Your guide to VTAC and RMIT terms

Uni lingo can seem like an entirely different language sometimes, but with this glossary, you’ll be fluent in no time.

How is a lecture different to a tutorial? Is TAFE the same as vocational study? What are some key resources every uni student should know about? 

As a new or future student at RMIT University, these are just a few questions you might have already asked yourself. This glossary will help you understand the answers to these questions, plus key VTAC and RMIT terms you should know before deciding what’s next.

Uni life - learn the lingo

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Types of study you can undertake after high school

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

Discover what’s next through RMIT’s undergraduate courses.

Vocational study, also commonly known as TAFE, includes certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas. Vocational education has more of a focus on practical learning, and can enable you to step into industry after completion, or pathway into higher education (such as a bachelor degree).

Explore your options with RMIT’s vocational courses.

An associate degree is a two-year (full-time) qualification that allows you to build a strong foundation and work-ready skills in your field of interest.

An associate degree is standalone, meaning you can finish it in its entirety, or use it as a pathway to a bachelor degree.

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine training and employment, normally over three to four years. They enable you to learn on the job in trades such as plumbing, so you can earn money while studying.

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

Prerequisites are VCE subjects (or equivalent studies) that you need to complete in order to be considered for a particular course, for example, VCE Maths and English.  

You can find course prerequisites, including subjects and minimum study scores, in the VTAC Guide or in the Admissions section of the RMIT program page.

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

You can find the submission details of your selection tasks, including due dates and requirements, in the VTAC Guide or in the Admissions section of the RMIT program page.

If you see this on an RMIT program page, it means the course takes in less than 10 students currently in Year 12, so it’s difficult to calculate an accurate ATAR. 

If you see this on an RMIT program page, it means the minimum ATAR is not published.

If you see this on an RMIT program page, it means the ATAR is not the primary selection method for this course and additional selection tasks are required (such as an interview or folio).

Applying to further study

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

VTAC’s Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) and RMIT Access allow us to consider disadvantages and circumstances that may have impacted on your academic performance. 
 
Eligible applicants can receive an adjustment to the calculation of their selection rank, which can increase the chances of receiving an offer.

SNAP stands for Schools Network Access Program and gives students from a select number of schools priority access to RMIT’s certificate IV, diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree and degree courses.

 

SNAP is one of the ways in which RMIT ensures a diverse and inclusive student population.

A scholarship is 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.

Scholarships can help with all kinds of study costs such as textbooks, fees, accommodation and living expenses. While the majority of RMIT’s scholarships consider personal circumstances and financial need, scholarships are based on many criteria including your study area and level of study, research, travel and academic achievement.

A Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) is a government-subsidised higher education place. This means part of your fees are paid by the government and the remaining part is paid by you.

To be eligible for a CSP you must be:

  • an Australian citizen, or

  • an Australian permanent visa holder or New Zealand citizen, and

  • meet the relevant citizenship and residency requirements.

FEE-HELP is a loan scheme by the government to help cover the cost of courses (local students only).

A full-fee place is a place at university that receives no financial contribution from the government. Fees cover the full cost of tuition and vary from program to program.  

If you are enrolled in a full-fee place, you may be eligible to apply for a FEE-HELP loan, which you can use to defer payment of your tuition fees to the Australian Tax Office up to your HELP limit.

HECS-HELP is 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

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

Throughout December, you can reorder, add or subtract courses from your preference list. However, after you receive your ATAR, the Change of Preference period begins, signifying your last opportunity to do so.

Pathways are alternative ways to get into a course, in case you don’t meet the ATAR or prerequisite requirements.

As a dual sector university, RMIT provides you with choice and more than one way to get the qualification you want. Our pathways exist between Vocational Education (TAFE) and Higher Education (University), helping you to progress from one qualification to another, to meet the entry requirements of your degree.

Explore our Pathways Finder and plan what’s next.

Pathways Guaranteed gives you the option to preference pathway packages in VTAC. This means you will be able to secure your place in your dream course by completing your vocational studies (otherwise known as TAFE) first, and graduate with two internationally-recognised RMIT qualifications. 

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 via email 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.

Starting at RMIT

The campus includes the grounds and buildings of a university. RMIT has three campuses in Melbourne (Brunswick, Bundoora and City), two in Vietnam, and a research centre in Barcelona.

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. O-Week offers the perfect opportunity for you to mingle with other RMIT students and get to know your campus before classes begin.

myTimetable is the system you will use to create and view your class timetable.  

For higher education classes, timetabling works of the preferential model. This means you get to indicate your preferred classes that suit your schedule, then the system allocates you to classes based on your preferences.  

There are different timetabling steps for different vocational education courses.

Canvas is RMIT's Learning Management System (LMS), where you can find all of your course announcements and content, including class notes and resources. Canvas also allows you to participate in course activities, take assessments tasks, view and submit assignments, and receive your grades and feedback.

A semester is the period during which your classes run. There are two semesters in the year and each semester generally goes for 12 weeks.

Semester 1 usually starts close to March, and Semester 2 typically concludes in November or early December. Between Semester 1 and 2 is a midyear break.

In addition to the midyear break between Semester 1 and 2, you’ll also get a week-long break in the middle of the semester.

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

A minor is a second discipline of study that can complement your major. Minors are typically more concentrated than majors. For example, blockchain as a major is comprised of eight units, while as a minor, it is four.

Lectures are types of classes dedicated to going through lecture material for the week. Lectures typically last for an hour or two, and depending on your class, may be accessed through Canvas.

Tutorials, also known as labs for science courses, are smaller classes where you go over the material learned in the lecture, cover practice examples and work in smaller groups to complete assignments. 

The Job Shop is your one-stop service for all things career-related! You can come here to get your resume and cover letter reviewed for free, attend career workshops or get advice about applying for jobs.

You can connect with the Job Shop for consultations and workshops online.

RMIT On Demand is an online marketplace connecting businesses to skilled students and recent graduates for hourly, daily, project based or temporary paid work opportunities.  

With the emergence of the gig economy, companies can now access hyper-specialised talent, save on costs and increase productivity.

RMIT On Demand has partnered with Sidekicker to provide an easy to use, flexible and cost-effective recruitment platform.

For student admin matters, including timetabling or getting in touch with your course coordinators, RMIT Connect is the place to go.

You can enquire through RMIT Connect online.

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

In the Learning Lab, you can access free activities and resources to build your skills in writing, maths and science, as well as tips and tricks for studying effectively and nailing assessments.

Started a course but not sure it’s right for you? Through a credit transfer, you may receive a credit for prior formal or informal learning, to count towards your new course and reduce the overall length of your studies.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

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. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

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.