Page 1

Conditional...Deferral... Matriculation... Prospectus A little confused by what these really mean? This jargon buster is for you!


What will this jargon buster do? This is a jargon buster with an A-Z list of words that you might come across when looking into higher education at college and university. It will provide an explanation in simple language and will try to sign post you to where you can find out more.

How to use it This jargon buster lists word from A-Z. If you are a teacher, work with young people or have a child who is thinking about going on to study higher education at college or university then keep this jargon buster to hand.

A

2

Academic Reference

Required in the UCAS form, this is written by someone who is able to comment on the applicants ability to do the course. This will normally be a teacher or a tutor, and cannot be a friend or family member.

Admissions

The department within colleges and universities that will initially deal with all applications.

Advanced Standing

This describes entry to a degree through an ‘articulation route’ (i.e. going into year 2 or 3). This may depend on having studied relevant subjects (and of course, a relevant HNC or HND). It may also depend on the grades they got in the graded unit that is part of the HNC or HND. Another term that is used to describe this is ‘direct entry.

Asking rates

This is another way of saying “entry requirements”. For example, people who want to study medicine will have to gain many Highers at a high grade and do so over one year.

Articulation route

This is an agreement, either formal or informal, between a college and a university. An articulation agreement means that a university has agreed to look at students with HNC or HND qualifications for entry into year 2 or (sometimes) year 3 of a degree course. This may depend on them having studied relevant subjects (and of course, a relevant HNC or HND). It may also depend on the grades they got in the graded unit that is part of the HNC or HND.


C Campus

The campus is the grounds and building of the college or university. Some colleges and universities have more than one campus.

Clearing

Students who are unsuccessful in gaining a place on their first choice of course or university may enter the UCAS clearing system. This helps to find students suitable alternative on courses if they still have places left.

Conditional Offer

This is an offer made by a university or college, where the person applying has to meet certain conditions before they will be accepted onto the course. These are usually based on getting the passes or grades in exams that they have asked for.

Confirmation

Those applying for a place at college or university will receive confirmation of their place (once they have met any conditions and the offer has become unconditional) or they will be told that their application has been declined.

D Deferral

This is when someone has been made an offer of a place at college or university, and has decided to delay taking it up for a year. In Scotland, an ordinary degree takes three years to complete and an Honours degree takes four years to complete. In the final (Honours) year, students have the opportunity to become much more specialised and write a dissertation on the subject of their choice. Some degrees, such as Medicine, will take longer to complete.

Degree

Generally speaking, university courses use exams as a means of assessment, and there are normally exams at the end of each semester. However, some modules can be assessed completely by coursework and it can vary depending on the course. Universities often use a mixture of exams and continuous assessment (course work). Those rare courses with few exams will demand a high level of input from students in terms of course work, projects, presentations etc.

Direct Entry

This describes entry to a degree through an ‘articulation route’ (i.e. into year 2 or 3). This may depend on them having studied relevant subjects (and of course, a relevant HNC or HND). It may also depend on the grades they got in the graded unit that is part of the HNC or HND. Another term that is used to describe entry into year 2 or 3 is ‘advanced standing.’ 3


E Educational Maintenance Award (EMA)

Entry requirements

EMA is cash in hand to help young people carry on learning. Young people must be 16 year or more and meet eligibility criteria. The EMA can be paid up until they are 20. You need to ask your school, college or Local Education Authority for an application form. To find out more, go to: www.emascotland.com. Please note that EMAs are being reviewed in December 2010 and may not be available after this date. See ‘asking rates’.

F Faculty

A group of academic departments grouped together for teaching purposes e.g. Arts & Social Sciences.

Fee Waiver

Colleges and universities have ‘fee waiver’ schemes to help students who are on various benefits, on a low income or are disabled. Basically, this means that they may pay a student’s fees if they aren’t paid for by SAAS perhaps because they are a part-time student. Colleges and universities operate their own fee waiver policies and can set their own eligibility criteria. Students need to apply direct to their college or university.

