Uni terms explained

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Admission is to allow a person entrance to undertake a course of study at the University.

Admission criteria are the minimum criteria an applicant must fulfil in order to gain entry to Curtin.

Admission pathways are any option available to prospective students that will enable them to meet the entry requirements of their chosen courses.

Advanced standing is recognition of prior learning and is displayed as credit towards a course on the student’s academic record.

Adjustment factors, previously referred to as “bonus points”, are additional points that may be used in combination with an applicant’s Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) to derive their course selection rank. Adjustments do not change applicants’ ATARs, but change their selection rank for particular courses. Common types of adjustment factors include equity and location.

Advanced standing is a form of credit for any previous learning – see also the definitions for “credit transfer”, “recognition of prior learning” and “credit for recognised learning”. Credit for recognised learning (CRL) is the term Curtin commonly uses to describe advanced standing, credit transfer and recognition of prior learning.

Assessment is the method by which a student’s academic progress and performance is measured in a unit.

Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) provides the ranking which is used for allocating places in university courses. It is calculated from the Tertiary Entrance Score (TES) for school leavers. This name replaces Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) as of 2010. Minimum ATAR refers to the rank needed to be considered for entry to a course. Any ATAR below the minimum ATAR will not be considered. However, obtaining the minimum ATAR is not a guarantee of admission. Guaranteed Entry ATAR refers to the specific ATAR ranking needed to be guaranteed entry to a course, subject to any non-ATAR criteria being met. Your ATAR is based on 50% of your school marks and 50% of your top 4 WACE exam marks, which are combined, standardised and scaled so that all schools across WA can be compared. If you receive lower than your course’s minimum ATAR but are eligible for alternative entry pathways, you may be assigned a selection rank that is higher than your ATAR. Find out more about how your ATAR is calculated.

An award is the official University certificate, which confirms completion of an award course of study. The standard award for undergraduates is the bachelor degree.

An award course is a structured combination of approved units which when completed qualifies the student for an award from Curtin.

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bachelor degree is usually awarded for successful completion of an undergraduate course. The bachelor degree is the standard university award, recognised worldwide.

Board of Examiners is a committee constituted for each award course to review the performance for each student enrolled and to ensure that all assessment is conducted in a fair and equitable manner.

bridging course is a program of study conducted prior to the commencement of a formal award course. It is designed to assist potential students, who have otherwise met matriculation requirements, to satisfy prerequisites or English language proficiency.

bridging unit is a unit of study designed to provide students with the required level of skills and knowledge necessary to undertake further studies.

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Campus refers to the main university grounds, including laboratories, lecture theatres, administration buildings, recreational areas etc.

Centrelink is the Australian Commonwealth Government’s welfare agency. It is the central body responsible for the dispensation of all Commonwealth welfare payments including payments to eligible students. Visit www.centrelink.gov.au for more information.

Class means any scheduled teaching activity involving face-to-face contact and includes lecturestutorials, laboratory sessions and seminars.

Contact hours are the hours a student is expected to spend attending tutorials, practicals, lectures etc., at university.

course is a structured combination of approved units, generally leading to an award. Completion of an undergraduate course usually requires three to four years full-time study.

Course Coordinator is the name given to the member of the academic staff who has administrative responsibility for a course of study.

Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL) (previously termed Recognition for Prior Learning) is recognition of prior studies undertaken at another accredited institution, or work experience that is relevant to the student’s area of study. It is shown as credit toward a degree on the student’s record and may enable the student to complete his or her studies faster than normal.

Credit points are allocated to each unit and indicate how much study you’re undertaking. Most of our units carry a value of 25 points, with full-time students usually undertaking 100 credit points per semester (4 units).

Credit transfer is a process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes for components of a qualification based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications. Credit for recognised learning (CRL) is the term Curtin commonly uses to describe this.

