Skip to Content

Glossary of Terminology

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) includes qualifications across the different educational and training sectors in Australia and in a broad range of study disciplines. Where possible, the University refers to the AQF Glossary of Terminology (published in the Australian Qualifications Framework Second Edition, January 2013 pages 90 - 101).

To maximise consistency in understanding and interpretation of the terminology used at Southern Cross University, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and advanced standing and RPL terminology (as detailed is in the Academic Board's Definitions Policy) is included herein.

All terms in this document are AQF terms , unless identified by the SCU icon and are SCU terms and definitions.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

A

Academic transcript
See Record of Results.
Accountability in the application of knowledge and/or skills
Refers to the degree that a person is required to account for their own conduct in work or learning contexts appropriate for the level of the qualification.
Accredited unit
An accredited unit is a single component of a qualification, or a stand-alone unit, that has been accredited by the same process as for a whole AQF qualification. In Australia an accredited unit may be called a 'module', 'subject', 'unit of competency' or 'unit'.
Accredited short course
An accredited short course is a program of learning that comprises one or more components (e.g. units of competency, modules or subjects) that has been accredited by an accrediting authority.
Accreditation
Accreditation is the process for approval by an accrediting authority of a program of learning leading to an AQF qualification or Award using the quality assurance standards for the relevant education and training sector.
Accrediting authority
An accrediting authority is either authorised under legislation or has been given responsibility to accredit programs of learning leading to AQF qualifications and/or to register providers to issue AQF qualifications.
Admission
An applicant applies for admission (or formal entry) into a program of study (or course). That application undergoes an evidenced based assessment to determine whether the applicant has fulfilled the entry requirements of the program of study; and, where places in the program are limited, whether the applicant can be selected in competition with other applicants. Where these conditions are met, the applicant will receive an offer of admission which must be formally accepted to become a student of the University.
Admission requirements
The minimum qualifications required for an applicant to be considered for admission (or entry) into a particular program of study (qualification/course). Admission is a competitive process where the attainment of minimum qualifications does not guarantee that an applicant will receive an offer of admission. See also selection criteria.
Advanced knowledge and/or skills
These are knowledge or skills that have been developed beyond the attainment of a previous level.
Advanced standing
Advanced standing is a form of credit for any previous learning.
See also articulation arrangements, credit, credit transfer and recognition of prior learning (RPL). Advanced standing may be granted towards the completion of an SCU coursework award on the basis of previous partial or completed studies or other recognised prior learning, and is expressed as:
  1. unspecified elective units or block elective credit points; or
  2. specified units where the units are named; or
  3. a combination of unspecified and specified units and/or block elective credit points.
Wherever possible, credit will be awarded in specified units. An applicant/student applies for advanced standing by providing evidence of their prior formal, informal and non formal learning, which is assessed for equivalence against the unit topics and learning outcomes within the planned award they are admitted to. A student will not have to study the units for which advanced standing is granted.
Advanced standing precedent
An Advanced standing precedent is an approved advanced standing (credit) decision, derived from a pathway, linkage or stand-alone application for advanced standing that can be systematically recorded, published and efficiently applied to a student study plan. A precedent can be reapplied in subsequent circumstances.
Agreement (cooperative or collaborative)
A negotiated and typically legally binding contract between parties as to a course of action, being cooperation, collaboration, exchange or other arrangement. An Educational Cooperation agreement sets out the terms of how each party will work towards common goals while carrying out their own organisation's educational activities and functions. Amongst other mutual objectives, cooperative agreements include articulation arrangements which facilitate entry and/or advanced standing between the parties' proximate qualifications/courses of like disciplines. An Educational Collaboration agreement sets out the terms of how any aspect of SCU's educational activities or functions might be carried out on its behalf via the other party. Articulation arrangements may form part of the agreement, as well as the delivery of SCU units of study through collaborative arrangements.
Application of knowledge and/or skills
Refers to how a graduate applies knowledge and skills in context and in terms of autonomy, responsibility and accountability.
AQF qualification
The result of an accredited complete program of learning that leads to formal certification that a graduate has achieved learning outcomes as described in the AQF.
AQF register
The AQF register is the official national public record of Australian accrediting authorities, AQF qualifications accredited and organisations authorised to issue qualifications.
Areas of learning or work
A is a sub-category of a field of learning or work.
Articulation arrangements
Articulation arrangements enable students to progress from a completed qualification to another with admission and/or credit in a defined qualification pathway. See also Credit transfer and Pathways. At SCU, articulation arrangements (Pathways or Linkages) facilitate entry into a coursework award from a completed program/qualification/course via the process of Admission and/or credit for prior learning via the process of Advanced Standing. Articulation arrangements are predetermined, approved and publically available admission and/or advanced standing decisions that may occur on the basis of relevant formal, non-formal or informal prior learning. See also Pathways, Qualification Linkages and Occupational Linkage.
Articulating program
The initial program of study within an articulation or pathway arrangement.
Associate degree
Associate Degree qualifications (awards) are located at level 6 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 7 criteria and the Associate Degree descriptor and specifications.
Assessment

