Written by the CA Project Team

The Macquarie Theatre was packed to overflowing on Tuesday 17 July when an all-staff Town Hall was held to report on the Curriculum Architecture Project. Vice-Chancellor Professor S. Bruce Dowton opened the event, reminding colleagues of the motivations and time sensitivities underlying the project and the importance of seeing the renewal as a process that affirms students are at the centre of the project’s efforts. He was followed by Professor Mariella Herberstein (Chair of Academic Senate) and Professor Sean Brawley (Pro Vice-Chancellor, Programs and Pathways) who unpacked the survey feedback received about the draft principles, and how they have been revised as a result of the consultation process. They concluded by explaining how the principles have been endorsed by ASQC and how Senate will consider the policy derived from the principles next week. Professor Kevin Jameson (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic) rounded off the event by addressing some of the live audience questions and noting that any questions not addressed at that time would be covered in this Teche post (a PDF with questions answered is linked below).    

Useful Links 

View the recording of the Curriculum Architecture Town Hall (Login to Office365 required) 

View Curriculum Architecture Town Hall presentation slides [PDF, 2MB]

View Revised Undergraduate Curriculum Architecture Principles – Principles Only [PDF, 146kB]

View Revised Postgraduate Curriculum Architecture Principles – Principles Only [PDF, 136kB]

View Revised Micro Curriculum Architecture Principles – Principles Only [PDF, 91kB]

View Undergraduate Curriculum Architecture Principles (Final Working Paper Draft, with revisions) [PDF, 1.1MB] (Principles Only version, easier to navigate)

View Postgraduate Curriculum Architecture Principles (Final Working Paper Draft, with revisions) [PDF, 543kB] 

Naming Competitions 

We would like to invite the MQ community to propose names for the following: 

Name our Micro COURSE   

In our disrupted age employers and employees alike are well aware of the need to seek out new learning opportunities. One recent development in this space has been the growth in microcredentials through the completion of a single micro unit or a micro course. The new principles see MQ commencing a new and exciting engagement in this learning space. In preparation we need to come up with a name for our 20cp Postgraduate micro courses.  

A note for entrants – due Australian Qualifications Framework Requirements, if your entry contains the word ‘Master’ it can only be considered for a chance to win if it appears as one-word e.g. MicroMasters not Micro Masters. At this stage, Macquarie will only be offering microcredentials courses at postgraduate level. 

Send submissions to chair.senate@mq.edu.au by 3 August for your chance to win a $250 Macquarie Centre voucher. 

Name our Student Management Program   

What do we call the new Student Management Program? The Student Management Program comprises a number of projects designed to improve the way we manage student and curriculum administration within the University. For curriculum, this includes the way the University governs, maintains and publishes our curriculum; as well as the way students engage with our curriculum. For student administration, this covers the end-to-end student journey from enrolment all the way through to progression/graduation.  

The program specifically includes the selection and implementation of a new Curriculum Management System (CMS) and a new Student Management System (SMS) which will replace our existing Webforms and AMIS systems. The program also includes the modernisation of business processes and practices to offer a greatly improved experience for both staff and students.  

A note for entrants – ideally, the program name should be one word and easy to pronounce. 

Send submissions to student.management.program@mq.edu.au by 3 August for your chance to win a $250 Macquarie Centre voucher. Winners will be announced 10 August. 

Your Questions Answered

We received 92 responses through POLLEV during the Curriculum Architecture Town Hall Meeting. We’ve de-identified the questions in the interests of privacy, combined similarly worded questions, and arranged them by topic.  

Curriculum Architecture Town Hall Questions Answered [PDF, 305kB]

Posted by Curriculum Transformation Project Team


  1. Steve Cassidy 20 July, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Just a few questions on reading the UG Working paper.

    Principle 13.4 which relates to overlap between core and major is highlighted in yellow and struck out. There is no mention of this in the commentary and it did not appear in the earlier draft. Can you clarify? Some statement about overlap in the principles would be useful guidance since it has been a significant issue with the current rules.

    Principle 14.4 and 15.4 say “Course-based coding will be used for essential units” but there is no definition of what course-based coding might be.

    The formatting of the document gets a bit whacky after page 20 making it hard to work out which are the old and new principles.




  2. Mariella Herberstein 20 July, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Hi Steve – apologies for the formatting of the working paper – the clean version is easier to navigate.

    Principles in 13.4 are unravelled in principle 14 that speaks to essential units.

    What we mean by course-base coding for essential units in a course, such as foundation units, that these are coded distinctly. E.g. SCI1001 or FSE1001

    Rather than clutter up the policy with procedural detail, this will appear in guiding papers that we are currently completing.


  3. Thanks Mariella,
    I’m confused about course-based coding. This suggests that the course prefix is based on the degree (although FSE suggests a Faculty unit) but that would preclude the same unit being an essential unit for more than one degree. What would the code for units like STAT170 that are core in many programs become in this case?

    Also, on the overlap question, there is no guidance as to what if any overlap is allowed between majors or specialisations in a degree. It would be really useful to know what the thinking is on this as it will be critical to designing our programs. We feel that double majors would be a big selling point for our degrees but our majors will share some units – it would be a shame not to be able to offer what the students are asking for.




  4. Mariella Herberstein 21 July, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Hi Steve,

    turns out I was one version behind on the curriculum principles. The latest version of the principles and the policy no longer refer to course based coding for essential units in the core.

    The limit to unit sharing between majors and courses to allow double combinations for students is set a 40cp at 2000 level or above in a 240cp course. See principle 27.

    Hope this explains things


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