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Section 1: Credit and Registration

Academic Regulations

Academic Integrity

Students are responsible for all information submitted in relation to their application and registration, including any documents that have been prepared by an educational agent on their behalf. Royal Roads University reserves the right to request and/or confirm any information necessary to support a student's application for admission. The submission of false statements and/or documents will result in the immediate and permanent cancellation of admission and/or registration to Royal Roads University. Information on falsifications will be shared with the Association of Registrars of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

Students are not permitted to start a program of study until a formal notice of acceptance has been received from the Registrar's Office. Failure to abide by this regulation will result in the immediate and permanent cancellation of the student's registration.

For further information see the Policy on Academic Integrity and Misconduct for RRU Students.

Advanced Standing

Advanced Standing is placement to a certain level based on an assessment of previous work or on achievement in a placement test. Credit is not granted for Advanced Standing.

Subject to approval of the Dean and the Registrar, Advanced Standing (also known as "exemption" or "waiver") may be granted, thereby exempting a student from taking a course in one of three ways: prior completion of a comparable for-credit course, prior completion of a comparable non-credit course, or through prior learning assessment.

Exempted courses are notated in the student's file however the exempted course is not shown on RRU transcripts. As there are a minimum number of credits required for the completion of certificate, diploma and degree programs students are responsible for ensuring they meet these requirements. If the exemption results in a student having sufficient credits to graduate no substitution courses are required. If, however, the exemption results in too few credits to meet the graduation requirement, substitutions (other courses or directed studies) must be taken to meet the minimum requirements of the program.

Copyright

Fair dealing is a legal concept present in the Canadian Copyright Act that states that certain types of uses are 'fair;' these types of uses do not require permission from the copyright owner, and are not considered to be an infringement of copyright. The uses regarded as 'fair' in the Act are: research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, parody and satire.  For more information, please see Royal Roads University's Fair dealing policy.  Faculty and/or students that plan to use any copyrighted materials, in any format, as part of their teaching and learning activities in the classroom or for distance education may be required to obtain prior permission, in writing, from the copyright owner or publisher. Violation of the copyright law is a punishable offense. It is strongly recommended that permissions be arranged in conjunction with the university copyright office. For further information, contact the copyright officer at 250-391-2652 or by e-mail, copyrightofficer@royalroads.ca.

Course Audit

Students may be permitted to audit a course upon approval from the Dean or designate. An auditing student does not participate in assignments or examinations and no credit is awarded for the course. Participation in other activities is at the discretion of the instructor. Permission to audit a course is dependent upon the class size and other factors that the instructor and the Dean or designate establish. Once a course has been audited, the course is not open to course challenge and will not be considered for meeting admission, prerequisite or course requirements. An AU grade is entered for courses in which a student is registered but for which no credit is awarded. Audit courses are limited to a maximum of one per degree program, unless approved by the Dean and Registrar.

Course Designations

Courses are designated by program and level. The first numeric character designates the level of study.

  • 300 and 400 level - upper level undergraduate courses
  • 500 and 600 level - masters level courses
  • 700 level - doctoral level courses
  • 800 level - executive development
  • 900 level - executive development

Directed studies courses, with "N17" designation, are individually designed courses on approved topics undertaken in consultation with, and under the supervision of, a faculty member. Directed Studies courses are typically designed to meet specific requirements for study in areas not covered by established courses. Prior approval of the Dean is required and Directed Studies courses are limited to a maximum of one per degree program, unless approved by the Dean and Registrar.

Courses with "N90" designation are typically reserved for a major project, thesis or professional field practice.

Courses that have more than one calendar month elapsed time between academic activity are designated as 'multi-part' courses (e.g. 500A, 500B)

Credits

Program Credit Requirements

Credential Minimum Credits

Undergraduate Degree: 60 credits

Undergraduate Diploma: 60 credits

Undergraduate Certificate: 30 credits

Doctoral Degree: 60 credits

Graduate Degree: 30 credits

Graduate Diploma: 18 credits

Graduate Certificate: 9 credits

A course may only be offered for academic credit if it has Academic Council approval. Each credit normally requires 33 full hours of student effort, based on the University's estimate, and includes face-to-face instruction time, online learning time, and independent study time.

Ethical Review

Each thesis or major project must comply with the terms of the Royal Roads University Research Ethics Policy. Research or coursework involving human subjects requires an ethical review by the Royal Roads University Research Ethics Board (or one of its subcommittees). Research or coursework involving human subjects cannot be initiated until the Request for Ethical Review has been approved. A student may not graduate if a required ethical review has not been completed and approved.

