Get familiar with common terms used at the University.
Your annual average mark (AAM) is the average mark you have achieved across all units of study attempted in an academic year. Find out more about your AAM.
Academic progression is the way we describe the progress you are making towards completing your degree requirements. There are procedures the University is required to follow if you’re not meeting progression. Find out more about academic progression.
An official record of your study at the University. This includes your academic transcript and testamur. Find out more about academic records.
Advanced coursework compromises 4000-level units which are available to students enrolled in a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree. These units provide a greater intellectual challenge, enhanced knowledge, collaborative problem-solving and critical thinking.
Once you graduate with a degree from the University you become a member of our alumni community. ‘Alumni’ is the plural form, referring to more than one former student.
You may lodge an appeal against an academic or disciplinary decision made by the University. An academic decision is one that affects your academic assessment or progression within your award course. Disciplinary decisions are non-academic decisions, including the result of a misconduct investigation. Find out more about academic appeals.
You are an applicant when you are in the process of applying to an award course at the University of Sydney, or have received an offer but haven't yet accepted (this includes deferred offers).
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy that incorporates education and training qualifications into a national framework. AQF levels indicate the typical achievement of graduates who have been awarded a qualification at a certain level.
The process of measuring your performance in a unit of study. Assessment tasks can include written or practical examinations, assignments, performances, portfolios, designs or constructions.
For some courses or units of study, we assume you have reached a certain level of knowledge or have passed a relevant subject – this is called assumed knowledge. It often refers to a NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) subject, but equivalent subjects in other recognised secondary education (Year 12) qualifications will be accepted. For a guide to the standard required in other Year 12 qualifications, refer to the syllabus of HSC subjects.
See also prerequisite.
The requirement to attend and/or participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials, and practical work. You must meet a unit of study’s attendance requirements to continue taking the unit.
The ATAR is a ranking between 0 and 99.95 that is allocated to all students who complete an Australian Year 12 (secondary school) qualification. It is a measure of the student’s overall academic achievement relative to other students who have undertaken an Australian Year 12 qualification. If you have completed another recognised secondary qualification your results will be translated to an ATAR equivalent to determine whether you have met the standard required for admission.
A course approved by the University’s governing bodies that leads to a qualification such as a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, or the award of a diploma or certificate.
The period during which you are eligible to enrol at the University. It commences when you accept your offer.
A unit of study that provides you with an opportunity to draw together the learning that has taken place during your course, synthesise it with your own learning and experience, and draw conclusions that form the basis for further investigation. You usually complete it as the final subject of a major or during the final year of your course.
The date when your enrolment in a unit of study becomes final. This means the unit of study will appear on your transcript and you are liable to pay fees. Find census dates on our Study dates page.
A document that demonstrates your current enrolment at the University. Find out more about certificates of current enrolment.
A combination of two degrees that enable you to count a specific number of credit points towards the requirements for both courses. This allows you to complete a lower volume of learning than if the two degrees were taken separately.
When you are starting a new award course at the University.
A document provided to you after census date which lists the units you enrolled in for that study period where you accessed Commonwealth assistance (either through a Commonwealth supported place or a HECS-HELP loan).
The Australian Government subsidises your course fees and you pay the remainder as a student contribution.
A complaint is any type of problem or concern about academic or non-academic matters that you raise with the University, and requires staff to work with you towards a resolution. It could be to do with your studies, student life, the University environment or the behaviour of a student or staff member. Find out more about complaints.
A document that proves completion of your qualification. It is available once your eligibility to graduate has been confirmed. Find out more about completion letters.
When you are awarded your award course at the University and are then able to use any associated titles. This happens before your graduation ceremony, if you choose to attend one.
When are currently enrolled and will be re-enrolling in your studies in the next study session.
A compulsory unit of study that you need to complete to be awarded a particular minor, major, specialisation, program or degree.
A unit of study that you must complete before, or at the same time as another unit of study.
A planned and structured sequence of learning and teaching that allows you to gain knowledge, skills and understanding.
When you change from one course to another, either within the University of Sydney or between institutions.
A course that is undertaken predominantly by coursework. All undergraduate award courses, graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, and masters degrees that comprise less than 66% research, are coursework award courses.
When you are enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate coursework award course at the University (includes the honours year of a bachelor's degree).
The recognition of previous studies, either at the University of Sydney or another institution, that can be granted as credit points towards your course.
A credit point is the value that each unit of study (single subject) contributes towards the completion requirements for your course.
