Uni life can be complicated at first, so this site will help make it a little easier to navigate your first semester at Monash. The weeks listed here represent the twelve teaching weeks of semester. Just start scrolling to browse topics to see important deadlines to help you manage your studies each week. 


Content loaded - click to close

Glossary of uni terms



An abstract may be found at the top of a report or assignment. It summarises the content and key findings of the report. In general, a thesis abstract is about 300 words, and for Monash doctoral theses, no more than 500. (Check the norm in your discipline.)

Academic adviser

Staff that can offer some advice about your course of study, any potential changes or problems you may be having with your course.

Academic Board

The internal body responsible for formulating, approving and monitoring academic standards within a university.

Academic integrity

Students are expected to produce and submit academic work in an honest manner, and to ensure that academic work is not falsified and acknowledge the work of others. Plagiarism, collusion and cheating, including assisting others to cheat are considered breaches of academic integrity.

Academic progress

Students achieve academic progress by successfully completing the units required in their correct sequence for their course or program (i.e. not failing).

Academic misconduct

Academic misconduct is the breach of academic integrity expectations. Examples include cheating, plagiarism, collusion and fraud.

Academic Progress Committee

The Academic Progress Committee intervenes when a student’s progress is considered to be unsatisfactory (failing 50% or more of units in a semester or are found to have breached academic integrity). The committee does have the power to exclude you from your course, or let you continue your studies under certain conditions.

Academic record/transcript

A student's official record of results. An unofficial record can be accessed anytime in the Web Enrolment System (WES). An official record can be purchased. Graduates receive an official record for free when they graduate.

Academic year

The academic year is divided into two 12-week semesters, commencing around late February or early March and concluding around November.

Access Monash

Access Monash is a support network for increased access, participation and success of students who are under-represented in higher education, particularly those from low socioeconomic status (SES) communities.


Recognition of a college or university, courses or other disciplines by any of the regional or national accrediting bodies, indicating that the institution as a whole has been judged to be meeting its objectives.


The process of applying to study at Monash University that includes the consideration of an application.

Advanced standing

Also known as credit or recognition of prior learning. Advanced standing recognises previous study and provides credit for specific units if content is similar. When granted, this can reduce the length of the course.


A former University Student.

Ancora Imparo

Monash University's motto, Ancora Imparo, is attributed to Michelangelo and means, 'I am still learning'.

Archived Handbooks

Previous years’ editions or the Handbook are archived online. For course information, check the Handbook for the year you started. For unit information, check the current year. Any prerequisites, co-requisites, and prohibitions listed in the unit entry will apply.

Area of study

A collective term for the group of units used to create sequential study in a discipline within comprehensive courses. This commonly includes minors, majors, extended majors, and specialisations. The Handbook has more information about the various areas of study offered at Monash.

Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS)

The Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) provides information on a student’s higher education qualification at Monash University. It can also include your academic achievements and awards.


Bachelor degree

An undergraduate degree, usually comprising three years of full-time study. (Sometimes, an Honours year may be taken, which usually requires an extra year of full-time study.)


An alphabetical reference list, by author, of all the material consulted during research regardless of whether the material was used directly or not.

Block credit

Block credit is credit granted towards whole stages or components of a course. Block credit is normally considered to fulfil any progression requirements for a stage of a course.

Board of Examiners

A group of academics in a faculty who determine the final results for each student enrolled in units taught by the faculty, after considering the recommendation of the chief examiners of the units.

Branch of knowledge

An area of expertise within a field of study. For example, Microbiology is a branch of knowledge within the field of Medicine. At Monash, the department of Microbiology is located in the School of Biomedical Sciences, which is part of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Bridging course

A diploma course designed to enable students to meet specific academic entry requirements for your desired Monash University Degree.



The location of University grounds and buildings. Monash has four campuses in Victoria, one in Malaysia and one in South Africa.

Capstone unit

A third-year level unit that allows you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired throughout the study of your major. Capstone units are often core units and therefore must be completed in order for you to graduate. See the Handbook to find out more.

Census date

The date the University finalises your enrolment each semester. If you withdraw from a unit after the census date, you’ll still have to pay for the unit – or if you have a HELP load, you’ll incur a debt. You also can’t enrol in any units after this date. Check the University’s important dates to ensure you enrol and withdraw on time.