Assessment is a process to determine a student's achievement of expected learning outcomes and may include a range of written and oral methods and practice or demonstration. Formative assessment: encompasses all those developmental student activities that occur during a teaching period upon which students receive feedback but do not count towards a final grade. Summative assessment: encompasses all those student activities that occur during a teaching period which are marked and form part of a student's final grade. Authentic assessment: As far as is practicable student assessment tasks shall relate to real life situations in the workplace, clinic, School/College or profession to ensure their authenticity.

ATTAR
The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (a number between 0.00 and 99.95 with increments of 0.05) replaced the Universities Admission Index (UAI) in 2009. An ATAR of 80.00 indicates that a student is in the top 20 per cent of his or her age group. The ATAR is used by institutions (either on its own or in conjunction with other selection criteria) to rank applicants for selection into courses. See also selection rank.
Authorised issuing organisation
An authorised issuing organisation either is authorised through Commonwealth, state or territory legislation to issue AQF qualifications or has been given responsibility to issue its own AQF qualifications.
Authoritative judgement
Authoritative judgement is the highest degree of judgement exercised by graduates of level 10 qualifications.
Autonomy in the application of knowledge and/or skills
Refers to the ability to apply knowledge and/or skills with an appropriate degree of independence for the level of the qualification.
Award
A qualification achieved (awarded) following successful completion of all requirements for an accredited course (e.g. Diploma, Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree, Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters Degree or Doctoral Degree).
Award of a qualification
Award of a qualification occurs when a 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.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

B

Bachelor degree
Bachelor Degree qualifications (awards) are located at level 7 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 7 criteria and the Bachelor Degree descriptor and specifications.
Bachelor honours degree
Bachelor Honours Degree qualifications (awards) are located at level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 8 criteria and the Bachelor Honours Degree descriptor and specifications.
Basic knowledge and/or skills
Include those that form a starting point or basis for development of learning and work.
Block credit
Block credit is credit granted towards whole stages or components of a program of learning leading to a qualification.
Body of knowledge
Refers to the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a field of study.
Bridging course
A course of study enabling students to achieve the required level of assumed knowledge and skills needed for admission into a particular tertiary academic program (award).
Broad knowledge and/or skills
Describes a general or extensive area of learning or work.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

