A Levels: The next steps to University

In prep for University

Jargon Buster


In your final year at school, you may be looking at your options and attending Higher Education Fairs and Open Days at Universities, and if you’re like me, your head will be spinning from all the different terms you’ll come across. But never fear! We’re created a handy list of all the most common terms you’ll hear, and what they mean below

Academic Year

The University year which runs from September to July


If on results day, you have met or exceeded results, you can use the UCAS Adjustment service to see if you can get on a course with a higher entry requirement


The admissions team at a University process potential students


Batchelor of Arts / Batchelor of Science (your degree type)


Batchelor of Engineering (your degree type)


Clearing is a system that operates after A level results are published, and is there if you haven’t met the grades needed.

Conditional Offer

Offer made by the admissions team which is dependent on you reaching the grades needed.

Deferred entry

When you apply for a university place but request to start a year later


Long assignment written in final year


The formal process when you start University – this is when you get your ID card and officially become a university student!

Entry requirements

Grades or qualifications you need to study a course

Firm choice

University you accept as your first choice


Higher Education

Joint Honours

Form of degree where you can study two related subjects, such as Psychology and Criminology


Batchelor of Law

Lecture vs Seminar

A lecture is where the lecturer speak s to you about a given subject. A Seminar is more like a classroom scenario, where student participation is encouraged.

Masters degree (MA, Msc, Mphil, MEd)

Masters Degrees are taught courses that you can take after your first degree


Master of Business Administration


Northampton Integrated Learning Environment

Open Days

This is the chance for you to look around a University


A specialist degree available to students that have achieved a first degree, and/or have completed their Master’s

Placement Year

This is a year of either work experience or study placement


You’ll be called this when you’ve completed an undergraduate degree


A booklet which gives details of degree programmes at a University


Academic year is divided into blocks of study, like terms at School or College.

Single Honours

An honours degree course where you study a single subject


Groups where like-minded people can share interests, beliefs, religion or sport. A society could be course related (like a Computing Society), or weird and wacky (like a Disney Appreciation Society)

Student Finance

The company that provides your student loan


Student Union


UCAS Tariff is the system for allocating points to the different qualifications


Universities and Colleges Admissions Service - the service you use to apply for your course

Unconditional offer

Offer made by the admissions team which is not dependent on you reaching specific grades


What you’ll be called when you study your first degree

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