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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms 2008

The terms listed in this glossary are commonly used in the University. The explanations and descriptions provided are general and brief. More fully developed statements may be found elsewhere in the Massey University Calendar or can be provided by Registry or the College concerned.

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Academic Board

Established by Council and consisting of the institution's chief executive, and elected members of staff and students of the institution. It (a) advises Council on matters relating to courses of study or training, awards and other academic matters, and (b) exercises powers delegated to it by Council.

Academic Director Responsible for all academic matters relating to qualifications in Colleges, including selected student-related matters and all regulatory matters.
Academic Services Manager Responsible for the administrative requirements associated with academic papers and programmes within a College.
Admission The right to enrol in papers/qualifications at the University. Admission criteria and processes depend on the student's educational history and age.
Admission with Equivalent Status Admission with Equivalent Status is an entry opportunity for candidates who wish to study for a degree or diploma, but do not have the entry qualification required. AES at Entrance level is required by students who are under age 20 and do not have the standard qualifications for entrance to a university in New Zealand. AES with graduate status to postgraduate qualifications is granted on the basis of completed academic work that substantially corresponds to course work in this University. Candidates may be granted 'AES with graduate status' to graduate qualifications on the basis of practical/professional experience equivalent to that of a graduate in an area relevant to the qualification. 'AES with graduate status' is only granted to the specific qualification considered, i.e. it is not transferable.
Aegrotat and Impaired Performance Consideration Aegrotat consideration applies when a student is unable to attend an examination, compulsory component, or assessment activity due to illness, injury, bereavement or other critical personal circumstances. Impaired Performance applies when a student's performance in, or preparation for, any examination or assessment activity has been seriously impaired due to the same reasons.
Assessment of Learning Outcomes Evaluation of samples of student work for the purposes of measuring mastery of the stated learning outcomes for a paper or programme component. These could include but not be limited to the following examples of assessments: tests, examinations, reports of field or laboratory experiences, exhibitions, performances, oral presentations, portfolio materials, written assignments, essay-writing and records of course participation in class activities.
Bachelor's Degree The qualification awarded to a person who has completed a university undergraduate degree.
Block Mode Papers Papers in which the class contact is in a compressed time period. Off-campus locations may be used.
Calendar Records, together with the Policy Guide on the website at, some of the University's rules and some of the regulations, together with information about staff, qualifications, papers, dates, etc. Published annually in hard copy. For the latest Calendar see the website at
Carry Forward of Enrolment The opportunity to carry forward enrolment from one enrolment period to a subsequent enrolment period. Offers to carry forward enrolment are only made where students have experienced exceptional circumstances after the final date for withdrawal without academic penalty.
Carry Forward of Postgraduate Registration The process that enables students undertaking a research degree, other than a doctoral degree, to carry forward their enrolment into the enrolment period immediately following that in which a full fee was paid. Special conditions apply.
Certificate A qualification at undergraduate or sub-degree level that requires 60-120 credits of study, or at postgraduate level that usually requires 60 credits of study.
Challenge Examination/Assessment An examination/assessment that students may be permitted to sit in order to demonstrate competence in a paper that they have not been enrolled in or studied at this University. Permission to sit is based on evidence of professional or other experience.
College Colleges are made up of academic units related by discipline that plan, direct and coordinate research and teaching. There are five colleges at Massey University: College of Business; College of Creative Arts; College of Education; College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and College of Sciences.
Combined Results Pass A pass that is granted for a 'Part' or year cohort of papers within a qualification. This type of pass allows a student to progress into the next 'Part'.
Confirmation of Enrolment Form A document provided to the student on confirmation of enrolment showing the programme(s) and paper(s) for which the student is enrolled.
Conjoint Programmes Allows candidates to qualify for conjoint awards of two degrees. The most common conjoint programmes entail the completion of two three- year undergraduate degrees in four years.
Contact Courses A period of time, usually of one to five days' duration, in which extramural students meet with academic staff and other students and participate in any of the following: lectures, labs, workshops, tutorials, seminars, field trips or tests. Contact courses usually occur during the mid-semester and mid-year breaks, at either the Palmerston North or other Massey University campus(es). Attendance at contact courses ranges from absolutely compulsory (no exemptions will be granted) to voluntary.
Core Paper A paper that must be passed as part of a particular qualification.
Corequisite A paper that must be completed in the same semester as another paper, unless the corequisite paper has already been passed or waived as a requirement due to prior completion of an equivalent paper.
Course of Study The group of papers for which students are enrolled in an enrolment period; or, the set of related papers that a student must pass in order to satisfy the requirements of a particular qualification.
Course Regulations The academic requirements for enrolment in papers, and completion of a qualification.
Credits Certificate, diploma and degree programmes are defined in terms of credits. Every paper has a credit value associated with it that indicates its contribution to the qualification enrolled for. (Each paper's credit value applies to all qualifications to which that paper can contribute.)The standard undergraduate paper is 15 credits, except in some professional qualifications. (See 'Effective Weekly Hours'.)
Critical personal circumstances Critical personal circumstances are circumstances which have a profound effect on the "normal" functioning of the student. The effect will usually be in terms of ability to concentrate, to think clearly or to be able to put aside strong emotion for the duration of the assessment or a significant proportion of the study period. Examples of such circumstances include, but are not limited to: the break-up of a long-standing relationship; sudden illness of or injury to a close relative or friend; death of a significant person; being exposed to a fire: crime involving violence or loss; motor vehicle or other accident; having a close friend or family member arrested for a significant crime; or witnessing a traumatic event such as injury to another person. Such circumstances may all result in an impairment of functioning significant enough to substantially impact on performance in the assessment. Events which may impact significantly on exam or assessment preparation include, but are not limited to: loss of computer (with all notes) through damage or theft; having to spend substantial amounts of time with ill or dying relatives or close friends; or significant family disruption such as parental divorce.
Cross-credit The term 'cross-credit' refers to credit granted on the basis of a completed qualification, at Massey University or elsewhere. Cross-credit also applies where a candidate completes the courses of study for two qualifications at the same time and wishes to credit one or more papers to both qualifications.
CUAP Committee on University Academic Programmes. The Committee is a sub-committee of the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee and has statutory standing as the Quality Assurance Body for New Zealand Universities. One of its functions is to review and approve new qualifications and new majors within existing qualifications as well as significant changes to existing programmes.
CUPELS An acronym for Centre for University Preparation and English Language Studies. CUPELS offers programmes of study for students for whom English is a second or additional language. Some CUPELS programmes prepare students for degree-level study.
Degree A qualification awarded on the completion of a programme of study that meets requirements set down by the University and as approved by CUAP. For example, undergraduate degrees normally comprise a minimum of at least three years' full-time study and will specify required coursework and any relevant practical component requirements.

