Jargon Buster

Higher education has its own language and you may not understand every term. Here are a few of the terms used that should help when applying for funding and using this website

Find the right programme for you

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APCL – Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning.

APEL – Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning.

APL – Accreditation of Prior Learning.

Award Degrees – Diplomas, Certificates and other qualifications.

BA – Bachelor of Arts.

BSc – Bachelor of Sciences.

Bursaries – A bursary is a monetary award made by an institution to a student to assist in the development of their education, intended to cover course related costs such as books, equipment, travel and study aids.

CATS – Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme is used to monitor, record and reward passage through a higher education course and to facilitate movement between courses and institutions.

Cert HE – A Level 4 programme of higher education.

Clearing – This is the system operated by UCAS to allocate students places on courses that still have vacancies after A level results come out.

Credit – As you progress through a programme, you earn credits. Credits entitle you to awards – for instance, 360 credits are needed for a degree award. Credits can sometimes be transferred to other programmes, other institutions, even Worldwide.

DDA – Disability Discrimination Act.

DRC – Disability Rights Commission.

DSA – Disabled Students’ Allowance. This covers extra cost associated with your disability.

Finals – The final exams taken by students at the end of their study. Most degrees or higher education qualifications today rely far less on the results from finals and tend to combine final exams with assessment throughout the course.

Foundation Degree – A flexible, technical and professional qualification usually involving work–based study. Graduates of foundation degrees can, if they wish, undertake further study to achieve a BA or BSc degree. Freshers– Students beginning their time at a university are often referred to as ‘Freshers’ and a ‘Freshers’ Week may be organised to introduce them to university or college life. This can include social events as well as an introduction to libraries and other resources.

Gap Year – A year out between school or further education and higher education – a chance to travel, work, get experience and expand your horizons.

Hardship Funds – Extra help for students in financial difficulties or for those who wouldn’t be able to get into higher education without more support. They’re available once you have started your course.

Higher Education – Study at higher national certificate (HNC) higher national diploma (HND), foundation degree (FD), degree and postgraduate levels.

Honours (Hons) – Indicates a level of attainment attached to a BA or BSc.

HNC/HND – Higher national certificate and higher national diploma.

Level – Our modular programmes are divided into levels – for instance, Level 4 corresponds to the first year of a full–time programme. Level 5 to the second year, Level 6 to the final year. A part–time student may take two years or longer to pass a level (this is why we don’t just call them ‘years’).

Masters – Advanced degrees such as MA, MSc and MPhil.

Module – A chunk of study covering a particular topic. Successfully passing a module earns credit towards an award. Most modules fit into a particular level of a programme.

NUS (National Union of Students) – The organisation that represents students and looks after their interests.

Part One, Part Two – Part One is Level 4, the first year of a full–time programme or the longer part–time equivalent. Part Two is the rest of the degree programme, e.g. the second and third year of a full–time degree.

Postgraduate – A programme studied after you have graduated from an undergraduate degree.

PPD – Personal Professional Development

Programme – Your chosen study route. Examples of programmes include the Journalism degree programme – a three year full–time programme of study leading to the award of BA Journalism.

QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) – The professional status you need to obtain to teach in state maintained schools in England and Wales.
See www.canteach.gov.uk

SENDA – Special Education Needs and Disability Act.

SPLD – Specific Learning Difficulties, e.g. dyslexia.

Semester – Block of study containing the modules of your programme.

Single Honours – A degree programme focusing on one main subject, or a group of related subjects.

Term – The periods when you are required to attend college (between holidays).

TTA – The Teacher Training Agency which is responsible for raising standards in schools in England and Wales, by attracting able and committed people to teaching, and by improving the quality of teacher training.
See www.canteach.gov.uk

UCAS (Universities & Colleges Admissions System) – The central organisation that handles applications for full–time undergraduate degrees, foundation degrees and HNDs.

Undergraduate – Higher education programmes to degree level and below (such as HND, foundation degree) are called undergraduate.