Are there any specific words used by the university staff?

Here is some of the jargon that you’ll face in the next few months.

  • Articulation: finishing an HNC or HND and moving on to the second or third year of a degree course.
  • Bridging: activities laid on to help students moving from an HNC or HND to the second or third year of a degree course.
  • Credits: points earned as you complete each part of your course. Normally, degree students have to earn 120 credits each year.
  • Direct entry: coming on to a degree course but not on to its first year. This might be because your qualifications (such as an HNC) or experience mean that you have equivalent skills and knowledge as students who have taken the first year of the course.
  • Induction: one or two weeks of administration and orientation activities before teaching starts.
  • Lab (laboratory): a practical exercise in either a computer room or a science lab.
  • Lecture: a lesson with possibly more than 100 students where the lecturer will speak and you are expected to take notes. Lectures should be just the start of your learning about a subject, not the main way you study.
  • Level: the position on the SCQF (see below) of the qualification you are studying for. For example, HNC courses are level 7; HNDs are at level 8.
  • Matriculation: the process of signing up when you start each year of a university course to get your ID card.
  • Modular scheme: used by most universities to structure their courses, modular schemes break down each year of the course into (normally) at least four separate units-modules.
  • Module: a unit of a course covering one specific topic, such as web authoring, statistics for business or research methodologies.
  • Personal tutor: member of staff responsible for checking how you are settling in to your new course.
  • Practical: active work, possibly in the lab or involving fieldwork, such as surveying a building.
  • Pre-induction: the period before the start of teaching used for administration and orientation activities.
  • SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework): a guide to how qualifications link together, from Standard grades to postgraduate degrees.
  • Semester: half the academic year. Modules normally take one semester to complete.
  • Seminar: a cross between a lecture and a tutorial. A chance to discuss a topic in depth in a small group. Often, the students will take turns to lead the discussion each week.
  • Stage: one full year’s worth of study. So if you’re a part-time student, each stage of the course will take two years.

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