Australian education providers that offer courses to students studying in Australia on student visas, and the courses they offer, need to be registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
Where you enrol, with permission of your program director, in units of study at another university or institution and have those units credited to your award course here at the University.
The weighted average mark you have achieved across all units of study attempted in the CSAM period. The CSAM period includes all semesters required to complete at least 48 credit points. Find out more about your CSAM.
When you receive an offer of admission to an award course at the University of Sydney, you may be able to postpone your offer for up to one year.
A bachelor's, honours, master's or PhD qualification (does not include graduate diploma or graduate certificate).
The academic unit responsible for teaching and examining your unit of study. It may also be called a school, centre or unit within the University.
Some units of study require approval from a faculty or school before you’re able to enrol (for example because there are a limited number of places available). You will be prompted to apply for permission when you select the unit in Sydney Student.
An intellectual community based on an internationally recognised field of inquiry. For example, the discipline of Business Law within the University of Sydney Business School.
When you withdraw from your award course. Discontinuation means you are no longer admitted to candidature and cease to be a student at the University.
When you withdraw from an individual unit of study. Any unit of study discontinued before the census date will not appear on your transcript.
You are a domestic student if you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen (including dual citizens), a permanent resident of Australia or hold a permanent Australian humanitarian visa.
When you complete two separate qualifications in succession, where no units are credited towards both qualifications. For example, you can undertake an undergraduate degree followed by a specific postgraduate program, for example the Bachelor of Science and Master of Nutrition and Dietetics.
A downgrade is a transfer to a related lower level award course that has been previously approved by your faculty or school. You can enrol in your new course and continue your studies without discontinuing your current course. For example you are undertaking the Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Advanced Studies, and change to the Bachelor of Commerce.
Where you complete two combined coursework degree programs, one offered at the University of Sydney and the other at a partner institution. Bachelor dual degrees are four years full-time requiring two years study at the partner institution and two years at the University of Sydney.
An early exit allows you to graduate with a lower award course once you have met the requirements of the lower course. For example you are undertaking the Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Advanced Studies, and change to the Bachelor of Commerce once you’ve completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Commerce.
Units of study selected by you, according to your need or interests. You can choose from lists of electives in your handbook.
A document issued to international students by the University that you need as evidence to apply for a student visa. It confirms your eligibility to enrol in your course at the University and contains information about your course and duration of study.
A sequence of linked courses in very similar academic or professional areas that allows you to:
For instance, the Graduate Certificate in Commerce is embedded in the Master of Commerce.
The process that secures your place in a course at the University. It includes accepting the University's conditions of being a student and selecting units of study for the coming semester or year. For research students, the process involves selecting your program of research to be undertaken and start date. Find our more about enrolling or re-enrolling in your course.
There are certain unit and course rules that may prevent you from being able to confirm your selections during unit of study selection. If you believe you are eligible for an exception to these rules you can submit an enrolment exception request. Find out more about enrolment exception requests.
A measure representing the annual study load that you would undertake in a course on a full-time basis.
A form of assessment, an examination is a formal test that assesses your knowledge and ability in a particular area. Find our more about examinations.
Through the international exchange program, students can study at a partner universities overseas. As an outbound exchange student, you remain enrolled at the University of Sydney and continue to pay your usual tuition fees and other student fees while studying part of your degree overseas. As an inbound exchange student, you will come to the University of Sydney and remain enrolled at your home institution. Find out more about outbound exchange and inbound exchange.
You may be excluded from a unit of study, award course or faculty or school for unsatisfactory academic progress. You will first be asked to 'show good cause' for why you should be allowed to re-enrol. If you do not provide an explanation, or your explanation is unsatisfactory, you will be excluded. If you are excluded from your award course, this means you are no longer admitted to candidature and cease being a student. You may apply to the faculty or school for permission to re-enrol after a specified time period (usually four semesters).
You may be excluded for a period of time from your candidature at the University if found guilty of misconduct. Exclusion means that, for the period stated, that you will not receive results, be allowed to graduate or re-enrol in any course at the University.
Your candidature may be terminated as the result of serious disciplinary action or misconduct at the University. Expulsion means that you will not receive results, be allowed to graduate or re-enrol in any course at the University.
The primary academic grouping within the University, made up of broad complementary disciplinary groups, in which teaching and research are delivered. Faculties are further organised into narrower groups (ie, schools and departments or disciplines) to support collaboration in research and teaching.
A loan, through the Australian Government, available to eligible students to pay their full fee-paying tuition fees.
