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2010 Course Handbook

Important Student Information

This section of the Handbook is intended to give guidance on some matters of common concern to undergraduate students at Macquarie.

The information applies to standard Macquarie course offerings at the North Ryde campus. There may be alternative conditions and arrangements for non-standard offerings, and this information should be clarified with the Student Enquiry Service or the relevant Faculty.

This information also needs to be read in conjunction with the official University Rules and policy documentation. University policy documentation can be accessed from the Policy Central website.

Online Student Administration

Students at Macquarie manage their candidature online through the myMQ student portal. You will be provided with details on how to access the myMQ student portal with your initial offer to study at Macquarie.

About myMQ

myMQ is an online portal that allows students to manage and receive information relevant to their studies at Macquarie anytime, anywhere in the world.

The following can be accessed from myMQ:

  • student email
  • online teaching facility
  • library catalogue and reserve systems
  • eStudent
  • unit home pages.

Student email

All Macquarie students are issued with an official University email account which is accessed from myMQ. It is University policy that the University issued email account is used for official University communication. All students are required to access their University email account frequently.


eStudent is accessible from myMQ and is used for the following:

  • online enrolment
  • change of units
  • view academic record
  • view debts and pay fees
  • update personal information
  • obtain results at the end of semester.

IT Help

Student IT Help provides information technology support and assistance to the students and staff of Macquarie University and can help students access the myMQ portal or eStudent.

Location: Building C5C Room 244, Macquarie University
Phone: +61 2 9850 HELP (4357) (option 1)
Freecall: 1800 063 191
Email: ‘Just Ask’ form accessible from the website

Hours of Operation:

During term time:

Monday to Thursday: 8am–8pm
Friday: 8am–6pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9am–5pm

During breaks:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 8am–6pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 8am–8pm
Saturday: 9am–5pm
Sunday and public holidays: 1pm–5pm

Student Enquiries

The Student Enquiry Service is responsible for providing information and administrative support to current and prospective Macquarie University students.

Location: Lincoln Building, Level 1 (off the main courtyard)
Phone: +61 2 9850 6410
Fax: +61 2 9850 6597

Hours of Operation (all year):

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 8.30am–5.30pm
Tuesday: 9.30am–5.30pm
Friday: 8.30am–4.30pm
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: closed

Student Enquires—External Students

Students enrolled in distance education programs and external units are encouraged to regard the Centre for Open Education (COE) as the first point of contact and referral for these programs and units.

Phone: + 61 2 9850 7470
Fax: +61 2 9850 7480

Hours of Operation:

During term time:

Monday to Thursday: 8.30am–5.30pm (6.30pm during the first two weeks of classes)
Friday: 8.30am–5.00pm
Saturday: 8.00am–11.00am (excluding Easter, Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day weekends)

During breaks:

Monday to Thursday: 8.30am–5.00pm

Applications and Admissions

For admission purposes there are two broad groups of applicants to Macquarie programs:

Local applicants who are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or New Zealand citizens. Local students should consult the 'Applying and Enrolling' section of the Future Students website for application procedures. Please note that this website also contains information on alternative pathways to Macquarie outside of the standard UAC entry point.

International applicants who are citizens of a country other than Australia or New Zealand. International applicants should consult the Macquarie International website for application procedures.



All new and continuing students enrol online via eStudent. The dates for enrolment and other enrolment requirements, guidelines and instructions are available on the enrolment website.

Students are also encouraged to check their eStudent account regularly, noting that there are penalties for not enrolling within the specified period.

Enrolment as a Full-time or Part-time Student

Students are classified as full-time if they are enrolled for the year in such units as would—if completed satisfactorily—result in the student obtaining 17 or more credit points. A full-time student who wishes to graduate in minimum time should enrol in approximately 24 credit points each year. Programs of study in excess of 14 credit points in any half-year require special approval, please see an academic adviser to both discuss your program and seek assistance with applying for approval.

Students are classified as part-time if they are enrolled for the year in such units as would—if completed satisfactorily—result in the student obtaining fewer than 17 credit points. A part-time student normally enrols in a program of 12 credit points each year.