Fresher/Fresher’s Week

“Freshers” are new students. “Fresher’s Week” normally runs the week before all the other students come back and is designed to familiarise new students with college or university, and provide an opportunities to make friends.

G Gap year

4

Some people decide to take a year off between leaving school and starting college or university, either to travel or to work and save up some money.


H Hall of residence

Higher Education (HE)

HNCs (Higher National Certificates) and HNDs (Higher National Diplomas) Honours or Hons

“Halls” are student accommodation. They are usually owned by the college or university, but can also be run private companies. All halls are different – some have en suite bathrooms, others offer shared facilities. Some halls are very close to where students study, others may be on the outskirts of the town or city. Many students stay in halls for their first year – they’re great for meeting lots of people who are in the same boat. This describes anything from an HNC up to an Honours Degree. It includes HNCs, HNDs and Diplomas of Higher Education. HE can be studied at college or university. HE starts at SCQF Level 7 and goes up to Level 12 for a PHD or doctoral degree. The different levels indicate the level of difficulty of a particular qualification. An HNC, first year of a degree and a Diploma in Higher Education are all set at SCQF Level 7. HNCs (SCQF level 7) and HNDs (level 8) are available in a wide range of subjects and can be studied at college. If you are studying full-time, it normally takes 1 year to complete an HNC and 2 years to complete an HND. Both are classified as Higher Education courses, with an HNC equivalent to year 1 of a degree course and an HND equivalent to year 2 of a degree course. They are generally considered more vocational than degrees and are geared towards employers. HNCs and HNDs can also lead onto further study at university, sometimes with entry to year 2 or 3 of a degree programme. See ‘advanced standing’, ‘direct entry’ and ‘articulation’. This normally refers to the four year Scottish Degree. Students completing their final Honours year can specialise in a particular area and will normally do a dissertation in 4th year. An honours degree is at SCQF Level 10.

J Joint Honours

Students can decide to specialise in two rather than one subject in their degree. There are lots of different possible combinations, with this information available in the university prospectus.

5


L Lectures are very different to classes at school. Some first year university lectures can have hundreds of students in them at a time, and they usually last a lot longer than a school class period!

Lecture

It’s up to the students to take their own notes while the lecturer is talking. Students with disabilities can get extra support eg a scribe or tape recorder.

M This is the formal process of registration for students ‘done at the beginning of the year’.

Matriculation

Matriculated students get a card (a “Matriculation Card”), which is their official student I.D. This allows them to access areas of the university such as the library and computer lab as well as benefit from many different student reductions.

O

6

Open days

Colleges and universities hold open days for those potentially interested in studying with them. These provide information about the institution and the opportunity to visit departments and speak to lecturers and students.

Ordinary Degree

Students can choose to graduate after three years of a Scottish Degree. This means they will gain an Ordinary, not an Honours Degree. An ordinary degree is at SCQF Level 9.


P Personal Statement

This is a requirement on the UCAS form for those applying to university. Colleges may also ask for this. It provides an opportunity for applicants to say why they want to study the course they’re applying to and what they can bring to it. A good personal statement is essential. These are sometimes also referred to as Supporting Statements.

Personal Tutor

Students may be assigned a personal tutor once they have matriculated. This is someone on the academic staff who will be there for students to talk to if they have any problems or issues they want to discuss.

Post-graduate

A post-graduate is someone who has already got a first degree (e.g. an Honours degree) and has continued to study. Provided students do well enough in their first degrees, there are lots of options for post-graduate study, including Masters (usually one year full time) and PhD’s (usually at least three years full time).

Prospectus

Colleges and universities produce prospectuses for potential students, which are essentially, course catalogues. They highlight all the courses that are available and also contain details on entry requirements (or ‘asking rates’) and other relevant information.

