Advice for Discipline Advisers

Thank you for agreeing to be a discipline adviser for your department/school/discipline. Your contact details should now appear on our website on the Faculty advisors webpage

For your convenience, below are some suggestions that we recommend you consider to make things easier for the students and you during your time as advisers:

  1. Please reply to students overseas as soon as possible as, like here, they may need to change subjects by certain dates in the semester, so a timely approval is imperative;
  2. If students have not provided enough information upon which you can make a decision about the subject, you are entitled to ask for more information, especially if the student is already at the partner institution (students still in Melbourne here may genuinely not always be able to get more information), we do explain what they need to do when choosing subjects as part of the application process and if they have subject changes while overseas but they sometimes choose to ignore that;
  3. Your role is to give academic endorsement for proposed subjects based on content statements and assessment details provided. Provisional approval is possible, although not ideal, when students make their original application, as many overseas institutions can be vague about assessment details (students then e-mail you once they have that information, usually from overseas).
  4. You will also need to be mindful of:
    • what subjects the students have completed previously to ensure there is not too much, if any, overlap of material.
    • meeting pre-requisites for subjects they must do when they return,
    • constraints for majors and/or professional body requirements.

    In some cases, however, students do not always need to have subjects approved which are exact equivalents to subjects here, even though some students can become pre-occupied with matching subjects. It may be sufficient that the subject is broadly "biology" in nature for approval for credit to a Bachelor of Science as long as the academic rigour is still apparent. This is illustrated by students going to Bocconi University in Milan and completing a subject called "Finance in the Fashion Industry". No equivalent exists at Melbourne but the content of the subject makes it appropriate for credit to a finance major specifically or to a Bachelor of Commerce in general.

    This flexibility is important, where possible, as it broadens the potential subjects available and allows students to do subjects that may not be available at the University of Melbourne.

  5. In all cases you should assign a level for the subject; stating that you judge it to be suitable for credit as a first year, second year or third year subject.
  6. Where you are satisfied that a subject is suitable for credit to a University of Melbourne degree or diploma, you recommend that credit be given. It is Stop 1 that determines the overall credit that will be awarded based on your advice and rules for the student's degree/diploma.
  7. Approvals are done in the online Study Planner. Your email address is loaded into that system so that the system can send you a prompt to say that a subject is awaiting your assessment. Here are the instructions on how to use the system (PDF 1.3MB).
  8. If you are an advisor in a language department, from time to time you may be asked by a student to verify a translation of a subject description for approval and credit to another discipline such as, for example, biology. The student must do the translating and show you the original together with their translation. We ask if you could check that it is a reasonable translation only, it does not need to be perfect, and confirm that with your signature and date on the translation.
  9. Peak times for subject approval requests correspond to:
    • Melbourne Global Mobility application due dates in late May and late October
    • the start of semesters overseas from mid August (in North America and some parts of Asia) to mid-October (in Germany and Japan) and early January to mid-April;
  10. If you are away from the University please put a bounce back message up on your email advising people that you are away until X date and to arrange for them to contact person Y in the mean time if it is urgent; and
  11. When you give up this role we would appreciate it if you could advise us of that and who your replacement will be as soon as possible so that we can list the new person.

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact Stuart Hibberd.


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