A - level
normally first gained in the UK at the age of 18, but without a formal
age limit. Available in many subjects. Two or three A-levels are often
used to meet university entrance requirements.
Any member of
teaching or research staff at a degree-awarding institution; or
sometimes used as a general term for any study which is not related to
preparing for a career
Year running from
September to September of the following year. Most UK courses start in
September or October.
course for students who are not ready to enter degree programmes.
Usually features study and writing skills, English language and some
study of the subject to be studied at degree level.
examining various aspects of a course, such as teaching methods and
facilities, to ensure they meet agreed standards.
Describes a course
that has been examined and approved as meeting an agreed standard.
such as a lecturer, at a college or university who decides which
applicants will be offered places. Each course or discipline at an
institution has its own admissions tutor.
Association of the
graduates of an institution. Means of keeping in touch with
fellow-students, and getting news about the college where you studied.
Some associations have overseas branches.
Prior Experiential Learning. Establishes the equivalent in formal
qualifications of knowledge and ability gained through work and other
experience. Can be used to assess whether an applicant meets entrance
requirements, or whether they may be allowed to directly enter the
second year of a degree programme.
Test. Graded test taken in the US for university entrance.
The Association of
Recognised English Language Services. Organisation that jointly runs
(with the British Council) a scheme of accreditation for private English
equal to one half of an A level.
considering a student’s academic ability and work through essays,
examinations, interviews or other methods.
Any piece of work,
such as an essay, which a student must complete and submit by a
specified time for marking and grading.
the first-degree qualification Bachelor of Arts.
usually obtained after three years or more of full-time study.
Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education.
Organisation that runs an accreditation scheme for UK private colleges.
Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes. Organisation
that works to develop the provision of English-language teaching for
international students in higher education institutions in the UK.
Association of State English Language Teaching. Association of state
universities and colleges in the UK. Responsible for quality assessment
of English-language courses for international students and teachers.
Accredits numerous courses.
(usually several weeks) where an employer allows an employee time away
from work to attend an educational institution.
General name for
any course preparing students who need to improve their academic study
skills or language ability before they progress to higher level study.
the first-degree qualification Bachelor of Science.
Technician Education Council. Body which validates BTEC Certificates and
Certificate and Diploma
qualifications available at various levels.
granted by an institution to a student. Bursaries have strict selection
criteria, and are usually for a fixed amount, very often less than the
full cost of a course.
Advanced English. Widely accepted English high-level language
English Language Teaching to Adults. Teaching qualification validated by
Of educational and
other documents, officially stamped and signed by an authorised officer
to prove that a document is genuine and accurate.
College of Further
Education. College that offers academic and vocational courses ranging
from GCSEs or equivalents to Diploma or Certificate courses that
approach the level of first degrees. May also offer degrees validated by
organisation within a college or university, holding meetings and
College of Higher
Education. College that offers academic and vocational qualifications
from A levels and equivalents to HNDs. Some also offer degrees validated
by a partner university.
Independent Further Education.
Broad range of
vocational qualifications, validated by City & Guilds Institute. These
qualifications are not generally used to meet university entrance
One of the
universities established in the 19th and early 20th centuries in major
industrial centres such as Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and other big
applicants with no offers of places for degree programmes to secure
places at institutions, which have vacancies, shortly before the start
of the academic year. Begins mid-August each year.
students are not allowed to refer to books or notes and have a specific
time to complete a certain number of questions.
Room used by
students or staff for relaxation.
academic work is marked and graded throughout a course, rather than just
at the end.
subjects or modules as opposed to optional subjects or courses.
Any material or
items used on a course of study. Includes printed matter, stationery,
and items specifically used for one subject, such as oil paint for Fine
Work that is done
in the student’s own time, rather than in seminars or tutorials.
Coursework usually counts towards a student’s final mark in their course
or module. Coursework can be continually assessed.
Proficiency in English. Widely accepted English language qualification.
Sixth-Year Studies. Scottish school-leaving qualification, taken at the
age of 17 or 18. Equivalent to GCE A level qualifications.
Society in an educational institution for Christians working or studying
whereby an employer allows an employee to attend a part-time course,
usually by taking the same day or days off work each week for the length
of the course.
