Glossary of terms - Courses and Subjects - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

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2017 2016
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    • 2017 2016

Glossary of terms

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A

Academic transcript

A history of a student’s academic record. It shows course enrolment information and examination results. Enrolled students may view their own academic record via the UC Studentweb portal at any time. Official (verified) transcripts may be ordered from Student Services (Graduation website).

Academic year

The period from the beginning of the first semester to the end of the second semester.

Admission equivalent to University Entrance (Ad Eundem Statum or AES)

This is admission on the basis of non-NCEA or overseas secondary school qualifications, or prior study at an overseas university or at a non-university tertiary institution in New Zealand or overseas. For more information please see the Admissions and Entry website.

Adult Entry

You can apply to enter university for study if you are 20 or older on or before the official course start date. If you do not have University Entrance through NCEA (or equivalent) you will be enrolled in a Certificate of Proficiency for your first semester with the right to advance to a degree programme upon successful completion of your courses. Places for Adult Entry students without University Entrance will be offered subject to priority and availability.

International Students are not eligible for Adult Entry, and must seek Admission AES (see above).

Aegrotat Consideration (bereavement, illness or injury affecting assessments)

If you are prevented from completing any major item or items of work for assessment in a course, or consider that your performance in any major item or items of work for assessment in a course has been impaired by illness, injury, bereavement or any other critical circumstance you may apply for aegrotat consideration.

Aegrotat consideration is available only for major items of work. Major items are examinations, tests and other work worth not less than 10% of the total assessment. For more information please see the information on Examinations (Student Services website).

Assessment

A mark or grade awarded for academic work. For most first-year courses a component of the final grade is based on coursework undertaken during the year – typically about 40–50%. Steady work throughout the year or semester in laboratories, tutorials and assignments will, along with the results of any term tests held, improve the likelihood of good coursework assessment grades. An examination usually accounts for the remaining percentage of the final grade. Some courses are assessed entirely on coursework, ie, there is no final examination.

Assessment of Prior Learning

Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) is the assessment of the credit value of non-formal learning acquired through work/life experiences. This is sometimes also referred to as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). APL is not available for all qualifications. For more information on APL contact a Student Advisor in the relevant College or School.

Assignment

A piece of academic work you must complete as part of your course.

B

Bibliography

A list of books, articles etc you read to research an assignment, listed at the end of the assignment.

Break

Period between terms when no teaching takes place.

Bridging Programmes

Bridging Programmes provides preparatory programmes for international and domestic students preparing for undergraduate or postgraduate programmes.

C

Calendar

The official published record of the current regulations of the University, the Calendar contains important information on degree, diploma and certificate regulations. You can refer to a copy of the Calendar in the Central Library and in public libraries. It is available in PDF format from the Publications website or can be purchased from the University Bookshop.

Campus

The grounds and buildings of the University.

Canterbury Card

University identity card and library card.

Certificate of Proficiency

You enrol for a Certificate of Proficiency if a course (or courses) you are taking is/are not to be counted towards a particular qualification. The course may be surplus to the requirements of a degree, or for credit to a degree at another university. For more information on enrolment see the Enrolment and Fees Regulations (Regulations website).

Certified Copy

A photocopied document signed by a school principal, solicitor, Justice of the Peace or kaumatua, who has seen the original document and checked and signed that the photocopy is a genuine, unaltered copy.

Co-requisite

A course which you must take at the same time (or concurrently) with another specified course. For example, enrolment in LAWS 101 requires a student to also enrol in LAWS 110. LAWS 101 is a co-requisite for LAWS 110; therefore the two courses must be taken at the same time. Normally indicated by the letter ‘C’.

Course (sometimes called a paper)

A course is the study of a particular topic within a wider subject area and is the basic building block of a qualification. A typical course includes lectures; assessment such as assignments, essays, reports, tests and exams; and either tutorials or laboratories. Most first-year courses are taught by a team of lecturers and tutors.

Most courses are taught in Semester 1 (February–June), Semester 2 (July–November), throughout the Whole Year (Semester 1 and Semester 2, February–November) or over summer (November–February). However, dates for College of Education courses may differ. Some courses are offered more than once in the same year, for example, in Semester 1 and in Semester 2.

Each course has a point value that reflects the workload for the course. All courses have a point value of 15 or multiples of 15.

When you pass a course the points are credited towards your degree. If you fail a course you do not get any points. You must complete a certain number of points to complete your degree.

Courses are grouped into levels. Courses which you can study in your first year are called 100-level courses. You usually have to pass certain courses in a subject – called prerequisites – before you can continue on to 200-level courses in your second year. For instance, if you want to take CHIN 301 (a 300-level Chinese language course), you have to pass CHIN 201 first.

