Glossary of terms for policy and procedures | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Glossary of terms for policy and procedures

Term Definition
Academic governance

A subset of the overall governance of an education organisation, and deals with the framework that regulates academic decisions and academic quality assurance within the organisation. Academic governance includes the policies, processes, definitions of roles, relationships, systems, strategies and resources that ensure academic standards and continuous improvement in academic activities, and is concerned with the integrity and quality of the core higher education activities of teaching, research and scholarship. (TEQSA definition 2012)

Academic record

Refer to Official Statement of Academic Record.

Academic staff

A member of staff of a higher education provider who is appointed wholly or principally to undertake a teaching and/or research function. (TEQSA definition 2012) Refer to the UniSC Enterprise Agreement 2019-2022.

Academic standards

Predetermined levels of performance demonstrating academic achievement or attainment.

Academic transcript

Refer to Official Statement of Academic Record.

Academic year

The academic year is organised into two study period, each spanning half a calendar year. Study Period 1 covers the period 1 January – 30 June; Study Period 2 covers the period 1 July – 31 December.

Achievement Relative to Opportunity

relates to assessing achievements with consideration of the overall work time that has been available to the staff member based on their personal circumstances, which could include caring responsibility, disability, part-time work arrangements, periods of leave, etc. Achievement relative to opportunity is a positive acknowledgement of what a staff member has achieved given the opportunities available.

Admission adjustment

An additional score or rank which may be added to an applicants’ Selection Rank or OP score based on criteria determined by the University.

Admission level

The basic measure (cut-off) of academic merit for tertiary admission purposes,   expressed as a Selection Rank, OP Score or Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement.

Admission schedule

An approved schedule by which a Selection Rank is assigned to a particular qualification, experience or characteristic held by an applicant.

Anti-requisite course

A course where there is sufficient overlap with the learning outcomes and content of another course that the student is not permitted to undertake or receive credit for both courses.

APT staff

See Professional Staff.

Articulation arrangement

An arrangement which enables students to progress from a completed qualification to another with admission and/or credit in a defined qualification pathway. (AQF definition 2011)


A process to determine the student’s achievement of expected learning outcomes and may include a range of written and oral methods and practice or demonstration. (AQF definition 2011)

Assessment tasks

Activities set for students that enable them to demonstrate the learning outcomes of a course and make it possible for markers to determine levels of achievement.


The qualification granted to the student who has completed all the requirements of the program associated with the award.

Award of a qualification

Occurs when the student has met the requirements of the qualification and the qualification is certified through the provision of a testamur. The term ‘conferral’ may also be used to describe this process. (AQF definition 2011)

Term Definition
Balance of probabilities

A standard of proof established by a preponderance of evidence that suggests that something was more likely to have occurred than not occurred.

Business days

Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays, and excluding any notified University closure, such as the closure typically announced between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.

Term Definition

The physical location from where a course of study is being delivered. This location may or may not be owned by the Higher Education Provider which enrols the student. For e-learning (online) or other distance education courses this would be the location at where the electronic course material is maintained. (TEQSA definition 2012) UniSC refers to its larger sites as a 'campus' (i.e. Sunshine Coast, Gympie, Fraser Coast, SouthBank and Moreton Bay). Some of UniSC's smaller sites are referred to as 'study nodes'. See also third-party managed campus.

Census date

The effective enrolment date and charges liability date for the course. A student cannot enrol or withdraw from units after census dates without significant academic and/or financial penalties.

Central examination

An examination that is timetabled within a centrally scheduled examination period or Supplementary/Deferred Examination Periods.

Commonwealth supported places

Student places which are available to non-international students, that is, Australian citizens and permanent residents, New Zealand citizens and Permanent Humanitarian Visa holders and which are funded partly on the basis of funding from the Commonwealth Government to the University and partly through the fee the student is charged, which is called the Student Contribution.

Commonwealth supported student

Student who is an Australian citizen, or a New Zealand citizen or a holder of an Australian Permanent Resident visa who has been offered a Commonwealth supported place and who has sufficient student learning entitlement.

