Universities use a lot of words that you might not be familiar with. To help you transition to university, we have compiled a list of common higher education and university terms and their meanings.
The Admissions Team at university process all applications received via UCAS. The team typically deal with full-time and part-time applications for all programmes, with the exception of Research Degrees and Professional Development (CPD), liaising with both academic and support departments throughout the decision-making process.
The Admissions Team at Edge Hill University can be contacted via phone or email.
This is a term used to describe any person who has successfully completed a university course.
The type of undergraduate qualification students are awarded after successfully completing a three or four year university or college degree. Bachelor’s degrees have a range of titles including Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Education (BEd), Bachelor of Law (LLB).
The buildings and land of a university.
Edge Hill is a campus based University where all of our study and accommodation buildings are in one place. Come and see the campus for yourself by visiting us at our next open day.
Campus tours are an opportunity to see the university. They are often led by current university students on a smaller scale than university open days.
This is the process that students need to go through to get a place at university if they do not meet the conditions of their firm or insurance offer.
This is the most common type of offer that students will receive from universities. Conditions are usually linked to exam results, and are communicated with offer information.
This stands for Disclosure and Barring Service. If students apply for a course which includes placements and/or contact with children or vulnerable adults then completing a DBS check will be a condition of their offer.
Large piece of work to be completed in the last year of a degree programme, focusing the student’s learning on one area.
The grades or qualifications a student must obtain in order to be accepted onto a university course. Entry requirements vary across universities and courses.
Similar to a school/college subject department, but on a larger scale which includes multiple subject departments.
When students have had a reply from each university they applied for, they will be able to choose their firm choice on UCAS, which is the first choice course and university.
Students can take a gap year before they start university or straight after graduation. Students on gap years may travel or do paid or voluntary work.
Money given to a student for a particular purpose, e.g. living costs.
This is the term for student accommodation on campus.
Higher education can often be referred to as HE and is third level education after you leave school. It takes places at universities and further education colleges and normally includes undergraduate and postgraduate study.
When students have had a reply from each university they applied for, they will be able to choose their insurance choice on UCAS, which is their second choice of course and university.
Intercalation is defined as an approved period during which a student’s studies are suspended and the student is not normally required to engage with their programme.
Study two subjects at once, with a choice of modules from both subject areas.
Teacher at university. In addition to teaching, a lecturer may also carry out research into their subject area.
This is arranged through the Student Loans Company and is typically used to cover living costs. This loan is fully repayable after students have graduated and is based on household income, where students will be living and where in the country the university is.
A postgraduate qualification that students can study towards after completing their Bachelor’s degree. Degree titles include Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), Master of Research (MRes) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
A topic of study on a course. These can be compulsory or optional.
These are invite only events for students who have received an offer. At these events, applicants are able to experience a unique subject taster session, discuss the course in details with tutors and other students, and get a real feel for what it would be like to study here. They usually take place in February and March.
A flexible way to study for a degree.
An opportunity to visit a university and go to subject presentations, speak with tutors, look at halls of residence, ask any questions and much more.
Open days are a crucial part of the decision-making process, and something we highly recommend. Come and see the campus for yourself and book onto our next open day.
This forms a key part of a university application and is your chance to tell prospective universities all about your skills, experience and aspirations.
A Personal Tutor will be assigned to you when you start university. Their role will be to support students’ academic, personal and professional development through ongoing support and mentorship.
A year of work experience which is often optional. The placement is usually taken between the second and third year of study. Students who choose a placement year graduate from university with work experience as well as a degree.
Referencing is a key academic practice for university students in which you can acknowledge authors contribution to your understanding and give the reader the opportunity to follow the same cited texts.
Students studying a programme within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences can expect to have the opportunity to undertake an optional 9-12 month full-time placement in industry. This is a great opportunity to gain some work experience before they graduate.
A university semester, also called a ‘term’ in some universities, is used to split the academic year to separate different blocks of teaching and assessments. On average each semester lasts 12 weeks and consists of a mixture of lectures, tutorials, assessments and holidays.
Financial rewards that are available throughout a student’s time with us. Some have a competitive application process, while others are allocated automatically to eligible students or awarded based on nominations.
Smaller classroom-based workshop like sessions, involving discussions and activities.
These are the bodies who handle applications for tuition fees and maintenance loans, depending on where they live.
Some courses will allow students to undertake a part of their programme at a partner university in a variety of locations including North America, China and South Korea. Opportunities vary course-by-course, students can check the details with their department.
Taster days are single day events for prospective students. They give you a valuable insight of what it is like to study at university.
Find out more about subject taster days at Edge Hill University.
Most universities have a Students’ Union. They look after the students’ interests and organise events throughout the year.
Typically, all students are able to borrow the full cost of their tuition fee from the Government in the form of a tuition fee loan (subject to eligibility). This loan is paid directly to the university from the Student Loans Company.
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. This organisation handles almost all university applications, through their online application system.
Students will only receive an unconditional offer from us if they already have their exam results with the necessary UCAS points.
A student studying for their first degree at university, on a course that runs for three or four years is known as an undergraduate.
The first higher education degree studied at university. UG awards include titles such as BA (Hons) and BSc (Hons).
May 15, 2023