Glossary

Some of the terms used at University can be confusing, and very specific to University life. Below is a brief explanation of some of the key terms used by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, if you require any further clarification please feel free to email at the Faculty.

A more extensive glossary of terms used at the University of Sydney can be found on the University Start website.

     
Award Course Full Time Study Semester
Census Date Handbook Session
Corequisite Honours Specialisation
Credit Points Important Dates Student Administration Manuals
Cross-Listing Major Subject Area
Dean ND-CC Table A
Degree Occurence Table B
Degree Pathway Part Time Study Undergraduate
Degree Resolutions Postgraduate Units of Study - Junior
Departmental Permission Prerequisite Units of Study - Intermediate
Course Planner Rules Units of Study - Senior

Award Course

An Award Course is the name for the overall course that you are enrolled in. It is often referred to as the degree that you are doing. For example; Bachelor of Arts or Master of Public Policy.

Census Date

The census date is a date in each semester or session (see below) by which all enrolment requirements must be finalised. The census date is also the last date you can withdraw for a unit of study without incurring a financial or academic penalty.

A list of census dates for different sessions and semesters can be found on the HECS and domestic fees website

Corequisite

A corequisite is a unit of study that must be taken prior to, or in the same semester as another given unit of study. Corequisites are shown in the Tables of units of study, listed in the handbook.

Credit points

All units of study have a credit point value assigned to them. In the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences units of study are generally worth 6 credit points each. There are some units of study, for instance MATH (Mathematics) units, which are worth less than 6 credit points. It is important to check the credit point value of each unit before enrolling.

It is worth remembering that degrees have limits to the number of credit points you can take overall, and also how many of these can be junior and senior units (see units of study). These limits are important to consider when you are planning your degree.

Cross-Listing

Sometimes the subject matter taught in a unit of study may span two or more subject areas. In these cases a unit may be cross-listed to one or more majors. If you choose to cross-list a unit to your major, it cannot then be counted towards another major (ie one unit cannot be counted twice).

The general rule on cross-listing is that a maximum of 18 senior credit points can be cross-listed to a major, but this can vary depending on the major. Please check the handbook for individual rules on cross-listing.

The ‘cross-listing’ of a unit of study is a formal agreement between the departments involved, you can not apply to have a unit cross-listed to your major individually.

Dean

The Dean is the head of a faculty, or the principal/director of a college, such as the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, or Sydney College of the Arts. The Dean is the highest academic office in the faculty.

Degree

A degree is another name for Award Course (see above).

Degree Pathways

When you have selected your degree on this enrolment planner you will see the list of rules (resolutions) relating to your degree. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will also find a Degree Pathway guide. This guide helps you to keep track of the units of study you have completed, as well as planning your enrolment choices further into your degree.

The pathways are 'colour-coded' making it easier for you to see whether you are on track (ie completing core requirements such as specific units of study, or on your way to completing compulsory majors etc).

Degree Resolutions

The degree resolutions define the requirements that must be met in order to finish your degree. Understanding the resolutions of your degree from the beginning is the best way to avoid difficulties in your degree. Some degree resolutions can be quite complex, so if in doubt contact the Faculty, we are here to help you through your degree.

You should also be aware of other rules and regulations that can affect your studies and take the time to read and understand the Resolutions of the Faculty

Departmental Permission

Some units of study offered at the University of Sydney require departmental permission to enrol. There could be a number of reasons for this, for example, it could be a class that requires the allocation of a supervisor and can therefore only accept a limited number of students, or it might be an internship where only a limited number of places are available.

Course Planner

This section of the website is to assist you with planning your enrolment. If you are enrolling as an undergraduate student you will see on the right hand side of these enrolment planning pages that we have included an Course Planner tool. This tool is designed to help you select and keep track of your units of study that you have chosen to enrol into. This record will be useful when it comes to completing your actual enrolment in the following stages of the process.

If you are enrolling in honours, or as a postgraduate student, the degrees are more structured. The course planning tool does not appear, although advice and guidance are still given on unit of study choice.

Please be aware that this course planner does not actually enrol you into units of study, and is unable able to check whether you have met the necessary prerequisites or permissions, if applicable.

Full-Time study

A full-time study load is between 18 and 24 credit points per semester. In order to complete your degree according to the standard timetable, you are expected to complete 24 credit points per semester.

