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Course of Study (CO) scope

Version Details

Version: 7.0
First Year: 2016
Last Year:


The Course of Study (CO) file contains information on all courses to be provided for a reporting year. Information included on this file is incorporated into published reports.

Course information on the CO file is referenced by most data submitted for the Higher Education Data Collection:

  • Student submission, which includes the Student Enrolment (EN), Student Load/Liability (LL) and Commonwealth Assisted Students (DU) files
  • OS‑HELP submission which includes the OS‑HELP (OS) and Commonwealth Assisted Students (DU) files
  • OS‑HELP Revision submission which includes the OS‑HELP Revisions (OR), Revised OS‑HELP (RO) and Commonwealth assisted students (DU) files
  • SA‑HELP submission which includes the SA‑HELP (SA) and Commonwealth Assisted Students (DU) files
  • Student Revisions which includes the Revised Student Load Liability (RL), Student Revision (SR) and Commonwealth Assisted Students (DU) files
  • Enrolment Revisions submission which includes the Enrolment Revision (ER) file
  • Unit of Study Completions submission which includes the Unit of Study Completions (CU) file
  • Past Course Completions submission which includes the Past Course Completions (PS) file
  • Campus submission which includes the Campus (CM) file

Refer to the scope guidelines for each file for more information about these submissions.

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Timing of submissions is detailed in the reporting schedule for the relevant reporting year.

The Course of Study submission is due by 1 August. It is essential that course and campus data are received by this date to ensure students have accurate information about courses offered in the coming year.

The submission date in the reporting schedule is the final deadline when data should be received by the department. Data can be submitted prior to the due date.

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Submission method

CO is the only file included in a Course of Study submission.

Submissions are made using the Higher Education Provider Client Assistance Tool (HEPCAT). More information about this process is in the HEPCAT user guide Part 2.

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Information about the structure and elements of the CO file is in the structure guidelines for the relevant reporting year.

The key elements in the CO file are:

  • Course of study code (element 533). This code identifies a course of study at the highest level. It is only reported in the CO file. Note that:
    • a number of courses of study may lead to the same undergraduate award.
    • a student can transfer from one course to another in the same course of study and would not be treated as a commencing student for administration purposes.
  • Course code (element 307). This code identifies courses (or streams) in a course of study. This is the lower level element used to describe the course and link to other related student data submissions.

A Course of study code (element 533) may only have one value reported for the following elements which uniquely identify the course of study:

A Course code (element 307) can only be related to one Course of study code (element 533) and all its related values. That is, there must only be one record for each combination of values for Course of study code (element 533) / Course code (element 307).

Reporting of combined courses

A combined course of study can only be reported once on the Course of Study submission. Appropriate values must be reported for the Field of education code (element 461) and Field of education supplementary code (element 462).

Reporting new or additional courses for the reporting year

New courses and courses of study that are additional to those already provided to the department can be reported on an additional Course of Study submission at any time during the year.

Reporting courses from previous years

Courses from previous years can be reported in the current Course of Study submission. For example, the 2014 Course of Study submission may also include course data relating to 2012 or 2013.

The Reporting year and period code (element 415) identifies the year to which a course relates.

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Generally revisions to course of study data must be coordinated through the department.

A revision can only be made to course of study information where a particular code has been reported incorrectly through a genuine administrative error. For example, if an incorrect value was reported for any of the key elements they can be revised to reflect the correct information.

For detailed information on how to revise previously reported course data see the higher education revision guides.

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More information

For more information about terms used in these guidelines see the glossary.

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