Please! In the sentence below I wonder what the word "double unit" means.

"the Economics one course is a double unit so there are two lectures a week and one tutorial"

Does double unit mean these two lectures have the same content?

Thank you

  • No. The content of each lecture is different.
    – Jim
    Aug 17, 2018 at 3:37

3 Answers 3


From the Vassar College website:


  • Each candidate for the bachelor of arts degree is required to complete 34 units of work, equivalent to the standard of 120 semester hours recognized by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. The system of units is fourfold:

  • the single unit, a course for one semester

  • the half unit, equivalent to one-half of a semester course taken over an entire semester or for a half-semester only

  • the double unit, consisting of a year sequence of semester courses or the equivalent of two semester courses in one term

  • the unit and a half earned in one course over one semester

In other institutions, the word credit is used in the same sense.

So, a double unit is a course that's worth twice as much toward a degree as a single unit.

How such a course is structured will vary from one institution to another.


"Double Unit" wasn't used in my university, but from context, it just means that you need to attend lectures twice a week instead of once a week. The content will not be the same.


"a double unit of red cells" is a term used in blood donation. By using a machine, they can extract twice the standard number of red cells possible in a regular donation, by putting the non-red cell content back into your body since it would be unsafe to take two full units of everything (your blood volume would drop too low).

So a double unit is just double the amount of what is considered a (potentially somewhat arbitrary) standard unit. In the class context, one lecture is considered the standard. So two lectures of new content a week is considered a double unit (twice the arbitrarily defined standard unit).

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