Higher education jargon buster
Click on any phrases below to find out more about words and phrases associated with higher education.
If you have further queries when you've read this guide contact the Student recruitment team.
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This is used in the title of many university degree courses and stands for Bachelor of Arts. Once graduated, your son or daughter can use this title in their personal details, for example Sarah Smith BA (Hons).
This is used in the title of many university degree courses and stands for Bachelor of Engineering. Once graduated, your son or daughter can use this title in their personal details.
This is used in the title of many university degree courses and stands for Bachelor of Science. Once graduated, your son or daughter can use this title in their personal details.
This refers to the buildings and surroundings of a university or college.
This is a system used by UCAS to allocate places to students at universities that have vacancies. Students who have either not achieved the grades for their original choices or are making some last minute decisions use clearing.
These are awarded for each module you successfully complete. You must achieve the required number of credits to complete your course. This varies depending on the level of your chosen higher education qualification. For example, a full-time honours degree has 120 credits in each of the three years; therefore you are required to complete 360 credits in total.
This is the grade achieved, through assessments, when your son or daughter completes the university degree course. These are classified in order of merit, such as: first class; 2:1 (upper second class); 2:2 (lower second class); and third class. For example, 70 and above (first class), 60-69 (2:1), 50-59 (2:2) and 40-49 (third class).
This is an extended essay or report usually of several thousand words on a specific subject completed during a course of study, normally in the final year.
Flexible, work related foundation degrees, taken over two years, are designed in conjunction with employers to equip students with the higher level skills that industry needs. Anyone completing one of these courses may be able to join the final year of an honours degree.
Students who have just started at university are often referred to as freshers. Your child's chosen university will most likely organise a fresher's week or welcome week to introduce them to university life. This will include lots of social events to help them meet new friends but will also acclimatise them to campus facilities.
This is someone who has successfully completed a higher education qualification.
These are university-provided and managed blocks of accommodation. Students usually spend their first year in Halls.
This is a course of higher education study undertaken at university, normally lasting three or four years. 360 credits are needed to achieve this.
These are: higher national diploma; higher national certificate; and diploma of higher education. They are normally studied over two years and may be converted into a degree by taking one or two years' extra study.
Integrated master's degrees are extended programmes of study which emphasise industrial relevance. They are four year fulltime courses with three years at undergraduate level (minimum 360 credits) and at least one year of study (minimum 120 credits) at master's level.
This allows students the opportunity to study two subjects as part of the same course, for example English and history. The subjects will be studied equally, 50/50.
These are the generic skills that are important in aspects of life, and include numeracy, IT, communication, teamwork, problem solving and self-management. They help you to manage your time and find the balance between study, work and social life. They help you achieve better results and prepare you for the world of work.
This is a formal, instructive talk, given by a subject specialist, to a group of students. Students listen and make notes. There may be interaction between the lecturer and the students.
This is used in the title of many courses and stands for Bachelor of Laws. Once graduated, your son or daughter can use this title in their personal details.
A degree where students study two subjects, concentrating on one, which is their major subject, and studying a second subject in less detail, which is their minor subject.
This is taken as a fourth year option after completing a BEng. The MEng courses incorporate technical subjects which provide a deeper level of knowledge and understanding, but also includes management and leadership skills to enable graduates to become leaders in their chosen fields.
A module is a unit of study that explores a specific area within a subject. A number of modules make up an award, such as a degree.
This is someone who is studying for a higher qualification after completing their degree. This can lead to a master's Degree, postgraduate certificate or diploma qualification.
These are courses that are approved to professional standards by professional bodies. They are structured with professional criteria and prepare students for work in a particular field.
This is a publication each university produces for prospective students which details courses and information about facilities.
A sandwich course offers the opportunity to undertake an extra year of work experience as part of a university degree. Work placements are undertaken in an industry relevant to the course being studied and could be located in the UK or abroad. Sandwich courses give students the advantage of graduating with relevant work experience.
This is a discussion in a classroom setting that takes place in small groups. Students will need to prepare for these and apply what they have learned in a lecture.
This plays a central role in every student's higher education experience. From support and representation to the forging of new friendships and great nights out, the Students' Union is an invaluable resource for every student.
These are used as a system of entry into higher education institutions. They allow for a variety of different grades and qualifications which are calculated together to give an overall tariff points score. Higher education institutions may use this rather than asking for specific grades, such as 300 tariff points as opposed to three A Levels at A-B.
A tuition fee is the charge universities make for studying a course. This does not always have to be paid in advance of the course.
UCAS is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service - the central organisation that processes applications for full-time undergraduate courses at UK universities and colleges.
This is someone who is studying for a higher education qualification such as an honours degree, HND or foundation degree