Uni terminology

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | L | M | O | P | R | S | T | U | W

Associate degree

A qualification requiring two years of full-time study, or part-time equivalent. This can count towards a full bachelor degree.

Assumed knowledge

Some university courses assume students have studied certain subjects at school. It’s best to do the recommended subjects to avoid getting behind at uni. If students haven’t done them, they may be able to do a bridging course.

Bachelor degree

Also known as an undergraduate degree, this is the type of course students are most likely to apply for. It requires three to four years of full-time study, or part-time equivalent.

Bridging course

If students feel uncomfortable with their preparation for university study, or don’t meet the assumed knowledge requirements, an intensive bridging course will help them get prepared.

^ Back to top

Commonwealth-Supported Place

A university place awarded to eligible students, whereby the Australian Government pays for most of the cost. Students pay a portion of the cost, known as the student contribution.

Core unit

A subject the student must complete as part of their degree.

Credit points

The value attached to a subject. Students need to attain a certain number of credit points to complete their degree.


Guarantees a place at uni, but delays enrolment for up to two years. Students could take a gap year, volunteer or work and save some money.


A qualification requiring two years of full-time study, or part-time equivalent.

Double degree

Two degrees studied at the same time – it will take less time to complete them at once than if completed separately.

^ Back to top

Elective unit

A subject that counts towards a degree, which may be unrelated to a specialisation.


Once students receive an offer into a uni course, they will be invited to register their subject choices.

Entry requirements

The minimum qualifications required for entry into a course, eg, a minimum entry score, specific subjects or an audition/interview.


An academic department within a university, which specialises in a particular field.


An additional year of full-time study attached to a bachelor degree to allow for greater understanding and specialisation.

^ Back to top


A formal (and usually large) class conducted by an academic lecturer.


A specialisation in a bachelor degree – comprising about eight subjects. Students are able to tailor their major, and can usually complete more than one in a degree.


A sub-specialisation in a bachelor degree – usually four subjects.


An introduction to university life, its facilities and the student’s area of study before the start of first semester.


A qualification, usually following on from a bachelor degree, allowing for more in-depth research and specialisation. This may be a masters degree or a PhD.

Prerequisite subjects

Year 12 subjects students must have successfully completed to be eligible for entry into a course – there may be alternative entry options such as completing a TAFE course or a university-bridging course.

^ Back to top

Recommended subjects

Year 12 subjects that will prepare students for their degree. If they have not completed one, students may be able to do a bridging course.


A department specialising in a particular field within the faculty (academic department) of a university.


A small class in which discussion and questions are encouraged. Tutorials are conducted in addition to lectures, and attendance may contribute to students’ final marks.


When students start uni, they are an ‘undergraduate’ student, working towards their bachelor or associate degree.


A subject within a course. Each subject, or unit, has a specified number of credit points that count towards a degree.

Work placement

Practical training in a work environment, which may be a part of a degree.

^ Back to top