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Glossary of Terms.

Some terms used in this Courses and Unit (Handbook) website may be unfamiliar to new students. The explanations listed here relate to these terms as they are used by UTas.

Academic Senate: the principal academic committee of the University, with undergraduate and postgraduate student representatives, responsible for academic matters including the approval of courses and policy covering entry requirements, admission, enrolments, assessment and course completions.
Academic year (see also teaching year): extends from the end of February to the end of November (see page A-2).


Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, comprising the Vice-Chancellors of all Australian universities, provides broad policy within higher education and represents universities in relations with the Commonwealth Government and other bodies

Both: Unit offerings are internal unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered externally, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered both internally and externally from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Bachelor degree:

an award following completion of an undergraduate course of at least three years full time (or equivalent part time), designed to provide a systematic introduction to a field of study, with some specialisation at a deeper level of content and knowledge, and to the underlying principles and concepts and associated problem solving skills, eg Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts.


when applied to an education unit is one which extends the competencies gained by someone with a non-University certificate to a standard required for the University award course (eg the Bachelor of Adult and Vocational Education unit ESV209)


a companion unit which must be given credit towards a bachelor degree.

Credit hours:

the number of hours deemed to have been completed by students attending given (School of Education) classes (workshops and seminars).

Credit pass (CR):

a pass in which the student gained at least 60% but less than 70%.

Credit point:

see weighting.


the head of a faculty; the dean is responsible for the administration of the faculty and its academic and research pursuits.

Deferred ordinary examination (DO):

students suffering from illness or other adverse circumstances at the time of the examination may apply for a deferred examination. A student whose application is granted is permitted to sit an equivalent examination at a later date. The deferred examination should not be confused with the supplementary examination which is, in effect, an exam which gives the student a ‘second chance’.


see school.


an award following completion of a specified two-year full-time (or equivalent part time) undergraduate course designed to develop skills, including significant practical experience, and knowledge in a specific field of activity, leading to professional registration or meeting the needs of employers in the field, eg Diploma of Music.


a person who has graduated with a diploma or graduate diploma.


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.

Distance education:

is used loosely of courses or – units which can be studied off-campus. Such units or courses may require attendance at a weekend seminar at a designated centre or campus (see also ‘flexible delivery’).

Distinction (DN):

a pass in which the student gained at least 70% but less than 80%.

EFTSU (see also weighting):

Equivalent Full-time Student Unit. Each unit has a weight or load assigned to it in specific courses, expressed as a proportion of the total full-time course requirement in a year. All enrolled students have an EFFSU value calculated on the units in which they are enrolled in each semester. The EFTSU calculation determines the HECS liability of a student. The weights of the full-time course requirements in a year normally add up to one EFTSU.

Elective (also called an option or optional unit):

a unit which counts towards the requirements of a course but which is not specified and may be chosen by the student. For example, the first year medicine student is required to select an elective unit weighted at 12.5%. Elective units are generally in another discipline and may even be taken in another faculty.

Examiner (also called the assessor):

a lecturer or lecturers responsible for the examination of a unit.

External: Unit offerings are internal unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered externally, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered both internally and externally from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.


a formal academic body responsible for the administration of courses, with membership largely comprised of the teaching staff of schools assigned to the faculty and student representatives from the courses for which it is responsible.

Faculty pass (FS/FP):

a pass awarded by a faculty, after consideration of the student’s overall performance in that academic year, in a unit in which the assessors did not award a pass grade. FS means permission to enter a supplementary examination has been granted; FP means permission refused.

Fail (NS/NN):

achieving less than 50%. See, however, ‘terminating pass’ and ‘faculty pass’. NS means permission to sit a supplementary examination has been granted; NN means permission refused.

Flexible delivery:

referring to the way in which a unit is taught (may include lectures, distance education, video conferencing, use of the internet, in-campus or statewide weekends, summer school or winter school).

Full year:

when applied to a unit means one which is taught over two semesters, generally semester 1 and semester 2.

Grade-Point Average (GPA):

a numerical representation of the average grade or pass of a student across a defined number of units. Each faculty determines the method of calculation for students enrolled in its courses.


a person who has completed the requirements of a course but who has not yet been admitted to a degree or awarded a diploma.


a person who has completed the requirements of a course and has been admitted to a degree.

Graduation ceremony:

ceremony at which qualifications are formally granted (conferred)


Higher Education Contribution Scheme. The Commonwealth Government scheme requiring students to contribute towards the cost of their higher education. HECS liability is calculated by multiplying the student’s EFTSU value by an annual course contribution set by the Commonwealth Government.

High distinction (HD):

a pass in which the student gained at least 80%.


either an additional year of full-time study after a three-year full-time degree, predominantly spent on a research project, or, in the case of a four-or-more-year full-time single degree, a defined higher level of expectation for meritorious students in the later stages of the course.

In-country (also Osea):

used of units which are studied within the relevant country eg some foreign language units are studied during the summer vacation within the country where that language is used.

Internal: Unit offerings are internal unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered externally, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered both internally and externally from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Key learning areas (KLAs):

refers to the major disciplines or subjects within the Primary and Secondary school-system curriculum.

Lecturer/senior lecturer:

academic staff with responsibility for curriculum design, teaching and assessment.


units are often referred to by their level. Level 100 units are generally deemed to be at first-year level, level 200 at the second-year, level 300 as the third-year level.


an area of specialisation continued for the duration of a degree at a deeper level of content with knowledge developed to a high level providing the basis for postgraduate study.