Diploma in English
Language Teaching to Adults. Advanced teaching qualification validated
by Cambridge University.
Education and Skills. Government department that administers and funds
education in the UK.
International Development. Government department responsible for
administering UK aid programmes for developing nations. Makes academic
awards to qualifying students each year.
Diploma in Higher
Education. Qualification approximately equal to two years of a
three-year degree. Often available in work-related subject areas such as
nursing or accountancy.
usually contributing to the overall mark or grade for a course.
Special honour or
recognition for excellent work, as an examination grading.
Doctor of Letters.
Higher doctorate qualification.
degree resulting in the successful candidate being able to use the title
Doctor (e.g. PhD, DPhil).
Doctor of Science.
Higher doctorate qualification.
Transfer System. European system of grading academic work in different
countries so students can use work done abroad as a credit towards their
that validates some vocational qualifications.
Area. This comprises all 25 European Union (EU) countries (see below),
plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Commerce. Widely accepted English test, on use of English in business.
registering as a student at the start of a course.
essay test set by an institution to assess an applicant’s academic
within an institution that organises entertainment events.
English as a
consisting of an extended piece of writing. May put forward an argument
and draw conclusions.
1) Regional or
national board that validates qualifications such as GCSEs, A levels
etc. 2) Committee set up within a university to oversee the marking and
grading of examinations and other work by students on degree programmes.
Essay with a word
limit greater than a normal-length essay.
Bachelor’s degree that includes a foundation or preliminary year.
another institution who checks the marks and grading of degree awards,
in consultation with an institution’s own Examination Board.
The EU is made up of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy,
Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia,
Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Senior member of
the academic staff of a college or university.
Trip that students
go on as part of their studies. Students usually have to do practical
work while on the trip.
given for first degree. An overall mark of at least 70% is needed to
gain first class honours.
course to prepare a student for entry to a degree programme in a
See ’intro week’.
For a study visa,
full-time means attendance for at least 15 hours of organised study each
week. Generally, a full-time course is one where you may be expected to
attend all or part of every weekday.
Non-compulsory education taken after school-leaving age (16-18 years).
Usually used to describe education between school and higher education
Certificate of Secondary Education. The first qualification obtained by
students, at the age of about 16. There is no age limit, and mature or
international students may take GCSE examinations.
Management Admissions Test. Examination often taken to meet entrance
requirements for MBA programmes.
Vocational Qualification. Vocational qualification, approximately equal
to A level standard.
Average , a grading system.
Qualification equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree, awarded by a small
number of institutions.
completion of a degree or course. Also the ceremony where students are
officially given their awards.
Money awarded to a
student or researcher to assist their studies.
Vocational Qualification. Scottish equivalent of GNVQ.
Training Registry. UK national organisation that administers
applications for entry onto Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
accommodation for students. Also called ’halls’. Halls provide kitchens,
bed linen and other facilities. In some halls, meals are provided,
others are self-catering.
by a UK university or college, making small payments to students with
Statistics Agency. UK national agency that collects and publishes
statistical information on higher education throughout the UK.
occasionally awarded some time after a PhD.
Study for a degree or higher-level qualification at college or
qualification that is taken by students aged between 16 and 18.
Certificate. Vocational course approximately equal to two or three A
Diploma. Vocational course approximately equal to the first two years of
a three-year Bachelor’s degree.
(usually a higher doctorate) awarded as an honour not for academic work,
but for an outstanding contribution in another field such as
entertainment, philanthropy or community work.
are generally awarded as honours degrees in one of three classes, First,
Second or Third, depending on the overall marks awarded. Those who reach
the pass mark, but fail to attain a high enough mark to gain honours
graduate with a pass degree.
Baccalaureate: a two-year course approximately equal to three A-levels.
It is available in several countries including the UK, and is accepted
as an entry qualification by British universities.
English Language Testing System. English test managed by the British
Council and partner organisations. Available worldwide. One of the most
widely accepted qualifications in the English language.
General Certificate of Secondary Education. Equivalent to GCSE.
During a course.
For instance, you may take an in-sessional English language course
during term-time to complement your other studies.