Three different types exist:

1. Diploma: A qualification at the under-graduate or non-degree level with a total value of not less than 120 credits that can build on defined prior qualifications or experience and which includes as part of the programme a sequential series of papers.

2. Graduate Diploma: A qualification open to graduates or to those who have been able to demonstrate equivalent practical, professional or scholarly experience of an appropriate kind, comprising a coherent programme with a total value of not less than 120 credits, which includes the requirement that one-half or more of the papers or other work prescribed shall be at the 300-level or higher.

3. Postgraduate Diploma: A qualification that builds on attainment in the prior degree, open to graduates or those granted admission equivalent to a graduate on the basis of completed academic work, comprising a coherent programme with a total value of not less than 120 credits, which includes the requirement that the papers or other work prescribed shall be in advance of the 300-level.

Diplomate A person who has met the University's requirements and has been awarded a diploma.
Distinction A merit achievement awarded in recognition of academic excellence in some undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate qualifications.
Doctoral Degree This is the most advanced postgraduate qualification, including the Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) offered with specialisations in the disciplines; it requires the completion of a research thesis that makes an original contribution to new knowledge. Named doctorates (e.g. Doctor of Business and Administration or DBA, the Doctor of Education or EdD and the Doctor of Clinical Psychology or DClinPsych) also require completion of a research thesis as well as specified course work. Normally a minimum of three years of full-time study is required for a doctoral degree.
Doctoral Research Committee The University committee that has overall responsibility for managing doctoral studies. It oversees the programme and monitors the progress of each individual candidate from the time of initial registration through examination and completion. The DRC will also make recommendations to Academic Committee and advise Academic Board on academic matters relating to postgraduate qualifications.
Effective Weekly Hours The value of a paper in credits gives an indication of the total amount of time (including lectures, laboratories, tutorials, visits and study time for internal students, or contact courses, study groups and private study time for extramural students) that students might reasonably expect to have to spend in order to meet the assessment requirements satisfactorily. Converted into a number of hours per week, this is referred to as the effective weekly hours for the paper. For a standard undergraduate (15 credit) double semester paper, a commitment of about 6.25 hours of study time per week might reasonably be expected. For a standard undergraduate (15 credit) single semester paper, a commitment of about 12.5 hours of study time per week might reasonably be expected.
EFTS Equivalent Full-Time Student. Used as a measure of the size of a programme of study and the papers of which it is comprised. 1.0 EFTS equates to one full-time year of study or 120 credits. The tuition fees for a paper are based on its EFTS value.
Electives Non-compulsory papers chosen by students (with certain guidelines usually provided).
Endorsement A combination of prescribed papers in a specific subject that comprise most or all of the qualification requirements within the Regulations for that qualification.
Enrolment Satisfying the requirements for admission and then becoming, or continuing to be, a student of the University by being approved into a course of study; the process by which students are approved into a paper(s) and a qualification at the University.
Enrolment Period The period during which particular papers are offered. For example, in 2008 Semester 1 is coded as enrolment period 0801, Semester 2 is coded as enrolment period 0802, Summer School is coded as enrolment period 0803 and Double Semester is coded as enrolment period 0812, spanning Semesters 1 and 2.
Equivalence Policy Each offering of the same paper in a single academic year, regardless of the mode and location for the delivery of that paper, will have equivalent teaching, learning and assessment activities made explicit through identical expected learning outcomes for the paper.
Examination A formal requirement normally held at the end of a course or at completion of a thesis that consists of such written, oral and practical questions as the examiner(s) for a paper or thesis may determine. These questions are set to test candidates' knowledge, skills, and understandings. The results of the examination will be part of the final grade for the paper.
Exclusion A student may be excluded from a paper, programme or College, or the University, on the basis of unsatisfactory academic progress. Exclusion means that students can be suspended from re-enrolment in a paper, a programme, a College or from the University.
