Your guide to VTAC and RMIT terms

University can feel like another world. With a language that, at first, can be hard to understand.

Starting out at university can feel like speaking a foreign language – like, is it vocational education, or TAFE? 

At RMIT, we're looking to dissect all of the acronyms, uni speak and jargon to make it as easy as possible for you to make informed decisions when enrolling into the next phase of your education.

We'll help you become fluent in no time!

Uni life - learn the lingo

Check out these commonly used RMIT and VTAC terms

Types of study you can undertake after high school

They’re the same thing! These two words are used to describe a University degree and are the highest qualification you can get out of high school.

This is more commonly known as TAFE and includes Certificates, Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas.

A stand alone degree that you can finish in its entirety or use as a pathway to a Bachelor degree.

A plumber, an electrician and more... these are the types of professions you can become qualified in.

A pre-apprenticeship teaches you the basic skills within your chosen trades profession and can be undertaken before an apprenticeship.

Another term for completing two degrees at the same time.

What you'll need to know before you apply

These are subjects that you need to complete in order to be considered for a particular course, for example Maths and English.

This refers to anything in addition to prerequisites that you must complete in order to be considered for a course. For example a selection task.

If you’re applying for a creative course, there’s a high chance you need to complete a selection task sometimes called a pre-selection kit. These extra requirements enable students to demonstrate their abilities outside of exam study scores.

A study score received at the end of VCE where all Year 12 students are ranked from a scale of 30 to 99.95.

This means the course takes in less than 10 students currently in Year 12 so it’s difficult to calculate an accurate ATAR.

This score shows how well you have performed in a study at Unit 3 and 4 level, compared to everybody else in Victoria.

Applying to further study

VTAC stands for Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre and is the administrative body which processes most applications for universities in Victoria.

A list of up to 8 courses you would like to apply for.

SEAS stands for Special Entry Access Scheme and is a program developed to assist students who may have educational disadvantages.

SNAP stands for Schools Network Access Program and gives students from a select number of schools priority access to RMIT’s programs.

An award of financial aid to assist a student in furthering their education. You must apply for a scholarship either through VTAC or directly with RMIT.

Students in Commonwealth Supported Places pay the lowest available fee for university courses and are available to:

  • Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders
  • Australian permanent residents
  • New Zealand citizens.

A loan scheme by the government to help cover the cost of courses (local students only).

A course that requires the full cost of tuition to be paid by the student/parent.

A Higher Education Loan scheme for Commonwealth-Supported Places, where students may be eligible to defer payment until they start earning a predetermined income (local students only).

Change of preference

COP occurs after you receive your ATAR and allows you the chance to reorder, add or subtract courses from you preference list.

Pathways are backup courses in case you don’t meet the ATAR or prerequisite requirements for your dream course.

If you are looking to study another course you may receive a credit for subjects you’ve completed previously.  

Successful completion of certain VCE subjects can sometimes earn you bonus points for a particular course. It does not directly increase your ATAR but instead reranks you amongst other applicants.

Receiving an offer

This is when you are made an offer to study a course that you listed on your preferences.

In order to accept an offer you must enrol in the course. This is mostly done online but enrolment processes can vary so it’s important to check what the correct process is for your course.

You can choose to defer your offer so that the University or TAFE holds your place until the next year, while you take a break from study.

The process a student follows when they formally accept their offer of a place in a course.

A years break between high school and university.

Starting at RMIT

The grounds and buildings of a university. RMIT has three campuses in Melbourne, two in Vietnam and one in Barcelona.

O'Week stands for Orientation week and is held  the week before classes start.

The perfect opportunity for you to mingle with other RMIT students and get to know your campus before classes begin.

The system you will use to create your class timetable.

MyRMIT is the central portal for you to access lecture slides, weekly readings and information for each of your subjects.

There are 2 semesters in the year and each semester generally goes for 12 weeks.

The week-long break in the middle of the semester.

Lectures generally take an hour or two.This is when you go through the theory material for the week.

The main area of study taken in a degree. For example, a Bachelor of Business student may major in accounting, marketing or entrepreneurship.

The tutorial or lab (for science focused courses) are smaller classes where you go over the material learnt in the lecture, cover practice examples and work in smaller groups to complete assignments.

You can go here any time Monday to Friday to get advice about applying for jobs.

For student admin matters, RMIT Connect  is the place to go.

SLAMS (Student Learning Advisor Mentors) are student mentors who tutor students for free.

Free help for maths and science subjects.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.