Using Programs and Courses - a guide for new students

How can I use Programs and Courses to decide how to enrol?

If you are a new student, information is available on the single program pages which will give you information about how to enrol in your first year.  Look for the link 'First year student?  There's more information about enrolling in your degree.'

Take note of the program requirements on the program detail page.  These are the requirements that you will need to complete to graduate with your degree.  The relevant program requirements apply from the year in which you commenced your degree.  For example, if you commence in 2016, the requirements given for the academic year 2016 are the requirements you need to follow. 

University Language

Who is an undergraduate?

Somebody who is studying for their first degree at university.

What is a bachelor degree program?

An academic award requiring three or four years full time study or the equivalent part-time.

What is a double degree program?

A flexible program that allows you to complete two separate degrees at the same time.
The program is structured so that the combination of courses is completed in a shorter time than if two degrees were completed separately.

What is a vertical double degree program?

Allows you to complete a bachelor and masters degree in reduced time.
You graduate with two degrees.

What is a program prerequisite?

Subjects that you must have completed in order to be considered for entry to a specific university degree/program. Prerequisites can include a high school subject or a university unit of study, which would be required to study that program or course in a program.

What is a College?

This is a grouping of schools according to academic disciplines, where academic staff teach at undergraduate, graduate and higher degree levels and pursue research and scholarly investigations.

What is a College/Hall of Residence/Lodge?

They are University approved accommodation.  To find out more, visit the Residential and Campus Communities website.

What is an ATAR?

Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank. The figure used by universities and tertiary applications centres such as UAC/VTAC to calculate the university entrance rank.
This is then used to determine eligibility for admission to undergraduate courses. This is not a mark, but rank in comparison to other students.

What is a major?

An area within a program that allows in-depth study in a particular field. A major usually consists of a set number of related courses. Majors at ANU require 48 units.

Example: The Marketing Major requires 48 units of courses specified under the requirements for the Marketing Major.

What is a minor?

A minor has fewer requirements to fulfil than a major, in terms of points and compulsory courses. Minors at ANU require 24 units.

Example: The French Minor requires 24 units of courses specified under the requirements for the French Minor.

What is a specialisation?

Similar to minors, specialisations are areas of studies with their own courses that are allowed to be taken in conjunction with a specific related major.

Example: The Astronomy and Astrophysics specialisation requires 24 units of courses and is available to students who complete a Physics Major, Theoretical Physics Major, Mathematics Major or Mathematical Modelling Major.

What is an elective course?

An optional area of study selected in addition to the core courses of the program. Electives may allow you to delve more deeply into an area of study, or focus on an alternative area of interest that you may have. Many people will use electives to complete an additional major or minor.

What are units/courses?

Each university has different terminology to describe their programs and the specific requirements of those programs. Some of these terms are “units”, “subjects” and “courses”, and whilst some terms are interchangeable, at ANU there is a general understanding of what these terms mean:

>> Course: An area of study usually of one semester in length. Each course is normally assigned a unit value.
Example: COMP1100 Introduction to Programming and Algorithms.

>> Unit: a unit is an indicator of the value of a course – most courses are valued at 6 units.

What is meant by assumed knowledge?

Some institutions assume that you have knowledge of specified courses or equivalent before beginning your course. If you do not have the assumed level of knowledge, but have met the admission requirements you may still be selected for the course, but you may have some difficulty coping with your studies. You may need to do a bridging course if you do not have the assumed level of knowledge.

What is a bridging course?

These courses are designed to help you to get up to speed if you lack the assumed knowledge to start your program. They offer students the opportunity to revise and extend their knowledge in specific areas – often in chemistry, mathematics and physics. While they are strongly recommended for commencing students, they are not prerequisites.

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions