Understanding University Jargon and Acronyms

Whether you are starting out as an undergraduate or postgraduate, attending a new university will mean getting to grips with the multiple acronyms and jargon terms that are used by lecturers and students on a daily basis. Everyone enjoys shortening things down to the simplest form possible to save time and effort when communicating.

Although each university has its own set of jargon to learn, such as department names, locations and course specifics, we have come up with a guide for you to get to grips with some of the most common terms you are likely to encounter:

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AA (Academic Advisor) – person tasked with advising you on your academic progress throughout your course

AVA (Audio Visual Aids) – short term used in lectures and academic documentations

Campus – the grounds upon which university buildings are located

Dean – senior member of staff in charge of the operation of their faculty

DFS (Delayed First Sit) – in some circumstances students are able to sit their first exam or module late due to personal circumstances

Double Marked – when two different members of staff mark an assessment to ensure fair grading

DSO (Dean of Students Office) – advice centre for students and staff

Faculty - a group of academic subjects that are grouped together for admin purposes

Finals – the last set of exams you take before graduating

Freshers' Week - first week of term when course introductions and extra-curricular activities are outlined and introduced to students

Intercalation – a term for someone who is taking time off from their degree studies

IO (International Office) – office responsible for dealing with international students issues and applications

Jobshop – centre designed to help students find part time jobs whilst studying

NUS (National Union of Students) – national body that represents and campaigns for the rights of students across the country

Sabbatical Officer – Student elected position to fulfil certain roles within the university

Semester – the university year is split into two semesters, autumn and spring

SLC (Student Loans Company) – provides financial support to students

SOC (Societies) – every university has different societies set up for extra-curricular activities

TBA (To Be Announced) – written to indicate results or information has not yet been published

Transcript – a paper detailing your course details, grades and final degree qualification

Turnitin – plagiarism software used by many universities to ensure no cheating on assignments

Viva Voce – an oral examination taken during course

VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) – e-learning platform where you can access online course materials and module information

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