Navigating freshers’ week is hard enough without a multitude of new terms and expressions to get to grips with. If there’s some kind of strange-sounding academic or campus term you discover, this short article series might just help to decode its meaning.
Taken from A Guide to Uni Life by Lucy Tobin.
A student job agency, usually based at the Students’ Union.
A degree like ‘Law and French’ that includes more than one subject.
JUNIOR COMMON ROOM
The undergraduate Students’ Union at individual colleges (usually Oxbridge) or in halls of residence.
A formal, academic talk given by a subject specialist to a group of students.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender plus.
A degree where a student studies two subjects, but concentrates on one (the major subject), while studying a second subject in less detail (the minor subject).
At Oxbridge, the ceremony where you formally become a member of the university.
Over 21s who are studying undergraduate degrees.
The way that local authorities decide how much money to give students, dependent on their parents’ income.
A unit of study focusing on an area. Several modules make up a degree.
Copying someone else’s work without acknowledgement, to pretend it’s your own. Regarded as cheating and usually strongly punished.
Someone at the top of their subject who you probably don’t want to contradict too often.
Student charity which raises money through sponsored events like hitch-hikes.
A band of elite UK universities, including places like Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and UCL.
A course which includes (usually a year of) vocational work. Also known as a placement year.
A term usually lasting between 10 and 12 weeks.
A larger-scale tutorial, where usually between 10 and 30 students come together with a tutor for discussion rather than lecturing.
The academic year is usually divided into three terms – blocks of study.
TOWN VS GOWN
A way of talking about the relationship between a town’s locals and the university population, who, once upon a time, wore gowns on a regular basis.
A written record of the marks achieved throughout a period of study.
Course fees payable to unis to cover the cost of learning.
A university version of a teacher.
TUTORIAL (OR TUTE)
A teaching session of a small number of students to discuss essays, experiments, research, etc.
Someone studying for a first degree.
Another way of referring to the Students’ Union.
Contrary to their confusing name, the VC is the head honcho of a university. Chancellors, by contrast, do not usually take an active role in running a university.
An oral exam where students are grilled about their knowledge of a particular topic – usually only at postgrad level, but can be used if a student is ‘in-between’ grades on an essay or exam to decide which degree to award.
Emma Davies works within the editorial department at Trotman Publishing. Graduating from her Masters degree in 2017, she is familiar with all aspects of the student journey through university. She is passionate about helping students find the right career, and was a member of the SYP’s inaugural committee in the South West.