Enrolment of Internal Students in External Units

Students not enrolled in the distance education programs are generally permitted to enrol in external units. Some units have limited capacity, and will be reserved for students enrolled in distance education programs. Students enrolling in external units should note that many units have compulsory on campus sessions and that teaching can sometimes commence before the enrolment period in February. Dates for commencement and on campus sessions are generally advertised in the unit description and in the Schedule of Undergraduate Units. Please see the Centre for Open Education for further information on external units.

Second Half-year Bachelor Degree Enrolment for New Students not Previously Enrolled or Offered a Place

A limited number of places will be offered in a limited number of degree programs at mid-year in 2010. Application for undergraduate Macquarie University courses will be processed through UAC (apply online at UAC in April/May 2010).

Enrolment of Students who are not Candidates for a Macquarie Award

A person who is not a candidate for a degree or a diploma at Macquarie University may be permitted to attend a unit of study on a fee-paying basis as follows:

Cross-institution Students

Students who are enrolled for a degree at another institution are called cross-institution students. Applications from these students will be considered only where evidence is produced that the Macquarie unit will count towards their degree or diploma at the other institution. For information on application procedures and dates, see section ‘Application for Admission’ above. See Cross-institution Study for further information on applying, enrolling or withdrawing from cross-institutional enrolment.

International Miscellaneous Students

Students taking part in international exchange programs are also regarded as cross-institution students. They may be admitted to individual undergraduate units as fee-paying students. See Macquarie International for further information.

Non-Award Students

Students who wish to enrol in single undergraduate units from the Schedule of Undergraduate Units which are available for non-award purposes are called non-award students. Non-award study is a recognised pathway to degree entry. Further information on applying, enrolling or withdrawing from non-award enrolment can be found at the Centre for Open Education.

General Interest Students

Mature age students, or students with some previous tertiary experience may enrol in University units purely for interest or self-development without having to enrol in a degree. See the Centre for Open Education - Non-Award Study for Genernal Interest for further information on general interest study.

Enrolment in Concurrent Degrees

Concurrent degrees are for students who wish to create their own combination of bachelor degrees at Macquarie University. Concurrent degrees are not established degrees under the Bachelor Degree Rules and do not appear as approved degree combinations in the Handbook of Undergraduate Studies or in the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) Guide. Examples of combinations include the Bachelor of Planning with the Bachelor of Science or the Bachelor of Arts with the Bachelor of Applied Finance.

Further information on eligibility to enrol and applying for concurrent degree enrolment can be found at the Undergraduate Studies Section Concurrent Degrees website.

Enrolment in Concurrent Studies at another Tertiary Institution

Students enrolled in a Macquarie University undergraduate degree program may be granted credit for a unit undertaken concurrently at another university or tertiary institution, provided that such enrolment is approved.

Further information on eligibility to enrol and applying for concurrent enrolment at another tertiary institution can be found at the Undergraduate Studies Section Concurrent Studies website.

Restrictions on Enrolment

Enrolments in the University are regulated to ensure that the number of students accepted for admission does not exceed the number for which adequate accommodation and teaching facilities are available. Certain areas of study are also restricted to students enrolled in certain degree programs.
Listed below are more general restrictions on enrolment in some common units. Students should note that many units also have restrictions on enrolment which are articulated as prerequisites. A prerequisite is a statement of the required knowledge or conditions that must be satisfied before enrolment in a particular unit of study is permitted. Prerequisites are listed in the Schedule of Undergraduate Units.


In general, places in first-year accounting units are available only to students whose entry qualifications are at least equivalent to those of Bachelor of Commerce—Professional Accounting. Students in other courses such as the Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Arts will be admitted to first-year accounting units on completion of at least 12 credit points (equivalent to one half-year of full-time study) with an overall grade point average of at least 2.0 (a clear pass average) by way of Internal Course Transfer.

Actuarial Studies

Only students who have been admitted to the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies or the associate double degree programs are guaranteed a place in first-year actuarial studies units.