C

Campus
Locations where specific courses are available for study (e.g. Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Gold Coast Campuses).
Certification
Certification is the verification and authentication of a student's entitlement to a qualification.
Certified copy
A photocopy of an original document subsequently signed by an authorising officer stating that it is a true and authentic copy of the original.
Certification documentation
The set of official certification documents that confirms that a qualification has been completed and awarded to an individual.
Clustered qualifications
Clustered qualifications are not qualification types but a grouping of two or more AQF qualification types at either the same or different AQF level. Each qualification type in the cluster must meet the AQF Qualification Type Specifications for the qualification type. Nested and integrated qualifications are examples of clustered qualifications that are intended to enable students to progress from lower to higher level qualifications in the same discipline in a structured way to facilitate accessible pathways with the option of direct entry to higher level qualifications. Other clustered arrangements are used and are variously named. Graduates of clustered qualifications are entitled to receive testamurs and records of results for each qualification attained from the cluster and to retain them once they have been issued.
Cognitive skills
The mental skills that are used in the process of acquiring and applying knowledge and include reasoning, perception and intuition.
Coherent knowledge and/or skills
These include logically ordered, sound and/or integrated knowledge and/or skills.
Combined degree
A degree program that combines two fields of study. A single award (Testamur) is received e.g. Bachelor of Contemporary Music/Bachelor of Education (Secondary).
Communication skills
Communication skills are the skills that enable a person to convey information so that it is received and understood and include written and oral skills appropriate for the level of the qualification.
Complex/complexity
Describes information, problems, situations and theories that are made up of complicated and inter-related parts. The complexity of the qualification is defined by the breadth and depth of the knowledge, skills and application of the knowledge and skills and the volume of learning. Please Note: The AQF Qualification Type Specifications require AQF qualifications to be designed so that graduates of the qualification will achieve the learning outcomes specified for the level and the qualification type at the completion of the qualification. This means that the proportion of components of the qualification (e.g. volume of learning) at the level of the qualification type may vary because the AQF does not specify the proportion of components of a qualification that should be at the level of the qualification type.
Components of a qualification
Includes modules, subjects, units of competency or units, the completion of which leads to an AQF qualification. Please Note: The AQF Qualification Type Specifications do not specify the proportion of components of a qualification that should be at the level of the qualification type.
Comprehensive knowledge and/or skills
Knowledge or skills that cover a complete area or field of work or learning.
Context of learning and/or work
The circumstance within which a graduate applies knowledge and skills.
Course
See also program of learning, accredited unit and accredited short course. When discussing VET qualifications the term 'course' refers to a state-based curriculum course (not associated with a Training Package) which is accredited under the AQF. An SCU course is an approved plan of study (collection of approved units) with specific award rules leading to an award of the University.
Coursework
A method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge that does not include a major research component.
Creative skills
Skills that may lead to innovative, imaginative and artistic outputs.
Credit
The value assigned for the recognition of equivalence in content and learning outcomes between different types of learning and/or qualifications/courses. Credit reduces the amount of learning required to achieve a qualification through recognition of prior formal, informal and non formal learning and the process of advanced standing.
Credit arrangements
Formal negotiated arrangements within and between issuing organisations or accrediting authorities and are about student entitlement to credit. They may also be formal arrangements made between issuing organisations and students. See also Articulation arrangements, Pathways and Qualification linkages.
Credit outcomes
The results of a process of determining a student's application for credit or credit transfer. See also Advanced standing.
Credit transfer
Credit transfer is 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. See also Advanced standing and Individual/unstructured credit transfer.
Credit value
The number of points awarded for the completion of a study package.
Cut-off
The minimum selection rank required for admission into a course. Cut-offs may vary from year to year and study period to study period.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

D

Depth of knowledge/skills
Indicates an advanced degree of difficulty or complexity.
Defined activities and/or contexts
Refer to definite and clear activities and/or contexts within distinct boundaries.
Deferment
Defer an offer (delaying the start of study): If offered a Commonwealth Supported place students with changed circumstances are allowed to delay the start of study to a study period in the following year. Students who have deferred will automatically receive an offer into the same course for the next calendar year. Defer fees (using a Government Loan Scheme to pay your fees) Australian citizens who supply a tax file number on their Commonwealth Assistance Form have the option of deferring their fees on a study period by study period basis by using a HELP-Loan. Deferred fees will be collected by the Australian Taxation Office once your annual income reaches a specified threshold level. For more information about HELP loans, visit the Commonwealth Government's HELP website.
Destination program
The second or final program of study within an articulation arrangement.
Diploma
Diploma qualifications (awards) are available for accreditation and issuance in both higher education and vocational education and training and are located at level 5 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Diplomas must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 5 criteria and the Diploma descriptor and specifications.
Discipline
Refers to a defined branch of study or learning. See also Field of study, work and/or learning. A discipline is a broad field in the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) Field of Study e.g. Natural and Physical Sciences. ASCED is Australia's statistical classification for the collection and analysis of data on educational activity and attainment. The ASCED field of education classification is used in each education sector in Australia and is broadly comparable to the international .
Doctoral degree
Doctoral Degree qualifications (awards) are located at level 10 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 10 criteria and the Doctoral Degree descriptor and specifications.
Double degree
An program of study encompassing two main fields of study. Two awards (Testamurs) are received upon completion e.g. Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Laws.

