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Academic Offering

A program, double degree award program, specialisation or course.

Academic Standing

An indication of a student’s current progress toward completion of a program. At the end of each term or 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 also Exclusion.

Academic Statement

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.

Academic Transcript

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

Academic Withdrawal date

The last date a student can withdraw from a course, where the course will not appear on an academic transcript.


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 also Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), AQF Qualification.

Action Items

See Service Indicators.


Entry into a program or course granted to an applicant following assessment of their application.

Advanced Standing

A status that reflects that a student's progression through their program has been advanced as a result of the granting of credit for prior learning. The granting of credit results in the reduction of the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification. The prior learning for which credit is granted may be formal, non-formal or informal / workplace learning. The credit granted may be specified or unspecified.

See also Credit Transfer, Block Credit, Specified Credit, Unspecified Credit, Substitution, Articulation Arrangement.

AQF Qualification

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 also Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Articulated Programs

A defined sequence of programs in which the courses and requirements for completion of earlier programs in the sequence are a subset of subsequent programs in the sequence, and full credit is granted for courses completed in earlier programs in the sequence.

Articulation Arrangement

An approved agreement or structure which enables students to progress in a defined pathway from one qualification to another with credit. An articulation arrangement can be internal, through an articulated sequence of programs, or external.


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).

Assumed Knowledge

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

ATAR Cut-Off

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

Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS)

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.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

Australia’s national quality assured framework of qualifications in the school, vocational education and training and higher education sectors. The AQF provides the standards for Australian qualifications.

Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

A measure of academic achievement in an Australian Senior Secondary Qualification that assists institutions with ranking applicants for selection to tertiary education programs. The ATAR is a rank, not a mark.


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

Block credit is awarded as a unit of credit value on the basis of studies judged to be comparable to stage or component of a given program. Block credit is most often granted under articulation arrangements where an approved agreement exists, or where standardised block credit arrangements have been approved as part of the admission requirements for Master Coursework programs. Block credit can be specified or unspecified.

See also Advanced Standing, Credit Transfer, Specified Credit, Unspecified Credit, Substitution.



The location where a program or course is administered from. UNSW has several campuses including the main campus at Kensington, the UNSW Art & Design campus in Paddington and UNSW Canberra in the ACT.

Capstone Course

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 also Course.


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

Census Date

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.

Class Search

The Class Search service in myUNSW allows you to search for courses based on detailed class information such as meeting days, instructor, and class type (component).

Cognate Course

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

Cognate Discipline

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.

Combined Degree Program

See Double Degree.

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

A place at an approved provider that is subsidised by the Australian Government so that students only have to pay ‘student contribution' amounts for courses within a program of study.

Core Course

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 that must be enrolled in concurrently with another course (unless it has already been completed), usually due to a relationship between the courses in the program curriculum.

See also Prerequisite, Exclusion (course requirements).


A planned and structured sequence of learning and teaching, normally over one teaching period in duration that allows a student to gain knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to an agreed set of learning outcomes.

Course Authority

Position with overarching responsibility for all aspects of a course. The Course Authority may delegate responsibilities to nominated staff or administrative units within a School or Faculty.

Course Convenor

The course convenor 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.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

The knowledge, skills and their applications, behaviours and practices that students need to demonstrate to complete a course within a program. CLOs articulate with PLOs and SLOs (where relevant).

See also Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs), Specialisation Learning Outcomes (SLOs).

Course Level

See Level.

Course rule

Courses that are equivalent for the purposes of determining whether a student has satisfied a particular academic requirement of the program. For example, a student may be required to select either Mathematics 1A or Higher Mathematics 1A, and either course will count towards the same rule within the program requirements.

Course Sharing

A course that satisfies more than one academic rule in a program (e.g. a course that meets the rules of two majors, or a major and a minor, or for different awards within a double degree program). A shared course can be counted only once towards unit of credit requirements, except where double counting is permitted. See definition and specified limits for double counting.

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.


The value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content, volume of learning, and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/ or qualifications. This value may be expressed in terms of units of credit or prescribed courses.

Credit Outcomes

The results of a process of determining a student’s application for credit.

