University Medals Guideline

Document Number000859
Date Approved8 October 2008
Date Last Amended10 December 2010
           

1.      Context

This Guideline supports the implementation of the University Medals Procedure 000613 and must be read in conjunction with that document.

2.      Definitions

In the context of this document:

candidate means an undergraduate student from an award of the University who has achieved Honours Class 1, Honours or Distinction (where the degree to be conferred does not have Honours) as set out in the University Medals Procedure 000613.

3.      Guidelines

3.1.     Faculty Submissions

Each Faculty will provide the University Medals Committee with a submission based upon templates provided by the Committee, and attaching the following documentation:

i)     University Medals Committee Faculty Coversheet

This Coversheet includes a checklist for completion of the Faculty Medals submission and must be signed by the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty.

ii)     University Medals Committee  Faculty Spreadsheet of GPAs

This excel spreadsheet of Grade Point Averages GPAs (see 3.2 below) should be completed for all Honours Class 1, Honours and graduates awarded their degrees “with Distinction” (where the degree to be conferred does not have Honours).

It should include the overall program GPA and the Final Year GPA for each graduate. Where two or more graduates have equal GPAs a count of High Distinctions and Distinctions is to be provided. Graduates should be ranked by GPAs within the following categories:

  1. those who meet all the criteria and are nominated by the Faculty;
  2. those who meet all the criteria except that they are not highest in program/discipline but are nominated by the Faculty;
  3. those who do not meet all the criteria but are nominated by the Faculty;
  4. those who meet all the criteria except that they are not highest in program/discipline; and
  5. those who do not meet all the criteria.

iii)     Candidate Nomination Form

Each nomination for a University Medal should be accompanied by the following:

  1. a citation from the relevant School or Discipline supporting the nomination and briefly setting out details of the candidate’s outstanding academic achievement. Where a candidate has not met all the criteria, details of the reasons for a request to relax any criterion and endorsed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor are to be provided. Alternatively, where a Faculty considers the achievement of an eligible candidate (highest GPA in a discipline) does not warrant the award of a University Medal, a citation is not required but the recommendation (not to award) should be indicated on the documentation provided;
  2. where the Faculty believes that the achievements of eligible candidates warrant the awarding of more than one University Medal in a program/discipline a citation setting out the rationale;
  3. structured and internal transcripts for all nominated candidates. Where candidates have been awarded credit, transferred between programs, or undertaken a combined degree program; or where any other circumstance have made the contribution of the courses to the program unclear, courses counted towards the calculation of the GPA should be highlighted in blue;

iv)     Graduates not Nominated Coversheet

Internal transcripts are to be provided for all Honours 1, honours or with Distinction (where the degree to be conferred does not have Honours) graduates in the Faculty. These graduates are to be listed on the University Medals Committee Faculty Spreadsheet of GPAs, and transcripts are to be sorted: first according to the number of criteria not satisfied; and, second by overall program GPA.  

3.2.     Calculation of Grade Point Averages (GPA)

i)              For the purposes of University Medals submissions, GPAs shall be calculated to a single decimal place, that is, a second decimal place of X1-X4 will be rounded down, a second decimal place of X5-X9 will be rounded up.

ii)              only grades for courses above 1000 level will be used, that is grades for 1000 level courses are not to be included;

iii)             Candidates who have been granted credit for studies completed at other institutions will not have grades included in the calculation of the GPAs.

iv)            Candidates who have been granted credit for studies completed at the University of Newcastle shall have grades for courses for which credit has been granted included in the calculation of their GPA as follows:

  1. only grades for courses which count towards the award for which the candidate has been nominated will be used;
  2. only grades for specified credit will be used, that is where unspecified credit has been granted grades will not be used in the calculation of the grade point averages;

v)             where a candidate has grades for more than the required number of units for the award the highest grades for  courses that can count towards the award will be used;

vi)             in the calculation of the GPAs for the final year 80 units where 4000 level courses are undertaken, all 4000 level courses will be counted regardless of the year of enrolment, however, 3000 level courses may be counted if there are less than 80 units of 4000 level courses in the program;

vii)            for end on Honours programs for which no grades are awarded (that is NA grades) the final year Grade Point Average for Honours Class 1 is 7. 

3.3.     Secretary’s Report

The University Medals – Procedure 000613 requires that the Secretary to the Medals Committee prepare a report for consideration of the Committee. The Secretary shall:

i)              check all Grade Point Average calculations for nominated candidates ensuring eligibility of courses counted and accuracy of the calculation;

ii)             prepare a consolidated spreadsheet of Faculty submissions in overall Grade Point Average order and in the following categories:

  1. those who meet all the criteria and are nominated by the Faculty;
  2. those who meet all the criteria except that they are not highest in program/discipline but are nominated by the Faculty;
  3. those who do not meet all the criteria but are nominated by the Faculty;
  4. those who meet all the criteria except that they are not highest in program/discipline; and
  5. those who do not meet all the criteria;

iii)             prepare a report with recommendations for the award of a University Medal  identifying nominated candidates in each of the categories a. to d. above and providing any relevant additional information regarding nominated candidates;

iv)            provide details of candidates awarded University Medals in at least the previous academic year.

4.      Essential Supporting Documents

University Medals Procedure 000613

Template – University Medals Committee Faculty Coversheet

Template – University Medals Committee Faculty Spreadsheet of GPAs

Template – Candidate Nomination Form

Template – Candidates Not Nominated Coversheet

Template – Secretary’s Report

Approval AuthorityMedals Committee
Date Approved8 October 2008
Date Last Amended10 December 2010
Date for Review8 October 2013
Policy SponsorDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Policy OwnerAcademic Registrar
Policy ContactDeputy Academic Registrar, Academic Administration
Amendment History

Policy Sponsor modified from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Global Relations) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to reflect structural changes from 1 January 2013, The Secretariat, 23 August 2013.

Amended to clarify intent that medals be awarded to undergraduate degrees only, approved University Medals Committee 10 December 2010

Clause 2, 3.1i) and iv) amended to include "(where the degree to be conferred does not have Honours)" approved by DVC (A&GR) 11 June 2010.