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  • Adjusted offers - Some colleges and universities will consider applicants whose grades fall just short of the entry requirements, if they meet certain criteria.


  • Advanced Entry - Some universities may let you skip the first year of a course and begin in second (or third) year if you have gained exceptional grades at school (usually in Advanced Highers) OR if you have completed an HNC or HND qualification at college first. This is called 'advanced entry'. For more information on progressing from college to university in this way, see Progression Routes.


  • Adviser of Studies - A bit like a guidance or pastoral care teacher at school, your Adviser of Studies at college or university will help with any problems you may have and will advise on your subject choices.


  • Articulation - Some universities will let you start in the second or third year of a degree course if you have completed an HNC or HND qualification in a related subject at college first. This is called 'articulation'. See Progression Routes.


  • Audition - As part of the selection process, most practical courses in music performance, acting, or dance will require you to attend an audition during which you will be asked to perform in front of one or more members of staff.



  • CUKAS - Conservatoires UK Admissions Service. If you're applying for a practice-based course in music, drama, dance, or film at a UK 'conservatoire' such as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, you must do so through the CUKAS website. See Accessing the Performing Arts.



  • Degree - A university qualification, awarded after completing a 3 - 5 year course.



  • Engineering - Relates to the designing, building, and improving of structures, machines, and systems. There are many different types of 'engineer' including mechanical, civil, and chemical engineers. Visit Tomorrow's Engineers.


  • Entry requirements - The conditions that universities and colleges require you to meet in order to get a place on their courses. Usually this means achieving certain grades in your Higher exams at school.



  • Faculty - Some universities group subjects into different faculties e.g. 'Faculty of Engineering', 'Faculty of Arts' etc. Other universities will refer instead to 'Colleges' and 'Schools' e.g. 'College of Arts', 'School of Modern Languages' etc.


  • First sitting - Sometimes a college or university will require you to have achieved certain Higher grades by the end of S5. This is often called your 'first sitting'.


  • Freshers' Week - In the week before the college or university term starts, lots of activities are organised for new, first year students. You'll have the chance to familiarise yourself with the campus, join clubs and societies, and meet new people during fun activities.



  • Graduation - When a student has completed and passed their course, they will be ready to 'graduate' from their college or university. They'll be formerly presented with their qualification during a graduation ceremony.



  • Higher Education (H.E.) - Education beyond school. This could be a degree at university or an HNC or HND qualification at college.


  • HNC - Higher National Certificate. A one-year college qualification, usually linked to a specific career. After completing it, many people move on to an HND course, then into a related job. See Understanding College Qualifications.



  • Humanities - Universities group subjects into different departments, schools, colleges and/or faculties. Subjects within a 'School of Humanities' generally relate to human culture, for example History, Philosophy, and English Literature. Many university courses will require you to have studied one or more 'humanities' subjects at school - check each university website for their exact definition of 'humanities'.



  • Lecture - One of the main types of classes you'll experience at university. 'Lecturers' address a room of between 50 and several hundred students for around 50 minutes, introducing them to the main topics of the course. Students listen, take notes, and discuss the topics further in seminars.



  • Matriculation - The official process of registering at your university or college at the beginning of term. You'll be given a 'matriculation card' which will give you access to the library etc...and give you student discounts in shops!



  • Portfolio - As part of the application process, most art or design courses at college and university require you to submit a 'portfolio' with examples of your own artwork. See Applying to Art and Design.


  • Postgraduate - If you have completed an 'undergraduate' degree, you'll be able to apply for a 'postgraduate' qualification - these are at a higher level and require you to have completed an undergraduate degree first. For example, secondary school teachers must complete a one-year postgraduate qualification before they can become qualified teachers.


  • Prospectus - A printed booklet published by each university and college with information on every course they offer. These can be picked up for free at the institution or ordered online through their website.



  • Qualification - An academic award that recognises your achievement or completion of a course or exam.



  • Semester - A semester is an academic term. Some colleges and universities teach in two semesters while others have three.


  • Seminar - A discussion group of 10-20 students, led by a tutor. Seminars are an opportunity for students to raise questions, discuss ideas, and share opinions and information about a specific topic.



  • Tutor - Tutors are college or university teachers responsible for running seminars and tutorials. They'll lead the discussion, answer questions, and mark your work.


  • Tutorial - Many courses involve practical workshops and demonstrations as part of your teaching. These are often called tutorials.



  • UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. If you're applying to university in the UK, you must apply through the UCAS website. See How to Apply.


  • Undergraduate - An 'undergraduate' degree at university refers to your first degree in that subject. So if you go to university after school, you'll be studying for an undergraduate degree. You'll also be called an 'undergraduate student'. If you decided to study a second degree at a higher level later on, you would apply for a 'postgraduate' course.