Credit Transfer

A process whereby a student who transfers from a program at another higher education provider, or from another program at UNSW, is granted credit for courses completed at that higher education provider or program.

See also Advanced Standing, Substitution, Cross-Institutional Study, Specified Credit, Unspecified Credit, Block Credit.

CRICOS Register

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.

See also International Students.

Cross-Career Program

Cross-career programs are university approved double degree 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.

Cross-Institutional Study

A student enrolled in a course outside of their awarding institution for credit towards their program of study at that awarding institution.



An official agreement which allows successful applicants to delay commencement of a tertiary program, usually for the period of one term or semester up to one year (depending on the program availability).


A formal award or qualification awarded on completion of a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral program of study (e.g. Bachelor of Engineering, Master of Arts, or PhD).

See also Award.

Disciplinary Core

Specified courses, or clusters of courses, in a specialised area of study that must be satisfactorily completed to meet the requirements of the program.


Discipline refers to a defined branch of study or learning. Schools or Departments offer related courses which form part of the same study area. Many programs require students to specialise in a particular study area, for example, Accounting, Civil Engineering or English.

See also Specialisation.

Doctorate/Doctoral Program

A postgraduate research program where students independently research a specific topic under the guidance of a supervisor to produce a thesis. For a doctorate, considerably more original work is required than for a Masters by Research program. Students should note that in some Faculties, coursework may also be prescribed.

Domestic Student (Local Student)

A current student who is an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen.

Double Counting

A course that forms part of the disciplinary core requirements for two separate programs and can be counted towards both sets of rules and contribute fully to the overall UOC requirements of both programs. See also course sharing.

See also Course Sharing.

Double Degree

The concurrent or sequential study of two award programs as one integrated and coherent program leading to two awards and two testamurs (one for each program). Double degree programs can be within a career (e.g. double degree masters programs) or cross-career (e.g. combined bachelors and masters programs).

Double Major

A major studied in conjunction with another major in a Program. The two majors can be from two Faculties, provided they are approved for the program. In double degree programs students typically undertake a major in each program.

Dual Award

See Double Degree.


Equivalent Full-Time Study Load (EFTSL)

A measure of study load for one year on a normal full-time basis. At UNSW 1 EFTSL is defined as 48 units of credit (UOC). A standard 6 unit of credit course would equate to 0.125 EFTSL. The amount of the student contribution is dependent on the EFTSL value of the course.

See also Student Contribution Bands, Student Contributions.


A course for which a student has some choice of courses available to fulfil the same academic rule.

See also Core Course, Course, Program, General Education.

Embedded Honours Program

A program where the honours components are studied as part of an integrated program along with the pass degree requirements.

See also Honours, Separate Year Honours Programs.

Enrolment Appointment

A specific time to enrol, within the enrolment period, allocated to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Enrolment Appointments are sometimes used to give prioritised enrolment access to particular groups, usually later year students.


The person responsible to the Course Authority for determining a provisional mark for students enrolled in a course or courses. A Course Convenor is always an Examiner.

Exchange Student

An international student on campus studying at UNSW as a non-award full time student for one or more terms or semesters whereby their home institution has an agreement with UNSW to reciprocate an exchange of students back and forth in lieu of paying UNSW tuition fees.  Students receive credit and graduate from their home university.

Exclusion (Academic Standing)

Cancellation (either permanently or for a specified period) of the enrolment of a student, typically due to unsatisfactory academic performance or as a penalty for misconduct, and termination of all rights and privileges as a student of the University, including the right to re-enrol as a student and the right to enter or to be on University grounds. At the end of the exclusion period the student must re-apply for re-admission to UNSW under the relevant admissions process. There is no automatic right of re-admission.

See also Academic Standing.

Exclusion (Course Requirements)

Exclusions are courses students are excluded from taking, generally because they have content in common with courses for which the student has previously been granted credit.

See also Prerequisite, Co-requisite.


The waiver of a requirement to complete a specified course. Students are not granted credit and are required to complete an alternative course of the same credit value.

