Policy: Nomenclature and post-nominal
To define the standards used for the naming and post-nominals of awards.
This policy provides standards across the nomenclature and official post-nominals of the University’s awards
This policy applies across all awards.
- The University complies with the nomenclature standards in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Qualifications Issuance Policy.
- All award titles must indicate the qualification category and accurately represent the field of study or discipline.
- The qualification category must be capitalised.
- The field of study must be capitalised.
- The title must:
- readily and unambiguously identify the level, broad disciplinary content, and (where applicable) professional orientation of the program;
- be readily recognisable by prospective students, employers, professional bodies and other stakeholders;
- be consistent with nomenclature that has national and international acceptance, if it exists;
- be sustainable in the long term; and
- be consistent across a suite of related awards.
- For all awards, the separator 'of' should be used between the qualification category and the discipline area, eg. Bachelor of Chemistry, Graduate Certificate of Chemistry, Master of Chemistry.
- If an award is a double degree the two degrees must be separated by a ‘/’ (forward slash) in both the full name and the abbreviation.
- Information in parentheses may be used in the following cases only:
- For four-year AQF Level 8 Bachelor Honours Degrees, “(Honours)” is to be used to qualify the level of the award;
- For one-year AQF Level 8 Bachelor Honours Degrees, “(Honours)” is to be used to qualify the level of the award;
- For AQF Level 9 Master Degrees (Coursework), “(Advanced)” is to be used to qualify the level of the award;
- For fully online programs where the mode is to be indicated in the program name, “(Online)” is to be used to qualify the mode of the award.
- To avoid doubt, information in parentheses is not used to describe the field(s) of study.
- Titles for awards that articulate into each other must be consistent.
- In full award titles, ‘and’ is represented by the text ‘and’, not by an ampersand (‘&’).
- All doctorate research programs are classified ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ unless alternative forms are approved by Academic Board on the basis of professional accreditation requirements.
- Including any augmentations or information in parentheses, award nomenclature is to be no greater than 79 characters in total length, including spaces, to allow appropriate display on a graduand’s testamur across no more than three lines.
- All Graduate coursework programs comply with the nomenclature detailed in Table 1: Graduate Coursework Nomenclature. Compliance is considered at the time of proposal, amendment, or review.
- The names of awards, majors, minors, specialisations, and augmentations, are not revised after introduction except in cases of administrative error such as a misspelling of a term. All other changes to names are to be effected by disestablishment of the former offering and introduction of a new award, major, minor, specialisation, or augmentation with the new name.
Graduate Coursework Nomenclature is shown in the table below
Broad Field Named Award
Master of Arts
Unique program code
Narrow Field Named Award
Master of International Relations
48 units or greater in the narrow field
For Awards of less than 48 units, 100% of the Award must be in the narrow field
Unique program code
Broad Field Named Award with Augmentation
Master of Arts in International Relations
At least 36 units in the field contained in the augmentation
For Awards of less than 48 units, at least 75% of the Award must be in the augmentation
Each augmentation is a separate plan in the same program
The default plan does not have an augmentation
Each augmentation has its own entry on Programs and Courses
The default plan may have an entry in Programs and Courses if it is available to be taken without an augmentation
One for the broad field named Award, shared between Augmentations
Master of Arts
24 units in the field
Should not be used in an Award with augmentation. Some consistency must exist across students exiting an Award with various specialisations otherwise it should be a Narrow Field Named Award.
Each specialisation is a unique page in StudyAT, replicating undergraduate majors, minors, and specialisations
Master of Arts (Advanced)
Only to be used where the information in brackets qualifies the level or mode of the Award but does not describe the field/s of study.
The current utilisation of Master of Arts (Field of Study) to denote an Advanced Award needs to be revised to be either Master of Arts (Advanced), Master of [Field of Study] (Advanced), or Master of Arts in [Field of Study] (Advanced)
Not available for Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diplomas.