E

Enabling course
A course of instruction provided to a person for the purpose of permitting the person to undertake a course leading to a higher education award. Students undertaking an enabling course in a Commonwealth supported place (such as Preparation for Success at SCU) do not pay a student contribution and are usually participating because they have insufficient formal entry qualifications for tertiary study, or because they have not participated in formal education for some time. An enabling course does not include a course:
  • leading to a higher education award;
  • accredited as leading to a vocational education and training (VET) award; or
  • that the Minister determines is not an enabling course (See Higher Education Support Act (HESA))
Enrolment
Each program of study is made up of multiple individual units of study (subjects). Enrolment is the process whereby the students who are admitted to a program of study select and confirm the units they will study in a particular study period.
Employability skills
See Generic learning outcomes.
Examination
The formally invigilated examination held at the end of a study period (or session) of study.
Exemption
Where previous studies and/or subsequent work experience are sufficient that the student has acquired the level of knowledge expected from the study of the unit, a unit substitution may be made. This means a student does not need to complete the unit as part of the award, but they must choose a replacement unit in consultation with the School/College. An exemption (unit substitution) is usually applied for and granted on an individual basis.
Expert knowledge and/or skills
The highest level of skills underpinned by extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience or occupation in a particular area of study.
External examiner
An external examiner for higher research degrees is one who is not connected to the university or student's research.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

F

Field of study, work and/or learning
A field of study, work and/or learning refers to the main focus of work activities and/or a learning program. Defined as a specific field in the ASCED Field of Study; area of specialisation e.g. Mathematical Sciences. An award title would normally be at this level of detail. A detailed field in the ASCED Field of Study; more specific area of specialisation e.g. Mathematics.
Formal learning
Learning that takes place through a structured program of learning that leads to the full or partial achievement of an officially accredited qualification. See also Informal and Non-formal learning.
Foundation skills
The combination of English language, literacy and numeracy skills and employability skills required for participation in work, the community and education and training (adapted from the Standing Council on Tertiary Education Skills and Employment, National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults, September 2012). See also Generic learning outcomes.
Foundational knowledge and/or skills
Initial or introductory knowledge and skills upon which further development can be built.

G

General capabilities
See Generic learning outcomes.
Generic learning outcomes
Refer to transferable, non-discipline specific skills a graduate may achieve through learning that have application in study, work and life contexts. The four broad categories in the AQF are: fundamental skills; people skills; thinking skills and personal skills.
Grade point average (GPA)
A simple numerical index used to assess the success of a student's academic performance. The GPA is an average of the student's grades in all subjects attempted in a particular course in a single study period or over the duration of the student's enrolment in the course. The GPA is recorded on a student's Statement of Academic Record/Transcript and Notification of Assessment. The GPA is calculated as:
  • SUM (Grade Point x Credit Value)
  • SUM (Credit Value)
Grade points are assigned to graded units where High Distinction = 7, Distinction = 6, Credit = 5, Pass = 4, Terminating Pass = 3, Fail = 0. Non-graded units, interim notations and advanced standing are not included in grade point average calculations.
Graduate
A graduate is a person who has been awarded a qualification by an authorised issuing organisation. Please Note: The term graduate in the AQF is used for all qualification types and is applied to a person who has been awarded any AQF qualification.
Graduate entry
Related to a program of study which is restricted to applicants who already hold a first Bachelor Degree in a relevant or associated study discipline.
Graduate attributes/capabilities
See Generic learning outcomes.
Graduate certificate/diploma
Graduate Certificate/Diploma qualifications (awards) are located at level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 8 criteria and the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma descriptor and specifications.
Graduation statement
A graduation statement is a supplementary statement to the testamur and record of results that provides additional information to enhance understanding of the qualification by students, employers, industry, professional associations and internationally.
Guaranteed entry
A promise of admission to a specified program of study. This promise is made only where the admission (entry) requirements for a program of study have been fulfilled. For example, on the basis of prior study. Guaranteed entry removes the need for an applicant to compete for a place with other qualified applicants.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

H

Higher education provider
A Higher education provider (HEP) is a body that is established or recognised by the Commonwealth or a state or territory government to issue qualification in the higher education sector. It may be a University, self-accrediting institution or non-self accrediting institution.

