Glossary of study terms

Associate Degree of Arts, Business and Sciences

A recognised post-secondary, two-year full-time (or part-time equivalent) qualification specifically designed for students who would benefit from supported entry to tertiary study.

Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

The overall percentile ranking for students in their final year of secondary school in Australia which reflects the individual's performance compared to other students in the same year.

Bachelor's degree

An undergraduate degree course that is usually the first degree undertaken at university (e.g. Bachelor of Science).

Clearly-in ATAR

The minimum ATAR most school-leaver applicants need to achieve to be offered a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) in a particular course.

Cloud (online) study

Cloud (online) courses, or courses offered by distance education, are the same as campus courses; the only difference is that rather than attend classes in person, students study away from campus using a variety of other methods, including online technologies, study guides, reading lists and audiovisual materials. The dominant mode of delivery is through the University’s online environment. There may or may not be compulsory contact hours online. In some units, students may be required to attend an event such as an exam or an assessment at a designated physical site.

Combined course (or double degree)

An approved combination of courses in complementary areas, undertaken simultaneously, which leads to two awards (e.g. Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws) in a shorter timeframe than it would take to complete the degrees separately.

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

A university place for which the government pays a proportion of the tuition costs. CSP students can pay up-front and receive a discount (if eligible) or use HECS-HELP (if eligible) to defer the payment of their portion.

Credit for prior learning (credit transfer or advanced standing)

Credit granted towards a Deakin course for relevant approved study, experience or work satisfactorily completed at the University or elsewhere. There are two aspects to credit for prior learning:

  • credit transfer, in which credit is transferred to a student's Deakin award program from completed or partly completed studies undertaken at other accredited institutions
  • credit for prior learning (CPL), in which credit is granted on the basis of knowledge and skills acquired through uncredentialed learning.

Credit point

A measure of workload at Deakin, a full-time study load is normally 4 credit points per trimester, although 3 credit points per trimester is also considered full-time.


An organisational division within a university (e.g. the Faculty of Arts and Education).

Higher Education Contribution Scheme-Higher Education Loan Program (HECS-HELP)

A loan scheme to help eligible Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) students pay their tuition costs. Repayments are made through the Australian taxation system once annual income exceeds the minimum threshold for repayment.

Pathway program

An alternative entry option for people who may not meet academic entry or English language requirements. Students can study through one of our pathway institutions and apply to Deakin on successful completion of these programs.


A postgraduate qualification refers to courses of study beyond bachelor's level, including graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, master's and higher degrees. Eligibility for entry to a postgraduate course normally requires a completed undergraduate degree.


The VCE subjects or other requirements that school leavers must complete to be eligible to be selected for an undergraduate course. This information is listed in the VTAC Guide and in VICTER publications.

Special Entry Access Schemes (SEAS)

An umbrella program, run by VTAC, for special-entry schemes conducted by participating tertiary institutions (including Deakin) for entry to undergraduate courses. Applications for Deakin Access and Equity Scholarships are also processed through SEAS.

Student Amenities Higher Education Loan Program (SA-HELP)

A loan program for eligible students to defer all or part of the cost of the Student Services and Amenities Fee.

Student Services and Amenities Fee

A fee for services and amenities of a non-academic nature, such as sporting and recreational activities, employment and career advice, childcare, financial advice and food services; see Student Services and Amenities Fee.

Study Assist

An Australian Government website that provides information about eligibility and types of financial assistance for tertiary students; see

Study score

A score of between 0 and 50 that shows how a VCE student performed in a particular subject compared to other students in the same year. It is calculated from the student's results in assessments and examinations in that study.


Three study periods during the teaching year (as opposed to having two study periods using a semester system). Deakin has three trimesters, and each trimester runs for 11 weeks. Study in trimester 3 is not compulsory - it just provides another option for study; full-time student load is two trimesters of study.

  • Trimester 1 runs from 9 March 2015 to 19 June 2015
  • Trimester 2 runs from 13 July 2015 to 23 October 2015
  • Trimester 3 (2015 – 2016) runs from 9 November 2015 to 19 February 2016


Someone studying for their first degree in a given discipline.

Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC)

A centralised admissions centre for most undergraduate university and TAFE courses.

Victorian Tertiary Entrance Requirements (VICTER)

A VTAC publication, published each year, listing the prerequisites and requirements students must complete to qualify for courses at Victorian tertiary institutions; see

Need more information?

Please see our full glossary of terms for further descriptions.

Page custodian: Marketing Division
Last updated: