Course Related Ethics Approval

A course related ethics approval may be appropriate where all students enrolled in a course conduct the same, or similar, minor research project. This will most commonly apply to situations where students undertake minor research projects during teaching or clinical placements or practicums or other types of professional experience.


To be eligible for a course related ethics approval:

  • Students must restrict their projects to the organisation or setting in which they undertake their placement, practicum or professional experience, e.g. agency, school, health service.
  • The projects cannot involve any information gathering, data recording, or any other activity that is only occurring to facilitate the conduct of the projects.
  • The data used in the projects cannot identify individuals or organisations (either directly or indirectly) where the identification is not essential for the performance of the placement duties.
  • The projects cannot involve the collection of sensitive data where recording of such data is not standard practice in the facility where the project is to be conducted.
  • The projects cannot present any risk to participants in the research.
  • Reports and results arising from the projects cannot be published or made publicly available.

Application Procedures

Step 1

  • The course coordinator submits to the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) an Initial: Course Related Ethics Approval via RIMS
  • Applications are accepted at any time. There is no closing date.
  • If approved, and only after written confirmation of approval is received by the course coordinator, go to the next step.

Step 2

  • All students enrolled in the course submit their course coordinator a completed Course Related Ethics Approval - Student Application (DOC 249 KB)*, whether or not they will be conducting a project that requires human research approval (the application form categorises the project and serves as a record for the course coordinator).

Please Note: To be able to complete the form, the students must be provided with the HREC approval number, which will be on the approval advice sent to the course coordinator.

Please Note: Students do not complete or submit this form unless instructed to do so by their course co-ordinator or lecturer. Students must be provided with the HREC approval number to validate them first.

* Completed and submitted by students enrolled in the course for which a Course Related approval has been granted by the University's Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

Step 3

  • It is the course coordinator's responsibility to ensure that the projects proposed by students fall within the scope of the approval granted by the HREC for the course. .
  • Students must not commence their projects until they receive written confirmation from the course coordinator (e.g. via Canvas) that their projects are covered by the approval.

Step 4

  • The course coordinator is to store securely all the completed applications from students.
  • The HREC will conduct intensive audits of the course related approvals and course coordinators must provide the student applications to the HREC upon request.

Further Information

For advice and guidance on human research ethics issues or further information on the course related approval procedures please contact the Research Ethics Advisor (REA) for your Faculty or, alternatively, contact the Human Research Ethics office.

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.