Course advice

UC Student Liaison offers course advice, planning and information to new students. On-campus Student Advisors within each College are available to assist advancing students with course advice and degree planning, and help with any academic problems students may have.

Course change

Dropping a course you have enrolled in, or enrolling in a new course. This must be done officially through Admissions and Enrolments.

Course code

Each course is identified by a unique code. This code is made up of a four-letter abbreviation for the subject and an identifying number which indicates the level of the course. For example, MATH 231 Discrete Methods is a Mathematics course, taught at 200-level (the course code is MATH 231).

Course occurrence codes

A course occurrence code – eg, POLS214-12S1(C) – tells you what subject a course is in (POLS: Political Science), at what level (214: 200-level), when a course will be offered (12S1: 2012, Semester 1) and where the course will be offered (C: Christchurch). The course occurrence code is the code you will need to use when applying to enrol. Course occurrence codes are listed in the Enrolment Handbook and on the Courses, Subjects and Qualifications website.

Course prescription

A brief description of the content of a course.

Course weight (CW)

The proportion of a full-time workload that the course represents, listed in the Enrolment Handbook and Course Information System eg, SOWK 101 is listed as CW 0.1250 EFTS (see also EFTS).

Credit points

Each course has a point value which can be counted towards a qualification (see Points).

Credit Transfer

If you have previously studied at another university or at a polytechnic but have not completed a full qualification you may be able to transfer some credit towards a UC qualification. Credit transfer involves the evaluation of a student’s transcript, course outlines and other information relevant to the application.

For more information on credit transfer go to the Transfer of credit webpage or contact a Student Advisor in the relevant College or School.

Cross-crediting

Cross-crediting is where credit is shared between qualifications. In many cases this enables you to complete two degrees (a double degree) in only five years. For more information on cross-crediting contact a Student Advisor in the relevant College or School.

D

Dean

There are seven faculties in the University. Each faculty is chaired by a Dean, whose role is to oversee courses of study and academic activities from undergraduate through to master’s level. The Dean is often assisted by an Associate Dean. There is also a Dean of Postgraduate Studies who oversees postgraduate study, in particular the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme.

Degree

A degree is the standard qualification you study towards at university. Your first degree is called a bachelor’s degree and usually takes three or four years of full-time study to complete. After your first degree, you can carry on to a postgraduate or graduate degree (eg, master's, PhD).

Degree/diploma codes

The code assigned to each programme offered by the University. This code is submitted as part of your Application to Enrol. The codes are listed in the Enrolment Handbook and on the back of the Application to Enrol form.

Degree regulations

The degree regulations are the official rules that you must follow in order to qualify for a degree. The University’s official degree, diploma and certificate regulations are detailed in the UC Calendar.

Degree schedule

A degree schedule forms part of the regulations of a degree. It can include major subject requirements and a list of courses that can be credited towards the degree. Some degrees, eg, Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Music, have schedules of compulsory and optional courses.

Department

Section of the university devoted to teaching and researching a specific academic subject eg, Department of Chemistry.

Direct entry

With excellent NCEA Level 3 and/or Scholarship results you may be exempted from the Intermediate Year for some professional programmes, or you may be offered a place at 200-level in some subjects. For more information, contact the relevant College, School or Department.

Discontinue

Notify Admissions and Enrolment that you no longer wish to be enrolled in a course.

Discontinuation

Official withdrawal from a course, by notifying Admissions and Enrolment.

Discretionary Entrance

New Zealand and Australian citizens and permanent residents who are under 20 years of age and who are not otherwise qualified to enrol for an undergraduate degree programme may qualify to apply for Discretionary Entrance.

For more information see the Admissions and Entry website.

Double degree

A double degree means working towards two degrees at the same time. Some popular options are the Bachelor of Laws with a Bachelor of Arts, Commerce or Science degree, but almost any combination is possible. Points can be cross-credited (or shared) between your degrees, which means, for example, you could complete a Bachelor of Laws (normally a four-year degree) together with a Bachelor of Arts (normally a three-year degree) in only five years.

E

EFTS

The workload of a course is specified by its EFTS (Equivalent Full-Time Student) value. Course EFTS are directly related to course credit points so either may be used as a guide when planning your workload.

The StudyLink definition of a full-time workload is a minimum of 0.8 EFTS (normally 96 points per year). A workload of 0.4 EFTS in Semester 1 or Semester 2 also qualifies as a full-time workload for students undertaking
part-year study.

Endorsement

An endorsement is an area of specialisation within a degree. To gain an endorsement you must pass certain required courses, in addition to the general requirements for the degree you are studying. Upon successful completion of your degree the endorsement is noted on your official transcript (academic record). Endorsements are currently available for the Bachelor of Science degree.

Enrolment Handbook

University guide to enrolment, courses and course timetable.

Equivalent courses

Equivalent courses (EQ) are courses which cover the same material but which are coded to different subjects or different qualifications (this is known as ‘double-coding’).

Exchange

Exchange means that students retain their enrolment status at the University of Canterbury, including acceptance into specific programmes, and are eligible to take advantage of exchange options offered by this University. The courses they study will be credited to their UC degree.

F

Faculty

An academic section of the University devoted to a particular area of knowledge eg, Faculty of Science.

Fieldwork

Many courses in subjects such as Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Geography, Forestry and Geology incorporate work outside the classroom, such as study trips to field stations.

G

Grade Point Average

A system of recording academic achievement based on an average which is calculated by multiplying each grade’s value by the course’s weight to achieve a sum, which is then divided by the sum of the course weightings. At the University of Canterbury the value assigned to each grade is as follows:

A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D E   X

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

-1

  -3

For example

Course code Grade Grade value Points  
TREO 110 B 5 x 18 = 90
SOCI 112 C 2 x 18 = 36
PSYC 105 C- 1 x 15 = 15
PSYC 106 D 0 x 15 = 0
LAWS 101 E -1 x 36 = -36
    Total 102 105

The Grade Point Average of a student who received the grades above would be 105 ÷ 102 = 1.03

Graduate

A graduate is a person who has met the requirements for a degree and been awarded it.

Graduate qualifications can only be taken by students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree, ie, graduates. They normally involve study in an area other than the area of your first degree. They allow you to change subject areas and some prepare you for employment in a certain field, eg, journalism, teaching. Graduate qualifications include graduate certificates and diplomas.

H

HOD/HOS

Head of Department/Head of School – the person responsible for the management of an academic Department or School.

Honours degree

An honours degree is a bachelor’s degree which requires advanced study either as part of a one-year programme following a three-year degree or by completing a research component and/or other additional requirements in the final year of a four-year degree.

At UC undergraduate degrees in Engineering, Forestry, Law, Social Work, and Speech and Language Therapy, can be awarded with honours, while other honours degrees are postgraduate qualifications.

I

Intermediate Year

The Intermediate Year is the first-year programme of study for some professional degrees. You must first pass the Intermediate Year to the required standard before being able to enrol in the second year of the degree. The courses in the Intermediate Year are normally prescribed by the University.

The Intermediate Year of the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Massey), Bachelor of Optometry (Auckland) and Bachelor of Chiropractic (New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Auckland) degrees can be completed at UC. If you are intending to continue your studies at another institution, it is important that you contact them to ensure that your proposed course of study meets their requirements.

L

Laboratories

Laboratory classes (known as ‘labs’) usually run for two to four hours and are common in science subjects. You will get the chance to carry out experiments and tasks, and write up lab reports using your findings. Like tutorials, they are smaller groups where you can ask questions and put your new knowledge into practice.

Lectures

Lectures usually last for 50 minutes with a 10 minute break between lectures. Lectures before 1pm start on the hour and lectures after 1pm start at 10 minutes past the hour. In first-year courses there can be up to 400 students in a lecture; in later years classes are usually much smaller.

Levels

This term describes the stage at which a course is taught.

Courses which you will usually study in your first year are called 100-level courses, eg, SPAN 101 is the code for a first-year Spanish course. Courses at 200-level begin with a ‘2’,eg, SPAN 201 is the code for a 200-level Spanish course, and 300-level courses begin with a ‘3’, eg, SPAN 301.

Limited entry

Some programmes and courses have limits on the number of students that are able to be accepted into them and many require a separate application (in addition to the standard UC Application to Enrol).

The due dates for applying for limited entry programmes and courses are listed in the Enrolment Handbook. For more information contact the relevant College or School directly as early as possible.

M

Major

Your major is the subject you decide to study in-depth or specialise in within a general degree. In most cases for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science this means you take at least 60 points at 300-level in this subject. A double major is when you take 60 points in each of two subjects at 300-level. In most subjects you will also need to complete other requirements, such as completing a certain number of points above 100-level. For details on the specific majoring requirements for each subject refer to the Enrolment Handbook.

Mid-term exam

Exam or test held during the term, as opposed to the exams held at the end of a semester.

Minor

If you are studying towards a Bachelor of Arts you will complete either a major and a minor, or two majors (double major). A minor consists of 75 points in an Arts subject, including at least 45 points above 100-level. For details on the specific minoring requirements for each subject refer to the Enrolment Handbook.

