University terms

When you’re new to uni life, some common terms such as roles and titles can be a little confusing. Below is a list of key terms and definitions that will help you during your student journey.

For formal definitions of terms used in our policies refer to our Dictionary of Terms

  • Academic titles
    Term Definition
    Academic chair The academic chair is a member of academic staff responsible for a course, major or minor. They can provide detailed course advice and may approve course variations, late enrolment into units, and course transfer applications.
    Tutor Tutors are assigned for each unit you are enrolled in and they are your first point of contact. Tutors facilitate classes and provide guidance on your assignments.
    Unit coordinator Unit coordinators are responsible for the design and delivery of a specific unit. They manage the unit content and assessments and can help with issues about the unit. Your unit coordinator is often your lecturer and may also be your tutor. Unit coordinators can help with questions about the unit content or assessments, or approval for late enrolment.
    Graduate research director The graduate research director looks after a group of research students within a discipline.
  • Course components
    Term Definition
    Career learning spine A set of units or learning experiences that complement or augment disciplinary learning by developing skills for successful career management.
    Combined degree

    A combined degree is two courses combined and studied at the same time. This is different from a double major which is two separately approved majors undertaken while enrolled in a single course.

    Read more about combined degrees.

    Co-majors A sequence of required units or specified elective units that may be an option within a course. Students gain specialised knowledge with less depth than a major.
    Course core A sequence of required units or specified elective units that is a compulsory component of a course or group of related courses.
    Degree

    A degree is an award conferred by the University as the result of successfully fulfilling the requirements of an award course. There are two types of degrees:

    • Undergraduate degrees, also known as Bachelor degrees, typically require three years of full-time study or up to five years for combined degrees.
    • Postgraduate degrees are usually completed after a Bachelor degree and include Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas, Masters and Doctoral degrees. They vary from one to four years of full-time study.
    Double major

    A double major or additional major is two separately approved majors undertaken while enrolled in a single course. This is different from a combined degree which is for two courses.

    Find out more about double majors, additional majors and co-majors.

    Units The basic element of a course or course component, which delivers a discrete volume of learning described in its learning outcomes. A unit is an individual subject that is studied within a course and is usually worth three credit points. Full-time students typically complete four units each semester.
    Unit prerequisite A requirement that a student must satisfy to be permitted to enrol in a unit.
  • Study terms
    Term Definition
    Advanced standing

    Advanced standing is where a credit is awarded for previous studies or experience. It is sometimes known as credit for prior learning or recognition for prior learning.

    You can apply for advanced standing at any time during your course. Find out more about advanced standing.

    Award titles and abbreviations Every course at Murdoch has a unique title and abbreviation. A full list of all the awards available is listed in the handbook.
    Class Classes are for internal students and form part of your attendance for your units. You need to sign-up for classes after you have enrolled in the unit. They can include tutorials, workshops and labs.
    Census date

    A census date is the last date you can withdraw from a unit within a particular teaching period without incurring fees or having the unit appear on your academic transcript.

    It is also the last date to make full payment or complete a Commonwealth assistance form.

    Delivery mode

    Your delivery mode is usually described as:

    • Internal – allows students to study the unit on campus with the benefit of face-to-face lectures, workshops, tutorials or laboratory sessions.
    • External – allows students to study the unit off campus with the benefit of being able to study at their own time.

    International student visas have conditions that could restrict the delivery mode.

    Learning management system (LMS) The learning management system is your online virtual classroom and is sometimes referred to as LMS or Moodle. LMS is accessible through myMurdoch and contains Unit Information and Learning Guides, lecture recordings, lecture slides, a discussion forum, and other electronic resources.
    Modes of study Modes of study refers to the way you study and includes the delivery mode for your units and your study load.
    Study load The credit point value that a student enrols in during a given teaching period or academic year. A full-time study load is 9-15 credit points, and a part-time load is less than 9 credit points, per teaching period.
    Teaching periods

    A teaching period is the timeframe for when a unit is being offered.

    Standard teaching periods include semesters, trimesters, summer and winter terms. These periods are defined within the Academic Calendar.

    A full list of teaching periods is listed in the handbook.

  • Murdoch terms and systems
    Term Definition
    eduroam

    eduroam is a service that allows easy access to the wireless network at all Murdoch campuses and participating institutions. Access is provided using your Murdoch University ID and password.

    MyAnswers MyAnswers is a student support tool with the answers to many University administration questions. You can also ask a question or submit a request through the ‘ask a question’ enquiry form.
    MyFeedback MyFeedback is a student survey tool to gather feedback about units, to improve the quality of the learning experience for you and your peers. You will receive an email inviting your feedback when you complete a unit.
    myInfo [Profile] myInfo is your online student information system where you can manage all your student details including your profile and contact details, enrolments, classes and fees. At the end of the semester you can view your unit results.
    myMurdoch myMurdoch is the place for you to get notifications, find the latest news and events, and access student information.  You can also access your profile, enrolment details, calendar, support requests, student systems and other student essentials.
    myMurdoch Advice

    myMurdoch Advice locations are places you can drop by to get advice about your study, your wellbeing or getting the most out of university.

    Find your closest advice location.

    Murdoch Authentication and Identification System (MAIS)

    MAIS provides a secure method of single sign on to Murdoch systems. Your MAIS username and password may also be referred to as your Murdoch University ID and password.

    Your username is your student number and when you activate your student account you will set up your password. This username and password will then be used for you to access eduroam, LMS, myMurdoch and other student systems.

    IRMA IRMA refers to Murdoch’s Integrated Research Management Application.
If you need help understanding a university term or process, or just need general help, you can stop by a myMurdoch Advice location and speak to an advisor.