Glossary: A - C

Basser Steps
This glossary provides a general definition of terms commonly used at UNSW and is intended as a guide only.

An indication of a student’s current progress toward completion of a program. At the end of each semester an Academic Standing level is assigned. This is calculated according to the proportion of load passed (undergraduate students), or cumulative number of failures (postgraduate students). Academic Standing is calculated at the career level (i.e. undergraduate/postgraduate), not at the program level.
See Exclusion.

An unofficial record of a student's academic history. It includes details of the program, enrolled courses, results, summary assessment statistics, academic standing, advanced standing and awards obtained at UNSW.

An official record of a student's full enrolment history, results, awards and official prizes obtained at UNSW.

Accreditation is the process for approval by an accrediting authority of a program of learning using quality assurance standards. Accreditation may be for recognition of a program of learning as an AQF qualification or by professional bodies for the purpose of professional registration leading to practice in a particular field.
See AQF, AQF Qualification.

The process by which a prospective student applies for a place in a course or program at UNSW, is considered, and is selected for or denied a place.

The masters-level courses that enable students to develop advanced disciplinary knowledge and meet masters-level learning outcomes.

Advanced Standing, sometimes referred to as Credit Transfer or Recognition of Prior Learing, is the granting of credit aimed at optimising student progression through award programs by recognising prior learning as the basis for satisfying requirements for some courses in that program. Advanced standing may be based on formal, non-formal and/or informal learning and may be granted in the form of specified or unspecified credit.
See Credit Transfer, Block Credit, Specified Credit, Unspecified Credit, Substitution, Articulation Arrangement.

Courses that meet a program's requirements are assigned an allocation rule according to academic type; i.e. CC core course, PE prescribed elective. A course can, in principle, be assigned to more than one course allocation rule.

An AQF qualification is the result of an accredited complete program of learning that leads to formal certification that a graduate has achieved learning outcomes as described in the AQF.

An AQF qualification is the result of an accredited complete program of learning that leads to formal certification that a graduate has achieved learning outcomes as described in the AQF.
See AQF.

A sequence of programs in which the requirements for completion of earlier programs in the sequence are embedded within the requirements for subsequent programs. For example, a sequence of programs comprising Graduate Certificate and/or Graduate Diploma and/or Masters. This allows students to enrol initially in an early stage of the sequence (Grad Cert or Grad Dip) and subsequently transfer to a higher level program and complete further courses with full credit for courses already completed. Commonly students are required to meet specified achievement criteria in order to progress to the next program in the sequence. In some cases, students may be admitted to a higher level qualification and then “exit” with a lower level qualification in the sequence upon meeting the requirements of that qualification.

An approved agreement or approved structure which recognises that:
(a) the completion of requirements in one program contributes to the satisfaction of program requirements of another program;
(b) admission to the subsequent program may be dependent, and possibly guaranteed, upon satisfactory completion of the prior program at a specified level;
(c) credit for study completed in one program which is to be recognised for the requirements of a subsequent program must be approved as part of an articulation agreement with an external provider, or as part of UNSW program structure in cases where only UNSW programs are involved.

Assessment is the process whereby evaluative judgments are made in relation to the quality of students’ learning achievements against expected standards. Assessment serves a range of purposes including:
• Supporting the development of student learning (formative assessment)
• Measuring and certifying the level of student learning achievement (summative assessment)
• Monitoring student learning as a measure of educational effectiveness (evaluative assessment).

The level of knowledge known to facilitate understanding of the study material, but which is not a requirement for entry.

The minimum rank required for selection into a program for the majority of current Year 12 applicants.

The AHEGS is provided by Australian higher education institutions to graduating students on completion of the requirements for a higher education award. Its purpose is to assist in both national and international recognition of Australian qualifications and to promote international mobility and professional recognition of graduates.

The AHEGS provides a description of the nature, level, context and status of studies that were pursued by the individual named. Combined with an academic transcript, the achievements outside formal study listed in the AHEGS provide a distinctive benefit to UNSW graduates by providing official recognition to those leadership activities promoted under the UNSW banner that are seen to enhance the development of graduate attributes.

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a rank (not a mark) that indicates a student's position in relation to their Year 7 cohort, including students who did not complete Year 12. The ATAR is reported as a number between 0.00 and 99.95 with increments of 0.05. The ATAR allows the comparison of students who have completed different combinations of HSC courses.
The ATAR is calculated solely for use by higher education institutions, either on its own or in conjunction with other selection criteria, to rank and select school leavers for admission to tertiary courses.

A degree, diploma or certificate conferred following completion of an award program. It provides official recognition of successful completion of that program and carries the official seal of the University.

The formal award received on successful completion of an undergraduate university degree program, ordinarily of three or more year’s duration. Bachelor degrees provide initial preparation for professional careers and postgraduate study.

Block credit, when a specific number of units may be granted on the basis of studies judged to be comparable to part of a given program. Block credit is most often granted under articulation arrangements where a Memorandum of Understanding exists. Block credit can be specified or un-specified.
See also Advanced Standing, Credit Transfer, Specified Credit, Unspecified Credit, Substitution.

