Many students and stakeholders within academic communities across boards often use the terms programme of study and course interchangeably. While at the surface usage there seems to be no conflict in this interchange, the conflict becomes bogus when you want to refer to programme of study and a course at a go (same time). Then, it becomes difficult to use the one term ‘course’ to refer to a programme like Biological Science and a course like BLS 101. These two names (Biological Science and BLS 101) are not the same at all. While one is a Department and also at the same time a “programme of study”, the other is a course like subject in the secondary school level.

To make it easier, it is better to use the term programme of study to refer to what we now often known as courses like Marketing, Medicine, Architecture, Electrical Engineering, Business Education, etc. If we refer to the above as programmes, it will then be easier to refer to GST 101, BLS 102, PHY 101, EDU 234, ACC 222, etc as courses.

This paper was written in response to a challenge experienced during a previous publication. It was difficult to address GST 101 as a course then later address Biological Science as a course again. Such usage of terms may cause conflict for a new comer. So, we recommend that programmes of study should be used for what a student majored in like Mathematics/Computer Science, Pharmacy, Nursing, etc., while courses is better used to mean subjects like Entrepreneurship, GST courses, AGX courses, EDU courses, ELS courses, ACC courses, BLS courses, etc.

The above understanding will enable writers dichotomize between a course and a programme of study.

It is therefore, preferred to call what you are reading in the university as a programme of study, but the individual subjects your are learning that when combined make up your programme of study should best be referred to as courses.

In the event of any possible misconception in the publication, future research endeavours will alter such misgivings.


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