International Students

Students (attending domestic programs) who are not Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents are required to present their study permit and evidence of medical insurance to the Student Services Office upon arrival at Royal Roads University.

Masters Program Requirements

For programs that incorporate research skills, research competency can be demonstrated by a variety of assessment deliverables as outlined in this document. All research involving human participants is subject to ethical review.

SHORT PAPER OR PRACTICUM

This option corresponds to the course-based Master's program that is present in graduate schools throughout the world. It is for the student who prefers to concentrate on developing skills of the profession rather than a greater focus on research in the options given below. Research methods are still a key component and a 3 credit course teaching research methods is expected. Normally, a student would be expected to demonstrate research competencies throughout the program, but specifically within an integrated paper or practicum/field component worth 3 credits and requiring approximately 100 hours of effort.

RESEARCH PAPER

A research paper constitutes a substantial written examination of a topic relevant to the program of study. The scope should be appropriate for the requirements of the particular program. Topics need not be original contributions to knowledge, but may constitute exercises in replication of relevant studies, application of knowledge to the field, development of instructional practices or policy analysis or development, surveys, creative work, documentary work and other types of projects negotiated with the program director. Standards of validity and academic rigor apply as appropriate to the nature of the research paper, whether it be a theoretical analysis, empirical study or naturalistic inquiry. Some, but not all, research-related learning outcomes of the program will be demonstrated in the graduating paper. The paper should require approximately 200 hours of effort by the student resulting in the awarding of 6 credit hours. The research paper will normally be assessed by a faculty member holding a doctoral degree, as negotiated with the program director.

MAJOR PROJECT

The major project is often given alternate titles such as 'organizational consulting project', 'strategic management project', organizational leadership project', etc. depending on the program. The major project is an independent, typically work-based, problem-solving project. In general, the scope, breadth and structure of major projects will be more flexible than is expected in a thesis. The scope of this integrative learning activity is substantial, such that a client company or organization would normally pay a substantial consulting fee for the level of work undertaken. A major project is typically practical and data driven. Background literature underlying the project may be more selective and practical in scope and less theoretical than would typically be expected for a research thesis. Publication is not a requirement, and the major project will not be submitted to the National Library of Canada. The major project requires a minimum of two supervisors (an academic advisor and a client or sponsor). The project will be reviewed at the program level by a program head or equivalent, designated external reviewer or committee. The project should constitute approximately 200 or 300 or 400 hours of effort by the student resulting in the awarding of 6 or 9 or 12 credit hours respectively.

THESIS (FOR THOSE STARTING THEIR PROGRAM PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 2013)

A thesis is a written project of a systematic study of a significant problem. The thesis demonstrates the ability to analyze existing research, collate or collect data and apply it in the context of an existing problem. The result is a de novo synthesis of theoretical and empirical information. The thesis identifies a problem, states the hypothesis or research question, identifies major assumptions, explains the significance for the undertaking, sets forth the sources for and methods of gathering information, analyzes the data and offers a conclusion or recommendation based on the data and theoretical framing. Appropriate standards of validity and reliability must be evident in tool development and data collection. The finished thesis evidences critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format and thorough documentation. These are typically published through deposit with the National Library and Archives Canada.

The thesis requires supervision by an academic, normally qualified at the doctoral level and demonstrating competencies of content and methodology relevant to the study being undertaken. Each thesis will be reviewed by a Thesis Examination Committee consisting of the supervisor, a full-time faculty member in the program area and an academic examiner external to the program. An oral thesis defence may be required. The thesis should constitute approximately 400 hours of effort by the student resulting in the awarding of 12 credits.

THESIS (FOR THOSE STARTING THEIR PROGRAM AFTER APRIL 1, 2013)

A thesis is a systematic study of a significant problem, issue, or phenomenon. The thesis demonstrates the ability to analyze existing research, collate or collect data and apply it in the context of an existing problem, issue, or opportunity. The result is a synthesis of theoretical and empirical information and/or recommendations for further action. The thesis identifies a problem or issue, states the research question, identifies major assumptions, explains the significance for the undertaking, grounds the research in relevant literature, sets forth the methods of gathering information, analyzes the data and offers a conclusion or recommendation based on the data and theoretical framing. Appropriate quality standards such as validity, reliability, or authenticity must be consistent with the selected research tradition and evident in tool development and data collection. The finished thesis evidences critical and independent thinking, subject expertise, appropriate organization and format and thorough documentation.