An important figure elected as the non-executive head of the University. An honorary position, the Chancellor chairs meetings of the University's governing body, and presides over graduation ceremonies amongst other duties.


A member of the clergy who conducts religious services for the University.

Commencing student

A student who has enrolled in a particular course for the first time.

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

A Commonwealth Supported Place is a higher education place for which the government makes a loan contribution towards the cost of a student’s education.


The ability to perform a task efficiently and effectively.

Completed unit

Completed appearing on your enrolment means that a unit has already finished. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you completed the unit successfully; the accompanying result and grade will show whether you passed or failed the unit (0-49 is a fail; 50-100 is a pass).

Comprehensive course

Courses that allow you to select from a wide range of subjects within a broad field of study, available in five subject areas: arts, business, commerce, information technology, or science. You can choose your major immediately or later in your course, and customise the course as you go. At the end of your course, you’ll have a sound understanding of your broad field of study, with in-depth expertise of at least one specialised field within it. For example, the Bachelor of Science is a comprehensive course that allows you to build other related (or unrelated) units into your degree, by filling elective spaces with units from another faculty.


Means you are required to complete a specific unit or task ordered by the University in order to achieve credit points or complete a degree.

Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

The Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is an official document issued to international students by universities in Australia. It confirms that you have accepted a place in a course and have paid your course fees and Overseas Student Health Cover premium (OSHC). Your CoE must be submitted as part of your student visa application.

Core unit

Compulsory units you must complete as part of your course. Core units usually provide a beginner’s (or a broad) understanding of the subject matter for your course, allowing later units to branch off from this basic knowledge into more specialist and particular fields that appeal to you. Depending on their purpose, core units may also be known as gateway, cornerstone, or capstone units. See the Handbook to find out more.


A unit or requirement that must be completed at the same time as another related unit. For example, as a final-year Engineering undergraduate, you must enrol in ENG0001 for your Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This is an example of a compulsory requirement rather than a unit, so it’s worth 0 credit points but must be completed at the specified time or you won’t graduate (other co-requisites may take the form of a unit worth six or more credit points).

Cornerstone unit

A second-year level unit that allows you to demonstrate your solid understanding of the area of study. Cornerstone units are often core units and therefore must be completed in order for you to graduate. See the Handbook to find out more.

Course and award

A course is made up of units, and leads to a qualification. The qualification is a type of award – so courses leading to a qualification are called award courses. The name of a course doesn’t necessarily match the award (or qualification). The certificate you receive after passing your course, also known as your testamur, may differ slightly. For example, your course name might be Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), but your award name could be Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours).

Course completion

The successful completion of all the academic requirements of a course which includes any required attendance, assignments, examinations, assessments, dissertations, practical experience and necessary industry work experience.

Course map

Also known as a course progression map, this document is to help you visualise the outline of your entire course. It provides the units that you need to complete to achieve your degree, and the required sequence of units (including any prerequisites and co-requisites) that must be completed. Course maps are outlines only, and course information is subject to change. You can find your course map in the the Handbook.

Course requirements

Compulsory activities that may include specific units of study, industry-based experience, safety demonstrations, professional development activities, and more. To graduate, you need to complete these activities and satisfy all course requirements outlined in the Handbook for the year you started.

Course structure

Each course offered by Monash University has an associated structure detailing the key components of the course. This includes core and elective units, research projects and placements. Certain requirements indicated in the Handbook must be satisfied in order to receive the award.

Course transfer

Occurs when you want to change course or campus during your studies. Check your eligibility for a course transfer before you apply.


A method of completing a degree by taking several units of work or research. Coursework are the specific tasks needed to complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.


An academic grade abbreviated to C with a grade of 60-69.

Credit for prior learning

An assessment process that looks at your relevant previous learning at the higher education level. If you’ve already completed study that’s very similar to units in your current course, you’ll receive credit (but no grade) for having completed them. This will either be specified credit (if it applies directly to a particular unit from your new course) or non-specified credit (any unit that can replace an elective in your new course). Your managing faculty assesses credit for prior learning applications.

Credit points

Most units are worth 6 credit points each. Some require a higher workload, so may be worth 12, 18, or 24 credit points. A typical full-time courseload of units per semester is 24 credit points. You don’t receive any credit points for a failed unit. See the Handbook.

