Glossary of terms

Note: The descriptions below are not intended to be legal definitions. The Regulations in the Calendar should also be referred to when interpreting these terms.

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Academic English Language Requirement: A specified level of attainment in English studies in NCEA, CIE, IB or equivalent; if admitted without meeting this requirement students may satisfy it in their first year of study by passing a specified undergraduate course in academic English.

Academic Head: A person appointed to an academic leadership position with responsibility for managing a school or department.

Academic Integrity Course: An online course designed to increase student knowledge of academic integrity, university rules relating to academic conduct, and the identification and consequences of academic misconduct.

Academic Standing:
 A means of measuring a student’s academic performance each semester. Students are required to pass at least 50 percent of points enrolled in a semester to maintain good academic standing. Graduated academic sanctions apply to students failing to meet this requirement.

Academic Year and Academic Year Term:
The academic year begins on the first day of January and ends on the last day of December in the same calendar year. Teaching is generally conducted over semesters and quarters. The academic year term covers the same period but offers more flexible enrolment options for shorter periods of study.

Ad Eundem Statum:
 A means of admission to the University on the basis of a qualification awarded by a body other than the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or the University of Auckland.

Admission: The process by which a student applies, and is approved, for entry to the University and to a University qualification.

Alumni: A term describing graduates of the University and staff who have worked for the University.



Bachelors degree: A first degree.

Bachelors honours degree: Can be either an undergraduate degree, usually requiring four years of full-time study, or a one-year postgraduate degree completed after a bachelors degree. In both cases, it requires the completion of a research component at a level equivalent to a masters degree.



Campus: A geographic location where University of Auckland qualifications are delivered.

 A qualification awarded after academic study of a coherent programme of between 60 and 120 points.

Certificate of Proficiency: Recognises successful completion of a course by those who are not enrolled in a degree or diploma.

Class: A component of a course, eg, a lecture stream.

Student learning is primarily through the practice (or quasi-practice environment) and use of techniques for treating clients or patients. Assessment of student activities covers observation, interviewing, diagnosis, treatment, etc. E.g. medical or nursing clinical practice courses.

Completing student:
 A student whose current enrolment is designed to complete a certificate, diploma or degree.

Component degree:
One of the qualifications that make up a Conjoint Degree. A Conjoint Degree will always include two component degrees. A student is awarded both component degrees on completion of the conjoint programme.

Concurrent teaching:
Occurs when students who are enrolled for courses at different levels within qualifications attend some or all of the same classes. This is different from the situation where students enrol in a course at a higher level than might be expected and attend classes with more advanced students.

Conjoint degree:
 Allows the completion of two undergraduate degrees (component degrees) in a shorter timeframe and with fewer points than would be possible through enrolling in them separately. Requires a minimum academic standard for admission and for continuation each year. While students are admitted to a Conjoint Degree, they are awarded two separate qualifications.

Core courses: Compulsory courses that cover knowledge essential for the completion of a programme of study.

Corequisite course:
 A course that should be taken in the same semester as another unless it has previously been satisfactorily completed.

Council: The governing body of the University. It is composed of elected staff, students and graduates, and external appointees.

Course: A basic component of all academic programmes.

Course prescriptions:
 A list of courses including course code, title, points value, description of content, prerequisites, corequisites and restrictions.

Course schedule: A list of the courses prescribed for a programme which forms part of the regulations.

Coursework: Assessable work produced by students, normally submitted during teaching weeks, eg, essays, assignments, reports, tests, and practical, tutorial and seminar work.

Cross-credit: A course which is common to two University of Auckland undergraduate diplomas or Bachelors degrees and is credited to both.

CUAP: Committee on University Academic Programmes. A subcommittee of Universities New Zealand on which all universities and the New Zealand Union of Students Associations are represented. CUAP undertakes programme approval and moderation procedures for New Zealand universities, as well as providing advice and comment on academic matters and developments across the university system.

Cumulative GPA:
 A grade point average (GPA) calculated from all grades achieved by a student. Used for selection purposes unless an alternative has been indicated by the faculty.

Current enrolment: Courses or other work taken by a student in the current academic year, quarter or semester.



Degree: Principal qualification awarded by the University of Auckland, ie, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.

Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment.

Department: A division of a faculty centred around a subject or group of related subjects.

 A University qualification, generally awarded at graduate or postgraduate level.

Direct entry:
 Entry into a higher level of a subject or the later part of a degree without completion of the normal prerequisites.

Discipline: A branch of knowledge which is researched and taught at the University.

Dissertation: A written research component of a degree or diploma worth between 40 and 80 points.

Distance education:
 Courses or programmes of study which provide content and support services to students who rarely, if ever, attend for face-to-face or for on-campus access to educational facilities.

Postgraduate degrees and postgraduate diplomas may be awarded with Distinction to signify a highly superior level of performance.

