Course Specifications

A course specification details what the University agrees to provide in the offering of the course and outlines the expectations on the student.

Examiners are entitled to expect that students have read, understood and are familiar with the Course Specification for the courses in which they are enrolled. Students are entitled to expect that the course will be delivered and assessed as in the Course Specification.

USQ Regulations relevant to assessment are located in the USQ Policy Library.


Course specifications include the following details:





If a course is taken in the second or later semester of study then another course may be a required as a prerequisite.  Note that in some cases the prerequisite course is recommended, while in others they are mandatory. If mandatory then the prerequisite course(s) must be passed before commencing study in the course.    




These are courses that should be studied at the same time as the course in question. 



Other requisites



These are other prerequisites or corequisites that cannot be defined in terms of specific course.  For example a student must be first admitted to a BSc(Hons) program to allow them to enrol in certain courses.




Includes at least two people, the examiner and moderator. The examiner is your contact if you have any questions concerning the course content, assessment or special considerations. 




This includes reasons for a course's development and existence.




Represents a summary of the course.




A summary of what you will be required to achieve in the course and is the prime basis for the assessment for the course. More detailed objectives are often included in study materials or at the commencement of lectures.




Summary of the general content of the course.  Weightings for each topic are an indication of how long you will need to spend on each topic.

Texts and materials
to be purchased or



These are items that you should acquire or purchase for your personal use.  The examiner will assume you will have or be able to refer to these materials.

Recommended reference materials



These are suggested items that are recommended and may improve your knowledge and understanding of the course objectives.  Check the Library for these items.

Student workload



A single unit course has an estimated student workload of between 160 and 175 hours a semester (between 12 and 13 hours per teaching week).  The workload requirements should give you some indications as to how you should utilise this time.  Some students will spend more, and other less, on the activities associated with a course.  Some activities are:

  • directed study is time at lectures, tutorials, practicals etc or time spent working on external or online study materials
  • private study is an estimate of time required to prepare or study for course assessments.  This will be different for different people
  • examinations is the time spent sitting for an exam(s) 
  • assessments is time spent completing assignment(s).

Use these times to plan your weekly study schedule.



Assessment details



Details of the assessment items in the course are contained in this section.  It is essential to pay careful attention to them as knowledge of the weighting and time of assessment will help you plan for your study.  If unsure about any items contact your examiner for clarification.  Details included:

  • Description is a short description of the assessment item eg assignment 1, practical report, examination etc
  • Marks out of is the highest mark you can obtain for that assessment item
  • Weighing is the percentage that the marks you gain in an assessment item will contribute towards your final grade.  An item with a zero weighting will not contribute to the determination of your final grade, but it may still be necessary for you to complete it at a stated standard before being eligible for a passing grade
  • Due Dates is the date the assessment item has to be submitted either by hand or by mail.  These dates will help in your planning for the semester 
  • Notes relate to specific assessment items, most often advising you about the examination dates which are not known at the beginning of the semester.


Important assessment



It is essential to read this as it will include details of:

  • attendance required, especially relevant for on-campus courses
  • what is required to complete assessment items satisfactorily 
  • penalties for late submission of required work
  • requirements for students to be awarded a passing grade.  Note that if you do not satisfy the requirements for a passing grade, you may be given some form of supplementary assessment or you may be given a failing grade
  • method used to combine assessment results to obtain a final grade, if applicable
  • information about examinations, usually refers to closed, restricted or open exams, if applicable
  • information about when deferred or supplementary exams will be held 
  • relevant university regulations.


Assessment notes



Other important information related to assessment, such as what happens if the due date for an assignment falls on a public holiday, or advice on keeping copies of assignments etc.

Other requirements



It is essential to read this, it might include other details relevant to specific courses.