University jargon buster

To help you understand the range of terminology that surrounds Higher Education, we have compiled a list of some of the most commonly used terms.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service)

The organisation responsible for processing applications to UK universities for undergraduate courses.

Foundation Degree

A Level 5 qualification, equivalent to the first two years of a typical three-year degree, which combines academic study with work-based learning.

Honours top-up

At one year full-time or two years part-time, this course enables conversion of a Foundation Degree, or equivalent, into a full Bachelors degree.

Certificate of Higher Education

For students who successfully complete 120 credits of the first year of a degree but do not wish to continue further, they can be awarded a level 4 Certificate of Higher Education.

Deferred entry

This is when a student wishes to defer starting their course until the next academic year.

DSA (Disabled Student’s Allowance)

A type of non-repayable financial assistance students can apply for if they have a disability. The money helps to pay extra costs students may have because of a disability, and does not have to be repaid.

Loan

A type of finance which is paid back on an instalment basis only after a student has graduated and is earning over £21,000 a year.

Bursary

A type of non-repayable financial assistance awarded by UCW or partner university on the basis of household income.

Scholarship

A type of non-repayable financial assistance awarded on the basis of meeting certain criteria (eg high academic achievement).

Conditional offer

An offer of a place on a course subject to certain conditions. A conditional offer is made when certain results need to be achieved to be accepted on the course.

Unconditional offer

An offer of a place on a course with no conditions. We will make an unconditional offer when a student has already achieved the results they need to be accepted on the course.

Firm (acceptance)

When a student is making decisions on offers from universities and colleges, they should select their preferred option as ‘firm’.

Insurance

When a student is making decisions on their offers from universities and colleges, they may wish to select a second option (usually with lower entry requirements) to go to if they miss out on their firm choice. This is an ‘insurance’ option.