I

Individual/unstructured credit transfer
Individual applicants/students may be required to negotiate credit (advanced standing) on a case-by-case basis. This is usually initiated by the student (via completion of an application for advanced standing). Credit decisions are based either on credit precedents or on an exercise of mapping the learning outcomes of previous studies or RPL against the learning requirements of the destination course to which the applicant is applying to determine what has already been covered in that prior study or RPL. For SCU units the specified credit will have a grade recorded which will be counted towards a GPA.
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. See also Formal and Non-formal learning.
Integrated knowledge
Combines two or more kinds of knowledge and concepts (e.g. technical and theoretical).
Integrated qualification
Integrated qualifications are purposely designed qualifications that enable explicit articulation pathways and encompass more than one AQF level and/or qualification type and/or education and training sector. See also Nested qualifications.
Integrated cross-sector award
These arrangements involve designing new or modifying existing qualifications to create an integrated or defined qualification pathway in which one qualification builds on or is linked directly to the other and in which credit is built into the related awards. Integrated award arrangements involve a collaborative curriculum development process between both education partners in the arrangement.
Issuing organisation
See Authorised issuing organisation.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

J

Judgement in the application of knowledge and/or skills
includes the ability to apply knowledge to form opinions or to evaluate work and/or learning activities appropriate for the level of the qualification.

K

Knowledge
Refers to what a graduate knows and understands and it can be described in terms of depth, breadth, kinds of knowledge and complexity.

L

Leading practitioner and/or scholar
A person at the forefront of a field of work and/or learning.
Learner
See Student.
Learning
A process by which a person assimilates information, ideas, actions and values and thus acquires knowledge, skills and/or the application of the knowledge and skills.
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.
Levels
AQF levels are an indication of the relative complexity and/or depth of achievement and the autonomy required to demonstrate that achievement. AQF level 1 has the lowest complexity and AQF level 10 has the highest complexity.
Levels criteria
AQF levels criteria describe the relative complexity and/or depth of achievement and the autonomy required to demonstrate that achievement for each AQF level from 1 - 10.
Levels summaries
AQF levels summaries are statements of the typical achievement of graduates who have been awarded a qualification at a certain level in the AQF.
Lifelong learning
Lifelong learning is the term used to describe any learning activities that are undertaken throughout life to acquire knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills within personal, civic, social and/or employment-related contexts. Lifelong learning, described in the list of attributes which graduates of Southern Cross University are expected to develop during their programs of study, is the ability to be responsive to change, to be reflective in practice and to be information literate in order to update one's knowledge through independent and self-directed learning.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

M

Major
A major (a principal or specialist field of study) will consist of 8 units and will be one of the following two types ‚Ä" Specialist (S) and university-wide (U).
Masters degree
Masters Degree qualifications (awards) are located at level 9 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and must be designed and accredited to enable graduates to demonstrate the learning outcomes expressed as knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills specified in the level 9 criteria and the Masters Degree descriptor and specifications.
Mastery of knowledge
Refers to the attributes of a graduate who demonstrates comprehensive knowledge and understanding of a field of work or learning.
Mode (of study)
The way in which a course is delivered to students e.g. on-campus, distance education, online or integrated (a mixture of methods). Each mode includes the choice of full or part-time study.

N

Nested qualifications
Qualifications that include articulated arrangements from a lower level qualification into a higher level qualification to enable multiple entry and exit points. See also Integrated qualifications.
Non-award
The study of SCU units that does not result in completion of an accredited course of study (award).
Non-formal learning
Refers to learning that takes place through a structured program of learning (such as a short course or professional development program) but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification. See also Formal and Informal learning.
Non-self-accrediting provider
A higher education provider that does not have responsibility for accrediting its own qualifications.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

