Terminology and marking scheme changes

Changes to our terminology and marking scheme will happen in 2017. These changes will align Massey University with other New Zealand and international universities. You will see the effects of these changes in many areas.

Latest news

From 5 December 2016 you will start to see 'course' replace the word 'paper' on the Massey University website. With this terminology change it was agreed to also review and replace the term 'Contact Course' with 'Contact Workshop' to avoid any confusion for you. The changes will happen over the period of a week so you may still notice instances of the word paper until all the updates have been completed.

If you would like more information, please email rightwords@massey.ac.nz.

New marking scheme

From semester one of 2017 Massey University will adopt a new marking scheme. We will drop R grades, introduce a new C- grade, and change the mark range for each grade to be consistent with the other universities in New Zealand.

The new scheme will apply to all programmes and will result in a consistent marking range across programmes.

So, for example, a B+ grade in the Bachelor of Health Science will have the same range of marks as a B+ grade in the Bachelor of Arts.

Changes to terminology

Papers will be renamed 'courses'

Currently students enrol in papers, such as 176.102 New Zealand Society. From the beginning of 2017 'papers' will be renamed 'courses'.

This means you will enrol in courses rather than papers for 2017.

The change in terminology will align us with universities in New Zealand and internationally.

We are progressively updating our publications and website for the start of 2017

Contact courses will be renamed ‘Contact Workshops’

If you are a distance student you may have a contact course as part of your study. This means you will come to one of our campuses (or another specified location) to meet your lecturers and fellow classmates. During the time (usually a couple of days) you participate in class activities like lectures, labs and project work.

From 2017 contact courses will be known as 'contact workshops'. You will start to see these terms appearing across our publications and websites as we prepare for 2017.

2017 Terminology changes

Existing Term

New Term




A module of work in a particular discipline that is identified by means of a unique code number and delivered by means of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practica, studios or via other learning experiences. If in distance mode delivery may be by correspondence or electronic means. The length of a course is generally one or two semesters or as otherwise specified by the start and end dates. In appropriate combinations courses fulfil programme of study requirements and thus contribute to qualifications. Each course carries its own credit value.

Core Paper

Core Course

A compulsory course that must be passed as part of a particular qualification.

Paper Code

Course Code

Each Massey University course has a six-figure code to distinguish its discipline, level and identity, e.g. 150.214 where ‘150’ denotes Māori Studies, the ‘2’ shows it is a 200-level course and the final two digits (‘14’) identify the course at that level.

Paper Coordinator

Course Coordinator

An academic staff member responsible for the delivery of a course.

Paper Guide

Course Guide

A study resource to provide enrolled students with sufficient detail regarding the requirements to pass the course successfully.

Paper Offering

Course Offering

A course at a particular campus location in a given semester and delivered either internally, by distance or by block mode.

Paper Outline / Paper Description

Course Outline / Course Description

A study resource available to all students to help them make good enrolment choices.

Elective Papers

Elective Courses

Non-compulsory courses chosen by students (with certain guidelines usually provided). Elective courses contribute to the qualification, but not to the specialisation(s).

Level of Papers

Level of Courses

The level of a course indicates how advanced the content and learning outcomes of a course is. Most undergraduate degrees consist of 100-, 200- and 300-level courses in which 100-level courses are taught in the first year, 200-level courses build upon these in second year and 300-level courses may be studied once 200-level courses are successfully completed. Some longer degrees require additional courses to be completed, e.g. Bachelor of Social Work to 400-level and Bachelor of Veterinary Science to 500-level. Postgraduate courses are taught at 700-, 800- and 900-levels.

Linked Papers (L)

Linked Courses (L)

A pair of related courses, both of which must be passed in order to obtain credit. Linked courses are marked in the Degree Schedules.

Schedule of Papers

Schedule of Courses

A listing of the courses prescribed or allowed for a qualification, including any prerequisites, corequisites, and restrictions.

Subject Papers

Subject Courses

Courses within a qualification that are associated with a specialisation - endorsement, subject or major. While not necessarily compulsory, they count towards the specialisation.

Waiver to Paper Rules

Waiver to Course Rules

A Personal Variation permitting a student to enrol in a course without meeting the prerequisite, corequisite or other general requirement which would otherwise prevent approval into that course.  A waiver does not contribute to the total credit needed for the completion of a qualification.

Contact Course:

Contact Workshop: In-Person

A synchronous event, over one or several days’ duration, in which distance students meet with academic staff and other students and participate in any of the following learning experiences: lectures, laboratory classes, workshops, tutorials, seminars, field trips, tests or similar. In-person Contact Workshops usually occur during the mid-semester and mid-year breaks, at either a Massey University campus or an approved alternative venue. Attendance at, and participation in, Contact Workshops is recommended and in some cases may be compulsory.

Contact Course: Online

Contact Workshop: Online

A synchronous event, over one or several hours’ duration, in which distance students meet online with academic staff and other students and participate in any of the following learning experiences: webinars, simulations, virtual laboratory classes, tutorials, virtual field-trips or similar. Online Contact Workshops usually occur during semester at a specified time, and in some cases at regular scheduled times, using University-approved and supported tools. Attendance at, and participation in, Contact Workshops is recommended and in some cases may be compulsory.