Unless an exemption has been granted by the Vice President Academic & Provost, all theses must be submitted for publication in RRU's Digital Archive, Pro-Quest and Library Archives Canada to meet final graduation requirements.Theses in non-traditional formats must be accompanied by a PDF summary (minimum 2,500 words), which is the only component that is electronically submitted and archived. Oversight by a Thesis Committee, including a supervisor qualified at the doctoral level and demonstrating relevant competencies of content and methodology, is required. A public defence and review by an external academic examiner are also required. The thesis should constitute approximately 400 hours of effort by the student resulting in the awarding of 12 credits.

DISSERTATION

A dissertation is the culminating project of a doctoral program. Successful completion of the comprehensive exams is required before work on the dissertation may begin. The results of the research must make a distinct interdisciplinary contribution to applied scholarship in the social sciences. The dissertation should demonstrate a high degree of original work and understanding and knowledge of the topic area. Evidence of originality may be demonstrated by one of the following or a combination of the following: the development of a new critical analysis of a practical issue or challenge; the development of a new theory from practice; the novel application of existing theory to a practical challenge; or the discovery of a new professional approach to practice. The dissertation should be written to a standard for professional and academic communication. It should be evident that the dissertation can be the basis for a published book, a monograph or a series of articles and a significant application in the field. Unless an exemption has been granted by the Vice President Academic & Provost, all dissertations must be submitted for publication in RRU's Digital Archive, Pro-Quest and Library and Archives Canada to meet final graduation requirements. Dissertations in non-traditional formats must be accompanied by a written PDF summary (minimum 2,500 words), which is the only component that is electronically submitted and archived. Work on the dissertation may not begin until a doctoral student has successfully completed the written and oral candidacy examination and thereby reached doctoral candidacy status.

Oversight by a dissertation supervisory committee, including a supervisor qualified at the doctoral level and demonstrating relevant competencies of content and methodology and methods, is required. Public defences as well as a review by an external academic examiner are also required.

The external examiner should have an "arms-length" relationship with the student, the supervisor(s) and members of the dissertation supervisory committee. The dissertation should constitute approximately 1,400 hours of effort by the student resulting in the awarding of 42 credits.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of presenting the ideas or works of another as one's own. This applies to all materials, electronic or in print, including essays, work term reports or assignments, laboratory reports, seminar presentations, computer programs, research projects and results, postings in discussion groups, and statistical data. The use of such material either directly or indirectly without proper acknowledgement (e.g. footnotes or endnotes, URL) is contrary to the norms of academic behaviour. For further information see the Policy on Academic Integrity and Misconduct for RRU Students.

Process for Appeals of Academic Decisions

Appeals of academic decisions not included in the Policy on Academic Integrity and Misconduct or subject to the Grade Appeals Process, may be presented to successive levels of decision-making within the Faculty up to the Dean. Decisions of the Dean may be appealed to the Vice President Academic and Provost. The Vice President Academic may, at his/her discretion, refer any matter to a Review Committee. When convened, the Review Committee shall be comprised of members appointed by the Vice President Academic, and shall determine its own procedure having regard to its duty to act fairly toward the student. The University reserves the right in its discretion to modify the process as it determines may be appropriate in any particular instance.

Appeals to the Vice President Academic must be made in writing by the student within 30 (calendar) days of the Dean's decision.

Should the student wish to bring a witness(es) or advisor(s) to the meeting with the Vice President Academic or to the Review Committee meeting he/she must be informed at least 48 hours in advance. The deliberations of the Vice President Academic as well as the Review Committee are in closed session and those appearing before the Vice President Academic or review committee should consider their participation to be confidential.

Program Completion Deadlines

Undergraduate students must complete degree programs within five years of their initial start date and graduate students must complete degree programs within seven years of their start date. Students enrolled in certificate or diploma programs must complete their programs within five years of their initial start date. Time away from the program is included in the calculation of a student's maximum program completion deadline. Students who take longer than the normal time to complete a degree program may be required to withdraw and re-apply for admission. Students may be required to repeat elements of the program in order to ensure the currency of program competencies, outcomes and knowledge at the time of degree completion. Deans are responsible for determining which elements of a program a returning student must repeat to ensure degree currency.

Due to program capacities, seats will not be reserved for students on leave. Every effort will be made to accommodate students who wish to return from a leave; however, if a seat in the program is not available when the student wishes to return, the leave will be extended to the next available intake date and the student's program completion deadline will be adjusted accordingly.

