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University Jargon Buster
When it comes to looking at universities and higher education it is easy to stumble
upon new and confusing words. Use the table below to help you get to grips with
some of the common key terms you are likely to come across when researching
universities and their courses.
Student life
Catered Halls
Accommodation where you’re provided with meals that are included in your
rent
Fresher
An informal name for a first year student
Lecture
A method of teaching at university. Large classes in a room with tiered seating
and a lecturer talking at the front while you take notes.
Professor
A teacher and/or researcher of the highest academic level at university.
Self-Catered
halls
Accommodation where you’ll normally share a flat with a communal living and
kitchen area in which you cook your own meals.
Seminar
Small group teaching, where you’ll engage in discussion with other students
and a member of staff. This is more like the classes you have at school.
Students Union
An organisation found in all universities that is run by the students and is
dedicated to the representation of the students at the university. This is kind of
like the student council that some schools have.
A student who is studying for their first degree.
Undergraduate
Postgraduate
A student who has completed an undergraduate degree and is studying for a
higher degree, like a Masters.
Academic
BA
Bachelor degree
BSc
Foundation
Year
Honours degree
This stands for Bachelor of Arts. This is a qualification most commonly
associated with undergraduate arts, humanities and some social science
degrees.
A degree that is awarded by a college or university to a person who has
completed their undergraduate studies.
This stands for Bachelor of Science. This qualification is commonly associated
with undergraduate science and some social science degrees.
An extra year of study at the start of a university degree to give you a good
basis of knowledge around the subject. This is normally taken up by students
who have not done the right subjects during sixth form or college.
The name given to an undergraduate course that includes a dissertation (long
essay) or extended research project.
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Joint honours
LLB
Masters
Sandwich
course/
Industrial
placement
A type of degree where you study two subjects and these are split equally
(50/50) to make up your degree.
This stands for Bachelor of Laws. This qualification is associated with Law
degrees which allows for students to go onto further training to become a
barrister or a solicitor.
A higher level of degree that is typically taken after completing an
undergraduate degree.
Some university courses offer you the option of taking up some work
experience during your degree- this is what is called an industrial placement or
a sandwich year.
Finance
Bursary
Maintenance
grant
This is extra financial help that is provided by a university or college for
students who come from households on lower incomes. This money does not
have to be paid back.
This is extra financial support provided by the government for students from
households with lower incomes. This money does not have to be paid back.
Student Finance
England
This is the funding body who assesses individuals for financial support in
higher education.
Student Loans
Company
This is the company that provide financial assistance in the form of loans to
pay your fees and living costs. They also manage your repayments once
you’ve graduated.
A financial award that is based on specific criteria such as household income,
excellent academic, sporting or musical achievement. They are specific to
each college or university.
This is the loan made by the Student Loans Company to cover your tuition
fees and living costs. Unlike a grant, this loan will have to be paid back, but
only once you are earning over a certain amount.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your study and may vary depending on what and
where you study.
Scholarship
Student Loan
Tuition Fees
Applying to and choosing a university
Campus
University
Open Days
Oxbridge
Personal
Statement
Prospectus
A university that is based on one dedicated site, with student accommodation,
teaching and research facilities, and leisure activities all together.
These are days when the university is open to student who are considering
applying. They often include activities such as campus tours, subject talks,
accommodation tours and finance talks.
This is the informal name for both Oxford and Cambridge universities.
This is the section of your UCAS application form where you can tell
universities and colleges about your suitability for the course(s) that you hope
to study. You only have one statement for all five of your application choices.
These are guides that are produced by the different universities detailing the
unique information about the university and the courses that it offers. These
are also available online via university websites.
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means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of IntoUniversity.
Russell Group
Universities
UCAS
A group of universities that have been committed to maintaining the very best
research in the UK.
This stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. This is the
organisation that handles and processes nearly all university applications in
the UK. The application is all done online.
Other
Further
Education
The level of education after GCSEs
Gap Year
A year away from education that some students take before going to
university. Often students will use their gap year to travel or to gain work
experience and additional qualifications.
The level of education that involves undergraduate and postgraduate
degrees.
Higher
Education
University
A higher education institution that offers degrees at undergraduate and
postgraduate level as well as being where academic research takes place.
© IntoUniversity 2015
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be produced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of IntoUniversity.
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