Glossary of University Terms

This glossary of University terms is a helpful tool to assist you when you are unsure of the meaning of a specific word or phrase used by the University of Waikato.

All graduates become alumni of the University of Waikato after their graduation.
A qualification can only be awarded after a student's knowledge has been measured in some way. This is called "assessment". Assessment methods include tests and exams, essays, reviews, laboratories, workshops and presentations. Paper outlines and handouts provide guidelines for the forms of assessment and will give you the dates on which your assignments are due along with the penalties for missing these dates.
Bachelor's degree
The qualification awarded to a person who has completed a first university degree.
The University's official record of rules and regulations, staff, papers, dates. The Calendar is published annually.
A swipe card issued to students to enable access to buildings after-hours. Your student ID card is your Cardax card.
Core paper
A paper that must be passed as part of a particular degree or diploma.
A paper that must be studied at the same time as another (or others).
Corresponding papers
Papers which are either equivalent or share a considerable amount of common content of which only one paper can be credited towards a degree.
Credit points
Each paper has been given a point value. A full-time year of study equals 120 points. The total student learning hours required for a paper can be calculated at 10 times the point value of the paper, for example a 15 point paper would require 150 hours of study.
A programme of study which meets the requirements set down by the University to complete a qualification.
Each faculty  is divided into departments. For example, the Faculty of Science and Engineering includes the following departments; Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Materials and Process Engineering, Physics and Electronic Engineering, and Psychology. Find out where each department is for the paper(s) you are taking so that you can locate your lecturer's office.
A qualification gained from the equivalent of one year's full time study at graduate level or two years at undergraduate level.
A general subject area, for example, English or Psychology.
Examinations are held during the exam weeks after lectures have finished. The exam timetable is available online, on notice boards and on iWaikato. The exam timetable comes out six weeks before exams are held.
There is also an examination information brochure which includes information on; special examination arrangements, examination procedures, special consideration for impaired performance or missed examinations, and review of grades. This brochure can be picked up from Schools/Faculty offices and the Assessment office.
Formal examinations are held under strict conditions and are overseen by the Assessment Office. Take your student ID card to the exam. Before each exam begins the supervisors will explain how the exam will be run and at what stage you can leave the room.
Permission to enrol in a paper that overrides requirements such as co-requisites or pre-requisites.
If you have been prevented from meeting a deadline for an assignment by circumstances such as illness, accident or personal crisis, you may apply for an extension. To do this, check your paper outline or ask your lecturer. You may be required to provide proof to verify your circumstances.
Further examination
In some papers you may be able to sit another exam if you narrowly fail the final exam or are granted Special Consideration.
The rating or result awarded for work produced by a student for assessment. Letter grades are usually given, for example, B-.
A student who has completed the requirements of a degree but has not yet graduated.
A ceremony where graduands receive their degrees.
A person who has been awarded a university degree.
Group work:
Many papers involve a component of group work as this helps develop skills which will assist you in your future career as well as during your time at university. At times, problems can develop in group work and these need to be resolved quickly either by discussion among group members or with your lecturer/tutor.
1. Honours degrees are the equivalent of the first year of graduate study and require a higher level of academic scholarship e.g. BMS(Hons).
2. A class of honours may be awarded for academic excellence in some degrees, e.g. First Class (First Division), Second Class (Second Division).
Interdisciplinary paper
A paper taught from the perspective of more than one discipline and involving academic staff from different departments.
iWaikato is the University's staff and student intranet portal which contains your personal details, enrolment details, examination results, University information and services, news, events and more.
The purpose of laboratories or labs is to provide practical experience for topics covered in lectures and tutorials. Laboratories also refer to the places in which these sessions are held.
Lectures are where you will do most of your learning and is delivered by an academic staff member and exposes you to information, ideas and theories. To find out when your lectures are being held go to the online timetable which can be accessed from or from iWaikato. Lectures are normally 50 minutes long. Morning lectures start on the hour (up to and including 12 noon). In the afternoon lectures starts at 10 minutes past the hour from 1.10pm onwards. Some lecturers provide outlines or summaries of what is presented in the lecture either on-line or in hard copy. These are either handed out in the lecture or can be downloaded from your School/Faculty website. These notes are complementary to your attendance at lectures.
Level 1,2,3,4
Papers are taught at different levels. Levels 1-4 are undergraduate papers with level 4 being more advanced than level 1.
The main subject of your degree studied to level 3 or 4.
Masters degree
A graduate degree which requires the prior completion of a Bachelors or Honours degree.
Moodle is the University's online learning platform. Many papers have course resources and discussion forums in Moodle. You can access Moodle from the student homepage page which can be accessed from when you login with your student login.
