Australian Qualifications Framework
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Associate Degree
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Main features of the Associate Degree

The Associate Degree is a new two-year qualification accredited against higher education requirements and able to be offered by providers meeting the requirements set by the higher education sector in accordance with the MCEETYA National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes.

Where does the Associate Degree 'sit' in the AQF?

  • a new sub-degree qualification accredited against higher education requirements
  • two years in duration following year 12 or equivalent, or Certificate III or IV
  • positioned alongside the Advanced Diploma

What are its distinctive outcomes?

  • emphasis on the foundational, research-based knowledge of an academic discipline
  • broad-based in conceptual and theoretical content, often multi-disciplinary
  • generic employment-related skills as appropriate to the discipline(s)

What does it add to the AQF?

  • expanded learning pathways
  • outcomes oriented to the newer evolving knowledge-based occupations
  • programs responsive to the diverse international market and the globalisation of knowledge

How is the Associate Degree different to the other qualifications?

  • more focussed on the foundations of an academic discipline than the Advanced Diploma, with less emphasis on industry-specific workplace competency
  • a shorter-cycle higher education qualification offering an exit point at the sub-degree level, or a fully articulated pathway into the Bachelor Degree for further in-depth study and professional preparation, or articulation into an Advanced Diploma for specialist industry competencies

How does it articulate with other qualifications in the AQF?

  • typically articulates with full credit with a Bachelor Degree in the same field
  • may also articulate with an Advanced Diploma for applied skills development

Who may undertake it?

  • as for the Bachelor Degree - school leavers, mature age students, those with bridging or foundation qualifications, holders of appropriate VET Certificates
  • employment experience is not a requirement

Who may offer an Associate Degree?


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