It"s a confusing civilization out there when university slang is thrown roughly like everyone knows what it means. Source: Shutterstock.

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Like practically every various other sector, the higher education civilization has its very own unique set of terminologies. For those just navigating university life, the lingo can obtain a little confusing.

But fret not, we’ve gained you covered. Indigenous the straightforward to the not-so-basic words and phrases you’ll encounter, here’s what it every means.


An undergraduate level is the very first level of degree study at college which can be a Bachelor of arts (BA) or Bachelor of scientific research (BSc) depending on your level type. This will be detailed on her university’s website.

You are also called an undergraduate (or undergrad) student if you space studying because that your very first degree in ~ university. 


You space a graduate if you have currently finished university and also been officially awarded her degree. Most students to visit a graduation ceremony where they go from graduands (those who have actually completed your studies however not however graduated) come graduates during the ceremony.


Graduands generally move the tassel on your cap indigenous the appropriate side to the left to represent when they become graduates. Source: GIPHY.


A postgraduate compensation is for students who already have one undergraduate degree. The is frequently referred to together “grad school” or a “postgrad course”.

Postgrad courses allow students to further knowledge got in their undergrad course by more advanced studies. Usually, her postgrad research studies will it is in related yet different to her undergrad course, even if it is this is a different area the a similar subject you great to discover or tailored to a particular job choose teaching.

Similar come undergraduate, if you study a postgraduate food you will be referred to as a postgraduate or postgrad student.


See above. A Masters degree course is precisely the exact same as a postgraduate course. Some institutions will use the ax “Masters” more commonly vice versa, others choose “Postgraduate”.

PhD/Doctoral degree

PhD is one abbreviation of physician of Philosophy, which is the following – and highest – level of level study. That takes at least four years come complete and also requires large amounts that independent original research working directly with a supervisor. 
PhDs are additionally considered postgraduate process – together they occur after her undergraduate level – however are a various qualification to a Masters.

Domestic student

You space a residential student if you study in your house country.

International student

You space an international student if you research in a foreign country.


Did you relocate abroad for her studies? Congrats – you’re an worldwide student! Source: Shutterstock

Mature student

The exact an interpretation of a mature student varies from college to university yet commonly friend are considered a mature student if you begin your undergraduate course aged 21 or over. Not as “mature” together you might think in some cases!


A subject is a details area of study. In most countries, you need to decide what area friend would prefer to examine in before you to visit university. This could be a very particular subject like Forensics or more broad like Literature.

Your subject could likewise be described as your course or programme. In the joined States, you do not pick your course prior to you start studying but select it together you go. This is called picking your “major”.


A component of her course dedicated to a specific aspect the the subject. Because that example, if you learned History, you may have a module especially on ancient Greece. Frequently students take between six and also eight modules a year but this will vary relying on your course and university.

Credit points

No doubt you have actually heard this phrase and thought: “What on planet are credit points and how do I gain them?”


Credit points? Nope, no idea. Source: GIPHY.

Every university must have a scoring system. At the bulk of institutions, the course will have a point value the a lot of of 15 with commonly in between 360 – 480 credits needed over the course of your level to pass.

However, every college will have various requirements so make certain you inspect what your particular course needs. Each module will have a details amount of credit transaction points attached come it.

How carry out you obtain credit points? Enroll in enough modules, rotate up, and do the work.

If girlfriend fail a module you will not gain the credit points and must choose up one more module or take back it.

Admission/admission criteria

The join criteria room what a college or course calls for you to have before beginning her studies. This may be a particular level of study, details grades, or other requirements. Constantly check your college website.


The faculty is the academic division in i beg your pardon research and also teaching take it place. For example, your college may have a department because that English and also another for science – these are different faculties which can take treatment of countless different courses in a comparable area.

Contact hours

Your contact hours are the number of hours you room expected to it is in physically current at university and also interacting through your professors and/or classmates.


Typically you will have actually the most call hours in your first year, progressively decreasing in subsequent years together you room expected come become much more independent. Source: Giphy

This time is frequently made up of the hrs you invest in lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals.

“What’s the difference”, friend ask? read on to discover out.


Often hosted in huge halls, lectures room usually consisted of of all students who take a details module. The professor will certainly stand in ~ the front and teach if students listen and also take notes. Sometimes, there will certainly be interaction between lecturer and also student however other time it will certainly be just listening.



Seminars are similar to lectures however are often made up of much smaller cohorts the students. In a seminar, you are much an ext likely to it is in asked to communicate with her peers and discuss details texts or ideas. They commonly take place in a smaller room, an ext similar to a classroom.


Not every course will have practicals however Science-based process in certain will. In practicals, you will physically it is in doing something, whether the be operation on a dummy, pulling the end a tooth, structure a go-kart or sewing a garment.


Tutorials often make up of one-to-one sessions v your an individual tutor or the lecturer who takes the certain module her tutorial is for. You might be joined through one or two various other students and it is a possibility to obtain constructive feedback on your work and to have any type of question you may have actually answered.

See more: What Does A Barbed Wire Tattoo Mean, The Powerful Meaning Of Barbed Wire Tattoos

Personal tutor

Your an individual tutor is the professor on your course who will be appointed to you at the beginning of your level studies. He or she will certainly be the an initial person you must go come with any kind of problem, and also is over there to help and assistance you academically and also in your an individual life together you navigate gift a student.

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