. For more information on Credit for Recognsied Learning, please refer to: the Future Students website.

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 regularly to receive official communications from the University. Students may be granted exemption from the requirement to access OASIS in exceptional circumstances only.

For more information, 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.


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 may be required to attend for external examinations.

Find out more about external examinations at the examinations website.

Deferred assessments and supplementary examinations

For more information on deferred assessments and supplementary examinations, refer to the examinations website.

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 an academic transcript on conferral of their award.

Results grading system

Results are generally given in the form of percentages or grades, such as Distinction, Credit and Pass.

For more information, refer to the examinations website.


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.

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.


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 to seek an informal resolution.

For further information, refer to: the appeals process.


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 and the number of any similar offences that have previously occurred.

For more information, refer to:


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. For these placements students may be required to undergo a criminal record screening and obtain clearance prior to undertaking their placements or practicum.

Details about the criminal record screening and clearance can be obtained from the enrolling faculty/teaching area.

Working with children

The Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 aims to protect children by preventing unsuitable people from working with them. For some placements/fieldwork students will be required to undertake a Working with Children Check (WWC). Details about the WWC can be obtained from the enrolling faculty/teaching area.

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 enrolling faculty/teaching area or the University Health Service before making an application for the course.

Students may be required to show evidence of immunity/vaccination for a range of communicable diseases as a requirement to undertake a clinical/fieldwork placement. Details can be obtained from the enrolling faculty/teaching area.

Youth Allowance and Austudy payments

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

To assess their entitlement, students should call 132 490 or contact Centrelink.


The Courses Handbook is the repository of Curtin University ("Curtin") course information. While Curtin makes all reasonable endeavours to keep this handbook up to date, information on this website is subject to change from time to time. Curtin reserves the right to change the: course structure and contents, student assessment, tuition fees and to: withdraw any course or its components which it offers, impose limitations on enrolment in any unit or program, and/or vary arrangements for any course without notification via the website.

For course and enrolment information please visit our Future Students website.