Degree Nomenclature & Abbreviations

When considering the names for new programs or when re-naming existing programs the degree nomenclature principles should be used.

These principles provide guidance on what should be considered when deciding on the name for a new program and guidance on the format that program names should follow. All programs should also have a set of post-nominal abbreviations. The standard list of abbreviations should be used in all circumstances. Where the discipline area is new and not listed, the proposal to be submitted to the Academic Program Entry and Approval Committee (APEAC) should suggest a set of abbreviations.

  • Principles for degree nomenclature

    In determining the nomenclature for specific programs the following principles should be used:

    National and university policies

    1. These principles should be read in conjunction with the AQF Council AQF Qualification Issuance Policy and Protocols. Where there is conflict between these principles and the AQF Policy, the AQF Policy will prevail.
    2. The names for combined and double degrees should be named in accordance with these principles. These principles should be read in conjunction with the relevant University Policy.
    3. The name of the program should also be consistent with national and international norms.

    Program name

    1. When developing a new program or changing a program name, the starting point should be that the program is named according to the broad discipline area to which the program belongs, for example Bachelor of Science.
    2. Program nomenclature should be easily recognisable by prospective students, employers and other stakeholders. It should be unambiguous in terms of level and professional orientation.
    3. The name of the program should take into account the possibility of misunderstanding /misinterpretation by students, employers or the public.
    4. Consideration should be given to the overall number of specific program names within the University and the Faculty.
    5. The name of a program should conform to any accreditation body guidelines.
    6. The name of the program should consider the extent of professional or employment demands for the specific title and or descriptors.

    Naming conventions

    1. For Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees, the separator 'of' should be used between the degree level and the discipline area. For other awards, the separator 'in' should be used. For example, Graduate Diploma in Commerce, Graduate Certificate in Dentistry, Professional Certificate in Arbitration, Diploma in Languages.
    2. Post-nominal abbreviations should not use full stops, commas or other punctuation marks.
    3. Combined degrees must, in accordance with the relevant University Policy, be linked by the word 'and'.
    4. Nomenclature that would indicate a specific discipline will be acceptable in some instances. Normally this would be limited to the use of such titles that lead to specific professional qualifications (e.g. Bachelor of Laws) or to those programs that have significant affiliations with or a significant degree of recognition by industry or the community. It is expected that as part of the submission to the Academic Program Entry and Approval Committee significant evidence of the use of the name within industry or the community is provided.
    5. Program names should identify the extent of a specialisation within a program. Specific specialisations within generic program titles should be in the format Bachelor of (Specialisation); e.g. Bachelor of Science (Pre-Veterinary) or Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting). Where there is a need to indicate a lower level of specialisation, for example a stream or major, (due to accreditation or other identifiable requirements), only single brackets should be used with the further specialisation separated by a dash. The primary specialisation should be listed first. For example - Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical - Sustainable Energy). Double brackets should not be used. If a program combines two specialisations, to the extent that it should be identified as a program in its own right, the specialisations should appear in the brackets following the discipline name and should be separated by the word 'and'. For example Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Sustainable Energy). Postgraduate Coursework Programs should follow a similar format. Within nested suites of programs the Master program should still follow the principle of Master of (Specialisation), for example Master of Engineering (Chemical). The lower level awards in the suite would follow the same format - for example Graduate Diploma in Engineering (Chemical).
    6. Bachelor degrees for which there is a separate Honours year should have Honours listed in brackets following the degree name, e.g. Bachelor of Arts (Hons). 
  • Naming conventions to be used in official documentation

    Document Nomenclature
    Parchment, transcript and graduation statement Full program name should be used.
    If a program of study includes a major, the testamur should include the major.
    Program finder Full program name, abbreviation.
    Calendar Full program name.
    Marketing material Full program name. Program names can be used without including the specialisations. For example it is acceptable to use Bachelor of Engineering when talking about engineering and advertise that the University offers Engineering degrees in Chemical, Mecahnical etc engineering. It would not be appropriate to refer to the program as the Bachelor of Chemical Engineering.
  • Schedule of abbreviations for University awards

    Qualification type
    Award Abbreviation Example
    Doctor of Philosophy PhD PhD
    Doctor of D DClinDent
    Master of M MSc
    Graduate Diploma in GDip GDipPhys
    Graduate Certificate in GCert GCertCompSc
    Professional Certificate in ProfCert ProfCertArtHist
    Undergraduate Certificate in UGCert UGCertAppDataAn
    Honours Hons BA(Hons)
    Bachelor of B BSc
    Advanced Diploma in AdvDip AdvDipAborStMus
    Diploma in Dip DipLang
    Advanced Certificate in AdvCert AdvCertAborStMus
  • Program postnominal abbreviations

    It is recommended that the following postnominal abbreviations be used.

    Please contact APEAC if guidance is required.