Quality Manual – Chapter 4

Award-bearing and Non-award-bearing Programmes

4.1. Award-bearing Programmes and Non-award-bearing Programmes

SPCEPs leading to formal CUHK qualifications with approval by the Senate are classified as “award-bearing programmes”. The other educational and professional courses, usually of a much shorter duration and not leading to formal CUHK qualifications, are classified as “non-award-bearing programmes”.

4.2. Classification of Types of Award-bearing Programmes
within the University: the Past and the Present

“SPCEPs” refers to award-bearing programmes at the levels of Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Higher Diploma, etc. The University’s classification and QA framework developed since 2005 including the criteria of contact hours, admission requirements, assessment, approval of graduate list and certification is in Appendix 4-1.

With the official launch of the HKQF and its public interface, the Hong Kong Qualifications Register (HKQR)4, by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government in mid-2008, the introduction of SPCEPs, as far as applicable, should make reference to the external requirements of the HKQF and the HKQR for the public interest’s sake. The ATS and Qualifications Framework (QF) credit policy introduced by the HKSAR Government effective from 2016 further promotes the transparency and credibility of the framework.

4.3. Classification of Award-bearing Programmes according to the HKQF

The ATS and QF credit policy guides the choice of award titles for HKQF Levels 1-7 (Appendix 4-2). It also prescribes that all programmes at HKQF Levels 1-4 must indicate their QF credits on the HKQR and that a Diploma must carry a learning size of at least 60 QF credits. The definition and general principles governing QF credit are available in the Operational Guidelines on Use of Credit published by the EDB of the HKSAR Government5.

At present, all SPCEPs of CUHK placed onto the HKQR are in full compliance with the ATS and QF credit policy.

According to p. 15 of CUHK Strategic Plan 2016-20, one of the goals under the strategic theme “Education” is “To serve the needs and demands of the community for lifelong education and continuing development” while one of the strategies is to “Redefine the role of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies to serve the needs of the ageing population and second career trends in Hong Kong.”


4 http://www.hkqr.gov.hk/HKQRPRD/web/hkqr-en/

5 https://www.hkqf.gov.hk/en/KeyFeatures/credit/index.html