The transition from school to university: Uni lingo Part 2

Posted by Emma Davies on 04/09/19 09:56
Emma Davies
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A Guide to Uni Life_cover

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.

 

Uni lingo 1_2400x1800

J

 

JOBSHOP

A student job agency, usually based at the Students' Union. 

 

JOINT HONOURS

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.  

 


 

L

 

LECTURE

A formal, academic talk given by a subject specialist to a group of students. 

 

LGBT+

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender plus.

 


 

M

 

MAJOR/MINOR HONOURS

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).

 

MATRICULATION

At Oxbridge, the ceremony where you formally become a member of the university. 

 

MATURE STUDENTS

Over 21s who are studying undergraduate degrees.

 

MEANS-TESTED

The way that local authorities decide how much money to give students, dependent on their parents' income.

 

MODULE

A unit of study focusing on an area. Several modules make up a degree. 

 


 

N

 

NIGHTLINE

A telephone support line operating at night at most universities, run by students for students to offer help during the night. 

 

NUS

The National Union of Students - the body that provides support and services to those university unions that pay to be affiliated, and represents students in areas like the national press.

 


 

O

 

OXBRIDGE

The group name for Oxford and Cambridge, the UK's oldest universities. 

 


 

P

 

PERSONAL TUTORS

Most universities assign tutors to a group of students, who can contact them for pastoral help.

 

PLAGIARISM

Copying someone else's work without acknowledgement, to pretend it's your own. Regarded as cheating and usually strongly punished. 

 

PROFESSOR

Someone at the top of their subject who you probably don't want to contradict too often. 

 


 

R

 

RAG

Student charity which raises money through sponsored events like hitch-hikes.

 

RUSSELL GROUP

A band of elite UK universities, including places like Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and UCL.

 


 

S

 

SANDWICH COURSE

A course which includes (usually a year of) vocational work. Also known as a placement year.

 

SEMESTER

A term usually lasting between 10 and 12 weeks. 

 

SEMINAR

A larger-scale tutorial, where usually between 10 and 30 students come together with a tutor for discussion rather than lecturing. 

 

SU

Students' Union

 


 

T

 

TERM

The academic year is usually divided into three terms - blocks of study.

 

THESIS

See 'Dissertation'.

 

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. 

 

TRANSCRIPT

A written record of the marks achieved throughout a period of study.

 

TUITION FEES

Course fees payable to unis to cover the cost of learning.

 

TUTOR

A university version of a teacher.

 

TUTORIAL (OR TUTE)

A teaching session of a small number of students to discuss essays, experiments, research, etc.

 


 

U

 

UNDERGRADUATE

Someone studying for a first degree.

 

UNION

Another way of referring to the Students' Union.

 


 

V

 

VICE CHANCELLOR

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.

 

VIVA

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. 

 

Topics: university, student advice

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