Contract cheating

A type of student academic misconduct when a student engages another party, whether paid or unpaid, to produce an assessment piece on their behalf. It could involve a student purchasing an assessment item online, engaging an online company to write a custom assessment piece, or asking a friend or family member to produce their assessment piece.

Core course

A course that enables students to gain skills and knowledge for successful tertiary study and lifelong learning, and provides a foundation for the graduate attributes.

Co-requisite course

A course that must be studied before, or at the same time as, another specified course.

Cost centre manager

The most senior officer or member of staff responsible for the management of a faculty or a management or support service or administrative area or sub-section of which that is specifically identified for allocation of funding within the University's budget framework.


The Council of the University of the Sunshine Coast constituted under the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998 (Qld).


A discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single teaching session, in which the student enrols, and on completion of which the student is awarded a grade.

Course Coordinator

The academic staff member who is responsible for the course.

Course outline

The document that represents the statement of course requirements that are authoritative for both the University and the students undertaking the course. It is prepared in accordance with the requirements specified in the Program Accreditation and Course Approval Procedures and includes: graduate attributes, learning outcomes, details of assessment tasks, details of the minimum essential requirements necessary to pass the course, and any required attendance and/or participation.


A method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge that does not include a major research component. (AQF definition 2011)


The value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications. Credit reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification and may be through credit transfer, articulation, recognition of prior learning or advanced standing. (AQF definition 2011)

Credit Transfer

A process that provides students with agreed and consistent credit outcomes for components of a qualification based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications. (AQF definition 2011)


The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS ) is the register prescribed under section 10 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000. (TEQSA definition 2012)

Cross-institutional enrolment

An enrolment in a course(s) in another institution, which, on successful completion, may be credited to a program at the University.

Term Definition
Developing level course

A course that is coded at 200 and is normally associated with the second or third full-time study year of an undergraduate program.


A defined branch of study or learning. Refer to also field of study, work and/or learning. (AQF definition 2011)

Domestic fee-paying places

Student places which are available to non-international students, that is, Australian citizens and permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens and Permanent Humanitarian Visa holders, in which the student pays a tuition fee.

Term Definition
Early assessment task

Task that provides students with feedback on their progress early in the teaching session. It is usually linked to later assessment tasks and has no or low (equal to or less than 30 percent) weighting in terms of the summative assessment.


UniSC’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system is T1ECM or TechnologyOne ECM. It is a content management system endorsed for the storage of staff, student, legal, contractual, and administrative records at UniSC.


One Equivalent Full-Time Student Load is a measure of the study load, for a year, of the student undertaking a course of study on a full time basis. (TEQSA definition 2012)


Involves electronically designed use of any digital technology or resources to deliver and support specific teaching and learning aims and outcomes. Also referred to as ‘online learning’. (TEQSA definition 2012)

Engagement comprises two elements – external engagement and engagement within the University. External engagement is a scholarly practice through which academic staff apply their knowledge and skills, working with our communities to address key issues, effect positive change, and contribute to the public good. Through external engagement, worthwhile social, civic and professional functions are performed. Engagement within the University enables staff to contribute to defining and achieving the University’s strategic priorities and values.

Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000

Examination booklet

The booklet provided by the University in which the student records answers to the examination question paper.

Examination question paper

The paper prepared by the Course Coordinator or examiner consisting of a set of questions or exercises to be completed in a supervised environment to evaluate knowledge or skill in a particular course.

Examination supervisor

In the case of a central examination this is the Chief Invigilator and for a Faculty examination the Course Coordinator.

Examination window The period of time a student is permitted to access and complete an online examination.

Exclusion from the University, usually for unsatisfactory academic progress, is a cancellation of enrolment for a specified period, after which the student must reapply for admission if they are seeking re-enrolment.


Expulsion from the University, means cancellation of enrolment and prohibition from enrolling in any courses or programs at the University, and may involve the removal of access to the University’s premises and facilities for a period of time or on a permanent basis. An application for re-enrolment following expulsion may only be approved by the University’s Council.

