Useful terms

Here are some terms frequently used when talking about university study. For more information, you can contact Monash University Future Students.

Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR)

The ATAR is an overall measure or 'rank' of a student's performance in Year 12 compared to all other school leavers in the state for that year. It is the primary selection method for most university courses.

Bachelor degree

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


The grounds and buildings of a university. Monash has six campuses in Victoria, one in Malaysia and one in South Africa.

Clearly-in ATAR

The ATAR at which all eligible applicants were made an offer for a particular course. Our website and course guides list the clearly-in ATAR for the previous year as a guide only. The clearly-in ATARfor the current year might be higher or lower thanthis depending on demand for the course.

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

A place in a course that is subsidised by the Australian government (for domestic students only). Australian citizens and permanent residents, New Zealand citizens and holders of Australian Permanent Humanitarian Visas are eligible for CSP places.


The structure of subjects within a degree over a set time-span.


Recognition of previous study, work or life experience. This helps students avoid studying subjects they may have done before in another degree.


Postponement of the starting date for study, which guarantees the student a place in a particular course for a nominated length of time, usually one year.


The academic title you get when you complete a course of study. For example: Bachelor Degree, Master's Degree.


Shorter option for undergraduate study. Can be done alone or in combination with another degree.

Domestic student

A student who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, New Zealand citizen, or holder of an Australian Permanent Humanitarian Visa.

Enhancement / extension studies

Year 12 students have the opportunity to study first-year university subjects as part of their VCE program. This may give them eventual credit at tertiary level.


The process a student follows when they formally accept their offer of a place in a course.


An academic division within a university, focused on a specific subject area. Monash has 10 faculties. For example, the Faculty of Business and Economics.


A loan scheme by the government to help cover the cost of courses (domestic students only).

Full-fee course

A course that requires the full cost of tuition to be paid by the student/parent.


A loan scheme by the government. In Commonwealth-Supported Places, students may be eligible to defer payment until they start earning a predetermined income (domestic students only).

Honours year

An additional year of undergraduate study to further build on a Bachelor degree.

Internal transfer

The transfer from one Monash University course to another Monash University course.


Organised, formal instruction in a large classroom or lecture theatre. It is usually in the style of a talk and/or presentation, delivered by an academic.


The main area of study taken in a degree. For example, a Bachelor of Business and Commerce student may major in accounting, statistics or management. (For contrast, see Minor.)

Middle band

When selecting students into courses there will be a group of students at the top of the list of applicants who have the highest ATARs and therefore will be offered a place in the course. Usually 80% of offers will be made to this group. Selection officers will then look at a range of applicants and take into consideration factors other than ATAR (such as applications for special consideration) to determine which students will be offered the final 20% of places. This remaining 20% of places is known as the middle-band.


An additional area of study taken in a degree. Minors can be selected from the same Faculty of study, or another Faculty of the University. For example, a Bachelor of Business and Commerce student may minor in marketing, international studies or IT. (For contrast, see Major.)

Monash Guarantee

A guaranteed entry scheme for students who have experienced financial disadvantage, live in a low socio-economic area, are an Indigenous Australian or attend a Monash under-represented school.

Selection officer

A university officer responsible for the selection of students into a course.


A specific Year 11 or Year 12 subject that students must complete for entry into a degree.


The teaching time of the university. There are two main semesters per year. Each semester is usually 13 weeks long and is followed by exam and vacation period. (Monash University operates on a semester basis, Monash College operates on a trimester basis.)

Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS)

SEAS adjusts your child’s ATAR in recognition of circumstances that may have affected their education. This gives them a better chance of getting an offer for the course they want.

Study score

A score between 0 and 50 that measures the performance of a student in a particular Year 12 subject against others in the same year.


A less formal session of instruction than a lecture. Held in a smaller classroom with a smaller number of students, it usually involves a greater level of contribution and interaction.


The type of study followed after secondary school.


The first level of tertiary studies at university, including Diploma or Bachelor Degree courses. A prerequisite for postgraduate study.

Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC)

The administrative body that manages applications for undergraduate courses for Australian residents. For Victorian high school students, nearly all undergraduate course applications are managed through VTAC.