The transition from school to university: Uni lingo Part 1

Posted by Emma Davies on 05/07/19 09:57
Emma Davies
Find me on:

Navigating freshers’ week is hard enough without a multitude of newA Guide to Uni Life_cover terms and expressions to get to grips with. Before I went to uni, I thought a rag was something you cleaned with, but on campus I discovered a whole new meaning. And as for ‘matriculation’, ‘viva’ or ‘entz’, I’d have guessed they were the members of a new indie band before I became a student. 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.

Uni lingo 1_2400x1800

A

 

ABSTRACT

A couple of paragraphs summarising a dissertation, often required before students submit work that counts towards a degree.

 

ACADEMIC YEAR

The university year, normally running from September/October to June/July.

 

ACCESS FUNDS

Money that universities offer to help students in financial difficulty.

 

ALL-NIGHTER

Working (or going out) all night.

 

ALUMNI

A graduate of a university.

 

ATTILA (as in the Hun)

Slang for a 2:1 degree.

 


 

B

 

BACHELOR (of Arts, Education, Science, etc.)

The undergraduate degree you’re almost definitely working towards, abbreviated as BA, BSc, BEd, etc.

 

BALLS

Big parties, usually involving dressing up in suits or dresses, often to celebrate the end of year or graduation.

 

BNOC

Prounounced 'Bee-knock', this term describes someone who is a 'Big Name on Campus', usually a student who is extremely sociable, with many groups of friends. 

 

BOPS

Cheesy student disco nights, often themed around fancy dress.

 

BURSARY

Cash given to students who fulfil particular criteria.

 

BUCS

British Universities and Colleges Sport

 


 

C

 

CAMPUS

The area of buildings and grounds that make up a university. Sometimes unis have a few campuses. 

 

CHAPLAIN

Person who offers religious support. Usually universities have chaplains for various religions.

 

COME UP/GO DOWN

Arriving at uni at the start of term (even if you live north of campus), and leaving at the end. Mainly Oxbridge terms.

 

CREDITS

Points you need to ‘collect’ (through coursework, exams, attendance at lectures, etc.) to earn a degree. 

 

COLLEGE

A further education institution, or one of the units that makes up the university at a collegiate institution like Oxford, Cambridge and Durham.

 

CONVOCATION

Posh word for graduation. 

 


 

D

 

DEPARTMENT

A body in charge of teaching and research in a particular subject. Also known as faculties and schools.

 

DESMOND

Referring to the iconic South African cleric Desmond Tutu, this is used as Cockney rhyming slang for a 2.2 degree.

 

DISSERTATION

A long written piece of research that's usually submitted to be marked as part of your degree.

 

DONS

Lecturers, professors, tutors and generally clever people who teach and research at unis. 

 


 

E

 

ENTZ

That's 'entertainment' - student-run events like bops, pub quizzes and karaoke. 

 

EXEC

The individual person or organising group of people in charge of a particular society or union.

 


 

F

 

FINALS

Your third (or fourth) year exams that usually make up a big chunk of your degree. The ill-looking people working towards Finals are 'Finalists'. 

 

FIRST

The highest degree classification.

 

FLUNK

To drop out of uni.

 

FORMAL

A formal dinner, usually three courses served by waitresses and waiters, where students dress up in posh togs or even black tie.

 

FRESHER

A first year student.

 


 

G

 

GEOFF

As in Geoff Hurst, slang for a First.

 

GO DOWN

See ‘come up/go down’.

 

GRADUAND

A student who has finished Finals but hasn’t yet attended their graduation ceremony (or been awarded their degree).  You will probably only hear this word during the first half of your graduation ceremony!

 

GRADUATE

What you’re aiming to become– someone who has completed a degree.

 

GRADUATE STUDENT

Someone with an undergraduate degree who’s studying towards another one (also know as a postgraduate/postgrad).

 

GRADUATION

The ceremony where you wear the world’s silliest hat (the mortarboard, that one with the swinging tassel) and are awarded your degree.

 

Topics: university, student advice

Indigo-Digest-Blog-Trotam-Logo-1

Our dedicated blog for careers education professionals

All the latest news, information and curated articles from our growing community of industry contributors. A great way to keep your finger on the pulse of all things #careerseducation related.

Be sure to subscribe below to have a monthly roundup of top Indigo Digest content delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our newsletter for careers leaders

Recent Posts