A UNSW requirement of an undergraduate degree program. In single degree programs the breadth and maturity learning outcomes are generally attained through the general education and free elective components which complement discipline specific, or depth, learning requirements. Dual award program students meet breadth and maturity outcomes for one award through completion of their concurrent award.

The location where a program or course is administered from. UNSW has several campuses including the main campus at Kensington, the College of Fine Arts (COFA) campus in Paddington and UNSW Canberra in the ACT.

A core course taken toward the end of a program which is designed to draw together the various education strands. It is an opportunity for students to demonstrate that they have achieved the specified learning goals. Typically, capstone activities will incorporate a research project or examination which encourages students to consider the broader context of their discipline.
See Course.

Refers to a student's academic level. UNSW has the following careers: Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Research and Non-award.

The date on which a student's enrolment is taken to be finalised. HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP debts are incurred on census dates. Students must make their up-front payments and submit their request/s for Commonwealth assistance by the census date.

A teaching activity associated with a course available in a particular teaching period. Examples of classes include lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratories. Students enrol in a course by selecting associated classes from the timetable.

Refers to courses in the same or related discipline or specialisation.

A cognate discipline is a closely allied or related discipline, or defined branch of study or learning. The disciplines, branches of study or learning that are considered ‘cognate’ are commonly defined at the program level for the purposes of assessing applicants for entry or for recognition of prior learning.

See Double Major.

See Dual Award.

A higher education place for which the Commonwealth makes a contribution towards the cost of a student's education. Students pay a student contribution amount which varies depending on courses undertaken.

See Dual Award.

The course convener is the academic staff member with overall responsibility for coordinating the teaching of a particular course. Often the convener will take a number of lectures and may also tutor.

A compulsory course within a program that must be satisfactorily completed to meet the requirements of the program. Foundation and Capstone courses are examples of core courses.
See Course.

A course which must be completed successfully before, or studied concurrently with, another course.
See also Pre-requisite, Exclusion (course requirements).

Otherwise known as a subject or unit of study, a course is an individual study unit offered within a program with a specific unit of credit weighting (for example, MATH1131 - Mathematics 1A , 6UOC). Classes within a course may include lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, performance, studios and field trips. Students enrol in many courses to make up their program of study, some of which may be core courses (compulsory) or elective courses (where students are given a choice of courses).
UNSW courses codes are made up of a four-character alphabetic prefix, identifying the Faculty, School or academic unit administering the course, and a four-digit numeric suffix e.g. ECON1101 - Microeconomics 1. In many cases the first digit of the four-digit numeric suffix indicates the level of the course e.g. ECON1101 is a Level 1 course whereas MARK3054 is a Level 3 course, usually undertaken in stage 3.

The School (or Faculty) responsible for the planning, resourcing and delivery of a course, including teaching resources and arrangements, and administrative arrangements including publication of course information, teaching delivery, including technology supported delivery, assessment and quality.
In practice the Course Authority may delegate some responsibilities to nominated staff, including teaching staff. In the absence of this role, authority is referred to the relevant Head of School.

See Level.

In principle a course may satisfy more than one of the rules associated with a single program, including its related streams. If a course is shared between rules it can count only once toward overall UOC requirements (in contrast to double-counting between concurrent programs). Not all rules may share courses; for example, a required course in a major cannot also fulfil free elective requirements for the program.
See also Double Counting.

A mode of study largely, or wholly, constituted of courses involving directed learning, including face-to-face class instruction, online learning, distance learning, or combinations of these. It is a term commonly used with regard to undergraduate and postgraduate study. The other mode of postgraduate study is research.

Credit Transfer, sometimes referred to as Advanced Standing or Recognition of Prior Learning is process that provides students with credit towards their program at UNSW for courses completed at other tertiary institutions. Credit may be granted in recognition of prior study or for courses completed concurrently with studies at UNSW as cross-institutional enrolment at another institution. Credit transfer does not include cases where students are exempted from a specified compulsory course, which in these cases students are not granted a reduction in requirements but are permitted to substitute another courses for the compulsory courseUNSW has a Credit Transfer Agreement with other Go8 universities
See Advanced Standing, Substitution, Cross-Institutional Study, Specified Credit, Unspecified Credit, Block Credit.

Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). This is the Australian Government register that lists all Australian education providers and the programs of study that are offered by those providers to students studying in Australia on student visas. UNSW programs that have CRICOS registration are those that are available to international students studying in Australia. The CRICOS register is at:
See International Students.

Cross-career programs are university approved dual award programs that include a combination of awards from different careers. The Bachelor of Engineering/Master of Engineering is an example of an undergraduate/postgraduate cross-career program.

Refers to courses a student may take in a different Faculty to the one in which their program is based. Program Authorities may limit the number or type of cross-Faculty courses a student may take.

Where a student undertakes study at one institution for approved credit towards another program (course of study) in which they are enrolled at another institution. For example, a UNSW student enrols at another Australian tertiary institution for credit towards his/her award at UNSW, or a student enrolled at another university completes a UNSW course for credit towards his/her award at the home institution.

Study Levels

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