Glossary: P - Z

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

Enrolled for less than 75% (or 0.375 EFTSL [equivalent full-time student load]) of a standard full-time workload for that semester of the program.

See Doctorate/Doctoral Program.

Refers to the identification of a sequence of study (Stream) within a program in University’s student administration system.. Plans include majors, minors, and some postgraduate coursework ‘specialisations’. Plans are identified by a five-digit alphabetical prefix and a five-digit numeric suffix eg SENGA 13648 refers to the full-time Software Engineering plan.
See Stream, Major, Minor.

Postgraduate coursework programs are intended for graduates and practising professionals who wish to develop advanced knowledge and competency in their area of expertise or to gain advanced knowledge in a new area. Completion of a postgraduate coursework program requires students to undertake a sequence of courses, rather than research (although a research component may also be involved).

Programs of study available to students who have either already completed a university degree or hold approved equivalent qualifications and/or experience. They offer the opportunity for students to further their skills and qualifications in a particular area of specialisation. Completion of a postgraduate program may lead to an award of a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters (by Coursework or Research), Doctorate (PhD) or post-doctoral qualification.

Completion of a postgraduate research program requires students to undertake supervised individual research rather than postgraduate coursework, although in some circumstances a coursework component may be involved.

A student who is close to fulfilling the minimum units of credit required to complete their program and whose eligibility to graduate is under review by their Program Authority. A student’s eligibility to graduate is dependent on the outcome of final results and the satisfaction of all program requirements.

A requirement which must be completed before enrolling in a course or the next stage within a program, and typically relating to specific courses , e.g. completing a Level I MATH course before progressing to Level II MATH courses.

Designated study requirement.

See Core Course.

See Elective.

Refers to the student’s previous enrolment stage within a Program.
See Program, Stage.

Prizes are presented to students for meritorious academic achievement. Prizes are usually in the form of medals, books, book vouchers, cash amounts and certificates and are awarded annually on the recommendation of the Head of School. Official University prizes appear on a student’s academic transcript and AHEGS.

A structured program of study leading to the award of a degree, diploma or certificate. UNSW offers award programs in 3 academic careers (Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Research). Each program is identified by a 4 digit numeric code (eg 3432 - Bachelor of Psychology). Programs are structured as sequenced combinations of core and elective courses. Many programs also require students to major in one or more areas of specialisation. Some programs are structured as dual award programs.
See Dual Award, Combined Degree Program, Course, Major, Minor.

The program authority is responsible for the planning, resourcing and delivery of a program, including teaching resources and arrangements, and administrative arrangements including publication of program information, marketing and recruitment, teaching delivery, including technology enabled learning and teaching, assessment and quality. The program authority is responsible for all matters that affect students in an award program – including admission, enrolment, progression, and graduation.

For Dual Award Programs one of the contributing Faculties is identified as the Program Authority (when the program is proposed). For these programs the Program Authority has responsibility for matters such as enrolment and leave from the program, although both Faculties are separately responsible for certifying that students have satisfied requirements for their particular degree.
See Program, Course Authority.

Specifies the academic rules and requirements for a program. The Program Structure may be revised periodically. Students are required to complete the requirements that applied at the time the student commenced the program, unless a specific transition program is approved for the student.
See Program, Core Courses, Electives, Prescribed Electives, Free Electives, Pre-requisites.

The University recognises that learning can be gained in formal, non-formal and informal contexts. RPL is the process of assessing previous types of learning for equivalence with UNSW study, or as equivalent to the pre-requisite qualification for admission to a program. Recognition of prior learning may be through specified credit, unspecified credit, advanced standing including block credit, substitution or a combination of these processes for undergraduate and/or postgraduate programs.

Formal Learning - learning that takes place through a structured program of study that is delivered by education or training providers, and which leads to the full or partial achievement of an officially accredited qualification.
Non-Formal Learning - refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of learning but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification.
Informal Learning - is learning that takes place through life and work experience.
See Advanced Standing, Credit Transfer, Block Credit, Specified Credit, Unspecified Credit, Substitution.

The person nominated by the Course Authority to be available to answer any questions during an examination. The Referee is normally the Course Convenor.

Postgraduate programs of study which involve a student independently researching a specific topic under the guidance of a supervisor and producing a thesis or report. Some research programs do involve a coursework component.

See Elective.

Refers to the standard of academic performance of a student in a course or a program in which they are enrolled . The Program Authority must be satisfied in the student’s ability to progress to the next stage of their program.
Also see Academic Standing.

The administrative time period in which Teaching Periods are defined, students enrol and for which students are charged fees or student contributions. UNSW has two main semesters per year, as well as the eight-week Summer Term in December/January. The two main semesters are structured around 12 weeks of classes in 13 weeks. Each semester also includes a one week mid-semester break. Semester 1 is, approximately from February to June and Semester 2 is, approximately from July to November. Exceptions to this pattern are the Faculty of Medicine and the Australian Graduate School of Management whose academic years are divided into multiple teaching periods within the semester structure.
See Teaching Period.

An Award with Honours program is an additional, distinct year of study that follows the completion of an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline, whether at UNSW or elsewhere. All components of the Honours program contribute to the Honours level qualification. These Honours programs require completion of 48 UoC of study typically undertaken over one calendar year (or part-time equivalent).
See Honours, Embedded Honours Programs.

See Major.

An academic organisational unit which sits within the University organisational structure under Faculties. An academic organisational unit, also sometimes referred to as a Department. Faculties may be comprised of only one School or of several Schools.