See also Substitution, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

External Articulation

The process by which one higher education provider matches its courses or requirements to course work completed at another higher education provider for the purpose of granting students credit or exemptions.



A group of schools or units of related disciplines constituted as a faculty by the University Council in accordance with UNSW By-laws, or a body having similar status and equivalent responsibilities.


Flexibility Week

Flexibility Week (also known as 'Flex Week') is an opportunity for students to catch up on their studies, consolidate their learning, and prep for upcoming exams and assessments. Please note that not all courses have Flex Week - if you are unsure if your course/s will have Flex Week, please contact your lecturer, tutor, or course convenor for more information. See the Academic Calendar for dates.

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.

Foundation Course

A core course, usually taken in Stage 1 that must be satisfactorily completed in order to complete the requirements of the program. It lays the foundations for higher level courses.

See also Core Course.


Full-time enrolment for one year is defined as 48 UOC which equates to 1.0 Equivalent Full-time Student Load (EFTSL). 

See also EFTSL.


Gateway Course

A Gateway Course is the entry-level course for a major or program. It is a foundation course that introduces students to the scholarly conventions, concepts and skills/techniques of the discipline community/field of study that are necessary to complete the major or program.

General Education

Undergraduate students in single degree programs are required to complete some courses outside their study area from any Faculty other than the one in which their program is based. The Handbook indicates which courses are available as General Education. In some cases, availability of some courses outside of the owning Faculty is restricted by the Program Authority, usually because they are closely related to the study area of the student’s program.

See also Elective.


Students receive a final assessment grade for each course in their program. Examples include; High Distinction (HD), Pass (PS), Fail (FL) and result not finalised (WD). Some courses are graded on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory basis only.

See also Mark.


A student who has completed all the requirements for his/her program, but has not yet had the degree formally conferred.


A student who has completed all the requirements for his/her program, and has had the degree formally conferred.

See also Award/Qualification.

Graduate Capabilities

The generic knowledge, skills and their applications, behaviours and practices that students are required to evidence during and on completion of their studies. They are common for all programs and are mapped to program learning outcomes.

See also Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs).



The UNSW Handbook is a comprehensive guide for prospective and current students seeking information about studying at UNSW. It contains detailed information about all the programs (degrees), disciplinary specialisations and courses (subjects) offered at the University.

The Handbook offers the latest information on approved programs and courses and provides extensive details about program content, rules and structure, and course requirements and information. It also links to the Class Timetable.

Previous versions of the Handbook are also available online.

It can be viewed at http://www.handbook.unsw.edu.au/.


The highest level of learning in an undergraduate program. It typically includes a research component. Honours is available in two modes: Separate Year Honours; and Embedded Honours.

See also Separate Year Honours Programs, Embedded Honours Programs.


Informal/Workplace Learning

Learning that takes place through life and work experience. Unlike formal or non-formal learning, it is not organised or externally structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support.

Inherent Requirements

The essential elements of a program or course that all students must meet for admission, progression and successful completion of a program. They are used as a reference point for students to identify their ability to successfully undertake the course of study and for identifying potential educational adjustments for students. Inherent requirements must be reasonable and clearly related to the course of study.


The University where students are enrolled - UNSW.


Lecturer or tutor.


See Cross-Faculty.

Internal Program Transfer (IPT)

The process by which a current UNSW student transfers from one award program to another via an internal transfer process.

International Student (Overseas Student)

A student who does not have Australian or New Zealand citizenship or full permanent resident status in Australia. It includes those who have student visas, provisional residency, temporary residency, bridging visas etc.


Learning Outcomes

See also Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs), Specialisation Learning Outcomes (SLOs), Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs), Graduate Capabilities.

Level (Courses)

Undergraduate courses are usually classified by Level e.g. Level 1 courses are usually undertaken in the first stage of a program, Level 2 in the second stage etc. In many cases the first digit of the four-digit numeric suffix of the course code 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.

Local Student

See Domestic Student.


See Campus.



A specified sequence of study in a discipline or sub-discipline area within a program. Majors require students to take an approved set of courses at different levels and units of credit. The term is generally synonymous with ‘specialisation’. More than one major may be completed in a program.