Doctoral degree:
 A qualification at an advanced level requiring an original contribution to knowledge.



EFTS: Equivalent full-time student.

Electives: A defined set of courses for a diploma or degree from which a student may make a choice.

End of lectures:
 The final day of the final teaching week of a semester. The final lecture for a particular course might occur before this day.

Enrolment: The process by which a student, having gained admission to the University and to a qualification, selects and gains entry to courses and classes.

Exit qualification:
A qualification, usually of a lesser credit value, that can be awarded to a student when they are unable to or choose not to complete the qualification in which they are or have been enrolled. A student may not commence study towards an exit qualification. It is only awarded following prior enrolment in an alternative qualification.

Examination: Formal assessment under supervision occurring after the teaching in a course has been completed.



 An organisational unit responsible for the delivery of academic programmes and research. Faculties usually comprise a number of schools or departments.

Field studies:
Learning or investigation is primarily carried out in the field rather than in a classroom or laboratory. Field work courses tend to be in archaeology and geography.

Flexible learning:
 Learning characterised by a mixed mode of delivery and assessment of instructional material.



General Education: A requirement of all undergraduate degrees which ensures students learn about disciplines outside their main area of study. General Education courses are identified by a ‘G’ after the course number and are listed in the General Education Schedules.

 Grade Point Average. A means of measuring a student’s performance at this University. The average grade achieved over a period of time expressed numerically on a scale between 0 (no passes) and 9 (A+ average).

GPE: Grade Point Equivalent. A means of measuring a student’s prior relevant academic performance and experience from another institution. Grades or marks achieved at external institutions and/or in examinations (such as NCEA) expressed as an equivalent to a Grade Point Average on the scale 0-9.

 A person who has completed the requirements for a degree but has not yet had the degree conferred.

 A person on whom a degree has been conferred.

Graduate certificate:
A graduate certificate must be a minimum of 0.5 EFTS or 60 points. CUAP requires that half or more of the courses must be above Stage II.

Graduate diploma: A graduate diploma must be a minimum of 1.0 EFTS or 120 points. It must include 75 points above Stage II.



Honours: Degrees, in some cases completed within prescribed time limits, may be awarded with honours which signify advanced or distinguished study.



Interfaculty programme: A programme where responsibility for development and delivery is formally shared by more than one faculty, or a programme which was developed for the purpose of being made available to a broad range of students not necessarily associated with a specific faculty, and usually managed centrally.

Invigilated examination:
The process of physical or online monitoring of an exam to ensure that students do not indulge in unfair means that can hamper the integrity of an exam.



Laboratory: A teaching session of a practical nature, which includes demonstration, supervised exercises and hands-on activities. E.g. science laboratory, computer laboratory.

Late Year Term:
A period of about 12-13 weeks used for teaching or research. It starts on 1 December and finishes on the last Saturday before the beginning of the first semester of the following academic year.

 A basic unit of instruction.

Limited entry: Applied to a course or programme for which the number of students that can be accepted is limited because of constraints on staffing, space or equipment.



Major: A required component of a bachelors degree, including a specified number of points in a subject at the most advanced level.

Masters degree: A degree programme at a higher level than a bachelors degree.

Maximum full-time enrolment: 80 points per semester, 30 points in Summer School, 45 points per quarter or 60 points in Late Year Term.

Postgraduate degrees and postgraduate diplomas may be awarded with Merit to signify a superior level of performance.

A stand-alone unit of study of between 5 and 40 points that certifies the achievement of a specific set of skills and knowledge and has demonstrable support from relevant industries, employers or communities.

Minimum full-time enrolment:
 50 points per semester, 25 points in Summer School, 25 points per quarter or 50 points in Late Year Term.

Minor: A component of a degree including a specified number of points above Stage I in a subject.

Mode of Examination:
The way an examination is carried out, including paper-based or digital (computer-based or online) delivery. Examinations in digital modes may be completed as invigilated or non-invigilated examinations.

45 points focused on a particular skill or area of study. Restricted to undergraduate degrees.



Nominee: An individual who has been delegated authority from the Dean or Academic Head, for example, to grant approvals with regard to a particular process, e.g. concession requests.

Normal full-time study:
 A student workload of 120 points in one year.

NZQA: New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The government agency that administers the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualifications for secondary school students, and is responsible for the quality assurance of non-university tertiary training providers  in New Zealand.



Online campus: Where the teaching occurs online without the requirement to attend on-campus classes. Communication between teachers and students is via a learning management system and email and reliable internet access is required.

Online study:
Courses or programmes that are specifically developed for delivery online and do not require students to attend the University in person.



Part: A defined subdivision specified in the regulations of some degrees.

Plussage: A method of calculating the final result a student has gained in a course by counting either the final examination grade or a combination of final examination grade plus coursework, whichever is to the student’s advantage.

