Style guide

Our house style guide establishes basic rules for copy editing which otherwise might be open to interpretation, including how we refer to ourselves, punctuation and capitalisation.

It aims to ensure the production of consistent, high quality written communications across the University. Please refer to the University’s tone of voice guidelines to capture the University’s brand in your work.

Writing about the University

Guidelines✅ Use⛔️ Do not use

Capitalise the 'U' when using the University's full title and when referring to the University specifically.

Use a lower case 'u' when referring to universities in general.

Do not use a capital ‘T’ for ‘the’ University of Hertfordshire except as normal punctuation requires at the beginning of a sentence.

At the University of Hertfordshire you will find excellent learning facilities. The University is a market leader...

I studied at the University of Hertfordshire.

At the university of Hertfordshire you will find excellent learning facilities. The university is a market leader...

I studied at The University of Hertfordshire.

When referring to the University, use the full title wherever possible.

You can use 'Herts' in running text where you need to refer to the University multiple times and have previously used the full title.

Never write ‘UH’ or ‘Hertfordshire University’ in any communication.

The University of Hertfordshire is located in Hatfield, just 25 minutes from London. Herts is…

UH / Hertfordshire University is located in Hatfield, just 25 minutes from London.

Terms such as 'we', 'our' and 'us' can be used when referring to the University for more informal copy.

Our next street food event will take place on...

The University of Hertfordshire's next street food event will take place on...

Names and titles

Guidelines✅ Use⛔️ Do not use

Formal titles

Capitalise formal titles of office holders before a name, but lower case for subsequent informal references or for generic job titles.

Write titles without a full stop.

…and Vice-Chancellor Professor Quintin McKellar attended the meeting. The vice-chancellor commented that...

The press officer will advise you.

Dr    Mr    Mrs

... and vice-chancellor Professor Quintin McKellar attended the meeting. The Vice-Chancellor commented that ...

The Press Officer will advise you.

Dr.    Mr.    Mrs.

Names of Schools and Strategic Business Units

Do not use acronyms for the names of Schools and SBUs.

School of Health and Social Work

HSK

Names of teams

Capitalise specific team names.

Do not capitalise 'team' when using as a general, non-specific term.
International Team

Meet the team
international team

Meet the Team

Qualifications and subjects

Use capital letters only for formal award titles and not for subjects or qualification levels.

Do not capitalise ‘degree’.

BSc(Hons) Mathematics. You must have a degree in mathematics.

You study for a postgraduate diploma.

BSc(Hons) mathematics. You must have a degree in Mathematics.

You study for a Postgraduate Diploma.

Module titles

Write module titles in running text with initial capitals.

The module is Introduction to Economics.

The module is introduction to economics.

Years of study

First Year
Second Year
Third Year / Final Year

1st Year / Year One / Year 1
2nd Year / Year Two / Year 2
3rd Year / Year Three / Year 3

Building names

Use initial capitals for official building names.

Do not use capitals for informal references, such as the campus or the auditorium.

de Havilland Campus

Note: always a lower case ‘d’ and upper case ‘H’.

College Lane Campus

The Weston Auditorium

Learning Resources Centre(s)

Hatfield de Havilland Campus / De Havilland Campus

Hatfield College Lane

The weston auditorium

Alumni

Use ‘alumni’ for the gender-neutral or male plural. ‘Alumnae’ is the feminine plural noun.

Note that the male singular is ‘alumnus’ and the female singular is ‘alumna’.

Herts alumna Helen Lederer.

The alumni gathered in the Chapman Lounge.

Herts alumnus Helen Lederer.

The alumna gathered in the Chapman Lounge.

Contact details and website addresses

Guidelines✅ Use⛔️ Do not use

Telephone numbers

Write telephone numbers in a UK/international style.