Places in the main first-year economics units of study will be guaranteed to students who have been admitted to the Bachelor of Economics or Bachelor of Commerce or related courses and to students who have the equivalent of the ATAR required for entry to the quota for Bachelor of Economics or Bachelor of Commerce. Students in other courses may be admitted to first-year economics units if they complete at least 12 credit points and receive a grade point average of at least 2.0. Such students may need to enrol for four years to complete an economics major.


Only students who have been admitted to a law course (a LLB degree combined with another degree in an approved combination) are permitted to undertake units in law in their first year of enrolment. A small quota of places in the first-year law is available to later year students who are not enrolled in a law program.

Media Studies

Entry to media units is restricted. Students who have been admitted to the Bachelor of Arts—Media programs and Bachelor of Arts—Media with Bachelor of Laws are guaranteed places in the first-year media units and, if successful, to all media units in later years.


Places in first-year psychology units will be guaranteed to students in Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), Bachelor of Arts—Psychology and Bachelor of Science—Psychology (including the combined Psychology with Health degrees) and to students with an ATAR at least equivalent to that required for entry to Bachelor of Arts—Psychology or Bachelor of Science—Psychology. Students in other courses may be admitted to first-year psychology units when they have completed 12 credit points and achieved a grade point average of at least 2.5 by way of Internal Course Transfer. Such students may need to enrol for four years to complete a major in psychology.

Deferment of Enrolment

New students who are offered admission through UAC to Macquarie University in 2010 may seek deferment of enrolment until 2011. Deferments are not available to direct entry applicants or to students commencing in the second half of the year. Deferment at Macquarie only applies to prospective students who have received an offer of a place at Macquarie through UAC, but choose to postpone commencing their studies. If you are a current Macquarie student and want to take time off between years of study, please refer to our discontinue section. Further information is available on the coursework studies deferment website.

Choosing a Program of Study and Seeking Academic Advice

The Schedule of Programs, Schedule of Majors, Schedule of Undergraduate Units and the Schedule of People and Planet Units contain all the components of a degree. Further information on the way these schedules work together to construct a program of study and ultimately lead to the qualification for a degree can be found in the How to Use this Handbook section. The schedules should also be read in conjunction with consultation with teaching staff (academic advisers).

All new undergraduate students need to consult an academic adviser on their selected program of study. This is done on campus on each student’s allocated enrolment day and timeslot.

Please see the Enrolment Preparation Session times.

Existing students can also seek academic advice on selection of their program of study. Please see for a list of academic advisers in each Faculty.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the program will satisfy the Bachelor Degree Rules and students are encouraged to seek academic advice if they are unsure of any aspects of their program of study.


The timetable for the timing and location of the various on campus classes for units is available at and can also be accessed from the myMQ student portal or via eStudent during enrolment.

Summer School

Each year, Macquarie University offers a number of selected units from its standard program in an intensive format, usually run over six weeks from early January to mid-February. Further information on Summer School units can be found on the Summer School website of the Centre for Open Education.

Credit for Previous Studies

Applicants who have successfully undertaken studies at other recognised universities or tertiary institutions may be eligible for credit towards an undergraduate degree at Macquarie. This credit is called credit for previous studies and is expressed in terms of Macquarie credit points.

Applicants who have already completed some tertiary study must submit full official transcripts of such study. Those who have studied at an institution other than an Australian university or a former New South Wales college of advanced education may be required to submit details from calendars or handbooks of syllabuses and units studied. If an applicant’s previous studies are in this category, the applicant is advised to begin assembling this information as soon as possible. General credit for previous studies is granted at 100 level (first year) or 200 level (second year) only. All 300 level (third year) studies must be completed at Macquarie. Students will receive advice on how to apply for credit for previous studies with their offer of admission and further information is also available on the coursework studies Credit for Previous Studies website.

Fees and Charges

For Australian and New Zealand citizens, courses are either fee-paying or Commonwealth supported.

Fee information including information on FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP, course fees, fee sponsorship vouchers or authorities and how to pay your fees is available from the fees and charges website .

International students should refer to Macquarie International for details on the fees and charges applicable to their course.

Fees are payable online through your eStudent account where the ‘check my finances’ tab provides information on outstanding debts and due dates. Note that there are financial penalties for failure to pay fees by the due date specified.