Program/Course Cancellation, Delay or Revision Policy

Royal Roads University reserves the right to cancel, delay or revise program and/or course intake dates at its sole discretion. Applicants should note that such cancellations, delays, or revisions will only occur based upon unexpectedly low enrolment levels or unforeseen circumstances and will supersede any pre-existing offers of acceptance of students into that program, course or intake.

Registration

The Registrar's Office is responsible for the registration of all students. Upon the return of an authorized Notice of Acceptance a student is formally registered in a program and associated courses. Students who are given a conditional acceptance into a program, and do not meet the conditions specified by the deadlines indicated in their Notice of Acceptance, will automatically have their registration deferred.

Students are responsible for ensuring that their program and course registration is appropriate and accurately recorded.

Deferral

A student admitted to an academic program who, due to unforeseen circumstances, is unable to begin the program as scheduled may request a maximum one time deferral. Students must submit their request for deferral to the Admissions Office prior to the start date of the program. Students are required to pay the tuition deposit in order to secure a seat in the program.

Supervision of major projects and theses in graduate programs

Candidates for graduate degrees at Royal Roads University who are required to complete a major project or thesis as part of their program will be supported with faculty supervision and guidance in accordance with the policies specific to each program.

Block Transfer

At RRU, block transfer is used as a pre-approved basis for admission in to an undergraduate program. Block transfer requires a formal institution-to-institution agreement and students are admitted on the basis of successful completion of a cluster of courses recognized as having academic wholeness or integrity, a certificate, or a diploma.

Laddering

Academic credit earned through the completion of one credential (e.g. certificate or diploma) accepted towards the completion of another credential (e.g. diploma or degree) within the same program area. Laddering agreements must be approved by Academic Council.

Laddering agreements enable students to build upon previously earned credentials hence the content must be identical (e.g. course completed in a certificate program must contain the same content as those in the degree program). Students who have successfully completed one credential (e.g. certificate or diploma) must apply for admission to a higher level credential program (e.g. diploma or degree) prior to starting the second credential program. Students who are only registered in a degree program do not receive multiple credentials (e.g. certificate and degree).

Program Transfer

Students registered in a degree program must apply to the Dean for approval in order to transfer to a certificate or diploma program. Similarly, students registered in a certificate or diploma program eligible for laddering (in progress and not yet complete) must apply and be accepted into the higher level program.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is defined as academic credit earned at another institution and accepted toward an RRU certificate, diploma, or degree.

Students may apply for transfer credit for Royal Roads' courses based on the successful completion of comparable courses at other recognized post-secondary institutions. A student may not be awarded more credits for a course than those awarded by the originating institution. Transfer credit requires the submission of official transcripts as well as the approval of the receiving Dean and the Registrar. The maximum number of transfer credits that can be awarded towards a degree program is 15 at the undergraduate level, 12 at the master’s level and 6 for doctoral programs. Exceptions must be approved by the Dean and Registrar unless the transfer credits are based on an inter-institutional agreement related to a joint degree program or partnership program.

Transfer credit is notated on a Royal Roads' transcript and included in the credits required for completion of the credential. No substitute courses are required in order to meet the minimum requirements for graduation.

Internal Course Credit Transfer

Academic credit earned in one program at RRU, for which a credential was not earned, and accepted towards a different RRU certificate, diploma, or degree.

A student who transfers programs may request that previously earned (individual) course credits completed in one program area be accepted towards the completion of a certificate, diploma or degree in another program area, subject to the approval of the receiving Dean and the Registrar.

Course Challenge

A student may challenge a course on the basis of prior knowledge or experience acquired outside the university. Credit may be granted for a course through either an academic assessment (e.g. challenge exam, preparing a portfolio), or completing some form of assessment as determined by the Dean. Students electing to challenge for credit should continue in their enrolment in the course until the result of the challenge is determined. Credit assigned through course challenge requires the approval of the receiving Dean and the Registrar. The Dean is responsible for documenting the formal process to be followed and the Registrar retains a copy of all relevant material used for evaluation purposes for inclusion in the student's file. Students who successfully challenge a course are given credit for that course and are required to pay 50 percent of the normal prorated tuition for the course. Students who challenge a course unsuccessfully are assessed an administrative fee in accordance with the University's approved ancillary fees. Courses that are successfully challenged are shown on RRU transcripts.

The maximum number of credits that can be awarded through course challenge in a degree program is 50 per cent of the minimum number of credits required for graduation.

Students wishing to challenge a course must submit their request in writing to the appropriate Dean and the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible and no later than ten business days after the course start date.