+44 (0)1707 284000

01707 284000

Contact details

For a list of contact details use tel and mob. Do not use a prefix for email addresses.

tel +44 (0)1707 284000
mob +44 (0)7999 999999
ask@herts.ac.uk

Tel: 01707284000
M: 07999 999999
email: ask@herts.ac.uk

Website and email addresses

Do not include 'http://www.' when writing web addresses unless it is a requirement (eg https:// for secure addresses).

Do not abbreviate ‘email’ to ‘e’

herts.ac.uk

For more information, email ask@herts.ac.uk

https://www.herts.ac.uk

For more information, e: ask@herts.ac.uk

Numbers and measurements

Guidelines✅ Use⛔️ Do not use

Time

Use the 24 hour clock, with a dot (.) between hours and minutes.

Lectures begin at 09.00

Registration for the Open Day is at 13.00.

Lectures begin at nine.

Register for the Open Day at 1pm.

Dates

Write dates without commas or 'th' or 'st' starting with the day, followed by the month and then the year.

Do not abbreviate the month or year.

If including the day, write out the day in full without punctuation.

18 September 2020

18 September 2020

Monday 18 September 2020

18th September 2020

18 Sept 20

Mon, 18 September 2020

Numbers

Use words for numbers up to ten in running text. Use figures (without commas) from 10 onwards (except when a number starts a sentence).

Spell out fractions in running text.

Nine

2,000

Three quarters

9

2000

¾

Measurements

Use the metric system for weights and measurements.

Units should be abbreviated in copy. The exception is ‘miles’ which should be written out in full.

The University of Hertfordshire is 25km from London

The University of Hertfordshire is only one mile from Hatfield town centre.

The University of Hertfordshire is twenty-five kilometres from London.

The University of Hertfordshire is only 1mi from Hatfield town centre.

Abbreviations and symbols

Guidelines✅ Use⛔️ Do not use

Acronyms

The first reference to something, even if it is commonly abbreviated, should always appear in full, followed by the abbreviation in brackets. The abbreviations should not include full stops or any other punctuation.

The Learning Resources Centre (LRC) on College Lane opens at…

The LRC on College Lane opens at…

Abbreviations

Write abbreviations without a full stop.

eg
ie
etc

eg.
ie.
etc.

Ampersands

Do not use ampersands ‘&’ in place of ‘and’.

The exception is in established usage (eg course titles such as Journalism & Media Cultures which have been validated with an ‘&’).

Fees and bursaries

Fees & Bursaries

Per cent

Use % not ‘per cent’ in running text.

If you need to spell the word, use ‘per cent’ not ‘percent’.

15% of the University’s student population feel…

Fifteen per cent of the University’s student population feel…

Punctuation

Guidelines✅ Use⛔️ Do not use

Brackets

Use standard round brackets (parentheses).

Where the bracket is within another sentence, there is no capital and the full stop is outside the bracket.

( )

He successfully passed his degree (he completed his coursework on time).

[ ] or { }

He successfully passed his degree (he completed his coursework on time.)

Bullet points

Bullet points are useful on web pages where running text lists should be avoided.

Punctuation should be included in bulleted lists unless formal titles are being listed.

Precede bulleted lists with a colon and start each point in lower case. Finish the final bullet point with a full stop.

You must:

  • work as hard as you can
  • study in the library.

You must

  • work as hard as you can
  • study in the library

Quotation marks

Always use single quotation marks (‘  ’) rather than double (“   ”).

When a grammatically complete sentence is quoted, the full stop is inside the quotation marks.

Professor Smith said, ‘We provide a menu of extensive facilities for our students.’

Professor Smith said: ‘We provide a menu of extensive facilities for our students’.

Related Guidance

Get in touch

If you have any questions please contact a member of the team:

ContactEmail
Media and PR team, Marketing and Communicationsnews@herts.ac.uk
Daisy Way, Media and PR Manager (she/her)d.way@herts.ac.uk
Marketing and Communications Business Supportmarketinguh@herts.ac.uk