Internal Transfer between Undergraduate Courses

Students are permitted to transfer between degrees. However, there are various restrictions and requirements for transfer as well as an application process. Please see Course/Degree Transfer for further information including application forms.

Faculty of Registration

There are four Faculties at Macquarie University: Art; Business and Economics; Human Sciences; and Science. Each Faculty contains Departments which represent broad discipline areas. See Faculty and Department structure for more details.

All students register in a Faculty, the appropriate Faculty being determined according to the student’s degree program. Should a student’s major academic interest change to another Faculty, the student may apply for a change of registration. The Faculty of registration provides the student with an important link with the University for advice regarding the program of study which will best suit his or her interests and abilities.

Assumed Knowledge; Unit Prerequisites; Recommended Studies

While there are no subject prerequisites for entry to any undergraduate degree programs at Macquarie, knowledge at high school level is required as a prerequisite to be able to enrol in some main first-year units of study. Other programs of study simply recommend or assume that students have a certain level of background knowledge to the area of study. Information on assumed knowledge and recommended study requirements can be found in each individual degree program description on the UAC website at Unit prerequisites, for first-year units can be found in each unit description in the Schedule of Undergraduate Units. If there is a set minimum level of prerequisite achievement in a particular area of study, the University provides alternative ‘elementary’ units in the same area of study which are designed to bring candidates up to the level required for progression. These units will count towards the requirements for the degree. However, the time to complete the degree program may be extended as a result of their inclusion. Some units in accounting, economics, mathematics and statistics may also be offered as Summer School units starting in January. Students who believe they may need to complete elementary units to satisfy unit prerequisites should seek academic advice, please see Academic Advice for a list of academic advisers in your Faculty.

Discontinuing or Interrupting Studies

Students may elect to interrupt their award studies at any point and no formal permission is required to do so. Current students who are thinking of stopping (discontinuing) their studies for any period of time will need to withdraw from all units as soon as possible to avoid academic and financial penalty. Please refer to the section of this Handbook relating to ‘Withdrawing from Units’.

The procedures for recommencing a degree/diploma following discontinuance or interruption will depend on the length of absence and whether the student has undertaken tertiary study during the period of absence.

Students returning after an absence to the same degree program, who have not studied at another tertiary institution during the period of absence, should apply directly to the University. Applications will be available online at in August of the year preceding re-admission.

Students who have undertaken studies (including TAFE courses at Diploma level or higher) during their period of absence from Macquarie should apply through UAC. Former students who wish to undertake a different degree program to that previously enrolled in should also apply through UAC.

Assessment of applications for re-admission after an absence will be made in accordance with admission policies at that time. Students who wish to apply for re-admission should enquire at the Student Enquiry Service about re-enrolment procedures in August of the year preceding re-admission.
Further information on discontinuing or interrupting your studies see Coursework Studies - Discontinuing Studies.

Adding and Withdrawing from Units

Once enrolled, students can add new units to their program up to the end of week 2 (for internal offering) or week 1 (for external offering) of the official University half-year.

Once enrolled in a unit, it is extremely important that students advise the University (via the eStudent withdrawal process) if they wish to discontinue a unit. This must be done by the Commonwealth designated census date. Non-attendance at classes does not constitute discontinuance.

Students may need to revise their program of study mid-year which may require the addition or withdrawal of units. Students who have failed in a unit which is a prerequisite for a unit in the second half-year, must ensure that they are withdrawn from the unit, students should not assume second half-year units will be automatically discontinued on their behalf when a first half-year prerequisite is failed.

If a student does not advise of discontinuance prior to the census date they will incur fees for the unit and have the unit recorded on their academic transcript. The unit will be denoted on the transcript as either ‘W’ withdrawn (if withdrawn within four weeks after the census date) or ‘F’ fail (if withdrawn more than four weeks after the census date).

Standard census dates for discontinuance of a unit of study in 2010 are:

  • First half-year: 31 March 2010
  • Second half-year: 31 August 2010

Note that while the dates listed above will apply to the majority of courses, there are courses with non-standard census dates. Students should check unit census dates.

In extenuating circumstances, such as documented illness or unavoidable disruption, students may be permitted to withdraw from a unit after the applicable census date without incurring an ‘F’ grade by applying for Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty.

