The following terms will become very familiar to you when studying at UNSW.
A program at UNSW is your degree and will have a four-digit program code (e.g. 3970 Bachelor of Science).
A major is a defined sequence of study within a program (e.g. Bachelor of Science with a Major in Chemistry). In some programs, it's possible to do more than one major.
All programs and majors at UNSW are made up of courses. Courses are like subjects at school. Each course has an 8-digit course code (e.g. CHEM1011) and usually involve lectures, tutorials and labs. In Science there are various types of courses:
- Core Courses are compulsory courses that must be taken for a program or major.
- Science Electives are any courses from a Science school.
- Free Electives are courses that may be taken from anywhere across the university; either from Science or another Faculty.
- General Education Courses are courses that must be taken from outside the Faculty of Science.
Each course is made up of lectures (large classes with a formal presentation from a lecturer) and tutorials (smaller, interactive classes led by a tutor) or labs (hand-on classes in a laboratory). Full-time students generally complete four courses each term.
Units of Credit
Courses, majors and programs at UNSW are measured in Units of Credit (UoC). A standard study load is 8 courses, or 48 Units of Credit (UoC), per year spread over three terms.
Undergraduate vs Postgraduate
- Undergraduate degrees (bachelor and honours) are for students who have not studied at university before
- Postgraduate studies are for people who wish to expand on their previous studies or working experience with further coursework study or research. They include graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, masters degrees and doctorates
A large academic department focused on a broad area. At UNSW there are 8 Faculties (Art and Design, Arts and Social Sciences, Business, Built Environment, Engineering, Law, Medicine and Science).
A smaller academic department that sits within a faculty and focuses on a more specific subject area. Within each faculty are a number of schools who teach the courses in their area of expertise. In Science, there are 9 schools: Aviation, Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEEs), Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences (BABs), Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematics & Statistics, Optometry and Vision Science, Physics and Psychology.