P

Part-time study

Some students choose to study part-time because of other commitments. The same courses are available to both part-time and full-time students. The degree will take longer to complete part-time but the end qualification will be the same. A part-time student, while not eligible for a Student Allowance, may be eligible for a partial Student Loan (if you are taking less than 0.8 EFTS you are considered a part-time student for StudyLink purposes).

Points

Each course has a point value that reflects the workload for the course. All courses have a point value of 15 or multiples of 15.

When you pass a course the points are credited towards your degree. If you fail a course you do not get any points. You must complete a certain number of points to complete your degree.

Each undergraduate qualification has regulations which state the total number of points required for completion and the points requirements at each level. Students should ensure they are fully aware of the points requirements for their degree and choose their courses accordingly.

Postgraduate

Postgraduate qualifications can only be taken by students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree, ie, graduates. They involve more advanced study in the area of your first (undergraduate) degree. They include honours and master’s degrees, postgraduate certificates and diplomas, and doctorates (PhDs).

Preferential Entry

Students in certain categories receive Preferential Entry to UC. Students not meeting the requirements for Preferential Entry are offered places subject to priority and availability.

For more information on Preferential Entry see the Admissions and Entry website.

Preparatory courses

Preparatory courses are non-credit, catch-up courses that can help prepare students for first-year degree study.

Science Headstart courses are catch-up courses in biology, chemistry, maths, physics and statistics, and are designed for intending Engineering, Science or Forestry Science students. A brochure with information on courses to be run over the 2011/12 summer is available in September.

Intending Law students can prepare for their first-year studies by taking Invitation to Law, one of the courses offered for the Certificate in University Preparation.

Prerequisite

A prerequisite is a course that you must pass before you can do another, usually more advanced, course. For example, if BIOL 112 is a prerequisite for BIOL 210 you must pass BIOL 112 before you can enrol in BIOL 210. Prerequisites are often indicated by the letter ‘P’.

It is important to research these thoroughly when planning your degree, so that you take the right prerequisite courses at 100-level to get into the courses you want to at 200-level and so on. For more information see the Enrolment Handbook and or the Courses, Subjects and Qualifications website.

Programme Director/Convenor/Coordinator

The academic staff member responsible for the coordination of a programme of study within a Department or School.

R

Restricted credit

Students enrolled in a 100 or 200-level course may receive restricted credit (C-) which cannot be used as a prerequisite but is considered a pass.

Restriction

Course(s) which cannot all be credited to the same degree because of overlap in content between the courses. For example, SOCI 212 and ANTH 212 are restricted against each other, due to a similarity of content. Often indicated by the letter ‘R’. A student may enrol in a restricted course for a Certificate of Proficiency (COP).

S

Special Admission

If a person does not otherwise qualify for University Entrance they may be eligible to apply for Special Admission. For more information see the Admissions and Entry website.

Student advisors

These are specialist staff within the College offices who give academic advice and help with any academic problems students may face. Student Advisors can help with structuring your degree (including double majors and double degrees), course advice, and other assistance regarding your study plans and choices.

Subject

A subject is a particular area of study that the University offers courses in, eg, English, French, Mathematics or Geology. While you can study many subjects at 100-level, some subjects, eg, Counselling, Diplomacy and International Relations, Fire Engineering and Journalism are only available at honours, graduate or postgraduate level. For more information on subjects refer to the Courses, Subjects and Qualifications website.

Summer Programme

The University offers a wide selection of degree courses in a range of subjects over summer (November–February). The Summer Programme is an opportunity for you to shorten the duration of your degree, spread your workload or pick up a prerequisite course. Most courses qualify for student loans. Due to their intensive nature summer degree courses are not recommended for students who are new to university study.

For more information see the Summer Programme website.

T

Transfer

Transfer means that students withdraw from the University of Canterbury and apply to another university, without any guarantee of being accepted by that university and with the knowledge that the university to which they are transferring must assess and accept any prior UC course credits.

Transfer of credit

See Credit transfer

Tutorials

Tutorials (or ‘tutes’) are smaller-sized classes – typically a staff member (tutor) and 10–20 students. Tutorials are more interactive than lectures. They give you the chance to discuss material covered in lectures, go over assignments and seek help if you need it, sometimes involving group work or presentations. Attendance is normally compulsory. You are usually able to choose tutorial times to suit your timetable and often choose them in the first week of lectures.

U

Undergraduate

The first degree you study towards at university is called an undergraduate degree, eg, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws. Certificates and diplomas are also undergraduate qualifications. An undergraduate student is one who is studying for for their first (bachelor’s) degree, or a certificate or diploma.

W

Workload

The number of points you are taking (courses you have enrolled in) at any one time.