Future Students

Glossary of terms

When you begin to look into university study, you may feel like you’re encountering a whole new language! Don’t be put off – here’s a list of some commonly-used words to get you started:

Advanced level unit: a unit which builds upon knowledge and skills attained from introductory and intermediate level units and is the highest level of unit in bachelor degrees. These units are currently designated as 300 level units (and 400 level for students undertaking Honours).

Area of Study: see Discipline.

Associate degree: a course which provides an alternative pathway into the University if you don’t meet minimum entry requirements. Also provides a formal qualification for two years of full-time study.

Bachelor degree: a qualification awarded at university after completion of an undergraduate course of at least three years (full-time), e.g. Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Campus: the university study centre where you undertake your lectures, seminars and tutorials. UTAS has three campuses in Tasmania: Sandy Bay (Hobart), Newnham (Launceston) and Cradle Coast (Burnie).

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) – Universities and institutions offering higher education courses may offer domestic students either a commonwealth supported place (CSP) or a fee paying place. CSPs may only be offered to: Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens, holders of an Australian permanent visa or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

Core: a unit or set of units that are compulsory to the requirements of a degree or major or minor.

Co-requisite: a unit that should be studied concurrently with another unit.

Course: a program of study leading to an award, e.g. the Bachelor of Education course. All courses are made up of individual units.

Credit: recognition of prior studies that count towards the requirements for the current degree (either at another institution or in another course at this University. The credit granted may be ‘specified’ ie the credit may be granted for a particular unit, or ‘unspecified’, for example, for elective units at a particular level. (This is also referred to as ‘advanced standing’ or ‘recognition of prior learning’ (RPL)).

Cross-institutional: enrolment in a course at another higher education institution, to be counted as credit towards degree requirements at the ‘home’ university where the award will be conferred.

Degree electives: between 2-4 units, according to the relevant degree, which may be from the degree schedule and taken at any level, subject to pre-requisites, unit quotas and the unit level ranges defined in the degree specifications. If taken at introductory level, the units will often be a pair of linked introductory units. The intermediate and advanced level units may each be taken in separate disciplines; eg they 2 could add to the discipline studied in the major, minor or degree electives, or be in another discipline.

Discipline: a field of related studies, eg the disciplines of Physics, Mathematics, History, Latin. Some schools are divided into a number of disciplines; eg the School of Asian Languages and Studies includes the following disciplines: Asian Studies, Chinese, Indonesian, and Japanese.

Elective(s): see Degree electives and/or Student electives

Enabling & Supporting Programs: a group of units which can assist in meeting university prerequisites and build skills.

Faculty: a formal academic body responsible for the administration of a group of courses; e.g. the Faculty of Education oversees all UTAS courses relating to education.

Full-time (study): studying 8 standard units (totalling 100%) in semesters 1 and 2 in one calendar year constitutes full-time study for the purposes of fulfilling the requirements for a degree.

Foundation unit: units that aim to provide under-prepared students with the opportunity to obtain the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to study units at introductory level.

General (degree): a course of study with unit choices available from a broad range of study areas within a faculty. Examples of General degrees are the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science. In a General degree with a common core first year group of units, the 4 degree electives may be prescribed in the first year of study. A General degree consists of 1 major, a minor, 4 degree electives and 8 student electives.

Intermediate level unit: a unit that builds upon knowledge and skills attained from introductory level units and is assessed at a higher level. These units are currently designated as second year or 200 level units.

Introductory level unit: an entry level unit which would normally be taken in the first year of study, but may be taken in later years, subject to the degree requirements. These units are currently designated as first year or 100 level units.

Major/s: an area of specialisation continued for the duration of your degree. Students undertake more units related to their major/s than for other areas of study.

Minor: a sequence of 4 units, normally in a second area of specialisation. A minor would normally consist of 2 units at introductory and 2 at intermediate level. A minor may also be multi-disciplinary.

Mutually exclusive (unit/s) (or m/excl): a unit that may not be counted with the present unit in the same course. For example, a student who enrolled in KGA100 Geography and Environmental Studies 1 may not now enrol in KGA101 Geography and Environmental Studies 1A. Units in which the content of the material overlaps and enrolment in both is not permitted as both will not count towards the degree.

Postgraduate (study): further study for a higher qualification following the successful completion of a bachelor degree, e.g. graduate diploma or masters.

Practicum: a unit where the emphasis is on gaining practical professional experience, normally in the workplace.

Prerequisite: a unit, level of study or other requirement which must be successfully completed before commencing a course or before undertaking a later unit, e.g. to be accepted into the Bachelor of Health Science, students need to have successfully undertaken a Year 11/12 science subject (or its equivalent.)

Schedule: linked to the course specifications, a course schedule lists the units that are available in a course. The schedules in the Courses and Unit website detail the unit title, 4 where and when it is offered, its weight expressed as a percentage of a full year’s work and the enrolment code of the unit.

Semester: a formal university teaching period. There are two main semesters, each comprising 13 weeks of teaching: semester 1 runs from late February to the end of May; semester 2 runs from mid-July to mid-October.

Specialisation: units in a particular subject area, which form a sequence of study, e.g. French, Computing, Economics.

Student elective(s): units which may be taken from any available subject for which the student is eligible in any faculty, subject to degree unit level requirements, unit prerequisites and unit quotas.

Undergraduate (study): study undertaken in order to gain an associate degree or bachelor degree.

Unit: a set of lectures, seminars, tutorials and/or practicals on a particular topic, and the associated assessment. Each unit has a specific code (e.g. HEA101 Australian Literature) and a percentage weighting (e.g. 12.5%).

Weighting: UTAS uses a percentage point weighting system for its units to determine student contribution amounts. A full-time enrolment for one year is 100% weight. Most semester-long units are weighted at 12.5% each, and a full-time enrolment usually consists of 4 x 12.5% units in each semester.