Minor (also called a sub-major):

an area of specialisation continued for two years of a degree.

Module (or sub-unit):

when used in relation to a unit refers to a discrete part within that unit.

Mutual exclusion:

Another unit which 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.

Pass (PP):

a pass in which the student gained at least 50% but less than 60%.

Postgraduate (study):

further study for a higher qualification following the successful completion of a bachelor degree, eg graduate diploma or master degree by coursework.


a unit where the emphasis is on gaining practical professional experience, generally in the workplace.


a unit or level of study which must be successfully completed before a later unit can be studied. For example, in order to enrol in BEA130 Foundations of Economic Policy the student must have first successfully completed BEA110 Economics for Business.


the most senior academic rank, and often the head of a school.


when used of the teaching mode of a unit, means that some students will be studying a given unit at one time while others are studying another unit; and then they swap round.


part of the course specifications listing units that may be studied in a particular course. The schedules in this Courses and Units website detail the unit title, 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.

School (formerly known as ‘department’):

the academic body responsible for the teaching of a discipline or group of related disciplines within a faculty.


teaching period including 13 teaching weeks and a one week study period followed by examinations. Within each semester, there is a mid-semester break of about one week. Note: 'semester' was formerly used to speak of the first half and the second half of the year's program. Nowadays, the word means any designated teaching period, including summer school held from December through to February, winter school held over June and July between the two normal semesters, and spring school held over November and December.

Services and Amenities Fee (S&A Fee):

an annual fee levied on all students by the student associations to fund services and amenities. The amount is calculated on the EFTSU value of each student.


the rules by which a faculty administers a course. sub-unit: see ‘module’.

Summer school:

some courses or units require students to attend lectures or other University activities during the long summer vacation.

Supplementary examination:

students whose examination result has been borderline may be required to sit another examination. Supplementary examinations are generally held in December and July.

Teaching year:

comprises two semesters and two examination periods; usually extending from late February to early December.


refers to a course of study for which there are no new enrolments. Students whose course is being taught out should make sure they know what provisions are being made for them eg, to transfer to another course, and so on. It is understood that no student is to be disadvantaged by changes to their course or its structure.

Terminating pass (TS/TP):

means the student is not permitted to undertake studies in the same subject at a more advanced level. TS means permission has been granted to sit a supplementary examination; TP means permission refused.

Testamur (also called a certificate):

the certificate awarded on graduation.

Undergraduate (study):

study undertaken in order to gain a diploma, degree or honours degree.


a set of lectures, seminars, tutorials and /or practical sessions on a particular topic and the associated assessment.

VET in schools:

Vocational Education and Training courses included in senior secondary school certificates. The University’s admission procedures provide for assessment under alternative entry of appropriate levels of achievement in VET courses undertaken as part of senior secondary school certificates. (For more details, refer to the Admission Guide 2004).


some units employ video conferencing to deliver lectures by screen to an audience in an alternative location to the lecturer.

Viva voce:

an oral, face-to-face examination.

WebCT (Web Course Tools):

is used to provide some or all of the teaching via the internet. For access to detailed information, visit the University’s online site at: .


A measure of the proportion that a unit represents of the total credit specified for completion of a course. The weighting is expressed as an EFTSU percentage. (Typically, a full year’s study is the equivalent of 100%).


AV-CC: Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee

AVE: Adult and Vocational Education

B: Cradle Coast Campus (was North-West Centre in Burnie)

CALL: Computer Assisted Language

Learning coreq: corequisite

CR: pass with credit

CUP: Cambridge University Press

D: by distance education dist.ed: by distance education

DN: pass with distinction

Edin: Edinburgh

EFTSU: Equivalent Full-time Student Unit

equiv: equivalent

F: Fuzhou

FP: faculty pass

G: Shanghai

H: Hobart

[h/b]: hardback edition

Hbt: Hobart

HD: pass with high distinction

HECS: Higher Education Contribution Scheme

HoS: Head of School

hr: hour

int: internal

I: Isolated

K: KDU Malaysia

L: Launceston

lab: laboratory

LGH: Launceston General Hospital

Ltn: Launceston

M.Excl: Mutual Exclusion

N: Interstate

[na]: refers to a unit which is not offered in 2005

NN: a fail grade

NWGH: North-West General Hospital

O: in-country, off-shore (generally in the combination O3 meaning ‘in-country during the summer vacation’)

O: Overseas

Osea: overseas - has the same general meaning as ‘in-country’ and ‘off-shore’ [OCS]: refers to a unit which may be taken in a variety of courses not specified

[?] or ?: depending on context means ‘to be confirmed’ or ‘to be advised’

OSCE: Objective Structured Clinical Examination

OUP: Oxford University Press

OWC: Oxford World’s Classics

P: Beauty Point

[p/b]: paperback edition

PP: a pass grade prereq:

prerequisite r:

in rotation

Q: Kuwait

rdg: recommended reading

R: Rozelle

req: required texts and materials

RHH: Royal Hobart Hospital

SAQ: Short Answer Question

sem: semester.

s-sch: summer school (sometimes referred to as semester 3)

SOSE: Studies of Society and Environment

tba: to be advised

TP: terminating pass

V: Sydney

w-sch: winter school (sometimes referred to as semester 4)

wk, wks: week, weeks

xx%: the HECS weighting (see also EFFSU)

Y: Hong Kong

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