A New Points System
The Academic Board has approved a major change to the points system used at the University of Divinity to denote the weighting of units in all University awards. This system will take effect on 1 January 2019. The new system means that for all units and awards:
• a full-time year of study will be 144 points
• a full-time semester (half-year) 72 points
• a standard postgraduate unit will be 24 points (1/6 of a full-time year)
• a standard undergraduate unit will be 18 points (1/8 of a full-time year)
For twenty years, the University has operated different points systems for undergraduate and postgraduate units. Standard undergraduate units have been valued at 15 points each, but a full-time year’s study requires 8 undergraduate units, or 120 points. Although standard postgraduate units have also been valued at 15 points each, a full-time year’s study has requires 6 undergraduate units, or 90 points. This has created confusion for some students, especially for students transferring into the University from other providers. The proposed change aligns both the undergraduate and postgraduate systems into a single framework without changing the volume of study required for each. The conversion of units will be as follows:
• existing undergraduate points x 1.2 = new undergraduate points
• existing postgraduate points x 1.6 = new postgraduate points
This framework is designed to accommodate all existing unit values, both standard and non-standard, undergraduate and postgraduate as illustrated in the table below. The smallest units accredited by the University are currently 1/18th of the full-time postgraduate load for a year, and 1/16th of the full-time undergraduate load for a year. The new system allows all current standard and non-standard units to be represented using a whole number, without use of decimal points.
What Else Is Changing?
In addition to changing the points system, the total word count for assessment for postgraduate units will be changing:
• From 1 January 2019, Research Essays will increase from 12,000 to 16,000 words in length.
• From 1 January 2020, the total assessment word count for Postgraduate Foundational units will increase from 6,000 words to the range 6,000 – 7,000 words.
• From 1 January 2020, the total assessment word count for Postgraduate Elective units will increase from 6,000 words to the range 7,000 – 8,000 words.
Where Can I Get More Information?
Read the full communication document: Unit Points: Changes Effective 1 January 2019
Your College Academic Dean or Registrar will be able to provide more information on request. In addition, please look out for updates in the University’s regular eNews bulletin and on the Vox website.
Professor Peter Sherlock is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Divinity. He is a cultural and religious historian of Renaissance and Reformation Europe and an expert on governance and leadership in educational and church settings. A graduate of the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford, his academic career has included an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship in History at the University of Melbourne and four years as Dean of the United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne. In 2012 Professor Sherlock was appointed as the inaugural Vice-Chancellor of the University of Divinity. He is the Chair of the Council of Deans of Theology (Australia) (2014- ) and Treasurer of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (2015- ).