Credit transfer

If you have taken part of a course with another Monash course, you may be eligible to receive recognition for those completed units in your current course.


A code allocated to all programs available to international students which are:

Cross-institutional study

This allows students enrolled in a course at Monash University to complete a unit at another institute which will be credited towards their Monash course. Enrolment must be pre-approved by both institutions.


Makes up the various parts of your units, such as learning outcomes, a syllabus, assessments and teaching methodology.



The chief academic and administrator of a faculty.


You have the option to pause your place in most courses before a new semester. You can either defer for a semester or an entire year.


The academic title you get when you complete a course of study. For example: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Business.


An organised unit within a faculty, usually categorised by similar subjects. For example the Journalism department sits within the Arts faculty.


The award granted following the successful completion of Diploma course requirements. A Diploma course usually requires less study than a degree course.


A grouping of similar branches of knowledge within a wider range of topics or a broader field of study. For example, Music is a branch of knowledge within the Humanities discipline, which is located within the Faculty of Arts.

Discontinued unit

Discontinued (appears as Discontin in your enrolment in WES), means that a unit was rwithdrawn before the semester was completed. If it was withdrawn before the census date, no fee or fail grade will be applied. However, if it was withdrawn after the census date, fees may be payable and a fail result may be recorded against your enrolment.


A substantial piece of written work (see also Thesis).


An academic grade abbreviated to D with a grade of 70-79.

Double degree courses

Two courses studied in a combined fashion, with the required units from one course being counted as the elective units of the other. A double degree takes less time to complete than if you studied for each degree separately. One of the two faculties will be known as the managing faculty; it’s vital for students to learn which their managing faculty is early on. For example, the Bachelor of Design and Information Technology is a double degree course that results in two Bachelor’s degrees upon graduation. The Design degree is a specialist course, while the Information Technology degree is a comprehensive course.

Double major

The specialisation in two areas within a single degree.

Duplicate unit

When Duplicate appears in your enrolment, it means a unit has been carried over from a former period of study - usually from another course or institution. This unit doesn't need to be repeated as the content is considered close enough to the syllabus of a unit in your new course. The usual number of credit points for the unit will be counted towards your total, but not the grade.


Early warning letter

If you fail a unit, you may receive an email notice of unsatisfactory academic progress. Please do not ignore this letter and take action to ensure you don’t fail another unit.


A free space in your enrolment, which allows you a choice of unit. The choice may be restricted to units within your area of study, or it may be a free elective, where you can choose any unit within Monash (provided you meet the entry requirements and the unit has no other restrictions).


A block placed on your Monash student account. This block results in you being unable to borrow books from the Monash libraries, log into University systems, sit an eExam or access your enrolment records. Reasons why you may be encumbered include incomplete enrolment documentation, overdue fees, fines or student loans etc.. For assistance with an encumbrance, contact Monash Connect.

English language adviser

Specialist in English language to help you sharpen your academic English skills.

Enrolled unit

Enrolled appearing in your enrolment summary in WES means that a unit is correctly entered, and is scheduled for the current teaching period.

Equivalent Full-Time Student Load (EFTSL)

An Equivalent Full-Time Student Load (EFTSL) is 48 credit points. Most units run for a semester and have a value of six credit points (0.125 EFTSL).


A set of online questions or exercises evaluating a student’s knowledge of a given subject area.

Extended major

A sequence of twelve units studied over three years – available in undergraduate comprehensive courses or wherever you have enough free electives. See the Handbook or get course advice to find out which specific units make up the extended major you wish to study.



A collection of academic departments of similar disciplines grouped together. Monash has 10 faculties:

  • Art, Design and Architecture
  • Arts
  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Information Technology
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Science


An academic grade abbreviated to N, NH or NGO with a grade of 0-49.


FEE-HELP is mostly used by domestic students enrolled in a full fee-paying, graduate award course. In some cases, undergraduates can get FEE-HELP but there is a 25% administrative fee. Some CSP students apply for FEE-HELP to assist with course fees for full fee summer or winter semester units. If you change course, you must apply for FEE-HELP for the new course.

Fees statement

This statement lists your course and unit enrolment and the fees due. It may also list other costs, such as the Student Services and Amenities Fee. Your fees statement will also have a due date to pay any fees owing.


