University of Newcastle places best graduate outcomes at the centre of its new degree structures

Monday, 7 December 2020

The University of Newcastle has today announced the outcome of its comprehensive review of course structures.

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The ‘Course Optimisation Project’ will create space in degree programs to ensure all students are able to undertake work placements and projects, known as ‘Work-Integrated Learning’, before they complete University.

Currently, the University offers more than 100 undergraduate degree programs, and 90 postgraduate degrees, made up of more than 2200 course subjects. The review has identified eight undergraduate and 14 postgraduate degree programs, and 530 individual course subjects, for consolidation or discontinuation in 2021.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Mark Hoffman, said the changes were aimed at reducing duplication, creating more collaboration across disciplines, and better preparing students for life after University.

“This project lays the foundations for the implementation of our Looking Ahead strategy, specifically, preparing Life-Ready Graduates,” Professor Hoffman said.

“The changes will transform the way we educate – breaking down discipline silos by bringing students together in new ways, and allowing us to embed Work-Integrated Learning into every student’s program.”

“In June we signalled the need to consolidate the courses we offer if we’re to enhance the way we educate. The financial impact of COVID-19 accelerated the need for these planned changes,” he said.

The University will ‘teach out’ discontinuing programs, meaning that any students who have already commenced a degree will be able to complete that program.

New students who have applied to study with the University in 2021 will be contacted if their particular degree has been consolidated or discontinued, and will receive information about options available to them.

“We’re thrilled that the interest in our degrees for next year is at an all-time high. Some course structures will look different, and we know we’ll be offering a high-quality education experience that will set our students up for future success,” Professor Hoffman said.

Courses to be consolidated or discontinuedTotal number: 530
Undergraduate programs approved for discontinuation
  1. Bachelor of Creative Industries
  2. Bachelor of Creative Industries / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Technology (Renewable Energy Systems)1
  4. Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering (Honours) /Bachelor of Business2
  5. Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering (Honours)/Bachelor of Science2
  6. Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours)
  7. Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours)3
  8. Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours)3

1Bachelor of Renewable Engineering remains

2Bachelor of Mechatronics remains as do many other combined Engineering degrees

3These two programs will be combined and replaced with new Bachelor of Computing (Honours)

Postgraduate programs approved for discontinuation
  1. Master of Workplace Health and Safety4
  2. Master of Health Science
  3. Master of Applied Management (Nursing)
  4. Master of Family Studies
  5. Graduate Certificate in Family Studies
  6. Master of Professional Engineering (Chemical)5
  7. Master of Professional Engineering (Environmental)5
  8. Master of Professional Engineering (Mechatronics)5
  9. Master of Professional Engineering (Computer Systems Engineering)5
  10. Master of Professional Engineering (Software Engineering)5
  11. Master of Studies
  12. Graduate Certificate of Studies
  13. Master of Environment and Business Management6
  14. Master of Environmental Management and Sustainability6

4 We will now offer student intake into Graduate Diploma in Workplace Health and Safety (previously only an exit award)

5A wide range of postgraduate engineering programs remain along with new short courses

6These two programs will be combined and replaced with new Master of Environmental Management and Sustainability

Postgraduate programs to be suspended for 2021
  1. Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries7
  2. Master of Creative Industries7
  3. Graduate Certificate in Digital Media7
  4. Master of Digital Media7

7These programs have been suspended for intake in 2021 due to low student numbers. In 2021 The School of Creative Industries will consider options for future postgraduate offers in these study areas.


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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.