External examiner

An examiner for higher research degrees who is not connected to the university or student’s research. (AQF definition 2011)

Term Definition
School examination

An examination administered by the Course Coordinator.

Final mark

The total of the results for all summative assessment items, normally expressed as a percent.

Formal learning

The learning that takes place through a structured program of learning that leads to the full or partial achievement of an officially accredited qualification. Refer to also Informal and Non-formal learning. (AQF definition 2011)

Term Definition

The processes by which the University is directed, controlled and held to account. It encompasses authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control exercised in the organisation. (Standards Australia AS80002-2003)


A representation of the overall level of attainment achieved by the student in a course as recorded on the student’s official statement of academic record.


Grade Point Average: refer to Grades and Grade Point Average (GPA) - Academic Policy

Graduate level course

A course that is coded at 300 or 400 and is normally associated with the third or fourth full-time year of an undergraduate program.

Term Definition
Head of School

Head of a designated academic unit, including Schools, Thompson Institute.

Higher degree by research

A Research Doctorate or Research Masters program, for which at least two-thirds of the student load for the program is required as research work. (source: Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017)


A scheme that provides loans to help eligible Commonwealth supported students pay their student contributions. (TEQSA definition 2012)

Term Definition
Informal learning 

Learning gained through work, social, family, hobby or leisure activities and experiences. Unlike formal or non-formal learning, informal learning is not organised or externally structured in terms of objectives, time or learning support. Refer to also formal and non-formal learning. (AQF definition 2011)

Inherent academic requirements (IARs)

those fundamental skills, capabilities and knowledge that students must be able to demonstrate in order to achieve the learning outcomes of a program without compromising the academic integrity of that program.

International student

A student who is not an Australian or New Zealand citizen and does not have Australian Permanent Residency status and who has entered into a current written agreement with the University to undertake a course or program of studies with the University.

Introductory level course

A course that is coded at 100 and is normally associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.


An Examination Supervisor who is physically or virtually present and responsible for overseeing the conduct of the examination.

Term Definition
Joint degree

A higher education degree (as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework awarded through an agreement between two or more higher education providers. (TEQSA definition 2012)

Jointly conferred academic award

A program delivered concurrently by two or more institutions and upon completion of the program the student receives either a single award testamur conferred jointly badged by those institutions or receive award testamurs from each of the participating institutions on which the contribution of the other institution(s) is acknowledged on the testamur by way or inclusion of a logo.

Term Definition
Learning outcomes

The expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of learning. (AQF definition 2011)

Limited grade course A course that is only assessed on a Pass/Fail basis. The use of limited grades is restricted to courses where there is either:
• a work integrated learning activity at either Categories 1 or 2 level
• extensive project work/coursework assessed in diverse settings external to the University
• a professional competency task is included in the course
Term Definition

A stipulated set of courses that has a total unit value of 96 units (usually eight 12-unit courses) that in scope and sequence provide coherence, depth and breadth of study within a specific discipline, field or professional area within an undergraduate program.


A person responsible to the Course Coordinator for marking and providing a result for assessment tasks.


The process of assigning a numerical score to a task that has been graded to represent a standard of achievement.


The engagement with journalists and media outlets. This engagement can be proactive and reactive in nature. It spans any contact with reporters on topics that relate to UniSC, including media interviews, as well as any news publication via print, online or TV that relates to UniSC.


refers to the relationship between a person’s qualities (knowledge, skills, abilities and experience) and those qualities required for the performance in a particular position.


A stipulated set of four courses that in scope and sequence provide breadth of study within a specific discipline, field or professional area within an undergraduate program.

Natural justice (procedural fairness)

In simple terms means that a person who might be adversely affected by an administrative decision (the affected person) must be given a ‘fair hearing’ before the decision is made. However, there are generally considered to be three aspects of natural justice:

1. The notice requirement
The notice to the affected person must identify the critical issues and contain sufficient information for the person to be able to participate meaningfully in the decision-making process.

2. The fair hearing rule
A fair hearing means that the affected person is given a reasonable opportunity to ‘speak or respond’ and also that the decision maker genuinely considers the affected person’s submission in making the decision.