O

Occupational linkage
An Occupational Linkage is a predetermined, approved and publically available admission and/or advanced standing decision that occurs on the basis of relevant informal and/or non-formal prior learning attained on-the-job within a paid or voluntary capacity where the tasks, responsibilities and hours of full-time equivalent service correspond with a named standard occupation published in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), or equivalent system, which can be assessed against the requirements of a specific SCU coursework award. Linkages are NOT specific to a named industry organisation. They apply to any individual able to evidence the named occupational experience and expertise (professional standing).
Outcomes
See Learning outcomes.
Offer (of admission to a course)
An applicant's formal offer to study a course at SCU. An offer contains important details including the name of the course, location of study, the SCU School/College offering your course and the year, the study period when you'll start and any offer conditions your offer may have. It also contains the SCU student number that has been allocated.
Offer conditions
Specific Offer Conditions: A formal offer contains a section called "Specific Offer Conditions". These are conditions that must be fulfilled before being allowed to start studying. Check this section of the offer to see whether there are any specific conditions listed. If so, before study can commence, provide SCU with any information requested before enrolling in units. General Offer Conditions: A formal offer contains a section called "General Offer Conditions". These are conditions that are generally placed on every student in the course ‚Ä" this section will advise whether or not students have an option to defer the commencement of their studies. See also Prerequisites.
On-campus
On-campus study is also known as internal mode where students attend classes at an SCU campus. This study mode can be undertaken on a part time or fulltime basis.
SCU Online
A form of external study where the study of a unit occurs wholly through access to the internet. This study mode can be undertaken on a part time or full time basis.
Online study
This study mode can be undertaken on a part time or full time basis. Students are not expected to attend on-campus classes. Teaching is delivered in a variety of forms with online study materials and virtual classrooms where students can interact with lecturers and other students.
Overall position (OP)
A Tertiary entrance rank that is calculated by the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) which measures academic achievement for all Queensland students who complete the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or equivalent. An OP assists institutions to rank applicants for selection to university. Instead of being a percentile rank the OP is a number from 1 to 25, where 1 is the highest and 25 is the lowest. An OP may be converted to an ATTAR using a nationally agreed common index.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

P

Parameters
Refers to the boundaries that define the context of learning and/or work.
Paraprofessional work and/or learning
Paraprofessional work and/or learning are work contexts that generally support professional practice.
Pathways
Pathways allow students to move into and through qualification levels with full or partial recognition for the qualifications and/or learning outcomes they already have. See also credit, credit transfer, recognition of prior learning and articulation.

A Pathway is a predetermined, approved and publically available admission and/or advanced standing decision that occurs on the basis of relevant formal, non-formal or informal prior learning attained within a partial or completed Australian or overseas program/qualification/course/occupation,which can be assessed against the requirements of specific SCU coursework award. Pathways are specific to a named organisation and are usually formalised via an Agreement. They apply to a person holding the named qualification/occupational experience, attained only in association with the named organisation.

SCU An internal pathway normally results via agreement between SCU Schools/Colleges.

Southern Cross UniversityAn external pathway normally results via agreement between SCU and another organisation. External pathways include:

English Language Proficiency Pathway: agreement regarding alternative English language proficiency that is deemed by SCU to be comparable to IELTS or TOEFL scores that are required for admission into SCU awards for particular outcomes/grades achieved in English for Academic Programs (EAP's), which are delivered by external English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) organisations that are endorsed by the National English Language Teaching Accreditation Scheme (NEAS), or are a registered on the Australian National Register of Higher Education Providers.
 
Cooperative Pathway: an agreement allowing individuals who have completed studies with a specified external educational organisation in Australia or overseas to gain admission (entry) into the first or second year of a named SCU course with a predetermined amount of credit for their prior related learning.

Collaborative Pathway: a 'third party' sponsored agreement allowing individuals to study with a specified external educational organisation in Australia or overseas where the qualification/course may have some SCU intellectual property or units of study embedded in the program or have permission to use SCU materials. SCU staff may or may not jointly deliver parts of the learning and/or assessment. Fees are paid to the named external organisation and SCU invoices the other organisation for a portion of the fees paid. Students/graduates within a collaborative pathway may choose to gain admission (entry) into the first or second year of a named SCU course with a predetermined amount of credit for their prior related learning.

Reciprocal (reverse) Pathway: an arrangement that supports SCU student retention and success by transparently recognising prior learning completed by a student/graduate of SCU for entry and/or credit into vocational qualifications/courses or Higher Education qualifications/awards offered by another specified external educational organisation in Australia or overseas. In this way an SCU student may be awarded up to 100% of an additional related qualification through recognition of prior learning.