The amount of money required to pay for course and/or student services and amenities. Course fees differ based on residency status, year of study, course and number of units enrolled in.


Comments usually by a tutor or lecturer to help you improve on future assessments and tasks. Take the comments on board to help further your grades and development.

Field of study

A sequence of units covering an area of expertise that’s necessary to pass if you want to be qualified when you graduate. Depending on the field of study, this could be achieved by completing a minor, major, extended major, stream, specialisation, or simply the core units of your course.

Free elective

Your course may allow you to pick any unit (as long as you meet the entry requirements) even if it's with another faculty. You must also be able to satisfy any prerequisites, co-requisites and prohibitions the unit may have. Some units aren't available to all students. If you have enough free electives, you may be able to complete a minor (24 credit points) or a major (48 credit points). The Handbook lists all limitations on majors and minors, including the maximum number of first-level units you can complete.

Full-time and part-time study

The usual enrolment for students in full-time study is 24 credit points each semester (48 points per academic year). Full-time students must enrol in at least 36 points of units in any academic year, although international students are normally required to enrol in 24 points in each semester (in accordance with their visa obligations). Students who enrol in units offered in the summer semester shouldn't normally take more than 18 points of studies over that period. Where permitted, students are strongly advised to adjust the number of units taken in any semester according to their individual needs and circumstances.


Gateway unit

A first-year level unit that introduces you to the area of study for your course. Gateway units are often core units and therefore must be completed in order for you to graduate. See the Handbook to find out more.


A result given for the completion (or non-completion) of a unit. Grades range from High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass, and Fail. Other grades such as Withdrawn Fail may also apply in some circumstances.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade Point Average (GPA) is an internationally recognised calculation used to find the average result of all grades achieved for your course. The online calculator can help you calculate your GPA.

Graduate student

If you’ve already studied at the tertiary education level and currently hold at least one Bachelor degree or similar, you’re a graduate student, also previously known as a postgraduate student. If you’re new to tertiary education and don't yet have a Bachelor degree or higher, you’re known as an undergraduate student.

Graduate study

Any higher-level study, usually taken after completion of a first or subsequent undergraduate degree. Examples are graduate diplomas, masters or PhDs. Also previously known as Postgraduate study.



The official statement of all courses and units available for study at Monash University, published each academic year. Use the Handbook to check the requirements you need to satisfy for course completion and graduation. For course information, check the Handbook for the year you started. For unit information, check the current year.

Handbooks (archived)

Previous years’ editions or the Handbook are archived online. For course information, check the Handbook for the year you started. For unit information, check the current year. Any prerequisites, co-requisites, and prohibitions listed in the unit entry will apply.

High Distinction

An academic grade abbreviated to HD with a grade of 80-100.

Honours and graduate (postgraduate) qualifications

Every undergraduate bachelor course at Monash offers clear pathways into postgraduate qualifications, now known as graduate qualifications. Each of our four-year specialist courses leads to an honours degree, so you can usually complete a master's degree in just one extra year. Some three-year courses also offer a four-year advanced-honours version that has this same benefit. Monash also offers one-year honours programs that can be studied after completing our three-year comprehensive or specialist courses. Alternatively, at the end of your bachelor degree, you could study a master’s or postgraduate research course. After your honours year, you can take a research master's course, or work toward completing a PhD.


Hurdles are compulsory unit requirements that must be met in order to achieve a pass mark for the unit. If your unit has hurdle requirements, they will be specified in the Handbook.

There are two types of hurdles:

A competency hurdle is a task (which may or may not have any credits points) that students need to satisfactorily complete to demonstrate a professional accreditation competency.

A threshold hurdle is a threshold mark that applies to an assessment task (or collection of tasks) that is worth 20 per cent or more of the final unit result. Normally, you need to get at least 45 per cent for the hurdle task in order to pass (the threshold mark for the hurdle is specified in the Handbook).

If you don’t meet a hurdle requirement, and would otherwise have achieved a mark of 45 or above in the unit, you'll receive an NH (hurdle fail). If you fail the hurdle and the unit, you’ll receive an N grade.


Inactive unit

Inactive appearing in your enrolment summary in WES means that a unit is correctly entered, but is scheduled for a future teaching period.