For further information on withdrawing from a unit, please see Withdrawal After Census Date.

Special Consideration for Unavoidable Disruption to Study

Macquarie recognises that there may be circumstances where a student is prevented by unavoidable disruption from completing unit requirements in accordance with their ability.

The University defines serious and unavoidable disruption to studies as resulting from an event or set of circumstances that:

  • could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student; and
  • was beyond the student's control; and
  • caused substantial disruption to the student's capacity for effective study and/or the completion of required work; and
  • substantially interfered with the otherwise satisfactory fulfilment of unit or course requirements; and
  • was of at least three (3) consecutive days duration within a study period and/or prevented completion of the formal examination.

Students have the right to apply for Special Consideration to be given to the assessment of their academic performance in a task or examination if they believe they have suffered from serious and unavoidable disruption.

A student who has suffered serious and unavoidable disruption must fill out an application for Special Consideration and lodge it with the Student Enquiry Service by 5pm within five calendar days after the due date of the associated assessment task or formal examination.

Forms and further instructions on submission (PDF) are available. Students wishing to apply for special consideration are also strongly advised to consult the University policy and procedure on Special Consideration.


Undergraduate units are assessed in accordance with the University Policy and procedure on ‘Assessment’ which can be accessed from Policy Central. Specific requirements for completion of an undergraduate unit are outlined in the unit’s ‘Unit Outline’ which is available to students at the commencement of the unit.


Official examinations are held at Macquarie at the conclusion of each half-year. Most undergraduate units have examinable components which will be examined during this period in accordance with the University Policy on Examinations available from Policy Central. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure they are familiar with the protocols for the conduct of examinations that are outlined in this policy.

Examination Timetables

The official examination periods for standard courses in 2010 are:

  • First half-year: 9 June 2010 to 25 June 2010
  • Second half-year: 17 November 2010 – 3 December 2010

It is the responsibility of each student to be available for the entirety of the official examination period.

A draft examination timetable is published approximately eight weeks prior to commencement of the official examination period. The final examination timetable is published approximately four weeks prior to commencement of the official examination period. The final timetable also contains details of the location of the examination and student seat allocation numbers. It is the responsibility of each student to check the time and location of examinations for each unit if applicable. Timetables and other information on timetable clashes, exam locations and seat allocations are accessible from the timetables website.


Student results are accessible from each student’s eStudent account. In 2010, results for standard units will be published from the following dates:

  • First half-year: 13 July 2010
  • Second half-year: 17 December 2010


Undergraduate units are graded in accordance with the Undergraduate Coursework Rules as outlined in this Handbook and the University policy and procedure on ‘Assessment’ accessible from Policy Central.

The basic numerical structure of grades awarded is as follows:

Grade Code Grade Mark
HD High Distinction 85-100
D Distinction 75-84
Cr Credit 65-74
P Pass 50-64
PC Conceded Pass 45-49
F Fail 0-44
S Satisfactory (used for units where grading is only on a pass/fail basis)

Work prepared and presented as a single entity and in which contributions of individual students cannot be identified (also known as group work) is graded only on a pass/fail basis unless that work comprises less than 30 per cent of assessable content of the unit.

Appeals Against Grades

Appeals against grades awarded for undergraduate units are handled in accordance with the University policy on Grade Appeal accessible from Policy Central.

Students have six months from the published result date of the relevant unit in which to lodge a grade appeal.

Before an official grade appeal is submitted, a student must undertake a grade review in accordance with the processes established by the relevant Faculty. A grade review ensures that there has been no clerical error in the grade determination and allows a student to review their examination paper (if the unit includes an examination). The relevant Faculty should be contacted for details on the grade review process.

A grade appeal can only be submitted following a grade review and must be submitted on an official grade appeal form with written evidence. Exact deadlines, detailed instructions and an official form for submission of a grade appeal are available from the Student Enquiry Service.