Your financial responsibility for tuition fees or student contributions. This includes when you defer payment using a HELP loan.
Once you have enrolled you will be issued with a financial statement through Sydney Student. This outlines your fees for your enrolled units of study.
For domestic students, you'll generally be considered full time if you are undertaking 18 credit points or more in a teaching period. Most full-time students will complete 24 credit points each teaching period.
If you’re a student visa holder you need to enrol in a minimum of 24 credit points during each teaching period. At least 18 credit points need to be completed in the semester session, or in sessions other than an intensive session.
The outcome you receive for a unit of study based on the assessments completed. Your grades are displayed on your academic transcript as a result code. Find out more about grades.
A person who has completed the requirements for their award course but the award has not yet been conferred.
A person who has completed the requirements for their award course and had the award conferred.
A bachelor’s (undergraduate) or master’s (postgraduate) course that requires you to have completed a particular undergraduate course first, as a prerequisite for entry.
The process where we confer your degree. You can choose to attend an optional graduation ceremony at a later date.
An optional ceremony where you’ll receive your testamur and can celebrate your academic achievements with us.
A loan, through the Australian Government, available to Commonwealth supported students to pay for the student contribution amount of their fees.
You are considered a HDR or ‘research’ student when enrolled in a postgraduate research course. This means at least two thirds of the overall course requirements involve undertaking supervised research over a set time period and lead to the production of a thesis or other piece of written or creative work.
Some degrees may be completed 'with honours'. Honours differs depending on the degree, and usually involves the completion of additional independent learning, including a large project and advanced-level coursework, or high-level achievement over all years of the course.
A unit of study which provides you the opportunity to work on authentic problems and issues with external partners from industry, community and government organisations. ICPUs are 3000 and 4000-level units.
Some units of study are run outside of the dates for Semester 1 and Semester 2 (eg during Intensive January). In these intensive sessions you have the opportunity to complete study in addition to units you take during Semester 1 or Semester 2.
Currently enrolled students who meet eligibility criteria can apply in Sydney Student to change courses at the University. Your application will be assessed based on your ATAR or your academic performance at the University.
You are an international student if you are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen (or dual citizen of Australia or New Zealand), a permanent resident of Australia or a holder of a permanent Australian humanitarian visa. To enrol at university, international students need to hold an appropriate visa that allows them to study in Australia.
Conducts research on specific topics.
The last day you're able to enrol in a unit of study in a particular session. Each session has its own LDA. Find LDA dates on our Study dates page.
As a research student, you may request a leave of absence from your course for less than one research period. Find out more about requesting leave from your research.
A formal presentation to a large group of students by a lecturer.
A defined sequence of units of study that develops your depth of expertise in a field of study. In undergraduate degrees, a major is exactly 48 credit points. Majors are recorded on your academic transcript.
A defined sequence of units of study that develops your expertise in a field of study. In undergraduate degrees, a minor is exactly 36 credit points. Minors are recorded on your academic transcript.
Studies undertaken that do not lead to an award from the University. Non-award courses include professional development programs.
You may be granted credit for a certain number of credit points at a particular level. These credit points may be allocated to a particular subject area but not to a specific unit of study.
See also specific credit.
The Open Learning Environment (OLE) is a collection of units of study that let you extend your knowledge by exploring other fields of study. Depending on your degree, you may be required to take credit point OLE units.
A loan, through the Australian Government, for Commonwealth supported students who want to study some of their course overseas.
Domestic students may be allowed to complete some courses on a part-time basis – completing less than the minimum full-time study load of 18 credit points per teaching period.
A weekly schedule of classes for your enrolled units of study. It lists the location, time and duration of your classes. Find out more about timetables.
A course leading to the award of a graduate certificate, graduate diploma, master's degree or doctorate. A postgraduate award usually requires previous completion of a relevant undergraduate (bachelor's) degree or diploma. It can also refer to a student studying a postgraduate course.
Provides University funding for research students to attend conferences, support your fieldwork or specialist services.
A course prerequisite is a subject you need to have completed at the required standard to be eligible for admission to a course at the University.
Some units of study have a prerequisite. This is a requirement that needs to be completed before you are able to take the unit, such as already having completed a particular unit of study or a certain number of credit points.
A combination of units of study that develops expertise across several disciplines or a professional or specialist field. It includes at least one recognised major in a field of study. Programs are larger volumes of study – in a specified area – than a 48 credit point major. They are also designed to ensure that industry or employment needs are met and are recorded on your student transcript.