Level above basic
but below advanced.
student (especially of medicine) takes to gain experience for a
week for new university or college students which enables them to become
familiar with their institution, its facilities, their course and the
town or city they will be studying in.
Room. Room or area set aside for the use of students. Also an
organisation within a hall of residence that organises events for
Type of first
degree where a student studies two subjects in equal depth. For example
English and French, or Maths and Computer Science.
Key English Test.
Basic English language qualification.
London Chamber of
Commerce and Industry. Examination board validating some English
language and other tests.
Authority. Part of local government in the UK that administers education
up to college level in a particular district. Universities are not
governed by LEAs.
given by a member of teaching staff to a (usually large) group of
that enables students to study or work in another European country.
Part of the
SOCRATES programme which aims to increase people’s competence in modern
Living on campus
e.g. in a hall of residence.
Living off campus
e.g. in a private house, or rented flat.
Bachelor of Law.
Master of Law.
between years of a first-degree course, usually lasting for three months
between July and October.
degree qualification, or Scottish first degree, Master of Arts.
document. Completed set of examination answers, or other assignment.
Students above the
age of 21 in England Wales and Northern Ireland, or above 20 in
Master of Business
Administration. Postgraduate degree in management, finance and other
aspects of business.
Grade below a
distinction but above a pass.
studies that consists of a number of discrete units or short courses.
Students are given a mark or grade for each module, and accumulate
points for an overall grade for their course.
Short course taken
as part of some degree programmes. Students can customise their degree
programme by their choice of modules.
Master of Science.
Recognition Information Centre. UK NARIC is an organisation that gives
advice on the comparability of international and UK qualifications, and
promotes UK qualifications overseas.
Any of the
universities established in the 1960s.
Small magazine or
booklet, describing events in a particular institution or society.
Alumni associations regularly send newsletters to members throughout the
world containing news items about their college.
Service. The UK’s state health service, providing treatment for UK
residents through a variety of means.
telephone service that offers information, listings and discusses
personal issues in confidence.
Midwifery Admissions Service. UK national organisation that administers
applications for entry onto courses in nursing.
The National Union
of Students. If an institution’s Students’ Union is affiliated to the
NUS, their students automatically become members of the NUS.
Vocational Qualification. A first qualification related to an area of
institution historically linked to the Church, and established between
the 13th and 15th century. Oxford and Cambridge are old universities.
the student can refer to books or notes and may be able to take the
question paper away and return it by a certain time.
where successful students are not graded, but simply pass or fail.
Sometimes also used in same sense as ’pass degree’.
Students Awards Scheme. Annual UK governmental scheme making awards
annually to pay the difference between ’home’ and ’overseas’ fees for
selected research students.
projects and enlarges acetates on a white screen or wall using an
students attend a limited number of days or evenings each week. Any
course that requires less than 15 hours attendance a week is part-time
for the purposes of visa regulations.
in examination or course
grading with insufficient marks to earn honours.
Certificate in Education. Qualification allowing holder to teach in
primary or secondary in the UK. Taken as a one-year full-time programme
after completing a Bachelor’s degree.
To take the
work/words/ideas of someone else and pretend it is your own.
Universities and colleges heavily penalise anyone caught plagiarising
another person’s work.
Former type of
degree-awarding higher education institution in the UK. All polytechnics
were elevated to university status in 1992.
original work. May be assessed to contribute to the mark a student
receives on their course.
that is performed by a student either alone or as a member of a group.
especially an Access, Foundation or Certificate course taken to meet
university entry requirements for a degree programme.
Short course that
runs before another longer course. For example, a pre-sessional English
language course may run in July and August, to prepare students for a
degree programme beginning in September.
College that is
not subsidised by the government but is owned and run by private
given to a senior academic following several years successful teaching
and research, and election by the senior academics at an institution.
by a university or college to advertising their institution and courses
and to encourage student recruitment.
Status. Necessary qualification to teach in primary or secondary
education in the UK obtained by taking a Bachelor’s degree in education
or Bachelor’s degree in another subject followed by a PGCE.
that raises money through fund-raising holding events, often taking
place during an annual ’rag week’.