The Curtin Student Guild, also known as The Guild, is a not-for-profit, student association based at the Perth campus. The Guild provides a range of services to students, especially its members, helping them to have a fulfilling university experience.

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Deferred study (for school leavers) is study that is approved to begin as of the first semester of the succeeding year, allowing a 12-month break between high school and tertiary study. Also known as a ‘gap year’.

degree is an award given by the University, normally as the result of successfully completing a course. The ‘standard’ undergraduate degree is the bachelor degree.

Designated credit refers to credit granted for studies provided through award courses, reciprocal exchange programs, extension and short courses registration and approved agencies and which are deemed to be equivalent in status to Curtin units.

A double degree combines two degrees through to provide students with additional qualifications and employment options, but may not take double the time to complete.

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An enabling course is offered for the purpose of enabling Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents to undertake an award course in a student place, which is funded either partially or fully by the Commonwealth.

English language proficiency are essential literacy provisions for admission to courses at Curtin. Competence requirements are published and reviewed annually.

Enrolment is the process of registering to study a course.

An examination is a formal, supervised assessment activity used to assess student learning outcomes, which comprises at least thirty percent of the overall mark for a unit and which normally takes place at the conclusion of a formal teaching period.

Exempt is when a student is not required to undertake a part or all of a unit of study because of prior studies or work experience.

Exceptional circumstances refer to circumstances beyond the control of the student or circumstances not anticipated at the time of enrolment in the course.

An experience based entry scheme is selection method used to assess and select students who may not have educational qualifications sufficient for an offer of admission to a course, but who have other relevant skills and experience that make them a suitable candidate.

Extension studies provides for matriculated and non-matriculated applicants to undertake study in a limited number of units. These units are available on a fee-paying, not for degree basis and may subsequently be used for applying to a course.

External study refers to study that does not require a student to physically attend a campus for lectures and tutorials on a regular basis.

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Faculties are primary academic divisions in which teaching and research are conducted. There are three faculties of study at Curtin: Health Sciences, Humanities and Science & Engineering.

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Gap year See Deferred Study.

General credit refers to the process where previous studies exempt a student from having to complete unspecified units in a course.

Good standing is an academic status determined by the Board of Examiners. A student with good standing is permitted to re-enrol in that course, subject to the statutes and rules of the University.

graduate is a person who has successfully completed an award course at the University.

Guild See Curtin Student Guild.

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The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) is a Commonwealth Government loan scheme providing financial assistance to tertiary students. A HELP loan can cover all or part of a student’s unit fees, or provide a discount to students paying up-front. Continued enrolment at the University is conditional upon full compliance with the associated regulations.

An honours award can be earned either as the outcome of a year of study that is additional to a bachelor degree in a discipline; as the outcome of an honours program that is studied concurrently with a normal pass degree of four years or more in a discipline; or in limited instances based on academic performance in those studies following completion of a specified program.

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Incidental fees are course-specific expenses, additional to normal unit fees, which may be compulsory or optional.

An international student is a student required to hold a student visa to study in Australia. Any student who is an Australian citizen, Australian dual citizen, permanent resident of Australia or a New Zealand citizen studying in Australia is a domestic student.

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leave of absence is a break from study granted to a student who submits a written application subsequently approved by the University.

lecture is a presentation, usually given by a subject matter expert, intended to convey critical information, history, background, theories and/or equations to a group of people about a particular subject area relevant to a course of study. Lectures run from 50 minutes up to three hours in length and can contain anywhere from 2-200 people. Students are expected to listen carefully and take notes with little guidance from the lecturer in identifying what should be recorded.

Lecturers are instructors or presenters that deliver information to groups of students in a lecture setting. Most lecturers are also tutors.

Letter of Course Completion is an official document, issued by the Director, Student Services, stating that all academic requirements for the course have been met.

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major is a series of units combined to satisfy the University’s requirements in an area of specialisation and includes at least two units at final year level. There must be more components that constitute the major than components that constitute any other single area.