Unique plan code that sits within the standard, non ‘advanced’ program
Unique StudyAT entry for the ‘Advanced’ plan
- When an award contains a qualified field of study, this augmentation must relay significant specific disciplinary content. Master of Arts in International Relations would be an example of an appropriate augmentation, while Master of Arts in Humanities and Social Sciences would not.
- When an award is an augmented version of another program with the same basic form of title, there should be similarities in program structure or learning outcomes between the two. For example, a Master of Science, a Master of Science in Environment, and a Master of Science in Chemistry should have a basic structural relationship; if this is not the case, then a specific title is more appropriate and the degree should satisfy the requirements for a Narrow Field Named Award.
- In an augmented degree, there should be a mechanism for students to move between augmentations or to the non-augmented version. For example, a student who has enrolled in Master of Science in Psychology should be able, if their interests or abilities have changed, to transfer to a Master of Science without significant loss of credit.
- A Narrow Field Named Award should not have further detail be listed in the Award title through an augmentation. For example, a Master of Marketing should not be further detailed as a Master of Marketing in Advertising, but a Master of Commerce may be augmented with ‘Marketing’ or ‘Advertising’ as the Master of Commerce is a Broad Field Named Award.
- A post-nominal is the shortened way for graduands to refer to attainment of an award. Graduands may reference a post-nominal in letterhead, business cards, and other official communications. When used in practice, ‘ANU´ may be placed after the post-nominal in italics.
- A post-nominal is created by compiling a number of abbreviations, referencing both the type of award and the discipline in which it has been studied.
- Post-nominals are meaningful, easily recognisable, free from possible negative connotations and comply with the list of approved abbreviations detailed under Table 2: Award Abbreviations and Table 3: Discipline Abbreviations.
- New post-nominals not detailed under Table 2: Award Abbreviations and Table 3: Discipline Abbreviations are approved by Academic Board following endorsement from the Registrar, Student Administration, and comply with the following principles:
- An abbreviation for a single discipline/field of study does not normally exceed six characters.
- The same abbreviation is not used for unrelated disciplines.
- If an accepted international form has been established, this is used.
- Multiple abbreviations for the one discipline/field of study are not used.
- Post-nominals do not include spaces or punctuations between any letters.
- The first letter of each abbreviated word is capitalised.
- Post-nominals use no more than 20 characters in total.
- ‘And’ should be represented by an ampersand (‘&’) not by the text ‘and’.
- Post-nominals do not include parentheses, brackets or other delimiting characters such as dashes.
- Post-nominals for an award are not greater than 20 characters in total. Where compliance with the abbreviations in Table 3 would result in a post-nominal of greater than 20 characters, an alternate abbreviation is submitted for endorsement by the Registrar and approval by Academic Board.
- Table 4 details exceptions to standard approved post-nominals as compiled from tables 2 and 3, on the basis of international standards.
Table 2: Award Abbreviations
Bachelor of Philosophy
Hons or H
Table 3: Discipline Abbreviations
‘A’ where an international convention exists
‘B’ where an international convention exists
Industry Based Learning
Islam in the Modern World
L where an international convention exists
New Media Arts
Phil or Ph
‘P’ where an international convention exists
South East Asian
Teaching English as a Second Language
Year in Asia
Table 4: Approved Exceptions to Tables 2 and 3 on the basis of international standards
Bachelor of Laws
Master of Laws
Doctor of Juridical Science
Medicinae ac Chirurgiae Doctoranda
|Printable version (PDF)|
|Title||Nomenclature and post-nominal|
|Purpose||To define the standards used for the naming and post-nominals of Awards.|
|Audience||Students, Staff-Academic, Staff-Academic-Research, Staff-Professional, Students-Graduate, Students-Undergraduate, Students, Students-Graduate-Coursework, Students-Graduate-Research, Students-NonAward|
|Topic/ SubTopic||Teaching & Learning|
|Effective Date||1 Nov 2019|
|Next Review Date||1 Nov 2024|
|Responsible Officer:||Registrar, Student Administration|
|Contact Area||Division of Student Administration and Academic Services|
Australian Qualifications Framework
Coursework Awards Rule 2020
Research Awards Rule 2021
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