University glossary - Section contents

Throughout your course you’ll come across a variety of key terms and common terminology relevant to your studies that you may not have heard before. It can take some time to get used to “uni speak”, however our handy definition guide can help you to get started.

WordDefinition
Advanced Standing Credit points towards your upcoming course based on previous tertiary study.
Alternative Exam Arrangements (AEA) If you can’t attend one of your scheduled exams you may be eligible to make an Alternative Examination Arrangement (AEA).
Breadth A subject outside of your major, minor, or specialisation.
Census date The census date is the last day you are able to withdraw from a subject, apply for leave of absence, or withdraw from your course without being financially liable.
Class Classes you may undertake during your time here as a student include lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory’s, practicals, and seminars.
Class Registration Once you have enrolled in the subjects you wish to undertake for the semester you must select which classes (days and times) you will attend each week.
Core subjects Core subjects, also known as compulsory subjects, are subjects that you must complete to meet course requirements. In the Study Plan core subjects are indicated by a red 'C'.
Course A course is your full program of study. The completion of a course will lead to the conferral of an award.
Course structure In the online Study Plan 'course structures' are designed to assist with your course planning. They set out what types of subjects you will need to take and how many credit points you will need to complete each year.
Credit points Each subject is worth a certain number of credit points, and to complete your course it will require the completion of a total number of credit points.

A standard year of full-time study is 100 credit points.
Enrolment Once you have been offered a place at the University, you will need to enrol, which involves accepting the Enrolment Declaration and enrolling in subjects for the semester.

If you are a Graduate Researcher, there is a different process. Go to the Graduate Research Hub.
Enrolment Declaration The Enrolment Declaration is a contract between the student and the University, covering the conditions of enrolment at the University of Melbourne.

A Graduate Research student submits a progress report or 'converts' their course to another research degree.
Failed subject status In the online Study Plan, a status of 'Failed' is shown below the name of the subject when you have enrolled in a subject, but failed it, or not successfully completed it by not meeting the assessment or hurdle requirements.
Financial liability Financial liability means that you are responsible to pay your tuition fees or student contributions, or defer FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP.
Graduate researcher A graduate researcher is someone that is enrolled in a research degree such as a PhD or the Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
Handbook The Handbook provides comprehensive information about all courses and subjects offered by the University.
Invoice Your invoice shows your tuition fees or student contributions due for payment within the current invoicing period.
Leave of Absence A leave of absence is a period where you are not enrolled for a semester or more.

Leave of Absence is limited to 12 months across the duration of your course. Extra leave may be possible in exceptional circumstances.
Majors A major is a concentration of subjects that equips you with specialised knowledge in your discipline, and is recorded on your academic transcript.
Minors A minor is a concentration of subjects that equips you with specialised knowledge in a discipline, and is not recorded on your academic transcript.
Optional subjects Also known as ‘electives’. In the Study Plan, optional subjects are indicated by a blue 'O '.
Passed subject status Passed subject status refers to a subject which you have enrolled in and successfully completed.
Personal Timetable Your Timetable is a weekly schedule of the classes for which you have registered.
Planned subjects When you have selected a subject in your Study Plan but haven’t yet enrolled in it, it is ‘planned’.
Re-enrolment You must re-enrol towards the end of every year to inform the University of your intentions to continue your course the following year.

The re-enrolment period usually takes place in October – December.
Sanctions Sanctions are penalties or restrictions that you may incur which will restrict your access to resources such as the ability to enrol, access results, or graduate.
Specialisation A specialisation is a specified sequence of subjects that equips you with specialised knowledge in your discipline.
Special Consideration Special Consideration is available to students who have had their studies significantly impacted by short-term circumstances beyond their control.
Special Examination This is a form of assessment usually offered to students on the basis of an application for special consideration.
Statement of Liability Your Statement of Liability shows all unpaid tuition fees or student contributions for enrolled subjects. You can access it via my.unimelb.
Study load Your study load refers to the number of credit points  you will be enrolled in each semester.
Study period There are four standard study periods during the University academic year: Semester 1, Semester 2, Summer Semester and Year-Long. Subjects taught outside these standard study periods, such as intensives, are referred to as 'non-standard study period subjects'.
Study Plan The online Study Plan displays your course structure. It shows the subjects in which you are enrolled, and helps you to plan your future enrolment.
Subject availability In the online Study Plan, subject availability shows when and where a subject is offered, such as, '2016, Semester 2, Southbank, On-campus'.
Subject code Each subject has a unique code. The first four letters of a subject code indicate the area of study of the subject. The first number in the subject code indicates the year level of the subject. 1 - 6 are undergraduate subject levels. 7 - 9 are graduate study levels.

For example, ANCW20010 is an Ancient World second-year undergraduate subject. FNCE90005 is a Finance graduate subject.
Subject status In the online Study Plan a subject’s status is displayed below the name of the subject.
  • Planned:  a subject you have selected, but not enrolled in.
  • Enrolled:  a subject which you have successfully enrolled in.
  • Advanced Standing:  a subject for which you have been granted advanced standing (credit).
  • Passed:  a subject which you have enrolled in and successfully completed.
  • Failed:  a subject which you have enrolled in but failed.
Subjects Subjects are the individual units which make up a course. Most subjects are worth 12.5 credit points.
Supplementary examination An alternative assessment may be offered where failure will significantly impede a student’s progress in their course, or will prevent them completing the course. Supplementary examinations are usually only awarded to students who have scored within a specified marks range (such as 45-49%).
Swap In the online Study Plan, you may ‘swap’ optional subjects that have been ‘planned’.
Transcript An academic transcript is a complete record of all studies you have undertaken at the University. A copy is issued free of charge upon completion of a course.
Class registration waitlist Some subjects allow students to register for a waitlist if a class is full.
Withdrawn grade (WD) If you withdraw from a subject after the census date but before the final date from withdrawal from a subject, a WD is recorded on your academic transcript.

Want more information?

This page acts as a handy guide to University definitions, but if you’d like more information on any of these terms visit ask.unimelb, where you’ll find the answers to hundreds of frequently asked questions.