Study in Australia Glossary


There are many terms associated with tertiary education that you may never have heard before. Our glossary of terms should help you understand and make the most of your time studying in Australia. We don’t want you to miss out on something important (or fun!) just because you didn’t understand a word.

Census date

The date by which you must finalise your enrollment and fees are charged. The last day to withdraw from a course without having it listed on your academic record.


The individual unit of study that makes up a program, usually completed in a semester, for which a result is given. Each course will have a course coordinator, an academic staff member with overall responsibility for teaching.


At the end of a course you may be required to complete a test within a specified time frame. This may take place off campus and take between one and three hours.


The largest organisational divisions within universities, with responsibility for academic programs. Universities only have a handful of faculties containing several schools within them.


The number of units to be considered 1.0 EFTSL (Equivalent Full-Time Student Load). International students in Australia generally have to be enrolled full-time.

Grade point average (GPA)

This score is the average of the results you receive in your program, taking into account different unit values of courses.


Regular formal presentations of the course material, delivered to a large number of students by an academic staff member.

Orientation (O-week)

A week long of activities and information sessions to welcome new students to the university.


Regular sessions where students participate in exercises or experiments after a brief presentation and explanation from a tutor.


An often compulsory small discussion group, led by a tutor, to discuss to the material presented in lectures.


The university year for most students will be divided into two semesters. Semester one runs in the first half of the year (Feb-July) and semester two in the second half (Aug-Dec).

TAFE (Technical And Further Education)

These vocational education providers cover a range of subjects and offer various levels of certificates and diplomas. Students receive practical and vocation oriented education .

Transcript (Academic record)

Official academic transcripts cost money to get from your Student Centre, graduating students are given one free copy. Unofficial records can be printed using your university online login.