3. Free from bias rule
The person making the decision must be and be seen to be impartial. Bias is a lack of impartiality for any reason and may be in favour of or against the affected person. It may arise from the decision maker having some financial or other personal interest in the outcome of the decision (conflict of interest), or giving the impression that they have prejudged the issue to be decided (prejudgement).

Source: Queensland Ombudsman (2020) Good decisions: Resource

Non-award program A program of study that does not, of itself, automatically lead to the award of a degree.
Non-formal learning Learning that takes place through a structured program of learning but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification. See also Formal and Informal learning. (AQF definition 2011)




The formal notification from the University or the Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre on behalf of the University, offering an applicant a place in a nominated program.

Official Statement of Academic Record

The document that provides an accurate statement of the information about the student's academic and academic related activities at the University. This document satisfies the University's responsibilities to the student and other third parties (including other universities) for adequate and appropriate representation of relevant information about the student's academic and academic related activities.

Organisational unit

A faculty or a management or support service or administrative area or sub-section that is specifically identified for allocation of funding within the University’s budget framework.

Overall Position (OP)

A tertiary entrance score (1 – 25) awarded by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority to eligible students who have completed Year 12 in Queensland.

Term Definition
Passing grade

One of the following grades: Pass (PS), Pass in a Limited Grade Course (PU), Credit (CR), Distinction (DN) and High Distinction (HD).


A statement of principles or position that is intended to direct decision-making and operations.

Policy document

Includes any document that is part of the Policy Framework and includes policies, procedures, and guidelines.

Postgraduate level course

A course that is coded at 500, 600 or 700 with the first digit of the coding, generally indicating a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Master level course, respectively.


The specified minimum requirements an applicant must satisfy in order to be considered eligible for admission to a particular program. (TEQSA definition 2012)

Pre-requisite course

A course that encompasses specific knowledge the student needs to possess in order to progress to a subsequent nominated course. As such, it must be completed prior undertaking the subsequent course. If a minimum grade other than a Pass is set for a prerequisite course this requirement must be approved by Academic Board.

Procedural fairness

see Natural Justice

Professional competency task

A task that is specifically designed to meet a stated professional competency standard/s in an externally accredited program and which must be successfully completed (for example practicum, professional placement, professional portfolio, skills/practice competencies).

Professional staff

Staff appointed to a position which reflects the operational requirements and core areas of responsibility for administrative, professional, and technical occupational groups. Formerly referred to as Administrative, Professional and Technical (APT) Staff. Refer to the UniSC Enterprise Agreement 2019-2022.


A set of coherently scoped, sequenced and structured studies or courses undertaken by the student in order to meet the requirements for award of a qualification, including a program of study with a major research component.

Program plan

A coherent set of courses that develop a particular academic theme which is formally recognised on the Official Statement of Academic Record and University testamur.

Term Definition
Quality assurance

The management and organisational processes in place for checking that the standards and quality of higher education provision by the University meet higher education sector requirements and norms.


The Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre is the organisation established in Queensland to coordinate the admission processes of participating institutions for specified programs.

Term Definition

RecFind is a system endorsed for the storage of legal, contractual, and administrative records at UniSC.

Required course

A course that is mandatory for all students to complete to be eligible for graduation from a program.


Systematic experimental and theoretical work, application and/or development that results in an increase in the dimensions of knowledge. (AQF definition 2011)

Research Training Program (RTP)

A Commonwealth Government scheme which provides block grants, on a calendar year basis, to higher education providers to support both domestic and overseas students undertaking Research Doctorate and Research Masters degrees, known as higher degrees by research (HDRs). Students can be offered RTP Scholarships for stipend or living allowance, tuition fees offset and allowances relating to the ancillary costs of research degrees. (Department of Education and Training 2016)


The numeric mark the student receives on an individual assessment task.

Term Definition
Satisfactory academic progress

A student is progressing through their study such that: they have maintained a Cumulative GPA above 3.0; they have not failed the same course three or more times; and they have not failed or received a withdrawn final notation for the same workplace integrated learning (WIL) placement course two or more times.