MyWeb™ is the Waikato Management School's online learning platform. MyWeb™ is available from your computer desktop automatically when you log on in the Waikato Management School computer labs or you can go to
Nexus is the weekly student magazine printed by the WSU. Get involved as a contributor by contacting Nexus at
Office hours
If you wish to see a particular lecturer check on the times that he or she is available to students. Some will post times on their office door or state them in paper outlines. The department secretary can also provide you with this information.
A named set of lectures, tutorials, labs or field trips which gives credit towards a degree.
Paper codes
Each paper has a unique code. The codes are structured in the following way:
ACCT101-17A (HAM).
ACCT is the subject code; in this case Accounting, 101 is the level and unique number of the paper, 17A is the year and semester information and HAM is the location where the paper is taught.
Paper outlines
You will receive a paper outline for each paper which provides detail about the content, reading and assessment requirements for that paper. The Paper Outlines website provides you with online access to the outlines currently available.
Plagiarism is the direct copying or paraphrasing of somebody else's writing, ideas or other material in your assignments without using referencing to show that this information is not your original work. It is fine to include and use ideas and information from other sources, including the internet, but you must state who or what the sources are and you must use quotation marks if you are using the original author's exact words.
The paper outline for your course, or the lecturer, should tell you which referencing system to use. The Library's website provides you with style guides and examples on the different referencing systems used at the University. Plagiarism is misconduct and will be dealt with through the University Student Discipline Regulations and if established, penalties will be applied.
Programme Coordinator
A staff member who has overall responsibility for organising and administering a paper.
Postgraduate study refers to study above undergraduate level.
A paper which must be satisfactorily completed before entry to another specified paper can be approved.
The papers you are enrolled in each year make up your programme of study.
Reading manuals
A reading manual contains photocopied readings the lecturer has selected to complement the lecture programme. Reading manuals can be purchased at Waikato Print.
Restricted pass:
You pass the paper ( just) but you cannot continue to a higher level paper in that subject.
School of Study or Faculty
A group of departments responsible for teaching and research in related subjects.
A teaching period equivalent to half the academic year.
Special consideration
If you are ill or have a personal crisis during exam time you can apply for special consideration. You must either see a doctor or counsellor at Student Health Services within 24-hours of your exam for your application to be considered.
In some large classes students are divided into smaller groups called streams.Streams are often referred to by a letter, e.g. stream X or stream Y. Every lecture will be repeated for each stream. You only need to go to the lectures for your stream. You will be advised at your first lecture whether you need to sign up for a stream and also how to do this. It is helpful if you have your timetable with you so that you are able to choose the stream that suits you best.
Student Academic Complaints Policy
Students should seek to resolve academic issues with their tutor/lecturer in the first instance. However, if a serious issue arises and a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached you can get information and advice on how to make a complaint from the  Student Support Services located in the Student Services Building +64 7 856 2889 ext 5199.
Student ID card
A swipe card issued to students to be used as a student ID card, for after-hours access and photocopying. You will receive your student ID card after you have signed your enrolment agreement. If you lose your card, you can go to the Information Desk on level 2 in the Student Centre and get a new card; please be aware there is a charge.
Student Support Services
An area of the University responsible for delivering a range of non-academic support to students e.g. Student Health, Counselling.
Study groups
Many students find working in a study group motivating, helping to develop a deeper understanding of a subject through the exchange of ideas. A guideline hand-out for forming and working in study groups is available from Student Learning.
SUB (Student Union Building)
The Student Union Building located beside the UniRec Centre.
An area of study e.g. Accounting, History.
Supporting subject
A subject studied to level two which supports the major subject for your degree.
Tests are held during the semester and are overseen by your lecturer. Test papers will be marked and returned to you once your results are available.
For a number of classes you will be required to purchase textbooks to help you study. These can be purchased on campus at Bennetts Bookshop located on level one in the Student Centre. The library may also hold a copy on desk loan.
Tutorials are discussion-based classes and are in addition to your lectures and are facilitated by a tutor or your lecturer. Most tutorials start in the second week of each semester and  provide the opportunity for you to raise questions about the lectures and assignments. In some papers attendance and participation in tutorials is part of the assessment process and will contribute to your final grade.
A student studying for his or her first degree.
An account that must be operated in credit, and from which your printing is deducted. You can put money onto your Unicash account at the computer labs and  the Student Centre.
The academic and administrative head of the University.
Workshops, labs, field trips
Workshops, labs (laboratories) and/or field trips are an essential part of many papers. Attendance is compulsory and forms part of the assessment. The purpose of workshops and labs are to provide practical experience for many of the topics covered in lectures and tutorials. Labs also refer to the places in which this practical work takes place so you will hear terms such as computer lab, language lab or science lab.