7


S SAAS

SAAS stands for the Student Awards Agency For Scotland. Students apply through SAAS to get their tuition fees paid, and to apply for student loans and any bursaries that they might be entitled to. The SCQF is a way of comparing the wide range of Scottish qualifications. It covers achievements such as those from school, college, university and many work-based qualifications. It does this by giving each qualification a level and a number of credit points.

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)

All qualifications have an SCQF level to demonstrate the level of difficulty. For example, an HNC is equivalent to year 1 of a university course. Qualifications will also have a number of credit points awarded which indicate how long it will take to complete a qualification and provide opportunities for credit transfer eg. you may be able to progress to Year 3 of a relevant degree course with an HND. This is called ‘articulation’ ‘direct entry’ o ‘advanced standing.’ To find out more: www.scqf.org.uk

8

Scottish Funding Council

This distributes about £1.5 billion in funding each year for teaching and learning, research and other activities in Scotland’s colleges and universities.

Semester

Some colleges and universities work on two semesters per academic year, others on three terms. Semesters and terms both describe different ways of breaking down an academic year into blocks.

Seminar

Seminars tend to be less formal than lectures and have fewer students in them. Students have the opportunity to explore the subject in more depth and can discuss ideas with each other and with academic staff.

Student Support Services

This is where students can get help and advice about lots of different issues, including finance and accommodation. They can also get counseling or emotional support if they ever need it. Students with disabilities or special needs can also get help and advice from student services.

Students Union / Students’ Association

This is the part of the college or university that is run by students, for students. The union is run by a committee of students who are elected by the student body. The people who are in charge of the college or university will work closely with the president of the Student’s Union and his or her committee when making decisions that will affect students. Student’s Unions also run lots of social activities.


T Tuition fees

In Scotland, these are currently free to full-time students studying in Scotland for the first time. They are paid by SAAS, the Student Awards Agency For Scotland. Students need to apply for these for each year of study. Part-time students have to pay their own fees unless they are eligible for fee waivers. They need to apply to their college or university directly for this.

Tutorials

These are sessions given by a tutor to an individual or to a small group of students. They allow for discussion and for subjects to be explored in more detail.

U UCAS

UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. This is the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK. However, Scottish colleges normally ask you to apply directly to them for higher education courses (HNC/HND) rather than go through UCAS. Applications to UCAS are usually made through their website www.ucas.ac.uk which also has lots of useful information.

UCAS Tariff

Unconditional offer

The UCAS Tariff is the system for allocating points to qualifications used for entry to higher education. It allows students to use a range of different qualifications to help secure a place on an undergraduate course eg. their personal statement. It is used to make comparisons between applicants with different qualifications. Tariff points are often used in entry requirements, although other factors are often taken into account. Scottish colleges do not use the UCAS tariff, nor do many universities. This means that the person applying has got all the exam results they were asked for and the university or college is happy to accept them. The university or college will contact them if they need proof of their qualifications. They might have other requirements, like financial or medical conditions, that will need to meet before the course begins.

9


V Vocational Courses

10

These are any college or university courses that have been created with a specific job in mind at the end of them. They often have quite a practical element to them. Good examples of vocational courses are journalism, accounting, building surveying and medicine.


Notes ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

11


The South East Forum (SEF) is a partnership of 18 colleges and universities across the South East of Scotland to widen access to college and university.

Open University (Scotland)

Borders College

Carnegie College

Cumbernauld College

Edinburgh College of Art

Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh’s Telford College

Forth Valley College

Heriot-Watt University

Jewel & Esk College

Newbattle Abbey College

Oatridge College

Queen Margaret University

Scottish Agricultural College

Stevenson College

University of Edinburgh

University of Stirling

West Lothian College

www.southeastscotlandforum.ac.uk T: 0131 455 3618

The South East Forum is one of four wider access regional forums funded by the Scottish Funding Council to deliver on national priorities within its access and inclusion agenda.

SHEP Jargon Buster  

Conditional...Deferral...Matriculation... ProspectusA little confused by what these really mean?This jargon buster is for you!

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you