Matriculation status is a permanent status gained when a person has satisfied the minimum admission criteria for university entry. Matriculation Status does not guarantee entry to a particular course of study, for which students may be required to meet further criteria.

Mature age candidates for the purposes of admission to the University are those who are twenty (20) years of age, or over, as at 1 March of the year of admission to the University.

Minimum ATAR is the rank needed to be considered for entry to a course. Obtaining this rank is not a guarantee of admission.

minor is a series of four units in the same subject, including at least two units at second year level or higher.

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non-award course is a program of study which does not lead to a formal award. It may comprise of units of study from an award course and may be counted as credit towards an award course in some cases.

non school leaver is a student who begins university more than one year after completing high school.

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Off-campus courses are delivered via the Internet, email or post with minimal or no direct contact between the student and lecturers.

Online courses are delivered via the Internet and/or via email with minimal or no direct contact between the student and lecturers. Many units include social networking in the form of discussion forums, chat rooms and team projects.

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Postgraduate students are students that have completed an undergraduate qualification such as a bachelor degree and are continuing their studies by completing an award such as a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, master or doctorate.

Preparatory program covers bridgingenabling and foundation programs.

prerequisite is a required subject/unit deemed necessary for entry to higher level studies in a particular area.

Professional practice is where a student is required to extend knowledge and skills within a practical environment.

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Recognition of prior learning is a process used to assess an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit that may be granted towards completion of a qualification. Credit for recognised learning (CRL) is the term Curtin commonly uses to describe this.

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Scholarships are awards carrying financial advantage in undertaking a specified program or course of study. The advantage is usually in the form of a full or partial payment of fees, or meeting of costs associated with the program or course of study such as living costs, purchases of books or accommodation.

Schools make up part of Curtin’s organisational structure. Schools fall within the larger categorisation of Faculties.

School leavers are those applying for admission on the basis of the Western Australian Tertiary Entrance Examination (TEE), or an interstate or international equivalent, and who completed high school in the year prior to beginning university study.

semester is the academic teaching period of about 17 weeks in duration. At Curtin, this includes 12 teaching weeks, 2 tuition free weeks, one study week and 2 weeks of exams. Each academic year is divided into two semesters.

Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) refers to a range of specially designed tests administered by the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC) to assist universities in assessing suitability of non school leavers for admission to tertiary study.

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Tertiary Entrance Examination (TEE) is the exam for secondary students finishing year 12 in Western Australia. A student’s TEE result determines their eligibility for entry to tertiary study.

Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) provides the ranking which is used for allocating places in university courses. It is calculated from the Tertiary Entrance Score (TES) for school leavers. As of 2010, the Tertiary Entrance Rank became known as the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

Tertiary Entrance Score (TES) is calculated using a student’s best four or five tertiary entrance subject scores. For non school leaver tertiary entrance applicants, the score is normally calculated using two tertiary entrance subject marks.

Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC) is an incorporated body established in 1975 by Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia which provides services to university applicants including the processing of applications for university admission and facilitation of the STAT.

tutor is an academic staff member who supervises tutorials for small groups of students.

Tutorials are small discussion groups lead by a tutor. Students are usually required to attend one tutorial per week for each unit. Weekly assessments are often set and may involve a presentation to the group, a written exercise or participation in group discussion.

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An undergraduate is a student studying an award course usually leading to a bachelor degree. Students who go on to do honours are classified as graduate students, having already completed an undergraduate course.

unit is a discrete entity of study within a subject area that is a component of a course.

A unit outline is a summary of essential information relating to the unit being studied and is made available to students enrolled in the unit prior to the date of the first scheduled class contact.

The University Examinations Office is located within the Student Service Centre and is responsible for scheduling and the coordination of centrally scheduled examinations and the issuing of final results.

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Visit our online support centre for questions on offerings, admission criteria, bridging and enabling courses. Anything Curtin course related, we can answer it.