See also Program, Minor, Specialisation, Plan, Core, Elective.


Each course undertaken by a student at UNSW is assessed using a variety of methods, usually culminating in the award of a single final mark, or score, out of 100. The mark determines the associated final grade. However, some courses at UNSW are graded on an satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis only (which means no mark or score is allocated).

See also Grades.


A postgraduate program that provides an advanced level of knowledge or mastery over an area of study or professional practice. UNSW offers Masters programs by coursework that may also include a research component and also Masters by Research

Masters (Extended) Programs

Masters (Extended) is an AQF qualification type. Currently there are only two Masters (Extended) programs at UNSW – the Juris Doctor (UNSW JD) and the Doctor of Medicine (MD) programs. Refer to the Australian Qualifications Framework (www.aqf.edu.au) for a description of the Masters (Extended) qualification type. (Note that these programs are not the same as the UNSW Masters (Extension) programs. The term Masters (Extension) has been used at UNSW to describe programs of a longer duration that allow students to attain more disciplinary breadth, (explore a discipline in more depth or meet professional accreditation requirements).


A specified sequence of study within a discipline or sub-discipline, smaller in size and scope than a major.

See also Major, Plan, Specialisation.


Non-award study

Enrolments in courses or a sequence of courses which do not lead to or count towards a formal award program. The student completes all formal assessments related to the course/s and the assessment results are recorded on the UNSW Student System.

Non-Formal Learning

Learning that takes place through a structured program of learning but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification.



A particular course that will be available for enrolment in a particular teaching period.

Overseas Student

See International Student.



Students are considered to be part-time if their student load is less than 0.75 EFTSL for an academic year.

Pending Course

A course that you have not yet submitted for enrolment in myUNSW. You are not enrolled in Pending course.


See Doctorate/Doctoral Program.


Refers to the identification of a sequence of study (Specialisation) 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 e.g. SENGA13648 refers to the full-time Software Engineering plan.

See also Specialisation, Major, Minor.

Postgraduate Coursework

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).

Postgraduate Program

A program of study that leads to the award of a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, masters degree or doctorate.

Postgraduate Research

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.

Potential Graduand

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 course that must have been successfully completed prior to a student undertaking another course, usually due to the need for a student to have particular knowledge in order to successfully engage with the curriculum in the latter course.


Designated study requirement.

Prescribed Course

See Core Course.

Prior Stage

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

See also 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.

See also AHEGS.


An approved set of requirements, courses and/or supervised research into which a student is admitted. In some cases, this will lead to a UNSW award.

See also Double Degree, Specialisation, Course, Major, Minor.

Program Authority

Position with overarching responsibility for all aspects of a program. The Program Authority may delegate responsibilities to nominated staff or administrative units within a School or Faculty. For double degree programs, one of the contributing Faculties is the Program Authority who is responsible for students enrolled in the degree. The Program Authority for each single degree program is responsible for certifying that students have satisfied requirements for their particular degree.

See also Program, Course Authority.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

The specific knowledge, skills and their applications, behaviours and practices, including graduate capabilities, that students need to demonstrate in completing a program.

See also Graduate Capabilities, Specialisation Learning Outcomes (SLOs), Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs).

Program Rules

The academic requirements a student must satisfy to be awarded the qualification. Program rules include: core, electives, and general education course rules; unit of credit requirements; specialisation requirements; and limit rules.

Program Structure

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 also Program, Specialisation, Core Courses, Electives, Prerequisites.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The process of assessing an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, non-formal learning and informal / workplace learning) for equivalence to:

  • the learning outcomes of the qualification specified as a requirement for admission to the program, or
  • courses in the program to which a student has been admitted to determine the credit value to be granted as advanced standing or exemptions.

See also 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.

Research Integrated Learning

An educational activity that integrates theoretical learning with its application in a research context aimed at developing skills in research or research methodologies and techniques. It may involve activities such as theses or projects, student administered surveys and other forms of student-led data collection, or participation in research.


Satisfactory Academic Performance

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.

See also Academic Standing.


