Glossary of terms

Planning your degree is easy when you understand the lingo. Below is a list of terms commonly used by The University of Auckland.

Bachelors degree

Most undergraduate students study for a bachelors degree - a BCom or BProp. This degree is generally completed in three years if you study full-time. More specialised degrees, such as conjoint degrees, can take longer.


A class, such as a lecture, tutorial, lab, or workshop, is part of a course.


A set of 105 points worth of courses that you have to include in a programme. "Core courses" are compulsory courses.


A programme is made up of a selection of courses. Each course is worth a certain number of points. All courses are related to specific subjects (an area of learning). Each course has its own special code - eg, MGMT 101, ACCTG 312, etc. If you've heard someone talk about what "papers" they're taking, they are really talking about their courses.


An elective course is a course that you choose to take. If you choose an elective, you should make sure that it will satisfy the requirements of your degree.


You will attend lectures for each of your courses. Lectures are usually 50 minutes long. City campus lectures start at five minutes past the hour, and Tamaki campus lectures start at 35 minutes past the hour.


Your major is the main area that you will study in your degree. It is taken to Stage III level.


Plussage is a system that lets you get the best possible final mark for a course. It combines marks that you get for coursework and your exam. Plussage is not offered by all courses in all departments.


The University measures your degree, major, minor and courses in terms of points. You have to study a certain number of points at certain levels in order to complete your degree.


Postgraduate study is additional study undertaken at the successful completion of a Bachelors degree. All top performing second and third-year BCom, BBIM and BProp students are encouraged to give serious consideration to continuing their studies at postgraduate level.


Prerequisites are courses that you have to pass before you can enrol in another course.


A restriction prevents you from taking two similar courses and crediting them both to your degree.


The University has two semesters. Each semester has 12 teaching weeks, and is followed by a three-week study and examination period. (Summer School is a little different.)

Stage I, II, III

Stage I has beginning courses. You usually have to pass certain Stage I courses before progressing to Stage II, which has more complex courses. Stage III has the most complex undergraduate courses at the Business School.


Lectures, labs and tutorials are available at set times throughout a semester. When planning your courses for the semester it helps to map out the specific times so that there are no timetable clashes.

Undergraduate degree

An undergraduate degree is usually a first degree. It is undertaken after you have completed and graduated from secondary school and is for many, the first opportunity to focus on one concentrated are of study as you begin to shape your career goals.

Undergraduate study

Undergraduate study is generally undertaken by students after they have finished their secondary schooling. Undergraduate study is taught at universities such as The University of Auckland.