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Online handbook 2004
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About Curtin University
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Useful Definitions

Admission is to allow a person entrance to undertake a course of study at the University.
Academic Status is an academic standing, which can include Good Standing, Conditional, Terminated, Honours or Distinction.
Advanced Standing is recognition of prior learning and is displayed as credit towards a course on the student’s academic record.
An Alternative Examination is any examination, scheduled individually from the centrally or school scheduled examinations, approved either by the University Counselling Services or the University Examinations Office, and held wherever possible, within the standard University Examination periods.
Anti-requisite is a unit that has the same content as another unit but is studied within a different level and/or year.
Assessment is the method by which a student's academic progress and performance is measured in a unit.
Assigned Base Score/Rank is a notational TER for admission to the University, allocated by the Admissions Office to non-school leaver applications in accordance with guidelines approved by the Admissions and Matriculation Committee.
An Availability indicates the location, study period and fee basis on which a unit or course is offered.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is a statutory authority responsible for the administration of Australia's taxation system.
Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (AV-CC) is the council of Australia’s university presidents (Vice-Chancellors).
An Award with Distinction is granted in recognition by the Board of Examiners of outstanding performance in the course and shall not be awarded to more than ten (10) percent of graduates in that course.
An Award or Testamur is the official University certificate, which confirms completion of an award course of study.
An Award Course is a structured combination of approved units which when completed qualifies the student for an award from Curtin University of Technology.
A Board of Examiners is a committee that is constituted for each award course to ensure that the assessment and determination of performance for each student enrolled in that course is conducted in a fair and equitable manner.
A Board of Study is a committee that is established, within a School, for each award course or group of award courses, to guide development and delivery of courses and propose changes, introduce new, discontinue inactive courses, and makes recommendations to the relevant Divisional Board on course matters.
A Bridging Course is a program of study, which is conducted prior to the commencement of a formal award course. It is designed to assist potential students, who have otherwise met matriculation requirements, to satisfy course selection or English literacy requirements.
The Bridging for Overseas-Trained Professionals Loan Scheme (BOTPLS) is a Commonwealth scheme, which makes loans to overseas-trained professionals who do not meet the requirements for entry to their profession in Australia.
A Bridging Unit is a unit of study designed to provide students with the required level of skills and knowledge necessary to undertake further studies.
Census date refers to the date set by DEST that academic and financial penalties are applied.
A Challenge Examination is where a school offers the student an opportunity to sit an examination to see whether the student has the necessary competencies to be granted an exemption. A fee will apply.
Class means any scheduled teaching activity involving face-to-face contact and includes lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and seminars.
Clinical Experience is a subset of professional practice where the work environment is directly concerned with the physical or mental health of patients.
A Collaborative Award means Curtin degree programs that are delivered with the collaboration of other higher education institutions. Normally these lead to the award of a Curtin degree for which the award or testamur reflects the collaborative development and delivery of the education program. The term “Collaborative awards” is also used to refer to degree programs where Curtin is the collaborating partner, but not the initial enrolling partner.
Common Free Time is the period from 12.00 noon to 2.00 pm each Wednesday during teaching weeks, during which classes or other compulsory student activities must not be scheduled or held.
Compulsory student activity means any class or other activity that a student would be expected to attend as part of the normal tuition pattern for a unit or program of study, or any other activity such as a school-arranged examination, test or quiz that the student would be expected to attend in order to successfully complete the requirements of a unit or program of study.
Conditional is an academic status determined by the Board of Examiners. A student is permitted to re-enrol and may be subject to conditions determined by the Head of School and to the statutes and rules of the University.
A Core Unit is a compulsory unit specified in the course outline.
The Council of the University is the governing authority of the University established by the Curtin University of Technology Act 1966.
The Course Completion Date is the date the student has completed the last requirement of the course.
Course Weighted Average is a calculation of a student’s average of results (given a final percentage mark) for all units in a course. The calculation is based on the mark and value of the credit weighting.
Credit Transfer refers to the principle of accepting a student's academic record, in whole or in part, as either identical to or the equivalent of a part of a Curtin course.
Cross-institutional refers to a student who undertakes part of the course of study at an institution (host institution) other than the institution (home institution) which will award the degree.
Deferred Examination/Assessment is where any component of assessed work within a unit of study is approved to be done by a specified later date.
A Degree with Distinction is recognition by the Board of Examiners of outstanding performance in the course and shall not exceed more than ten (10) percent of graduates within a given course
The Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) is the statutory authority responsible for administering educational programs in Australia.