The administrative time period in which Teaching Periods are defined, students enrol and for which students are charged fees or student contributions. These time periods differ based on campus and level of study.

See also Teaching Period.

Separate Year Honours Programs

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 also Honours, Embedded Honours Programs.

Sequence of Study

See Specialisation, Major, Minor.

Service Indicators

Also known as Action Items.

There are two types of service indicators:

  • A Negative Service Indicator prevents you from accessing a range of online student services, such as maintaining your enrolment and viewing your academic statement. Negative indicators are used for overdue fees etc., and must be cleared with the University before your access to these online functions can be restored.
  • A Neutral Service Indicator will not restrict or limit access to any online services; however, the University does expect you to action any neutral indicators that appear on your account, e.g. review your address details.


An academic area or organisational unit which is responsible for teaching in disciplines or subject areas and which forms part of a Faculty.


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.


The umbrella term for the defined area of disciplinary study. In undergraduate programs, they are referred to as majors and minors. In postgraduate coursework program they are referred to as specialisations. 

See also Major, Minor, Plan.

Specialisation Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

The knowledge, skills and their applications, behaviours and practices that students need to demonstrate to complete a specialisation within a program. SLOs articulate with PLOs.

See also Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs), Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs).

Specified Credit

Credit granted when an exact or near exact equivalence to one or more courses studied either at UNSW or at another higher education provider, or through non-formal or informal / workplace prior learning, can be demonstrated. Once agreed, this recognition becomes a precedent for other students.

See also Unspecified Credit, Block Credit, Advanced Standing, Substitution, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), 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.)


See Specialisation.


A person who has accepted an offer to a program of UNSW (award or non-award), has enrolled in at least one course in that program and retains an active status in that program.

Student Contribution Band

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 also EFTSL, Student Contribution Charge, Student Contributions.

Student Contribution Charge

(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.

Student Contributions

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

Study Abroad Student

An international student studying on campus at UNSW for one or more terms or semesters or as a non-award full-time student who is paying tuition fees or is sponsored by their home government to study at UNSW and receives credit at their home university from which they will graduate.

Study Load

The total number of units of credit (UOC) taken in a term, semester or academic year. A full-time study load at UNSW is 48 UOC per year.  

See also EFTSL, Unit of Credit, Full-time, Part-time.

Study Period

Period after teaching ends and before exams commence. This is an opportunity for students to catch up on their studies, consolidate their learning, and prep for upcoming exams and assessments. See the Academic Calendar for dates.


See Course.


A type of exemption from a core course or other requirement. Students are still required to complete an equivalent, or near equivalent, course to the same unit of credit value.

See also Credit Transfer, Exemption, Advanced Standing, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Unspecified Credit, Block Credit.

Substitution Rule

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 Transcript

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.

See also AHEGS.


Teaching Period

A teaching period indicates when courses and their related classes are taught and timetabled within terms and semesters.

See also Term/Semester.


The administrative time period in which Teaching Periods are defined, students enrol and for which students are charged fees or student contributions. These time periods differ based on campus and level of study.

See also Teaching Period.


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.


Undeclared Major

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 also Major.


A program of study that leads to the award of a diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree or a bachelor degree (pass or honours).

Unit of Credit (UOC)

The value assigned to programs and courses indicating duration and workload. For a course, UOC indicates the student workload expectations and the contribution of the course to meeting program requirements.

Unspecified Credit

Credit granted when an exact or near exact course equivalence cannot be demonstrated.

Upper Level Course

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 also Course.


Volume of Learning

The notional duration of all activities required for the achievement of the learning outcomes specified for a program, expressed in units of credit.


Weighted Average Mark (WAM)

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 term or semester, and a separate cumulative WAM is calculated for relevant results over the student's entire program.

Work Integrated Learning

At UNSW, work integrated learning is:

  • Embedded in a course and has an assigned unit of credit value; and/or
  • A program requirement for those professions that require a minimum level of work experience to receive accreditation.

Workload Expectation

The normal workload expectations of a student are approximately 25 hours per term/semester for each UOC, including class contact hours, other learning activities, preparation and time spent on all assessable work.

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