Commonly Used Terms and Definitions
Definition: An administrative term used at UNSW to classify the academic level of the program a student is enrolled in. This classification reflects the qualifications hierarchy that is standardised in the Australian Qualifications Framework.
UNSW has the following careers: Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Research, Non-award.
A student can be enrolled in more than one program at a time, with more than one career.
Definition: The date within each teaching period on which students' enrolments are taken to be finalised. In general, if a student withdraws from a course prior to the course's census date, the student is not financially liable to pay for the course. Enrolment data that the government uses to calculate financial payments is reported effective as at each census date.
Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students
Definition: Education institutions can only enrol and deliver education services to students in Australia on a student visa if they are registered on CRICOS.
Registered providers must continually meet the requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) and National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (National Code). Any providers wishing to deliver English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) or Foundation Program courses must also meet ELICOS or Foundation Program Standards.
Definition: Otherwise known as a subject or unit of study, a course is an individual study unit with a specific unit of credit weighting. Classes within a course may include lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, performance, studios and field trips, and some courses are conducted fully online. Students enrol in multiple courses to make up their program of study, some of which may be core courses (compulsory) or elective courses (where students are given a choice of courses).
A course is known as a "unit of study" at some other universities and in government reporting.
Details of UNSW courses are published online in the Handbook.
UNSW courses codes are made up of a four-character alphabetic prefix, identifying the Faculty, School or academic unit administering the course, and a four-digit numeric suffix. In many cases the first digit of the four-digit numeric suffix indicates the "level" of the course e.g. ECON1101 is a Level 1 course typically undertaken early in the student's program.
Example: MATH1131 - Mathematics 1A is a 6 UOC Undergraduate course for which the responsible academic unit is the School of Mathematics & Statistics in the Faculty of Science.
Students undertaking this course, sitting side-by-side in the same classroom, may be enrolled in a wide variety of different programs.
Equivalent full-time student load
Definition: Equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) is a measure of a student's study load that is defined in the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA). An EFTSL of 1 is the standard annual study load of a student undertaking a program on a full-time basis.
Example: At UNSW, a normal full-time enrolment for one year is defined as 48 units of credit (UOC).
Most courses at UNSW have a value of 6 UOC, giving the course an EFTSL value of 6/48 = 0.125 EFTSL.
A student undertaking eight 6 UOC courses in a year would have a load of 8 x 0.125 = 1 EFTSL.
Definition: A formally recognised group of university schools or departments that specialise in particular subjects or groups of subjects for teaching and research.
Definition: Courses designed to assist international students to meet higher education admission requirements and prepare students for university entry.
Generated vs Taught Load
Definition: Generated load: the student load (measured in EFTSL) attributable to enrolments in programs offered by a Faculty.
Taught Load: The student load (measured in EFTSL) attributable to enrolments in units of study taught by a Faculty, including teaching delivered to students whose program is offered by a different Faculty.
Illustrative Example: A student is enrolled in the Bachelor of Engineering program offered by the Faculty of Engineering. This term the student is studying:
· an electrical engineering course taught by the Faculty of Engineering, and
· a maths course and a physics course taught by the Faculty of Science.
Each course is 6 units of credit, giving it an EFTSL value of 0.125. The student's load is 3 x 0.125 = 0.375 EFTSL.
The generated load is 0.375 EFTSL for the Faculty of Engineering.
The taught load is 0.125 EFTSL for the Faculty of Engineering, and 0.250 EFTSL for the Faculty of Science.
Definition: The number of individual students who are enrolled at UNSW
Higher Education Information Management System
Definition: The electronic information system managed by the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training (DET) that provides government, students, higher education providers, and members of the public with wide-ranging information about higher education providers and their academic offerings, staff, and students.
The data UNSW reports to HEIMS is used in rankings, and is also used to calculate some government funding.
New to Academic Career at UNSW VS commencing student
Definition: New to Academic Career at UNSW: If a student has no prior enrolment at UNSW in a given academic career. Specifically, the student is only counted as 'New to Academic Career' if they have not completed any UOC at UNSW before the census date of at least one teaching period of the given career. Commencing (HEIMS definition): A student is a commencing student if she/he has enrolled in the course for the first time at the higher education provider between 1 January and 31 December of the collection year.
Example: NAC Examples:
1. A new student enrols for the first time in a Bachelor of Commerce. The student starts in T1 2020 and completes their first courses. The student returns in T2 2020. The student has NAC status in T1 but not in T2.
2. A student enrols in their first teaching period of a Masters of Engineering (career = Postgraduate). The student is also currently doing their final course in a Bachelor of Science (career = Undergraduate). The student has NAC status for their Engineering degree but not for their Science degree.
3. A student has completed two years of a Bachelor of Advanced Science (career = Undergraduate), and then transfers to a Bachelor of Commerce (career = Undergraduate). The student does not have NAC status in the Bachelor of Commerce.
1. A new student enrols in a Bachelor of Arts at the beginning of T1 2020 and completes courses in T1, T2 and T3. The student has Commencing status for each of the three teaching periods.
2. A student has completed two years of a Bachelor of Advanced Science, and then transfers to a Bachelor of Commerce. The student has Commencing status during their first calendar year in the Bachelor of Commerce.
Definition: Refers to a student undertaking a program of study which does not lead to an award from UNSW.
Postgraduate coursework student
Definition: A student undertaking an award program at the following level: graduate certificate, graduate diploma, masters degree (coursework)
Definition: A formally governed academic program of study or supervised research available for students to undertake, within which the student enrols in individual units of study.
A program is known as a "course" at some other universities and in government reporting.
Award Program: A program of formal study or supervised research leading to the award of a recognised Higher Education undergraduate or postgraduate degree or diploma or graduate certificate, or which qualifies a student to enter a program at a level higher than a Bachelor’s degree.
Details of UNSW Award programs available each year are published online in the Handbook.
Non-Award Program: A program of study which does not lead to such an award.
Example: Award Program example: 3970 Bachelor of Science
Non-Award Program examples: 6001 Study Abroad Program; Cross-institutional studies
Definition: The minimum aggregated EFTSL value of courses required to complete the program of study.
Research student (also known as a HDR student or candidate)
Definition: A student undertaking a program at the following level: doctoral degree, masters degree (research). HDR = Higher Degree Research.
Definition: One of the two core 13-week periods (known as Semester 1 and Semester 2) during which teaching took place at UNSW prior to the UNSW3+ academic calendar introduced in 2019. There was also a shorter optional Summer semester.
UNSW Canberra: Semester 1 and Semester 2 are still available at UNSW Canberra.
Definition: A defined calendar period within which UNSW courses are offered.
Teaching periods can be of varying lengths, and many different teaching periods exist at UNSW. Most teaching periods are associated with one of the core Terms or (prior to 2019) Semesters.
Definition: One of the three core 10-week periods (known as Term 1, Term 2 and Term 3) during which teaching takes place at UNSW under the UNSW3+ academic calendar introduced in 2019. There is also the shorter optional Summer term.
Definition: A student undertaking an award program at the following level: diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree, bachelor degree, bachelor honours degree.
Unit Of Credit
Definition: A fundamental unit of measurement at UNSW, reflecting the volume of learning associated with a course. Every course in the University is assigned a UOC value, and program requirements are partly defined in terms of the completion of a specified number of units of credit. All courses are measured in whole UOC. For students, full-time enrolment for one year is defined as 48 UOC with at least one course enrolment in each of the three standard terms (not the optional Summer term).