Designated credit refers to credit granted for studies provided through award courses, reciprocal exchange programs, extension and short courses registration and approved agencies and which are deemed to be equivalent in status to Curtin units.
Direct Entry is application for admission, which is made not through the TISC system but direct to the University.
Distance Education delivery is a term which covers print, audiovisual, computer of telecommunication based, materials, tutorial support, assignments, assessment and feedback.
Distance Education students is a term which covers students studying off-campus.
A Distinction is a grade granted for exceptional academic performance.
A Double Degree is an approved combined study program leading to two awards.
A Double Major is two full majors within one course.
An Elective Unit is a unit of study chosen by a student no specified in the course structure.
An Enabling Course is offered for the purpose of enabling a non-overseas student to undertake an award course in a student place, which is funded either partially or fully by the Commonwealth.
English Competency requirements are essential literacy provisions for admission to courses at Curtin. Competency requirements are published and reviewed annually.
An Enrolment Transaction Advice is a statement acknowledging the receipt and acceptance of initial enrolment and any enrolment amendments.
Essential (Online Category) - In this case unit materials and resources are available from the site and it is essential that students use the unit site in order to complete the unit. The online unit site is designed to be a significant component of the unit. It is necessary for students to have full web access.
An Examination is a formal, supervised assessment activity used to assess student learning outcomes, which comprises at least thirty percent (30%) of the overall mark for a unit and which normally takes place at the conclusion of a formal teaching period.
Exempt is when a student is not required to undertake a part of a unit of study, a unit or units of study because of prior studies or work experience.
Exceptional circumstances refer to circumstances beyond the control of the student or circumstances not anticipated at the time of enrolment in the course.
Extension Studies provides for matriculated and non-matriculated applicants to undertake study in a limited number of units. These units are available on a fee-paying basis, not for degree basis and may subsequently be used as a basis for applying to a degree course.
Foundation Courses are designed to prepare potential students, who otherwise do not meet matriculation requirements, to qualify for admission to undergraduate courses.
Fully Online (Online Category) - The site can be classified as fully developed if it is used to deliver the unit entirely online. Delivering a unit completely online means that there is no face-to-face interaction, and that course content, assignments, and communication is dealt with online. It is necessary for students to have full web access.
General Credit refers to the process where previous studies exempt a student from having to complete unspecified units in a course.
Good Standing is an academic status determined by the Board of Examiners, a student is permitted to re-enrol in that course, subject to the statutes and rules of the University.
A Grade refers to the alpha-numeric code used to signify a range of percentage marks or status of a result.
A Graduand is a student who has completed the requirements of the course and is awaiting conferral/confirmation of their award by University Council.
A Graduate is a person who has had their award conferredby the University.
The Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) is a scheme under the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 to which the University and all students must comply. Continued enrolment at the University is conditional upon full compliance with the associated regulations.
An Honours award can be earned either as the outcome of a year of study that is additional to a bachelor degree in a discipline; as the outcome of an honours program that is studied concurrently with a normal pass degree of four years or more in a discipline; or in limited instances based on academic performance in those studies following completion of a specified program.
An Honours year of study can be additional to a normal pass degree year in a discipline or an honours program of study, studied concurrently with a normal pass degree of four years or more in a discipline at an undergraduate level.
Informational (Online Category) - The online unit site can be classed as informational if its main purpose is to provide information about the unit. For example, the site might only contain a unit outline and assignment descriptions. This type of online site is usually considered as an optional information source for students.
An Intermediate Award is an approved interim course, to acknowledge a student’s achievements where, under exceptional circumstances, the student is unable to complete the requirements of the currently enrolled course.
A Student Fees and Charges Invoice is the University’s request for payment of tuition and other fees for a given study period.
A Letter of Course Completion is an official document, issued by the Director, Student Services, stating that all academic requirements for the course have been met.
A Liability Notice is the University’s official notification of a student's financial liability as at the census date for the relevant study period.
A Major is a series of units combined to satisfy the University’s requirements in an area of specialisation and includes at least two units at final year level. There must be more components that constitute the major than components that constitute any other single area.
Mature Age Candidates for the purposes of admission to the University are those who will be twenty (20) years of age, or over, before 1 March of the year of admission to the University.
A Minor is a series of four units in the same subject, including at least two units at second year level or higher.