Exemption The term given to either the waiver of corequisites, prerequisites or other general requirements that enables students to enrol in a paper they would not otherwise be approved into, or the replacement of a core paper with an elective paper.
EXMSS See Students' Associations.
External Examiner A highly qualified person with specialist knowledge, not employed by the University, who is appointed by the University to examine and grade a postgraduate thesis/research project or final undergraduate assessment.
Extramural University study undertaken by correspondence and/or by electronic means with the opportunity usually provided for some contact courses during the enrolment period. Also referred to as distance education or online learning (if web-based).
Fee Appeal An application for a full or partial refund of fees. A Fee Appeal can be made when a student, due to critical personal circumstances occurring after the final date for withdrawal without academic penalty, is unable to continue his or her study.
Field Trip A visit to an off-campus location to view and investigate an activity or site that is not available on campus. There may be an item of internal assessment associated with the visit.
Full-time Study Normally the status that applies to students who are taking 96 or more credits in one academic year or 48 or more credits in one semester.
Pass Grades:
A+, A, A-First Class Pass
B+, B, B-Second Class Pass
C+, CPass
AEGAegrotat Pass
PUngraded Pass
RRestricted Pass
A restricted pass 'R' enables the paper to be credited towards a qualification in which 'R' passes are permitted, but does not qualify as a pass for prerequisite or corequisite purposes.
Fail Grades:
D & EFail
FUngraded Fail
DNC Did Not Complete
A DNC grade is awarded to candidates who withdraw from a paper after the final date for withdrawing without academic penalty, or who fail to complete all compulsory elements, or who fail to sit a final examination, or whose aegrotat application is unsuccessful.
Other Results:
WD Withdrew without academic penalty
Graduand A person who has completed the University's requirements for a degree but has not yet had the degree conferred.
Graduate A person who has met the University's requirements and has been conferred (awarded) a degree.
Graduate Diploma See under 'Diploma'.
Group Project An assessment item in which students have been given approval to, or are required to, collaborate to produce evidence of their learning. Assessment judgments may apply to the whole group; individual contributions can also be judged separately.
HOD/HOI/HOS Head of Department/Institute/School, the academic units within the five Colleges.
Honours Awarded for academic excellence in some degree qualifications.
Honours Degree Honours degrees are postgraduate qualifications comprising an additional year of study beyond the bachelor's degree in the discipline. Entry to an Honours degree requires prior high academic performance in undergraduate degree study, and students selected for an Honours degree may enrol in the postgraduate degree after completing the undergraduate degree. Completion of the Honours degree may qualify the graduate for doctoral study if achieved at the appropriate level.
Internal University study undertaken by attendance at the regularly scheduled classes for a paper.
Internal Assessment Individual items of assessment or the combination of all items of assessment for a paper other than a final examination.
Laboratory Class A period of tuition during which students conduct experiments or practical exercises in a supervised environment.
Learning Outcomes Statements of the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students are expected to demonstrate as a result of successfully completing a course of learning. Learning outcomes are usually stated in terms of observable and/or measurable behaviour.
Learning Resources Teaching and learning materials including the course outline indicating study requirements and structures of a course/paper, study guide/s providing the didactic content of a course, and a set of supplemental readings, illustrative material and so on.
Lecture An oral presentation of the study material of a paper, usually delivered in a specific block of time.
Level of Papers The level of a paper indicates how advanced the content of a paper is. Most undergraduate degrees consist of 100-, 200- and 300-level papers in which 100-level papers are taught in the first year, 200-level papers build upon these in second year and 300-level papers may be studied once 200-level papers are successfully completed. Some longer degrees require additional papers to be completed, e.g. Bachelor of Social Work to 400-level and Bachelor of Veterinary Science to 500-level. Postgraduate papers are taught at 700-, 800- and 900-levels.
Limitation on Enrolment A restriction on the number of students who can enrol in any given paper.
Linked Papers (L) A pair of related papers, both of which must be passed in order to obtain credit. Linked papers are marked in the Degree Schedules.
Location The campus or other designation for the site of a paper offering.
Major A combination of prescribed papers that make up the specialisation within a degree. A double major is available in some degrees and requires specialisation in two combinations of papers. Joint majors are available in selected degrees and are a prescribed combination of papers from the Information Sciences and related areas. Composite majors are available in selected degrees and are a prescribed combination of papers from two majors in the degree.
Master's Degree A postgraduate degree awarded for advanced study that normally builds on the principal subject(s) of a qualifying undergraduate degree. Masters degrees normally comprise 240 credits beyond the Bachelors degree and involve a research report and/or thesis.
Matriculated The status of a candidate who earns the right to commence undergraduate study at university through meeting the prescribed requirements for entrance on the basis of the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3, or for students who completed prior to 2004, the New Zealand University Entrance, Bursaries and Scholarships Examination.
Mentor A person, usually a staff member, available to students to support their participation in the University.
Minor A combination of papers that makes up a specialisation within a degree, to a specified number of credits.
Mixed Delivery Mode Student Students who are enrolled internally in some papers and extramurally or in block mode for others.
Mode Refers to the teaching method of the paper, which may be internal, extramural or block delivery.
Moderation The process used to check on the correctness, validity and fairness of an assessment; how it is used with students; how it is marked; and whether it gives reliable results.
Not Finalised A place marker used when a grade result for an assessment of performance in a paper is not finalised. It does not qualify as a grade for any purpose.
NSATS An acronym for the staff group at Palmerston North with the expanded title of 'National Student Administration and Teaching'. This group is responsible for the organisation of many university student services; for example, enrolments management, production of teaching materials, graduation, extramural assignment management, examinations.
Option A combination of papers that makes up a specialisation within a diploma or certificate, to a specified number of credits.
Paper A module of work in a particular subject that is identified by means of a unique code number. Each paper carries its own credit value.
Paper Code Each Massey University paper has a six-figure code to distinguish its subject, level and identity, e.g. 150.214 where '150' denotes Māori Studies, the '2' shows it is a 200-level paper and the final two digits ('14') identify the paper at that level.
Paper Coordinator An academic staff member responsible for the day-to-day administration of a paper.
Paper Offering A paper at a particular campus location in a given semester and delivered either internally, extramurally or by block course.
Paper Outline A statement of expected learning outcomes, assessment procedures and a description of the learning programme in which students are expected to participate. Distributed to students at the beginning of teaching a paper offering.
Part/Examination A fixed year of study consisting of a set of interrelating papers.
PHOD/PHOI/PHOS Permission of Head of Department, Institute or School.
Plagiarism Presenting as one's own work the work of another including the copying or paraphrasing of another's work without acknowledging it as another person's work through full and accurate referencing. Plagiarism applies to material so presented through written, spoken, electronic, broadcasting, visual, performance or other medium.
Points Certificate, diploma and degree programmes were defined in terms of points prior to 2007. Every paper had a point value associated with it that indicated its contribution to the qualification enrolled for. (Each paper's point value applied to all qualifications to which that paper could contribute.)The standard undergraduate paper was 12.5 points, except in some professional qualifications. Credits replaced points from 2007, when the standard undergraduate paper is 15 credits, except in some professional qualifications.
Postgraduate Diploma See under 'Diploma'.
Postgraduate Study Involves study at either 700-, 800- or 900-level, or a combination of these levels, normally for an honours degree, master's degree or doctoral degree, a postgraduate certificate or a postgraduate diploma. Normally undertaken when a Bachelor's degree has been completed.
PAD Permission of Academic Director.
PPD Permission of Programme Director.
Practical Work Requirements Relevant practical work other than laboratories, field or computer work specified in the requirements for a paper that is required for the particular qualification to be awarded. In some programmes this is gained during University holidays.
Practicum Assessed practical work that may be undertaken outside the University and/or the academic year.
Prerequisite A paper that must be completed to a defined standard before a student's enrolment in another paper is confirmed. For this purpose the minimum grade required is a C, except where a different grade is specified in the Schedule for the qualification; e.g. P(D) means that the minimum grade that satisfies the requirement is D.
Prescription A brief statement of the material taught in a paper.
Presentation A prepared performance, demonstration or exhibition, usually given to a group.
