Explaining university terms

Explaining university terms

August 26, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


When I first started
thinking about going to University, I realised there were
some terms and concepts I would need to get familiar with. Say for example the difference
between a course and a degree. Knowing these terms made it easier
to understand what my choices were and what I needed to do next. So let me help by taking you
through the most important ideas. Ok who’s first? Person #1: Okay, I’ll start. What exactly is a degree? Narrator: A degree is
the qualification you get when you complete your studies. Say you complete all your studies
for a Bachelor of Arts program, then you will receive
a Bachelor of Arts degree. Bachelor degrees are normally
the first ones people do and are called undergraduate degrees. Then they move onto
graduate programs like Master and Doctoral degrees. When you complete your studies, ANU will give you a testamur – which is a degree certificate. Person #1: What is a course? Narrator: Courses are
the building blocks of your degree. For example, “Introduction to Commercial Law”
is a course which you complete along with other
courses towards your degree. Undergraduate courses
usually go for one semester
– which is half a year – and normally include lectures
and tutorials every week. Person #2: What’s the difference
between a lecture and a tutorial? Narrator: A lecture is usually
held in a large theatre where a teacher gives a talk. A tutorial is more like a small
class with fewer students and more personal interaction. Person #2: Do units have anything
to do with lectures and tutorials? Narrator: Sort of, a unit is the way ANU determines how much each course
is worth in your degree. So a course is worth
six units in most cases. Full-time students normally take
four courses each semester – which is 24 units for
the length of their degree. Person #1: I have another
course question …what is a major and minor
that I’ve heard people refer to. Is that like a group
of similar courses? Narrator: Exactly. A major is a group of eight
courses in a particular subject. A minor is a group of four
courses in a single subject. Now, depending on
what you’re studying, whether it is Biology
or International Relations, there will be different major
and minor requirements. Generally most degrees will require
that you do at least one major. Person #2: Ok, so what courses
can I take in my majors and minors? Narrator: Most majors and minors give
you lots of courses to choose from, and these are listed on
the Programs and Courses website. Choosing your courses based on
what you’re interested in is the really fun part. Person #1: Does every course I do
need to fit into a major or a minor? Narrator: No, you can take
what are called ‘elective courses’. Depending on what degree
you are enrolled in, there will be different amounts
of electives to choose from. Check the Programs and Courses
website for more information. Person #2: Can I study courses
in any order? Narrator: Not exactly. Think of a degree as a building. You need to lay the foundation
before you can build the walls. So more difficult courses require
you to have some prior knowledge, which you get by doing
pre-requisite courses. For example, you need to do
Psychology 1 and Psychology 2 before you can do
Developmental Psychology. Make sense? Person #1: Yup. Narrator: I’m glad you’re now
across all the important information so that you can start
your University adventure with us. If anything is still unclear, head to the Students webpage
for more info.