Important note for international students: Under ESOS legislation student visa holders are required to complete their course within the duration specified in their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). Therefore students are required to stay enrolled in a full-time study load. In exceptional circumstances a student visa holder can apply to reduce his or her study load. Students must apply for reducing load with the faculty. The International Student Office can advise you further about this policy.

Handbook

In the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences two handbooks are published each year; one for undergraduate students and one for postgraduate students.

The handbook and its updates, along with the Policy Register form the official source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney. The handbooks include course resolutions and general faculty resolutions, subject area descriptions and unit of study outlines.

Handbooks for the current year and previous years can be found at Handbooks Online

Honours

Honours is an intensive year-long program of advanced study based around research. Honours is undertaken after successful completion of a Bachelor degree and where the overall mark is a minimum credit average. Entry into Honours is selective and work at this level is challenging. Students should plan for their Honours year as early as possible to ensure that the appropriate units of study are undertaken during the Bachelor degree. Honours units of study can be recognised by their unit codes, which begin with the number 4 (eg, ASNS4011 - Asian Studies Honours A).

Important Dates - Census Date

It is very important that you refer the list of important dates for each semester. It is your responsibility to take charge of your enrolment and ensure important dates and deadlines are met. Failure to note these dates could result in academic and financial penalties in relation to your enrolment.

University Important Dates
Faculty Important Dates

See also, Census Date

Major

A major is a field of study, chosen by you, to represent your principal interest. Your major(s) is recorded on your final degree conferred by the University. To earn a major in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, you will normally need to successfully complete 36 senior credit points, including any core units of study, within a subject area. Majoring in a subject area will give you a significant knowledge base in that field, and equip you with the tools to go on to further study if you wish.

ND-CC

Units of Study indicated later on the enrolment pages as ND-CC are considered 'Normal Delivery, Camperdown Campus'. This means that the unit of study will be offered generally during business hours, and on the main (or Camperdown) Campus. This is the case for most units of study offered by our Faculty.

Occurence

The Occurrence of a unit of study is the period in which the unit may be offered. In general this will relate to either Semester 1 or Semester 2. Units of study may also be offered during Summer or Winter School and these occur between the two main semesters, or as an intensive class either within regular semester time or within Summer or Winter School. A unit of study may have more than one occurrence during an academic year.

In this enrolment process you will not see units of study that are offered during Summer or Winter School. To enrol with Summer and Winter School is a separate process, and students must enrol via the Summer School website.

Part-Time study

A part-time study load is 6 to 12 credit points (one or two units of study) per semester. If you are planning on completing your degree part-time, please be aware that there are time limits set in which a degree must be completed (eg, you have 10 calendar years in which to complete an undergraduate degree).

Local students who are enrolled on a part-time basis may not be eligible for travel concessions.

Important note for international students: Under ESOS legislation student visa holders are required to complete their course within the duration specified in their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). Therefore students are required to stay enrolled in a full-time study load. In exceptional circumstances a student visa holder can apply to reduce his or her study load. Students must apply for reducing load with the faculty. The International Student Office can advise you further about this policy.

Postgraduate

Postgraduate is a term used to describe a course leading to an award such as a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, a master’s degree or a PhD, which usually requires prior completion of a relevant undergraduate bachelor degree (or diploma) course. A student enrolled in one of these courses is referred to as a postgraduate student.

Prerequisite

A prerequisite is a unit of study that must be successfully completed before another unit of study can be attempted. Prerequisites can be mandatory (compulsory) or advisory. In most cases for undergraduate study in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, senior units of study have a prerequisite of having completed 12 junior credit points in the same subject area.

Rules

Rules, or Course Rules, are specific terms used by the separate Online Enrolment environment. These rules speak to the resolutions of your degree and direct you to making eligible and appropriate choices.

Please refer to that glossary for specific details.

Semester

At The University of Sydney there are two main semesters each year, Semester 1 runs from March to June and Semester 2 runs from August to November. At enrolment, you will be asked to choose your subjects for both Semester 1 and Semester 2.

If you are enrolling mid year you will only be able to select units of study offered in Semester 2 of the current year.

The semester in which a unit of study is offered is listed under “Session” in the Tables within the Faculty handbooks.

Session

A session is a period of time that a unit of study runs. In general this will relate to either Semester 1 or Semester 2. Units of study may also be offered during Summer or Winter School and these occur between the two main semesters, or as an intensive class either within regular semester time or within Summer or Winter School. A unit of study may be offered in more than one session during an academic year.