Exchange Pathway: an arrangement that enhances the student experience through exposure to a variety of cultural influences allowing students from SCU and another specified organisation to study similar subjects within the other organisations course and country, for one or two study periods. On return students receive credit for the learning completed while on exchange.

Postgraduate
A program of study undertaken by a student who already holds a Bachelor Degree or higher. The use of this term may imply that the Bachelor Degree necessarily proceeds and is a pre-requisite for higher level (postgraduate) qualifications.
Postnominals
The abbreviated forms of an AQF qualification type and field of study/discipline used by graduates to identify their qualification.
Prerequisites
The minimum requirements an applicant must satisfy to be considered for admission (entry) into a course or for enrolment into a unit of study. See also Offer conditions.
Practical knowledge and/or skills
Practical knowledge and skills are concrete or hands-on knowledge and skills.
Professional work and/or learning
Professional work and/or learning are contexts requiring specialised knowledge, advanced learning, responsibility and autonomy, and require intensive preparation through learning.
Professional recognition
The quality assured approval process undertaken by a registered professional body allowing eligible graduates from a specific qualification to become a recognised professional or certified practitioner in a particular industry or field, or to be entitled to join an industry association. Also known as Professional accreditation.
Program of learning
A course, curriculum, training package, units of study, or structured workplace learning that leads to the award of a qualification.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

Q

Qualification
See AQF qualification.
Qualification linkage
A Qualification Linkage is a predetermined, approved and publically available admission and/or advanced standing decision that occurs on the basis of relevant formal prior learning attained within a partial or completed Australian or overseas qualification/course where academic evidence of the course structure and unit learning outcomes are available within a common course curriculum, such as The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) National Training Packages, which can be assessed against the requirements of specific SCU coursework award. Qualification Linkages are not specific to a named organisation. They apply to any individual holding the named articulating qualification/course, regardless of which education organisation was the issuing authority.
Qualification title
The nomenclature used for an AQF qualification that denotes the type, level and field of study/discipline of the qualification.
Qualification type
Refers to the broad discipline-free nomenclature used in the AQF to describe each category of AQF qualification.
Qualification type descriptor
A qualification type descriptor is the set of statements that describes the learning outcomes of each of the AQF qualification types in terms of knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills.
Qualification type specification
An AQF qualification type specification is a detailed statement of the requirements for development and accreditation of a qualification of a particular AQF type.

R

Range
The area between the limits of variation as in a narrow or a broad or limited range of knowledge/skills.
Record of results
A record of all learning (secondary or tertiary) leading to an AQF qualification or an accredited unit in which a student is enrolled and is issued by an authorised issuing organisation. In Australia this may be called a 'transcript of results', 'academic transcript', 'academic record', 'record of achievement' or 'statement of results'.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
Recognition of prior learning (pdf) is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual's relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit (advanced standing).
Register
See AQF register.
Registered training organisation (RTO)
A vocational education and training organisation registered by a state or territory registering body in accordance with the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) Essential Standards for Registration within a defined scope of registration (National Quality Council Training Packages glossary.
Registering authority
See Accrediting authority.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

