Learn the language of Brock

Many terms and definitions related to course registration will be new to you.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the following terms prior to registration.


ASYNC/Asynchronous courses do not require that you attend at a specific time but will still have deadlines that you will need to adhere to. Make sure you set reminders for yourself to complete all course work on time! Just a reminder that course conflicts, even if they’re asynchronous, are not allowed without permission of both instructors.

When looking at an asynchronous course, you may be wondering why it still has a specified time. This is to allow the instructor the option of using the time as office hours or a meet time if needed. Instructors may or may not choose to use the time set.


Blended courses normally combine a hybrid of “face-to-face” and online study.

For Fall 2020, all components will be online. Check the Location to determine if the courses will have both SYNC and ASYNC components.

Course calendar:

This online catalogue contains Brock rules and regulations, programs of study, program requirements and course descriptions.

Click here to view the current course calendar


Only available in an honours degree program, and requiring a minimum of six credits (6.0) from a list of approved courses. Enables you to pursue studies with some focus within your major or combined major.

Context credits:

Mandatory courses intended to provide you with a broad educational background. All students must complete at least one full credit from each of the following Faculties at Brock:

  • Humanities
  • Mathematics and Science
  • Social Sciences

Plan these into your schedule after required courses.

Click here to view a complete list of context credits.


A course that must be taken at the same time as another course.

Course component:

Various classroom formats that make up a course, such as lectures, seminars, labs and tutorials.


Divisions of the university that give instruction in a certain subject area. These divisions oversee program requirements.


Removal from enrolment in a course.


Period of time over which a course is taught.


Elective credits may be chosen from any area of interest, provided you meet any prerequisites or restrictions listed in the course notes.

Note: If you are planning to pursue a minor, you will likely use your elective courses to satisfy these requirements.


Branches of the university that oversee academic departments/centres.


An academic course set aside for laboratory work.


A large classroom setting in which the instructor addresses all students in the course.


Specific area of emphasis within a degree program. Students following a major will have a set of core courses and electives to complete.

Major credit:

Credits required for, but not necessarily the same as, your major discipline.


Must be distinct from your major or combined major, and requires from four (4.0) to six (6.0) credits.

Students wishing to obtain a minor within a degree program may not use the same course(s) to satisfy both the major and minor requirements.


A course that must be taken prior to taking another course.


Special permission from the teaching department/centre to register in a course that has prerequisites and/or restrictions that students do not meet, or that may be full.


Requirements of a course that must be met before registration in a specific course.

Required courses:

Courses that must be taken as a part of your degree program. Plan these into your schedule first.


A small classroom setting where students have the opportunity to discuss course material.


A collection of courses focusing on a specific area within a major.


SYNC/Synchronous courses have a set time when students are expected to “attend”. It may be just for the lecture, just the seminar or each course component could require you to participate at a set time. The instructor will inform you of specific expectations via the syllabus at the beginning of the term. Just a reminder that course conflicts, even if they’re asynchronous, are not allowed without permission of both instructors.


Students meet in a classroom setting to work with instructors and teaching assistants in problem-solving and applied-learning situations.


Virtual Labs — appearing as SYNC, VLABS or VLABS. If your course normally would occur in a computer lab, we have included the Virtual Lab location in the location. Your instructor will provide more information during class. You will not be required to be on campus, but you will be able to remotely access on-campus software during your scheduled lab time. Click here for more information.