Point(s): A value assigned to a course or other work to indicate its weighting within the University of Auckland’s certificates, diplomas and degrees.

Postgraduate certificate: A qualification of at least 0.5 EFTS or 60 points. CUAP requires that all courses must be above Stage III.

Postgraduate diploma: A qualification of at least 1.0 EFTS or 120 points. CUAP requires that all courses must be above Stage III.

Postgraduate programme: A programme at a higher level than a bachelors degree.

Practicum: The student applies previously acquired knowledge and skills in a supervised situation which approximates the conditions under which the knowledge/skills may ultimately be used in employment. E.g. practice teaching, practicums, internships.

 A requirement that must be met before commencement of study for a particular course or programme.

Prescribed texts: Textbooks which are considered essential to a course.

Proctor: A staff member who deals with non-academic misconduct and disputes involving students. The Proctor can also provide advice on disputes involving a member of staff.

Programme: A prescribed set of one or more courses or other work which on satisfactory completion leads to the award of a University of Auckland certificate, diploma or degree.

Programme schedule:
A list of the courses prescribed for a programme which forms part of the regulations.

 A piece of investigative written work on a topic approved by the relevant Head of Department and supervisor.



 A period of about 11 weeks which usually includes 10 teaching weeks and an additional week for study and examinations.



Reassigned course: A course satisfactorily completed for one programme which has been transferred to another programme.

ROPAS: Recognition of Prior Academic Study. A means of assessment of previous study for students from another institution for admission or credit to the University.

Regulation: A rule set down by the University.

Research essay: A research-based essay on a topic approved by the relevant Academic Head and supervisor and normally worth between 15 and 45 points.

Research Masters: A research based programme of study that includes either a 90 or 120 point thesis or research portfolio.

Research portfolio: A coherent, integrated programme of research-based work.

Research project: A piece of research-based work on a topic approved by the relevant Academic Head and supervisor, normally worth between 30 and 45 points.

Restriction (restricted course):
 A course in which the learning objectives, content and/or assessment are so similar to a second course that a student cannot be credited with both towards a certificate, diploma or degree. In some cases a restricted course may be taken and credited as a Certificate of Proficiency.



Schedule: University lists of courses, credits or limitations, often in tabular form.

School: A division of a faculty, which may comprise departments or disciplines that teach and research similar or related academic subjects.

Semester: A period of about 15 weeks which includes about 12 teaching weeks and about three weeks for study and examinations. In addition there is a mid-semester break of up to two weeks.

Instruction is primarily through small group teaching for small groups of students, focusing each time on a particular subject. All students are required to actively participate. Seminars can include dialogue with a seminar leader or instructor, or the more formalised presentation of research by participants.

An academic board that advises Council on matters regarding courses of study or training, awards, regulations and other academic matters.

Time period usually within a term, but may start or finish before or after the standard term dates. A term may have multiple sessions.

Specialisation: A programme of related courses normally comprising more than 50 percent of a qualification.

Stage: The academic level of study in a subject.

A method of instruction which focuses on learning through action and developing an assessable creative and/or design process, performance or product. E.g. dance/music composition or performance, fine arts, architectural design studios.

 An area of learning which may be provided by a school or a department, or by departments offering related courses.

Summer School: A six-week period before the commencement of the academic year during which a select range of courses is taught and assessed.

Summer Start: A six-week programme for domestic and international school leavers to transition into university study and complete one course towards their degree before the start of Semester One.




Taught Masters: A programme of study that is normally based on an undergraduate degree and includes coursework consisting of courses, project work and research in varying combinations. Masters degrees that build on generic attributes and/or experience (often called ‘conversion masters’) are usually in professional fields and are recognised as appropriate professional preparation by the industry concerned.

A broad reference to a period of enrolment such as a semester, quarter or session.

Formal assessment under supervision. In-class tests may be scheduled after the first half of a course or in place of an examination.

 A research component of a postgraduate programme having a value of 90 or more points which will have a written component but may also include design, creative or performative elements.

Transfer credit: Credit granted towards a University of Auckland qualification from work successfully completed at another tertiary institution.

 A small group-learning session. Learning is primarily through less formal, smaller regular classes in which material from lectures and readings can be discussed in more detail.



Undergraduate: A person studying towards a first degree.

Undergraduate course: A course at Stage I–V taken as part of an undergraduate academic programme. 

Unspecified campus: Applies to courses where the teaching occurs through scheduled face-to-face interactions on sites that are not recognised University of Auckland campuses. Examples include the provision of courses where the course material is delivered in students’ local work-related environment.

Undergraduate Targeted Admission Schemes. Admission schemes designed to improve access into higher education for students from under-represented equity groups.



Workshop: Presentation of themes and concepts related to a course on an ongoing basis. May involve practical learning activities, discussion, interaction and debate.