A designated academic unit, usually based on discipline groupings, including the Thompson Institute.

School examination

Refers to any examination or test administered by a School.

Selection Rank

A score (0 – 99) allocated through an admission schedule to represent particular qualifications, education or other experience of an applicant and used to determine the applicant’s eligibility for an admission offer and to rank applicants for competitive selection.

Semester, Trimester and Session

Named teaching periods within Study Period 1 and 2, consisting of a variable number of weeks of teaching.

Service learning

Authentic community-based learning experiences which can result in both meaningful community service and student achievement of course learning outcomes.

Social Media

A broad term that encompasses interactive online communication channels that enable users to create and share content, opinions, experiences, and knowledge. These can be written comments, video, photographs, or audio files. Social media channels can include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok and Snapchat.


A person enrolled in a formal program of learning in an educational institution. (AQF definition 2011)

Study component

A coherent set of courses that develop a particular academic theme which is formally recognised on the Official Statement of Academic Record. This includes Majors, Extended Majors, Minors, Specialisations and Dean’s Scholars.

Study period

The academic year is organised into two study periods, each spanning half a calendar year. Study Period 1 covers the period 1 January – 30 June; Study Period 2 covers the period 1 July – 31 December.

Study Node

A University of the Sunshine Coast facility which is not referred to as a 'campus', e.g. Noosa, Caboolture, North Lakes, the Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI), etc. See also Campus.

Supervisor (Research)

In the context of a research project (e.g. a thesis as part of a Higher Degree by Research or Bachelor Honours), a supervisor is the member of Academic staff with responsibility for providing advice, direction and oversight for a research student, i.e. supervision of the student.

Supervisor (Human Resources)

In the context of Human Resources, a supervisor is an employee's manager, usually the person who is responsible for conducting the Performance, Planning and Review (PPR) with the employee. The UniSC Enterprise Agreement defines supervisor as "a staff member who has delegated authority on behalf of the University to give a lawful instruction to staff".

Suspension from the University, usually for misconduct, is a cancellation of enrolment for a specified period, after which the student may seek re-enrolment. Suspension may also involve removal of access to the University’s premises and facilities for a period of time.

Term Definition
Teaching period

The specified duration for the delivery of a course and these are categorised as semester, trimester and session.

Teaching session

The University defines a set of teaching sessions within a Study period. A teaching session is the period within which courses are delivered.

Teaching week

The week in the 13 week (semester) teaching session; an equivalent time should be equated for teaching sessions of different lengths.


Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, the body established by section 132 of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011. (TEQSA definition 2012)


An official certification document that confirms that a qualification has been awarded to an individual. (AQF definition 2011; TEQSA definition 2012)




USC Central

UniSC Central

The website provided for students to undertake a range of self service options including enrolment.

UniSC brand

The tangible and intangible elements of the university’s identity. This includes our visual elements such as logos, fonts, colours, illustrative style, photography and videography style, and our non-visual elements such as our tone of voice. These brand elements are captured in the university’s brand guidelines document.

UniSC corporate websites

The University’s official website, which sits on the domain, subdomains connected to the official domain and all other websites controlled by UniSC.

UNiSC logo

The approved corporate icon and accompanying names.

UniSC merchandise

The clothing, promotional items and publications used to promote the University.

University premises

Any buildings or grounds which are under the control and management of the University and which are used for, or in connection with, the purposes of the University.


A numerical value associated with a course or program.





Vocational education and training, which includes government colleges of technical and further education (TAFE) and private registered training organisations (RTOs).


Any person who visits the University and is not classified as a worker of the University. Visitors to the University may include, but are not limited to: students, family and friends of staff and students, users of University facilities, attendees at conferences and functions, tenants.




As per the meaning given in section 7 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), a worker includes employees, contractors, subcontractors, students gaining work experience, and volunteers in the workplace.

Work integrated learning

Educational activities that integrate theoretical learning with its application in the workplace, profession, career or future employment.