Programme of Study A set of papers that must be passed to meet the requirements of a qualification.
Qualification An official award given in recognition of the successful completion of a programme of study.
Quality Assurance The setting of sector and university standards through documented policies and procedures that enable adherence to the stated quality standards to be assessed. In New Zealand, University qualifications are quality assured by the Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) that are benchmarked across the university sector and evaluated by peer review. In a similar way, quality assured teaching and learning components must reflect agreed standards and review processes supported by documented evidence.
Recognition of Prior Learning The term given to granting of credit on the basis of formal (see Cross-credit and Transfer of Credit) and informal learning. Credit on the basis of informal learning is assessed by a portfolio of supporting material or by the use of a challenge examination.
Research Report A written research component that may contribute up to 60 credits of a postgraduate qualification.
Restriction Some papers, similar in content, are restricted against each other. Therefore students may not credit both papers to a qualification but may study either one paper or the other.
Schedule of Papers A listing, in tabular form, of the papers prescribed or allowed for a qualification, including any prerequisites, corequisites and restrictions.
SECAT Student Evaluation of Content, Administration and Teaching - the University's standard survey of students enrolled in a particular paper to assess features of teaching performance, content and administration.
Semester A prescribed period of the academic year during which a paper is taught and completed. A single semester normally comprises 13 weeks of teaching followed by final assessment where appropriate.
Seminar An oral presentation on a specific topic. The discussion may include a contribution from staff. Where the presentation is by a student, the seminar may form part of the internal assessment of a paper.
Specialisation A combination of prescribed papers in a specific subject that comprise most or all of the qualification requirements within the Regulations for that qualification, usually a diploma.
Student Allowance An amount paid for living expenses to some full-time students. Entitlement depends on a student's age, income and, if applicable, parental income.
Students' Associations ASA - Albany Students' Association Inc.
EXMSS - Extramural Students' Society Inc.
MAWSA - Massey at Wellington Students' Association
Manawatahi - Massey University Māori Students' Association Palmerston North
MUSAPN - Massey University Students' Association of Palmerston North Inc.
MUSAFed - Federation of Massey University Students' Associations
MUCESA - Massey University College of Education Students' Association
Te Waka O Ngā Akonga Māori - Albany Māori Students' Association
Student Contract The legally binding contract entered into between the University and the student.
Student Loan Scheme A government scheme available to students who are New Zealand citizens or Permanent Residents living in New Zealand (except part-time, single-semester students) to cover tuition costs, course-related expenses and (for full-time students only) living expenses.
Subject A combination of prescribed papers in a specific discipline that comprise most or all of the qualification requirements within the Regulations for that qualification, usually at Bachelor Honours or Masters level.
Summer School A period of study during the summer ... shorter in length than a normal semester. Some Summer School papers are delivered over the full mid-November to mid-February period, and other papers are delivered over a shorter time span.
Thesis A written research component of a postgraduate qualification having a value of .75 EFTS (90 credits) or more.
Transfer of Credit Credit may be transferred from an incomplete qualification at Massey University or another tertiary institution. Application for transfer of credit is a statement that the candidate does not intend to complete the original qualification at a later date.
Transitional Provisions Provisions applying to students affected by new Regulations for a qualification coming into force partway through their programme of study towards the qualification. Transitional provisions are specific to a qualification and are included in the Degree Regulations in the Calendar including generic regulations for the relevant College.
Tutorial Usually a period of instruction for a small group of up to about twenty students during which the academic content of a paper is discussed with a tutor.
Undergraduate Before graduation, e.g. an undergraduate student is someone who has yet to complete the requirements of a Bachelor's degree.
Web Enrol Massey University's interactive on-line enrolment service that provides intending and previously enrolled students with the ability to enrol using the web, with direct access to the services and information that support enrolment decisions.
WebCT Acronym for Web Course Tools - the learning management system supported by the University for papers including an on-line component.
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