Degree structures (also known as degree planners) show you the papers you need to complete for a particular degree (e.g. BA) and major subject (e.g. English). Most degree structures include specific papers that you have to complete, and papers that give you you a choice.
Example degree planners
Year: A typical full-time workload is 120 points per year, usually four papers in A Semester and four in B Semester.
Major: A major is the main subject in your degree. For a typical three-year single major (above), these papers usually total 135 points. For most double majors (below), each subject adds up to 120 points. You need a certain number of points at each level (100, 200 or 300). Usually you need 60 points (or four 15-point papers) at 300 level and another 45 points at 200 level (or higher).
Compulsory papers: Compulsory papers are required for your degree regardless of your major subject. For example, it's common at Waikato to have a compulsory paper covering cultural perspectives on your area of study, and one involving work-integrated learning. In a lot of cases you can select your compulsory papers from a list of options for your degree.
Minor (optional): This is a subject studied in some depth but not as much as the major subject. If you don't take a minor, these papers become Electives instead.
Elective papers: Most degrees have room for papers outside your major or compulsory papers. These elective papers can be from almost any subject that the university teaches (so long we you meet entry criteria). This is your chance to step outside your area of study and sample something different.
Glossary of Terms
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- 100, 200, 300, 400 Levels
These refer to the different levels at which papers are taught and are usually associated with years of study. First year (100 level or level 1) papers are more general while fourth year (400 level or level 4) papers are more advanced.
- Bachelors degree
The qualification awarded to a person who has completed a university undergraduate degree.
- 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.
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.
The rating or result awarded for work produced by a student for assessment. Letter grades are usually given, for example, B-.
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.
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:
- ACCNT101-20A (HAM).
- ACCNT is the subject prefix; in this case Accounting, 101 is the level and unique number of the paper, 20A is the year and trimester or teaching period information and HAM is the location (Hamilton) 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.
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.
A restriction against a paper means you cannot do that paper if you have done a paper with similar content, e.g. JAPA102 is restricted against JAPA232.
Similar to a school term, a semester is a teaching period of approximately 12 weeks. There are two semesters per year and they are known as Semester A, which starts in February and ends in June, and Semester B, which starts in July and ends in November.
A specialisation is a study theme within a degree or major that enables you to focus on a particular area of interest, e.g. you can do a Bachelor of Science majoring in Computer Science and with a specialisation in Artificial Intelligence.
An area of study e.g. Accounting, History.
- Supporting subject
A subject studied to level two which supports the major subject for your degree.
A student studying for his or her first degree.
Conjoint degrees and double majors
If you're interested in studying more than one subject in depth, you can combine two degrees into a single programme.
A conjoint degree is where you study two separate bachelor degrees at the same time. This enables you to complete two degrees in a shorter amount of time than if you studied them separately.
Employers are increasingly on the lookout for well-rounded graduates with strengths in more than one area. Combining two complementary degrees enables you to develop skills that are transferable across disciplines. This opens up a wider range of career opportunities and means you can pursue your own unique career path, rather than being limited to a single area.
Conjoint degree vs double major
Some programmes are best completed as a double major instead of a conjoint degree. A double major is where you study one degree but focus on two different subjects in depth within that degree; for example, a Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in Psychology and Political Science.
A conjoint degree is best suited to you if you want to study two very distinct fields, eg science and management. However, if the two degrees you want to study are very similar, or if one is of more interest, you might find that a double major better suits your needs. If you start a conjoint programme and decide partway through that it’s not for you, we can adjust your programme to suit you.
How much does it cost?
Tuition fees are charged per paper that you enrol in, and often these paper costs vary between subjects. As a conjoint student, you won’t pay double the fees that a student studying for a single degree pays as you’ll only be paying for the papers you’re enrolled in.
Planning your programme
At Waikato, many of our degrees may be combined to create a conjoint programme, although some combinations are more common. Conjoint degrees can vary in length and structure depending on the two degrees you choose.
We recommend you chat to our Future Student Advisers about what you’re interested in studying. They can help you decide whether a conjoint degree or double major is better for you, assist with planning your papers, and answer any questions you have.
Our advisers and other University staff are also available throughout your degree to help you make decisions and plan your next steps. To get in touch with an adviser email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 WAIKATO