If you wish to take a break from your studies after you've started your course, you need to apply for intermission.

You can intermit for either a semester or a year at a time. There's a limit to the maximum time you can apply for intermission.

International Student Course Agreement (ISCA)

The ISCA is a contract between you and the University. You will need to complete and return the agreement to receive your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE).

Invalid unit

Invalid appearing on your enrolment summary means a unit is incorrectly entered, and there’s an issue that requires attention (a clash of units, overloading a semester, a required prerequisite or co-requisite unit that has either not been entered, or was not passed when expected, etc). A course adviser from your managing faculty will be able to assist if you’re unable to resolve the problem yourself.


Staff who supervise students taking their scheduled final assessments.



A publication issued in successive parts that is a collection of work by numerous authors and sequentially numbered. Often used as an academic reference.



A practical session, sometimes also referred to as a lab.

Learn HQ

The hub for all learning support at Monash. Learn HQ offers self-paced online tutorials, workshops and other services to help you improve your academic performance. Learn HQ can also connect you with learning advisers and English language advisers.

Learning adviser

A learning skills specialist to help you improve your academic performance. They'll guide you in developing your study, assessment, communication, collaboration and academic English skills.

Leave of absence

Another term for intermission. Students can apply for a leave of absence to receive a period of leave from their course. It is usually not granted for more than two consecutive semesters.


Organised, formal instruction, usually without student participation, delivered by an academic member of staff. The most common form of teaching delivery in the university context.


The name given to the academic staff member who gives lectures.



A sequence of eight units studied over three years – available in undergraduate comprehensive courses or wherever you have enough free electives. See the Handbook or seek course advice to find out which specific units make up the major you wish to study.

Managing faculty

If you’re in a double degree, you may be confused by which of your two faculties administers your course. All double degree courses have a managing faculty, and any queries about your overall course should be directed to this faculty over the other. See the Handbook.

Marks/Marking rubric

A table displaying the grade you can achieve in any assessment you complete during your studies. Make sure you see how the tutor or lecturer awards various marks so you can plan your assessment.

Master’s degree

A postgraduate award that may be offered by coursework, research only or a combination of coursework and research.


A sequence of four units studied over at least two years – available in undergraduate comprehensive courses or wherever you have enough free electives. See the Handbook or seek course advice to find out which specific units make up the minor you wish to study.

Monash account

A Monash account is required to access Monash University Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities and services. This includes moodle, WES and Allocate.

Monash Connect

Monash Connect is the place for any queries on your enrolment, student card, parking permits or any other student queries.


The central learning system that holds all your unit information including weekly tasks and assessment information. Moodle is vital in ensuring you are up to date with your coursework.

Multi-part classes

Some classes are repeated at various times during the week, but others have parts and you need to attend each part. Attendance is compulsory for each part of that set every week. If a class is broken into parts, it will appear with the part numbers P1, P2 and so on. Classes that are repeated will appear with the numbers 01, 02 and so on.


The student portal for students to access University information, such as email, timetables, important dates, student notices, and more.



Means a certain task is not required to be completed, but can be completed if you wish. It's the opposite of compulsory.


The beginning of semester for first-year and other commencing students. It comprises academic, social and informative activities designed to help all commencing students settle into university life.

Orientation Week (O'Week)

O'Week activities are held in the week prior to the commencement of scheduled classes. For first-year students this period signals the official commencement of the academic year.

Overloading and underloading

Enrolling in more than 24 credit points per semester is known as overloading; enrolling in fewer than 24 credit points per semester (for full-time students) or fewer than 12 credit points per semester (for part-time students) is known as underloading. While generally not advisable, it’s possible to do either of these if you need to, although special permission may be required in advance. (International students: be careful not to breach your visa conditions.)


Part-time student

A student taking less than 75% of a full-time study load in a particular course.


An academic grade abbreviated to P with a grade of 50-59.


This term describes the different methods of entry into Monash University. The most common pathway is achieved by completing Year 12 (or an equivalent level of study) and applying directly or through VTAC. Other pathways for domestic applicants include diplomas and TAFE qualifications. There are also a range of admissions entry points for Indigenous applicants, an access program for mature age applicants who’ve never studied at university before, and a different set of pathways for international applicants.


A temporary posting in a workplace to gain work experience.