See Academic progression.
Some units of study have one or more prohibitions. These are other units of study that have a significant overlap in content. You cannot enrol in the unit of study if you have already completed one of the prohibited units.
During enrolment, the units of study you select need to be allocated to a specific unit collection within Sydney Student (eg. ‘Table A Junior'). If you want to change a unit of study to a different unit collection or change your major/specialisation, you must re-allocate your units. Find out more about selecting units in Sydney Student.
When you have been on a break from your studies (such as suspension) and are returning in the next study session.
The process that current students undertake at the end of each year to maintain their place in their course. This includes accepting the University's conditions of studying and enrolling in units of study for the following academic year. Find out more about re-enrolling.
If you have completed previous studies in a related area or have relevant work experience, you can apply to have this recognised at the University. This may be granted as credit, a reduced volume of learning, or a waiver to complete a compulsory or pre-requisite unit.
Student visa holders are required to enrol in a full-time study load of 24 credit points per teaching period. Eligible students may be able to apply for a reduced study load to enrol in less than the full-time amount.
Reduced Volume of Learning provides recognition for previous study and/or relevant work experience. The number of credit points you need to complete for your award course is reduced.
If you are a research student, the duration of your candidature is measured in research periods. There are four research periods per year - approximately two per semester.
Scholarships provided by the Australian government to support eligible domestic and international students undertaking postgraduate research degrees. They provide an offset for tuition fees and/or living costs.
Once results have been released, you can view your results notice online through Sydney Student. This unofficial document shows the results for each of your units of study.
A loan, through the Australian Government, available to eligible students to pay for all or part of their SSAF.
Your semester average mark (SAM) is the average mark you have achieved across all units of study attempted in a semester. Find out more about your SAM on our Weighted average mark page.
A restriction or penalty that may be applied, if, for example, you do not pay your fees on time. The sanction will limit your access to University resources and processes (such as accessing results or graduating).
A form of support, usually financial, provided to assist in your continued education. Scholarships are usually granted on the basis of academic achievement and/or financial need.
An academic unit within a faculty where staff have a common disciplinary and/or inter-disciplinary research and teaching responsibility.
See also University school.
The main teaching block or session; about 16 weeks in duration, during a teaching period. There are two semesters each year: Semester 1 (S1C) usually runs from late February to June, and Semester 2 (S2C) from late July to November. Find key dates on our Study dates page.
Units of study are run during a set period of time known as a session. Each teaching period consists of multiple sessions, including a semester session and intensive sessions. Find key dates for sessions on our Study dates page.
If you have not met the progression requirements of your course, your faculty or school may request that you 'show good cause' for why you should be allowed to re-enrol.
An informal arrangement made with your unit of study coordinator to permit late submission of work. Find out more about simple extensions.
An arrangement that is made if an essential commitment affects your ability to complete an assessment or attend an exam.
You may apply for special consideration if you suffer from an illness, injury or misadventure that significantly affects your performance in an assessment item (or multiple assessment items). This will be taken into account when assessing your performance. Find out more about special consideration.
The disciplinary or professional expertise developed for a profession or career in a professional or specialist bachelor's degree or postgraduate degree.
When you have previously studied a unit of study - at another institution - that is an exact equivalent to a unit of study at the University of Sydney, you will be granted specific credit for that unit. This means you will not need to complete the unit here.
See also non-specific credit.
A statutory declaration is a signed, written statement that allows a person to declare something to be true in the presence of an authorised witness – usually a Justice of the Peace, a lawyer or a notary public.
A version of a course that is linked to a common or parent course but is treated as a separate course for admission purposes. For example, Bachelor of Arts (International and Global Studies).
You are a student if you are currently admitted to candidature (your offer has been accepted) at the University. This includes if you are enrolled in non-award units of study or are on exchange or study abroad.
Your student card is issued once you enrol and identifies you as a student of the University. It can be used for printing (using SydPay), borrowing from the Library, accessing certain buildings, claiming student discounts, and to identify you for administrative purposes, such as during exams. Find our more about your student card.
Your first point of contact for assistance with matters related to your candidature and administration. You can make an enquiry online, call or visit us face-to-face. Find out how to contact the Student Centre.
A unique nine-digit number that identifies you as a student at the University. Your SID remains the same throughout your studies at the University.
A fee that was introduced by the Australian Government to help universities fund support services. (eg sporting and recreational activities, childcare, accommodation, etc). Most students are required to pay the SSAF each semester.
