Difference Between Courses and Classes

Here you will find an explanation of Classes and Courses - the difference between them and how to search for them.


Example: MATH1131 - Mathematics 1A

Course is a discrete study unit within a subject area (Mathematics) offered by an academic organisation (School of Mathematics).

You must complete courses which satisfy the requirements of your academic Program, e.g. Bachelor of Science. Courses are usually described in the form MATH1131 – Mathematics 1A. This how they appear in the Handbook and on academic statements and official transcripts.


Class is a particular instance of a course offered in a particular Teaching Period. A course may consist of one or more components - e.g. lecture, tutorial, seminar or laboratory - with a separate class for each component type. There may also be separate classes for each 'offering' of a component on different days and times, e.g. a tutorial offered at 2pm Monday, 2pm Tuesday, or 4pm Wednesday.

In some faculties, you must enrol in more than one component class and may be able to select from different offering times. For example, a course may consist of one lecture and two tutorials, offered at a choice of times. To enrol in such a course, you would enrol in a total of three classes - one lecture and two tutorials - selected from the available offerings.


You can search for Courses using the Handbook. View more detailed Class information in the Class Timetable and the Class Utilisation Index, which lists all courses and the semesters they are offered. There are links from the Class Details page in the Class Search Results to the corresponding Handbook course description.

Meeting times and locations are published in myUNSW. You can search for classes by teaching activity, meeting time, teaching staff and other criteria.

Where courses have not been scheduled, you need to obtain timetable information separately, from the Course or Program Authority. You may also need to enrol in tutorials, labs, etc. with your Program Authority or the office offering the course.