S

Selection criteria
The normal admission (or entry) requirements which an applicant must meet to be considered for selection into a course of study. See also admission requirements.
Selection criteria (additional)
Admission requirements either in addition to, or instead of, the normal admission requirements which an applicant must meet to be considered for selection into a course of study. Examples include interviews, portfolios, supporting statements, questionnaires and tests.
Selection rank
A score out of 100 used by SCU to determine an applicant's eligibility for a place of study. See also Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
Self-accrediting provider
A self-accrediting provider is one which has been given responsibility to accredit its own qualifications.
Sessions
The academic year is divided into three sessions (study periods). Session 1 begins mid February and runs until early June. Session 2 runs from late June until mid October. Session 3 runs from the start of November until mid February of the following calendar year.
Skilled work
An outcome that requires specific sets of knowledge and skills and specialised training.
Skills
Skills refer to what a graduate can do. They can be described in terms of kinds and complexity and include cognitive skills, technical skills, communication skills, creative skills, interpersonal skills and generic skills.
Specialised qualification
A specialised qualification is one of short duration that builds on the knowledge and skills already acquired.
Specified credit
Specified credit is credit granted towards particular or specific components of a qualification or program of learning. Specified credit is granted for previous completion of equivalent studies undertaken at SCU or another institution. The credit given will be for a specific unit. For SCU units the units will have a grade recorded which will be counted towards a grade point average GPA. This is applied for on an individual basis.
Specified units
Specified units are granted where a student's prior learning in an application for advanced standing is assessed by an authorised decision-maker as meeting the learning outcomes of a specific SCU unit.
Stand-alone advanced standing decision
A stand-alone advanced standing decision is made by an authorised decision maker (assessor) on a case-by-case basis regarding the equivalence of prior learning of an individual student against the requirements of specific unit(s) or an SCU award/qualification.
Statement of attainment
A statement of attainment recognises that one or more accredited units has been achieved.
Structured credit transfer
Involves participating institutions determining agreed amounts of credit from a prior qualification to a higher education qualification in advance, with universal application to all students who have undertaken the prior qualification. In this case, decisions are either based on curriculum or content mapping to determine equivalences of learning outcomes between the prior qualification and the higher education qualification or on general institutional policies that specify amounts of credit for particular levels or award.
Student
A student is a person enrolled in a formal program of learning in an educational institution and/or a workplace setting.
Substantial body of knowledge and Substantial original contribution
The extensive and significant knowledge and outputs at the highest level of the AQF and characteristic of graduates of a level 10 qualification.
Systematic knowledge and/or skills
Systematic knowledge and/or skills are those that are coherent and well-ordered.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

T

Taxonomy
Refers to the system of classification of learning outcomes in a qualifications framework.
Technical skills
The operational skills necessary to perform certain work and learning activities.
Tertiary study
Vocational Education and Training or Higher Education usually undertaken after secondary school with a Registered Training Organisation such as TAFE or a Higher Education Provider such as a university. Also known as tertiary education or post-secondary studies.
Testamur
A testamur is an official certification document that confirms that a qualification has been awarded to an individual. In Australia this may be called an 'award', 'parchment', 'laureate' or 'certificate'. The document awarded to a student upon graduation which includes the name of the SCU award and any accredited majors listed.
Transcript
This is the final record of units studied, grades and advanced standing awarded to a student by the university.
Theoretical knowledge and concepts
Theoretical knowledge and concepts are those knowledge requirements relating to or having the character of theory rather than practical application.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

U

Undergraduate
A course of study (qualification) that is generally undertaken by first-time university students resulting in the awarding of an Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree, a combined degree or a double degree award.
Unit
See Accredited unit and Program of learning. A unit (of study) is a discrete component of a course; units are identified by a title and code number, and require 150 hours of dedicated study time.
University
A university is a (self accrediting) higher education provider that is established by the Commonwealth or a state or territory government as a university.
University-wide major
A University-wide Major is series of (elective) units undertaken from a discipline area that is outside the focus of a particular degree.
Unspecified credit
Unspecified credit is credit granted towards elective components of a qualification or program of learning.
Unspecified credit points
Unspecified credit points are granted where prior learning in an application for advanced standing is assessed by an authorised decision-maker (assessor) as meeting the learning outcomes of elective units or as comprising learning that supports the integrity of the award. Such credit may recognise that not all courses/qualifications are comprehensive in their coverage of a field or discipline and that learning acquired in other settings and contexts supports the integrity of the award for which credit is granted. Unspecified credit will appear as 'elective advanced standing' on the student's academic record together with a total credit point value for the unspecified elective unit(s).

V

Volume of learning
The volume of learning is a dimension of the complexity of a qualification. It is used with the level criteria and qualification type descriptor to determine the depth and breadth of the learning outcomes of a qualification. The volume of learning identifies the notional duration of all activities required for the achievement of the learning outcomes specified for a particular AQF qualification type. It is expressed in equivalent full-time years.
Vocational education and training (VET)
That part of tertiary education and training delivered by Registered Training Organisations (RTO's) such as TAFE and private Registered Training Providers which provides AQF accredited training in job related and technical skills. It covers a large number of careers and industries like trades and office work, retail, hospitality and technology. Qualifications range from certificate II to certificate IV, and diploma and advanced diploma.

W

Work integrated learning
Work integrated learning is a form of Community Engaged Learning that integrates theoretical learning with its application in the workplace for the development of defined industry and professional skills and knowledge.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W