As an international student, you must hold a valid visa that allows you to study in Australia. Information on student visas can be found on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.
The study abroad program (outbound) allows a University of Sydney student to undertake part of their degree at a recognised institution overseas and requires payment of tuition fees to the host institution.
The study abroad program (inbound) allows students from overseas to enrol in units of study at the University of Sydney and involves payment of tuition fees based on the number of subject credit points enrolled in.
See also exchange.
The number of credit points you are enrolled in during a semester.
The week before the official exam period at the end of Semesters 1 and 2. For most students, no classes are held during this week.
Units of study are grouped together with related units into subject areas. These are listed in your handbook (for example, Accounting, English or Biology).
An alternative assessment that may be offered if you have failed an assessment item and would otherwise be limited in your ability to progress in your course. A supplementary examination will usually only be awarded if you have scored within a set mark range on the original assessment.
An official period of leave from your studies. You can suspend your studies for a semester, research period or full academic year. The University may also suspend you from your studies if you don’t enrol in time.
A campus payment account included with your UniKey and student card. You can load money onto your account to pay for SydPay-enabled services on campus.
There are two teaching periods each year. Each is six months in duration and includes a semester. Teaching period 1 runs from 1 January to 30 June (including Semester 1), and Teaching period 2 runs from 1 July to 31 December (including Semester 2).
This refer to the numbered weeks of actual teaching time within our two main semesters. They do not include mid-semester breaks, study vacation (STUVAC) or examination periods. There are usually 13 teaching weeks within each semester, with Week 1 being the first week of classes and Week 13 the last one before STUVAC. Our wall calendar shows the numbered teaching weeks each year.
The legal statement of your degree which includes your name, major(s), and conferral date. Find out more about your testamur.
The whole assessable work submitted for examination after a period of supervised independent research. A thesis is usually required for a master's by research degree or a PhD.
A complete record of your studies at the University. It includes all units of study (attempted and completed) and your grade for each. Find out more about your transcript.
An external transfer is when you apply for admission to an award course at the University of Sydney on the basis of studies you have partially completed at another university. You apply either through UAC or directly to the University of Sydney and can then apply for credit for units studied at your previous institution.
You may be able to arrange a course transfer (known as an Allowable course transfer) from one course to another within the University of Sydney. If eligible, you’ll be able to see the available choices in Sydney Student.
You will need to pay tuition fees for each unit you undertake. The amount you pay will depend on your course, units and whether you’re a domestic or international student.
A tutorial or ‘tute’ is a smaller and less formal learning setting. Students are guided by a tutor, and can ask questions and have group discussions.
A course leading to a diploma, bachelor's or honours degree, or a student studying at this level.
A unique electronic ID provided to you after you enrol. Your UniKey gives you access to a range of University resources and systems such as your University student email account, online learning systems, library borrowing, printing and more.
A USI is your individual education number for life. It is issued by the Australian Government, and is a combination of ten numbers and letters that is unique to each student.
An individual subject that you study as part of your degree. It is the smallest stand-alone component of a course that can be recorded on your academic transcript. Each unit of study has a credit point value, which you can find in your handbook.
UAC receives and processes applications for admission to undergraduate courses at recognised universities in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Similar to a school within a faculty, but does not share the broad disciplinary connections with the larger faculty groupings. Examples include the University of Sydney Law School and University of Sydney Business School.
When you progress from a postgraduate course to an eligible higher-level course, for example a graduate diploma to a master's degree, in an embedded sequence.
Your weighted average mark (WAM) is the University's way of measuring your academic performance. It is the average mark you’ve achieved across all completed units in your award course, weighted according to the credit point value and academic level of each unit of study. Find out more about your WAM.
Our Welcome Program held before the start of each semester gives you:
Find out more about our Welcome Program.
These units of study have learning outcomes of a foundational or introductory nature and are designed for students in the first year of a bachelor degree.
These units of study have learning outcomes which assume prior foundational or introductory study and are designed for students who have completed the first year of a bachelor degree.
These units of study have learning outcomes designed for students in the third year of a bachelor degree. They include the final units for the completion of a major, such as capstone units and project units.
These units of study have learning outcomes at the advanced or honours level normally taken in the fourth year or later as the final elements of a four-year degree or combined degree. In combined degrees with the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, they are taken after completion of a major in the subject area. They include industry, community, entrepreneurial and research projects, and honours units.
These units of study have learning outcomes designed for postgraduate award courses.