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Learning Pathways

Learning Pathways Policy

Policy Code: LT1432


The purpose of this policy is to encourage a diverse set of arrangements and models for developing learning pathways and qualification linkages at the University.  


This Policy is potentially relevant to every course and program offered by the University. The principles described apply to the development of learning pathways between Secondary qualifications, VET qualifications and Higher Education coursework and research qualifications where appropriate.  They also apply to the development of learning pathways between qualifications within one sector.  The policy is a key reference document to guide Schools and Federation College as they review and develop and/or implement courses and programs.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the


Term Definition
Articulation: Articulation is a process that enables students to progress from one completed qualification to another with credit in a defined pathway.
Credit: Credit is the value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications which reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification.
Credit Transfer Credit transfer is a process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications.
Institution: Institute of Higher Education, university, university college or Registered Training Organisation regulated by TEQSA, ASQA or a state's Education regulatory body.
Learning Pathways: Learning Pathways are formally approved sequences of learning that enable students to enter and move between courses and programs in different sectors or within the same sector. Pathways may link courses and programs in the same or different areas of study and can be designed to support an individual learner's needs and interests. Pathways may be built from qualifications, awards or recognised shorter form credentials.
Recognition of Prior Learning: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that assesses the individual's relevant prior formal, non-formal and informal learning to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit.
Shorter Form Credentials

Shorter form credentials typically address a particular form of knowledge or skill, enable admission into further education, or attest the completion of component parts of a full qualification or some previous learning or study. There are two categories of shorter form credential:

  • Category A: a shorter form credential that takes place within a consultancy or community engagement activity (ineligible for academic credit)
  • Category B: a shorter form credential that requires an  academic approval process (eligible for academic credit)

Policy Statement

  1. Learning pathways are critical to the achievement of efficient, open, integrated and relevant education and training sectors that can meet the challenge of rapidly changing needs and priorities for knowledge and skill development, including continuous skilling and lifelong learning.  The University is committed to providing learning pathways, within and across sectors, to facilitate the movement of students between chosen courses and qualifications.  Such pathways may include access to qualifications, articulation arrangements and/or credit granted within qualifications.
  2. The University, through consultation with Schools and other relevant stakeholders, will take advantage of its multi-sector structure to maximise the development of pathways.  All Schools and Federation TAFE will consider formal lateral or vertical pathway options in the design and/or implementation of new courses and programs and when reviewing existing courses and programs. 
  3. In the development of learning pathways, the University will maintain the integrity of its academic programs and protect the academic standards and reputation of its awards in all sectors.  The level of RPL and credit transfers awarded within a specific learning pathway will be guided by University RPL and Credit Transfer Policy and Procedures and the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). If appropriate, a Credit Matrix devised by a national or state authority will be used as a tool to support the determination of credit between Secondary and VET qualifications, or VET and Higher Education Qualifications.
  4. Learning pathways can be established between any qualifications offered by the University or any qualification offered by an external institution, which have been approved by the University or an appropriate external regulatory body. Pathways will generally be developed between qualifications involving the same, similar or complementary fields of study. Where appropriate, pathways may be between general and specialised qualifications.
  5. Learning pathways will seek to add value to the learning outcomes for students through the development of different approaches to qualification structures.  These structures can take a variety of forms including sequential, integrated and concurrent studies or double awards.
  6. An established learning pathway will have general applicability for all eligible students but may not guarantee admission to specific courses or programs. Pathway agreements with an approved external institution or from Federation University enabling programs may extend to such arrangements as guaranteed entry, co-branding and co-marketing activities.
  7. Learning pathways based on credit and articulation arrangements, when applied, will not unfairly advantage or disadvantage either the students entering the courses and programs with credit transfer or articulation or those students who enter directly. 
  8. The developers of learning pathways will take into consideration whether students will need transition support as they move from one qualification to the next and, if required, build appropriate support into the pathway model. Such support will pay due attention to similarities or differences in education processes (including processes of delivery, teaching methodology and assessment) between the courses and programs that are linked in the pathway arrangement.
  9. Individual learning pathway rules and regulations will be transparent and publicly available prior to admission, before an offer is made to a student. The rules and regulations will include instructions for applications for credit in an easily accessed format. Applicants will be informed of the decision on credit awarded, prior to enrolment in their subjects.
  10. Pathway arrangements will be reviewed following a change in any of the linked courses or programs sectors.
  11. In order to preserve the integrity of the University's awards, learning outcomes and graduate attributes, no Higher Education student shall be exempted from passing assessments from more than 66% of the program, but must achieve a minimum number of credit points in their program through study in the program.


The Chair of Academic Board is responsible for the implementation of this policy.


The Learning Pathways Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under 'FedNews' on the 'FedUni' website and through the University Policy - 'Recently Approved Documents' webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. inclusion on the University's online Policy Library; and
  3. information Sessions.