List of books
students are expected to read for their particular course.
term-time when students are expected to concentrate on reading and
studying for their course. There are usually no lectures or seminars
during this period.
were founded in the late 19th and early 20th century.
restaurant or dining room for general use in a college or university.
Person to whom
enquiries about your academic and other abilities and character can be
written) about a person’s abilities and character.
Person (usually a
postgraduate student) appointed to help an academic or team on a
Co-worker on a
research programme. Often someone who already has a research degree.
councils which administer funding for research programmes in their
whose work at an institution is mainly research and supervision of other
To re-take an
examination, usually because of failure or gaining a low mark in the
Royal Society of
Arts. UK national organisation that validates several vocational
includes a long period of work experience. Degree sandwich courses
usually last four years, with one whole year spent on a work placement.
Aptitude Test. US test used as college entrance examination.
Certificate of Education. Equivalent to a GCSE.
Money award made
to support a student’s education. It is often awarded on the basis of
Room. Room or area set aside for staff within an institution. Social
organisation for staff of an institution.
Most graduates of
Bachelor’s degree programmes achieve second-class honours. This grade is
therefore divided into two divisions, upper and lower, written 2 i and 2
ii, or 2:1 and 2:2, and usually call ’two-one’ and ’two-two’.
Spoken English for
Industry and Commerce. Type of English language test. Widely accepted.
Halls of residence
where students have to prepare their own meals. These residences have
kitchens that students share.
Accommodation in a
larger building which has its own kitchen and bathroom and a private
Term lasting half
an academic year.
Small class where
students discuss a topic with a lecturer or tutor. Questions are
encouraged, but discussion is less free than in a tutorial, and not
everyone present will necessarily be expected to contribute to the
Type of first
degree awarded for study in only one subject, such as Law or Medicine.
which enables European students to spend time studying or working in
another European country.
General term for
any condition, physical or mental that results in someone needing
special educational facilities.
organisation that accepts responsibility for all or part of a student’s
fees or expenses.
Qualifications Authority. Body that is responsible for accrediting,
awarding and developing academic and vocational qualifications in
Groups with a
shared general interest that students join e.g. rowing, Christian,
Sociology. Student societies can be political, cultural, departmental,
religious or sports societies.
Students’ Union. Also called Union of Students.
lectures that are held during the summer vacation.
Vocational Qualification. The Scottish qualification grading system.
degree that is taught in a similar way to first degrees, and does not
include original research.
as a Foreign Language.
Mobility Programme for University Students. Encourages students to study
part of their course in a different European country.
continuous study without vacations. In the UK, the academic year is
normally split into three terms. In universities, these terms are
between eight and twelve weeks long, with a long vacation in the summer
to Speakers of Other Languages. High-level Certificate and Diploma
qualifications validated by Trinity College London.
containing results of original research to support a particular
argument, usually written by a candidate for an academic degree.
grading for a Bachelor’s degree. Called a ’third’.
Test of English as
a Foreign Language. Internationally recognised English test, available
in over 100 countries. Widely accepted by UK institutions.
Detailed list of
classes or courses a student has taken at college or university, with
marks or grades for each subject.
college lecturer who supervises the welfare and studies of assigned
Class for a small
number of students, led by a tutor, where one topic is discussed in
depth. The topic may be introduced by a student, and everyone is
expected to contribute to the discussion.
Training and Work
Colleges Admissions Service. UK national organisation that administers
applications for entry onto full-time first degree and similar
The Council for
International Education. UK organisation offering advice to
Single item or
element which is part of a whole. Many courses in the UK are divided up
institution equivalent in status to a university.
defining academic level of a course, and of setting the syllabus and
standards for marking and grading. UK universities validate their own
members of an Examination Board and a student, on the material studied
on a course to confirm a degree grading.
aimed at preparing students for employment, usually with practical
experience as part of the course.
for the supervision of halls of residence.
Limit to the
number of words that can be written in an essay or dissertation. Varies
from about 500 words to over 20,000 depending on its value in a
student’s overall mark or grade for a course.
experience gained on a work placement.
The part of a
course which gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience
of working in their chosen profession before graduation. Students may
spend up to a year on work placement, especially on a sandwich course.