In this enrolment process you will not see units of study that are offered during Summer or Winter School. To enrol with Summer and Winter School is a separate process, and it is done directly with them.

Specialisation

A specialisation is a field of study, chosen by you, to represent your principal area of interest. The specialisation you enrol into will be largely dependent on your completed undergraduate degree.

Specialisations relate specifically to students enrolling into postgraduate coursework degrees in Arts and Economics. If you are completing a Master of Arts, and you are studying English units, then your specialisation is English. This specialisation will be reflected on your testamur at graduation.

Student Administration Manuals

If you need any further information on procedures, or how to go about making standard applications to the faculty then please consult our student administration manuals. There is a manual for coursework students and a manual for research students. These manual also contain all the forms you will need to apply for things like credit transfers or prerequisite waivers.

Subject Area

A subject area can also be thought of as an area or field of study. Whilst majors are available in most subject areas taught within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences this isn't always the case. For example, a major is not available in Pali or in Writing, yet individual units of study are offered in both these areas.

Another example of the difference between a subject area and a major is 'International and Global Studies' or 'Media and Communications'. These subject areas are core components of their respective specialist degrees, but majors are not available in these subject areas to students enrolled in other degrees.

Table A

Table A refers to the majors that are listed in the resolutions of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and come from subject areas taught within the Faculty. Among other requirements, you must have at least one Table A major to complete your degree.

You will need to pay particular attention to the specific resolutions of the degree in which you are enrolled as some degrees list a core group of majors from which you must complete at least one.

Table B

Table B refers to majors taught by other faculties that are available to Arts and Social Sciences students and which are listed in the resolutions of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Majors are available from the Faculties of Education and Social Work, Engineering and IT, Science, and the Sydney Business School.

You will notice that the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Undergraduate Handbook also lists units of study from subject areas not covered in the faculty resolutions such as law, and units from the Sydney Business School in international business and in marketing. These units of study are only available to students enrolled in degrees whose resolutions specifically allow them.

Undergraduate

Undergraduate is the term used to describe a course leading to a diploma or bachelor degree. It is a term also used to describe a student enrolled in such a course, eg, undergraduate student.

Unit of Study - junior

Junior units of study are designed to introduce a student to a particular subject area, preparing them for more advanced study at senior level. Junior level units may also help you build your academic skills in research and writing alongside developing your knowledge in a subject area.

Junior units of study usually form the prerequisites for enrolment into senior units. This means that you must complete the junior units of study before you will be able to enrol in the senior units of study.

All degrees have a maximum number of junior credit points so you will need to choose carefully. This is particularly important when choosing your major(s). You will want to make sure that the junior units of study you complete meet the prerequisites of the senior level units of study that will make up your major(s).

You can tell junior units apart from senior units by the unit of study code. Junior units of study have 1000 level codes while senior units have 2000 or 3000 level codes. For example; HSTY1034 is junior level and HSTY2664 is senior level.

In general terms, junior units have 1000 level codes to indicate that they are normally taken in your first academic year, intermediate units have 2000 level codes indicating that these units are normally taken in your second academic year, and senior units have 3000 level codes indicating that these units are taken in your third academic year.

Unit of Study - intermediate

Intermediate units of study is a term that isn't used normally in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, but it is used in other faculties (Table B units of study) and also in the School of Economics. Intermediate units of study, as the name indicates, sit between junior and senior units of study and have 2000 level unit codes (ie ECOS2001).

Some senior, or 3000 level units of study require that you have studied a certain amount of intermediate, or 2000 level units of study first.

In general terms, junior units have 1000 level codes to indicate that they are normally taken in your first academic year, intermediate units have 2000 level codes indicating that these units are normally taken in your second academic year, and senior units have 3000 level codes indicating that these units are taken in your third academic year.

Unit of Study - senior

Senior units of study build on the knowledge and skills you develop at the junior level. At senior level the units of study tend to become more specialised and will give you a much deeper understanding of particular subject areas.

Most senior level units of study will have a requirement that you’ve completed junior level units in that subject area. Some will have requirements that you’ve completed other senior level units. These prerequisites are listed in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Handbook.

In general terms, junior units have 1000 level codes to indicate that they are normally taken in your first academic year, intermediate units have 2000 level codes indicating that these units are normally taken in your second academic year, and senior units have 3000 level codes indicating that these units are taken in your third academic year.