Taking, using, and passing off as your own, the ideas or words of another. Plagiarism is a very serious academic offence, and can result in work being failed automatically. To avoid it, ensure you satisfy the referencing and attribution standards that should be outlined in your unit guide.

Postgraduate student

Now more commonly referred to as a graduate student, is someone who currently holds at least one Bachelor degree or similar. If you’re new to tertiary education and don't yet have a bachelor degree or higher, you’re known as an undergraduate student.

Postgraduate study

Now more commonly referred to as graduate study, is any higher-level study, usually taken after completing a first or subsequent undergraduate degree. Examples are graduate diplomas, masters or PhDs.


A unit or requirement that must have been successfully completed before attempting to enrol in a related unit. For example: Let’s say ECB1101 and BFB2140 are two of your core units. ECB1101 is a prerequisite for (so it must be completed before) BFB2140. Both units are only offered in semester one, so they must be completed a year apart, not in reverse order or at the same time. As both units are only offered in semester one, waiting until your final year to attempt the two units would push back your course completion date. Getting course advice can help you avoid this issue by outlining the best sequence for completing your units in each semester, so you don’t fall behind and need to extend your course duration.

Prohibited unit

A unit you’ve already completed that prevents you from being able to enrol in another unit it clashes with (usually because the content is too similar). For example, if you try to enrol in LAW4331, but you’ve already completed LAW3100, you’ll see that the Handbook entry for LAW4331 lists LAW3100 as a prohibited unit (because it’s the same unit under a new code), so you can’t enrol in LAW4331.


A unit or other requirement, which (if you've already completed it) means you won't be allowed to study the chosen unit.



An award or some other form of certification of attainment, competence or attendance.


Copying an extract of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotes generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.



An essential process required by all students to secure a place in their course. Re-enrol through WES.

References/Reference list

A list of all the sources directly quoted or paraphrased in the preparation of an academic piece of writing, in alphabetical order according to the author's surname. Check your unit guide to ensure you reference under the appropriate style.


Attire worn by students attending their graduation ceremony.


Scholarly or scientific investigation or inquiry.


Satisfactory progress

A minimum standard of performance required for continued enrolment.


Financial or other forms of support made available by sponsors to assist Australian and international students to pursue their studies at the University that do not need to be repaid.


A grouping of similar departments. For example, The School of Biomedical Sciences or The School of Accounting.

Selection officer

A University officer charged with the responsibility of selecting students into courses.


For most courses, the academic year is made up of two semesters of twelve weeks each. You attend classes during these twelve weeks. Each semester has a mid-semester break and another at the end to prepare for exams. Exams and breaks aren’t included in the twelve weeks (see semester dates summary). There are also other teaching periods that apply to certain courses, such as terms, trimesters and summer semesters (see census dates).


A small group teaching class, similar to a tutorial.


A teaching member of staff who is employed on a casual basis by the University.

Sequence/sequential study

A series of units that must be completed in a specific order. This is usually represented by the unit codes having a shared numbering system (ART1001, ART1002, ART1003, etc) and cumulative content, but may also be identified by looking at a unit’s prerequisite requirements in the Handbook.

Special consideration

A process for enrolled students who have experienced significant educational disadvantage to apply to have a second go at an assessment task.

Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS)

The Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) provides special consideration in admissions for students who have experienced disadvantage.


A set of units (either a predetermined grouping, or a wider selection from which you can make choices) that caters to a particular stream of learning. Completing a specialisation will give you expert knowledge in your chosen field. For example, you can choose to take the specialisation of Nursing and Midwifery, which is a specific field of study within the Bachelor of Nursing course.

Specialist course

Courses where you begin studying in your particular area of interest straight away, with a specific career goal or field of study in mind. Specialist courses ensure you have the right combination of skills needed for your professional field. Some prepare you to practise in a regulated profession such as law, physiotherapy, architecture, and engineering. Others, like fine art, biomedical science, and pharmaceutical science, develop expertise relevant to a whole field of study that can lead to a range of professional positions. All courses lead to an honours degree, so you can delve deeper into your chosen field and complete a master's degree in an additional year if you wish.

Specified credit

Specified credit is credit granted towards a specific unit or component in a qualification. Credit is given for a specific Monash unit, as identified by its unit code.


Financial support of a student by a company or government body.