Exclusions from Enrolment

Bachelor degree candidates are expected to maintain a satisfactory rate of progress as well as complete their degree in a required time frame and there are provisions in the University rules to exclude students from continuing their studies if these expectations are not met. In addition, there are other exclusion provisions specific to law, education and accounting students as well as rules relating to students who have twice failed the same unit. Information on the University rules relating to exclusion and appeals against exclusion from enrolment can be found in rules 12, 13 and 14 of the Bachelor Degree Rules.

Academic Honesty (plagiarism)

The University requires that all students and staff undertake academic work honestly and expects that students acknowledge the ideas of others appropriately. Commonly known as plagiarism, academic dishonesty is a serious offence with serious consequences and students should be aware that any piece of academic work submitted by a student can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Further details on the definition of academic dishonesty and related remedial and penalty frameworks are contained in the unit guide for each unit as well as in the University policies on plagiarism and academic honesty accessible from Policy Central.


Students who expect to complete their degree at the conclusion of either half-year must ensure that an expectation to complete has been entered on their student record. This is done through eStudent during enrolment and can be checked using the ‘my results’ tab. If this information is not visible, follow the instructions contained on the website or visit the Student Enquiry Service. Eligible students will be sent a graduation pack, including a Conferring of Degrees form, at the conclusion of the relevant half-year. This form needs to be completed and returned to the Graduations Unit. Graduation invitations for students qualifying in December will be mailed in the last week of January with a return date of 1 March. Invitations for students qualifying in July will be mailed in late July with a return date of early September. Further instructions will be provided in the graduation pack and other advice is available on the website of the Graduation Unit.

Outstanding debts

Students who are indebted to the University shall not be permitted to graduate or allocated to a graduation ceremony until such debt is cleared. All debts must be paid prior to the closing date for the relevant graduation series. Students who pay after the closing date will be allocated to the next available ceremony.

Study Skills Support

The Study Skill Support Unit provides academic and literacy support to all coursework students studying at the North Ryde Campus. The service includes regular study skills workshops during semester as well as individual consultations by appointment for advice on study concerns such as assignment preparation. The service is complemented by an online resource.

Honours Degrees

Macquarie University offers three kinds of Honours degrees:

  • those which are a one year full-time separate program following on from a corresponding Bachelor degree;
  • those which are an integrated part of a Bachelor degree program (that is, Honours degrees of Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education), Bachelor of Arts with Diploma of Education and Bachelor of Psychology); and
  • those which are awarded on the basis of outstanding merit (that is, Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws).

The following information applies to the standard Honours year following from a Bachelor degree, for information on the other Honours programs, students should contact the relevant Faculty.

Benefits of the Honours program

The standard Honours program is designed to extend an undergraduate degree. Although the academic composition of the Honours year is discipline specific, programs generally provide an opportunity to expand a student’s theoretical and conceptual knowledge as well as to undertake an original piece of research or investigative work. Successful completion of the degree enhances a graduate’s ability to pursue a career within their chosen profession or industry, or in fields which require an Honours degree, such as research positions with private or public organisations, and academia. The attainment of a high quality Honours degree is a requirement for entry to many doctoral programs.

Program Structures

Most Honours programs commence in March (some Departments allow a mid-year intake) and are taken on a full-time basis over a year or a part-time equivalent over two years. Programs normally consist of a number of compulsory units, taken in the first half of the program, plus a piece of research or investigative work completed in the second half of the program. Honours programs are designed to be both academically rigorous and also flexible, in order to meet the needs and develop the talents of individual students.

Entry requirements

Students from Macquarie University are normally only accepted into the Honours program if their grade point average is at least 2.5 overall and 3.0 – 3.25 at 300 level (depending on the department). Students will have studied an undergraduate degree in the area they wish to do Honours. Similar criteria will be determined for students from other institutions.

University Medals for Honours Graduates

The Academic Senate, on the recommendation of the Faculty concerned, may award a medal to a candidate who has obtained the Degree of Bachelor with Honours Class I and shown exceptional academic achievement.

Further information

Students intending to do Honours should contact an academic adviser in their Faculty of registration for academic and administrative advice. This should occur as soon as possible and at least at the beginning of the semester before planned commencement of Honours candidature. See Coursework Studies - Honours for further information on admissions, commencement and other administrative matters relating to Honours.