Glossary of university terms

Admissions

The admissions team at a university processes all applications and makes offers to potential students.

Alumni

Any person who has studied at a university becomes an alumnus of that university upon completing their course.

Bachelor’s degree

The qualification students achieve after successfully completing a 3 or 4-year programme of degree level study at a university or college. Also commonly referred to as an undergraduate degree. These come with a range of titles:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Bachelor of Education (BEd)
  • Bachelor of Law (LLB)

Bursaries

Non-repayable sum of money given to students who receive a maintenance grant. More about student finance.

Campus

Land on which the university is situated. At the University of Hertfordshire, we have 2 main campuses – College Lane and de HavillandBayfordbury is our third campus specialising in Physics and Astronomy.

Clearing

Process allowing prospective students without a university place to apply for courses which haven’t yet been filled.

Dissertation

Large piece of work to be completed in the last year of a degree programme, focusing the student’s learning on one area.

Entry requirements

The grades or qualifications a student needs to attain to be accepted onto a university course.

Gap year

Students can take a gap year before they start university or straight after graduation. Students on gap years may travel or do paid or voluntary work.

Insurance offer

Second choice of university course in case the student doesn’t get the grades for their first choice.

Lecturer

Teacher at university, who may also carry out research into their subject area.

Maintenance loans

Provided by the Government through Student Finance England. These are the cheapest way of borrowing money as the rate of interest follows the rate of inflation. Students will need to repay these loans but not until they are earning more than £21,000.

Master’s degree

Qualification that students can study towards after completing their Bachelor's degree.

Open days

Opportunity for students and parents to look around a university and speak to staff and current students. More about about University of Hertfordshire open days.

Placement year

 A year of work experience, usually after the second year of study.

Postgraduate

A student who is studying at university, after they have completed their undergraduate degree.

Professor

The most senior academics in a university.

Scholarship

Financial award to help subsidise part of a student’s studies. There are a variety of scholarships available, depending on a range of criteria.

Sandwich degree

Generally a 4-year degree programme in which the third year is completed in an industry-related paid placement.

Semester

The University of Hertfordshire’s academic year is divided into three semesters , A, B and C.

Seminar

A smaller study group under the supervision of a tutor, where the subject area covered in lectures is explored further.

Tuition fee loans

Paid directly to the university from Student Finance England.

Tutorial

See seminar.

Undergraduate

A student who is studying for their first degree.