A Non-Award Course is a program of study which does not lead to a formal award. It may comprise a unit or units of study from an award course and may be counted as credit towards an award course in some cases.
Non Standard Study Periods are those study periods other than the two (2) standard semesters as outlined in the University Academic Calendar.
A Non-Study Component is an additional requirement of the course eg first aid certificate.
An Open-Book Examination is an Examination where an appropriate, prescribed textbook, or similar, is approved to be used in the Examination.
An Optional Unit is a unit chosen, by the student, from a specified list provided by the School(s)
The Postgraduate Education Loans Scheme (PELS) is an interest free loan facility for eligible students who are enrolled in fee-paying, postgraduate non-research courses.
Preparatory program covers bridging, enabling and foundation programs.
A Prerequisite is a required subject/unit deemed necessary for entry to higher level studies in a particular area.
Professional Practice is where a student is required to extend knowledge and skills within a practical environment.
A Result comprises a grade and, where applicable, a percentage mark.
A Sanction is a warning put on the Student’s record, to alert the student of outstanding requirements and which may withhold certain privileges.
School Leaver Candidates are those applying for admission to the University on the basis of the Western Australian Tertiary Entrance Examination (TEE), or an interstate or international equivalent, and who will be under twenty (20) years of age before 1 March in the year of admission to university.
Semester Weighted Average is a calculation of a student’s average of results (given a final percentage mark) for any units, over a study period. The calculation is based on the mark and value of the credit weighting.
A Significant Unit refers to a unit of study in an approved specified course in which failure twice may lead to the termination of a student’s course.
Special Accommodation means the setting of examinations to provide for the needs of students with a disability or medical condition.
Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) refers to a range of specially designed tests administered by the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC) to assist universities in assessing suitability of mature age candidates for admission to tertiary study. In certain circumstances, the STAT may also be used by school leaver candidates to satisfy literacy requirements.
A Standard Semester shall comprise the following elements - an orientation week immediately preceding the start of classes, twelve (12) teaching weeks, two tuition free weeks, a study week, and a two week examination period.
A Statement of Academic Record (SAR) is the official record of the student's advanced standing, grade and mark obtained for units studied within a course.
A Stream is a specialised structure of units within a course.
A Student Declaration is where the students sign, on application to the University, to abide by all the rules of the University.
A Student Identification Card is a card issued by the University which provides a variety of access, library borrowing rights and proof of identity.
A Study Package is a generic term used to describe what the University teaches, i.e. courses, majors, streams, minors, units and thesis.
A Study Period is a period of time in which a unit is available e.g. Semester 1, Trimester 3, etc.
A Study Plan is an overview specifying a student’s advanced standing granted, past, present and intended enrolment.
Study Week is the week before the commencement of the examination period during which students are expected to prepare for examinations or practical assessments.
Supplemental (Online Category) - The online unit site can be deemed supplemental if it is used to enhance other forms of instruction. For instance, the site could be used to enhance face-to-face instruction by providing lecture notes and links to useful web sites.
A Supplementary Examination/Assessment, may be approved by the Board of Examiners, for students who have not met the requirements for successful completion of a unit.
Terminated is an academic status determined by a Board of Examiners. A student is not permitted to re-enrol in the course but may seek admission into another course.
Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) provides the ranking which is used for allocating places in university courses. It is calculated from the Tertiary Entrance Score (TES) for school leavers is calculated using a student's best four or five tertiary entrance subject scores. For mature age tertiary entrance applicants, the score is normally calculated using two tertiary entrance subject marks.
A Tuition Free Week is a week within a study period during which classes and other compulsory student activities are not scheduled, unless specifically approved in accordance with University Procedures.
Tuition Pattern refers to the different types of learning environments e.g. lectures, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, fieldwork, etc.
A Unit is a discrete entity of study within a subject area that is a component of a course.
A Unit Outline is a summary of essential information relating to the unit being studied and must be made available to students enrolled in the unit prior to but no later than the date of the first scheduled class contact.
The University Academic Calendar is the standard University academic calendar comprised of two (2) standard semesters, Semester 1 and Semester 2.
The University Examinations Office is located within Student Central and is responsible for scheduling and the coordination of centrally scheduled examinations and the issuing of final results.
The University Standard Examination Period is the examination period as outlined in the University Academic Calendar.
The Vice-Chancellor’s List is for academic excellence, comprises students who have been selected from the top one percent (1%) of a course for a given study period.



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