The range of discipline-relevant abilities that a student acquires as part of their studies. They can include cognitive skills, technical skills, communication skills, creative skills, interpersonal skills and generic skills. They may be related to how a student uses or discovers the discipline knowledge acquired in their study, or they may be related to the professional practice of those who work in the discipline.

A focussed area of academic study in a postgraduate program.
See Major, Stream.

Credit which is granted when the school delivering the UNSW course accepts that an exact or near exact equivalence to a course studied at another tertiary provider can be demonstrated. Once agreed this recognition becomes a precedent for other students. How the credit is used in the award is covered by the program rules and the University rules covering credit.
See unspecified credit, block credit, advanced standing, substitution, recognition of prior learning, credit transfer.

Programs are generally structured in a number of ‘Stages’ of study, requiring students to complete a specified number of units of credit and/or a particular sequence of courses at each stage. Generally, students are identified with a particular program stage, depending on how far they have progressed. For a full-time student, stages correspond with their year of enrolment (e.g. Stage 1 is the first year of study, Stage 2 is the second year, etc).

Stream is a sequence of study. This is the umbrella term for majors, minors and postgraduate program specialisations. At UNSW, streams are identified by a six-digit code that consists of a four-character subject area, a single alphabetical character strand code, and a single character stream type code. For example, SENGA1 refers to the full-time Software Engineering stream.
See Plan, Major, Minor, Specialisation.

The commonwealth government groups different areas of study into one of four bands. Student contribution bands are used to determine the maximum student contribution amount per EFSTL.
See EFTSL, Student Contribution Charge, Student Contributions.

(Previously known as HECS liability). The financial amount a University sets that a Commonwealth supported student pays for courses (units of study) in that university for a given year.

Contributions that Commonwealth supported students make towards the cost of their education.

A student from an overseas tertiary institution who is attending UNSW for a specified period of time (usually one semester) to undertake non-award study (under the Study Abroad program) which will be credited towards their award at their home institution. The student pays fees to UNSW for their study.

The total number of units of credit (UoC) taken in a semester. A full-time load at UNSW is 18 or more UoC per semester (a standard full-time load is 24).

See Course.

Exemption or credit for a specified compulsory course. Students are still required to complete an equivalent course to the same unit of credit value.
See Credit Transfer, Exemption, Advanced Standing, Recognition of Prior Learning, Unspecified Credit, Block Credit.

Each Program may define rules that allow individual students to substitute core or elective courses with other courses that meet their special abilities or needs. Often such substitution must have prior approval of the Program Authority.
See also Credit Transfer.

Supplementary Transcripts were issued to eligible UNSW students who graduated prior to Semester 1, 2010 for approved activities and awards from Semester 1 2007. From S1 2010, all UNSW students completing program requirements receive an AHEGS on graduation.

Combined with an academic transcript, the Supplementary Transcript recognised student achievement outside formal study, such as volunteer contributions, international exchange and scholarships and provided official recognition to those leadership activities promoted under the UNSW banner that could be seen to enhance the development of graduate attributes.

Each Semester is composed of several Teaching Periods, for example Teaching Period 1A (T1A) and Teaching Period 1B (T1B) in Semester 1. A course in Semester 1 or 2 may run over 13 weeks, or in one of 2 shorter 6 week periods. Summer Term is composed of three Teaching Periods, Teaching Period U1 (8 weeks over December and January), U1B (4 weeks from early January) and U1C (6 weeks over late December and January).
See Semester.

A testamur is the official certification of a student's completion of a degree, diploma or certificate obtained at the University of New South Wales. It contains the signatures of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Registrar, and bears the official seal of the University. It also contains the name of the graduate, award title and date of award conferral.

Refers to a commencing student who hasn’t yet selected a major for their program. Students are required to declare a Major by the start of Stage 2 of their program.
See Major.

A post-secondary program leading to an award of bachelor degree (including a graduate entry bachelor degree), bachelor degree with honours, associate degree, advanced diploma, diploma or associate diploma.

Unit of credit – means the value attached to each academic course in terms of its contribution to the completion of an award program. The majority of courses are 6 UOC. A full-time load is 24 UOC in the two main teaching semesters. Coursework programs require the successful completion of a specified number of UOC and fees are charged on the basis of UOC enrolment.

Credit which is granted when an exact or near exact course equivalence cannot be demonstrated. Unspecified credit is most often granted when the work is deemed to be equivalent in amount and academic value as elective courses studied.

Refers to courses offered at Levels 2 - 6 that are usually taken in later years of the degree and sometimes require completion of lower Level courses as pre-requisites. In practice, each course is associated with a specific level.
See Course.

It is calculated by multiplying the mark obtained for each relevant result by the units of credit of the particular course, adding up the products and dividing by the total number of units of credit for the relevant courses. Only results that produce a mark are considered to be relevant, apart from DF prior to Session 1, 2002 and AF from Session 1, 2003, which are equivalent to a mark of zero. A 'Term WAM' is calculated for relevant results in a semester, and a separate cumulative WAM is calculated for relevant results over the student's entire program.

Normal workload expectations for each program are a minimum of 25 hours per semester per unit of credit, including class contact hours, preparation and time spent on all assessable work. For a full-time enrolled student, the average workload across the 16 weeks of teaching, study, and exam periods equates to approximately 37.5 hours per week. Workload is also sometimes referred to as ‘Assessable Hours’.

Study Levels

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