A specific field of study that provides you with expert knowledge on a particular aspect within your course or specialisation. For example, you can choose to take Zoology with a Genetics focus, which is a stream within the Zoology specialisation in the Bachelor of Biological Sciences course.

Student Academic Success (SAS)

The team at Monash to help you develop your academic skills through one-on-one consultations, workshops and online resources.

Study mode

Units are either studied on-campus or off-campus, although some studies may be taken in multimode. These terms indicate your main study format – either studying on-site at a Monash campus, studying remotely using our online services, or a combination of both. Some on-campus courses allow students to study a certain number of off-campus units, but there are Australian Government limitations on how many off-campus units international students can take.

Student rights

Student associations offer support and advice to students that's independent from the University. They provide free and confidential services. Contact them if you need advice, referral, advocacy or a friendly chat about your experience at Monash.

Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)

Higher education providers can charge students this fee for non-academic services and amenities to support you through university. This includes such things as sport and recreation, student clubs, health and wellbeing, and employment and career advice.

Swot Vac

The period of study the week after the semester finishes, designed to give you time to prepare for upcoming examinations.


Tax file number (TFN)

In Australia, a Tax File Number (TFN) is your personal reference number for tax purposes. Your TFN is yours for life and remains the same even if you change your name, change jobs, move interstate or go overseas.

Teaching period

There are two main teaching periods, semester one and semester two. Others include terms, trimesters, summer and winter semesters, among others.


A broad term covering all higher education providers.


The physical certificate of merit or proficiency given to a graduand at graduation.


A substantial piece of written work (sometimes called a dissertation) by a student, normally a candidate for an Honours degree or a higher award (such as Master's or PhD degree).


An academic member of staff responsible for teaching in small groups.


A less formal and organised session of instruction than a lecture, usually involving a greater level of contribution and interaction by a small number of students.


Undergraduate course

The first level of tertiary studies at university, including diploma or bachelor degree courses.

Undergraduate student

If you’re studying your first Bachelor degree or similar (and are new to tertiary education), you’re an undergraduate student. If you’ve already received a Bachelor degree or higher, you’re known as a graduate (or postgraduate) student.

Underloading and overloading

Enrolling in more than 24 credit points per teaching period is known as overloading; enrolling in fewer than 24 credit points per semester (full-time) or fewer than 12 credit points per semester (part-time) is known as underloading. While generally not advisable, it’s possible to do either of these if you need to - special permission may be required by international students on a student visa.


A subject that runs for a teaching period. Units are the building blocks of a course. Most undergraduate courses are made up of eight units per year (four per semester), generally worth six credit points each. Each six-credit point unit requires an average study workload (class attendance, assigned work, and private study) of twelve hours per week for twelve weeks. You don’t receive any credit points for a failed unit.

Unit codes

At Monash, unit codes comprise three letters and four numbers. These letters and numbers signify the faculty and department, the year level and where it falls in a sequence (if applicable). See the Handbook to find out more.

Unit Coordinator

The academic head of a unit who manages how the unit is designed and taught. Contact the Unit Coordinator if you have any issues with the coursework. You should find their email address in the Handbook.

Unsatisfactory progress

A student's inability to meet the University's expectations of academic achievement.

Unspecified credit

Unspecified credit is granted when only the credit point value and the unit level are identified, instead of a specific Monash unit code.

USI (Unique Student Identifier)

A USI is your individual education number for life. It's linked to your Australian online vocational education and training (VET) record. Every student needs a USI to get Commonwealth financial assistance, and to graduate with an award certificate. You won't be able to complete your enrolment without a USI.



The academic and administrative head of the University.


Web Enrolment System (WES)

WES is an administrative system used to manage your enrolment. Students use WES to enrol, re-enrol, add/drop units, apply to graduate, update personal details, purchase letters and academic records, manage scholarships and to view fee statements, payment history and results and more.

Weighted Average Mark (WAM)

Weighted Average Mark (WAM) is the average mark achieved across all completed units. It is weighted according to the credit point value and year-level weighting of each unit.


The outcome of formally discontinuing a unit of study. Provided this takes place by the census date, withdrawals do not incur CSP debt and will not be recorded as a fail on academic transcripts.

Withdrawn Fail

An academic grade abbreviated to WN with no grade awarded.