University can be quite daunting, and made even more so because of the terminology used to describe courses etc.

Here is a few of the basics to help you understand.


Alumni - an association for students who have graduated.
Articulation - Articulated courses are a set of courses that are 'nested' - meaning that the subjects studied at each level are credited towards the next level of qualification. For example an Associate Degree can articulate into a Bachelor Degree, meaning on completion of the Associate Degree the student can continue studying for the Bachelor Degree gaining full credit for all subjects studied in the Associate Degree.
Associate Degree - A broad undergraduate qualification that is usually completed in two years of full time study or equivalent. An Associate Degree is often articulated* with a Bachelor degree, so those students who go on to study the Bachelor degree will gain credit for all the subjects studied in the Associate Degree.
ATAR - Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking. The ATAR is what was previously known as your UAI or ENTER, and is a measure of your achievement in the HSC that assists with ranking applicants for selection to a university course.
Award - a degree, graduate diploma, graduate certificate, associate degree, diploma or associate diploma conferred by the University upon completion of a course or a program of research.


Bachelor degree - the award a student gains when they have completed studies in an undergraduate course, which is usually completed in three or four years of full-time study.


Campus - the location responsible for the control of courses and students.
Census date - the date by which you must have finalised your subject selection and payment for a particular session.
Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) - a student's enrolment in a university degree for which the Commonwealth government makes a contribution towards the cost of that student's education. Formerly known as a HECS place.
Core subjects - the subjects in a course that all students are required to complete.
Corequisite - A subject that must be studied in the same session as another, e.g. If subject A is a corequisite of subject B then a student must enrol in both subject A and B in the same session.
Course Coordinator - a member of the academic staff in a Faculty responsible for administrative matters relating to students enrolled in a course.
CRICOS Code - the course registration number with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.
Credit - if you have previously studied, perhaps at TAFE, or have other Recognised Prior Learning (RPL), you may be able to receive credit for a subject or subjects in your course.
CSU Interact - CSU's online learning and teaching environment.


Dean - the member of academic staff responsible for the management of a Faculty.
Defer - to delay starting your course. Deferring your offer of a place in a course means you would like to delay starting your course for six or 12 months. Deferment ensures you are guaranteed your place in your selected course, but allows you some 'breathing space' between the demands of the HSC and starting a new life at university.
Distance education (DE) - a mode of study allowing students to complete their course from their home or workplace.
Double degree - a student can enhance their career opportunities by completing a double degree. This integrates studies in two complementary areas resulting in the award of two degrees, usually after four years of study.


Elective - an optional subject selected in addition to the core subjects of the course.


Faculty - a department within a university devoted to a particular area of studies. At CSU we have the faculties of Arts, Business, Education and Science.
Full-time student - a student enrolled in subjects which amount to 75% or more of the normal full-time study load for a session. A normal full-time study load for a student is four 8 point subjects in each of the two sessions per year.


GPA - a student's Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated from the results in each subject completed.
Graduand - a person who has completed their study and assessments, but has not yet graduated.
Graduate study - These are normally undertaken after completing a Bachelor degree, either immediately or after a period in the workforce (some courses may have practical work experience as a requirement of entry). Through graduate study, students have the opportunity to build on their knowledge in a complimentary or different area of study.
Graduate Certificate - Normally undertaken after completing a Bachelor degree, a Graduate Certificate consists of one year of part time study, and can be a good way to ease back into study. A Graduate Certificate usually requires no previous study in the same discipline area, allowing you the opportunity to extend your knowledge into different areas.
Graduate Diploma - Usually two years part time study for a more advanced qualification following the completion of a Bachelor degree. A Graduate Diploma usually requires no previous study in the same discipline area.


HECS-HELP - A loan scheme that helps eligible Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution amount.
Higher Degree by Coursework - This form of postgraduate study enables the student to combine course work with a dissertation (or thesis).
Higher Degree by Research - This form of postgraduate study enables students to spend two-thirds or more of their time on original and significant research.
Honours - many four-year Bachelor degrees integrate a year of Honours study, offering a pass stream or Honours stream in the final year of the course. The Honours year allows students to focus on an area that interests them, and this may be helpful with career prospects on completion. Some three-year courses offer a separate year of Honours study.


Intake - the month in which the course will commence for new students
Interact - a collaborative online environment for learning and teaching.
International student - those students without Australian or New Zealand citizenship and who do not have permanent residency status in Australia.
Internship/Practicum - practical training in a working environment, similar to work experience. Many CSU degrees incorporate this as part of your hands-on learning.


Lecture - a period of teaching given by a lecturer to a large group of students.


Major study - an area within a course that allows in-depth study in a particular field. A major usually consists of eight related subjects. More than one major may be allowed in a course.
Minor study - a grouping of between four and seven subjects within a course, allowing students to focus on a particular field.
my.csu - a secure and personalised space on the CSU website used for communication between students and the University.


Part-time student - a student enrolled in subjects which amount to less than 75% of the normal full-time study load for a session.
Plagiarism - The dishonest use of another person's ideas, words, concepts or theories by presenting them as one's own.
Postgraduate - a person who has a degree from a university and is studying for a more advanced qualification, e.g. an award at graduate certificate, graduate diploma, master or doctoral level. For postgraduate awards, students are required to have previous study or experience in the same discipline area as the award, so that the postgraduate course builds on that earlier study and knowledge.
Prerequisite - a set of conditions (usually completion of a subject) that must be met by a student before enrolment in a particular subject is permitted.
PSA - Prospective Student Adviser. CSU has several PSAs who are available to discuss CSU course options with prospective students.


Residential school - a short period of study, usually up to one or two weeks, where distance education students come on campus to complete units or assessment tasks for a subject. These may be compulsory or optional.


Session - a period of time during which classes are held, usually March, July and November.
Subject points - a value assigned to a subject to reflect the relative weighting of the subject. At CSU a standard one session subject is assigned eight points.


Testamur - a certificate received on graduation that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study.
Tutorial - a period of teaching given to a small group of students, involving discussion and participation.


UAC - Universities Admissions Centre (NSW and ACT) Pty Ltd. All NSW and ACT students who wish to apply for full-time on campus courses must apply online through UAC or VTAC.
Undergraduate - a person studying at a university for a first level degree, e.g. an award at associate diploma, diploma, associate degree, bachelor or bachelor (honours) level.
Undergraduate study - is the entry level to university, Most undergraduate study is done at a Bachelor level.
University Certificate - An undergraduate qualification equivalent to 8 standard subjects and is usually completed in a year of full time study or equivalent.


VTAC - Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre.