Business School

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. Note that the descriptions below are not intended to be legal definitions. The Regulations in the Calendar should also be referred to when interpreting these terms.  

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


The process by which a student applies, and is approved, for entry to the University and to a University qualification.

A name given to graduates who have attended the University and the staff who have worked for the University.


Bachelors degree 
Most undergraduate students study for a bachelors degree - a BCom, BBIM 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 geographical location where University of Auckland qualifications are taught, eg, City Campus, Epsom, Tāmaki, Grafton.

A qualification awarded after academic study of a coherent programme of between 60 and 120 points.

A component of a course - for example, a particular lecture stream (see Lecture).

See Enrolment concession (below).

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

Corequisite course
A course that should be taken in the same semester as another unless it has previously been satisfactorily completed.

A programme is made up of a selection of courses and all courses are related to specific subjects or topics. Most courses are taught and assessed over one semester and can consist of lectures and tutorials, lab workshops, assignments, tests and an examination. Each course is worth a certain number of points and has its own alphanumeric 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.

Course schedule 
A list of the courses prescribed for a programme which forms part of the regulations.

Assessable work produced by students, normally submitted during teaching weeks, eg, essays, assignments, reports, tests, and practical, tutorial and seminar work.

A course which is common to two University of Auckland undergraduate diplomas or Bachelors degrees and is credited to both.


Principal qualification awarded by The University of Auckland, ie, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.

A University qualification, generally awarded at graduate or postgraduate level.

A written research component of a degree or diploma worth between 30 and 80 points.

Doctoral degree
A qualification at an advanced level requiring an original contribution to knowledge.


A defined set of courses for a diploma or degree from which a student may make a choice. If you choose an elective, you should make sure that it will satisfy the requirements of your degree.

The process by which a student, having gained admission to the University and to a qualification, selects and gains entry to courses and classes.

Enrolment concession 
If you need to enrol in a course but don’t have the prerequisites or you have a timetable clash, most courses give you the option to apply for an enrolment concession through Student Services Online.

Formal assessment under supervision occurring after the teaching in a course has been completed.



Grade Point Average (GPA)
Grade Point Average (GPA): A means of measuring a student's performance at this University. The average grade achieved over a period of time expressed numerically on a scale between 0 (no passes) and 9 (A+ average). GPAs include:

  • Cumulative GPA: calculated from all grades achieved by a student. Used for selection purposes unless an alternative has been indicated by the Faculty.

Grade Point Equivalent (GPE) 
A means of measuring a student's prior relevant academic performance and experience. Grades or marks achieved at external institutions and/or in examinations (such as NCEA) expressed as an equivalent to a Grade Point Average on the scale 0-9.

A person who has completed the requirements for a degree but has not yet had the degree conferred.

A person on whom a degree has been conferred.


Degrees, in some cases completed within prescribed time limits, may be awarded with honours which signify advanced or distinguished study.





A basic unit of instruction. 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 Tāmaki campus lectures start at 35 minutes past the hour.


Your major is the main area that you will study in your degree and is a required component, including a specified number of points in a subject at the most advanced level, ie, it is taken to Stage III level. More information is available from the Degree majors page




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 prescribed set of one or more courses or other work which on satisfactory completion leads to the award of a University of Auckland certificate, diploma or degree.



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 
A stage is the academic level of study in a subject. 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.

Summer School 
A six-week period during which a selection of courses is taught and assessed. You may take a Summer School course to progress through your programme quickly, compensate for a poor performance in a previous semester, or spread a heavy workload.


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.

A small group-learning session.


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 area 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.







Help and advice

If you would like to discuss your study options, entry requirements, the admissions process, or you have a general enquiry about the Business School, please contact one of our advisers or visit one of our campuses. For contact details:

Visit our Help and advice page

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