Search our site
Search our site
Congratulations on your offer – welcome to Kingston University!

Jargon buster

A

Access course
Access courses prepare mature students without other qualifications for entry into university or college.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
Universities can use this scheme to recognise adult learners' work/voluntary experiences and existing qualifications. Prior learning can be used either as an entry qualification or put directly towards an HE qualification.

Admissions tutors
Each department or faculty will have an admissions tutor who is responsible for the admissions process.

Alumni
People who attended or graduated from a particular school, college or university.

B

Bursary

A bursary is a financial grant awarded to someone who fulfils specific criteria. You have to apply for a bursary. Did you know, many UK students at Kingston are eligible for a non-repayable bursary from the University (which you do not have to pay back)? International students are eligible for alumni/loyalty bursaries.

We provide additional financial support to eligible students. Find out more.

C

Campus
University buildings and grounds grouped together in one area. Sometimes universities have a number of different campuses.
Did you know? At Kingston we have four campuses – Penrhyn Road, Knights Park, Kingston Hill and Roehampton Vale. Plus some of our Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education courses are run in partnership with St George's, University of London.

CAS
A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a compulsory requirement to support a Tier 4 (General) student visa application for international students, a CAS must be requested before you start your visa application.

Clearing
Clearing is the system operated by UCAS to allocate places on courses that still have vacancies after the publication of A-level results.

Collaborative partners
Kingston University works with a variety of colleges and other organisations to deliver its courses, particularly foundation degrees and professional development programmes. These collaborative partners include local further education colleges (such as Kingston College and West Thames College) and organisations such as KLM and the NHS. Our collaborative partners are also referred to as partner colleges.

Compact Scheme
The Compact Scheme supports students throughout their university journey. It is targeted at those with a strong academic background, but who may need some additional support in the transition into higher education.

CPD
Continuing professional development.

Credit
Every module contributes a specific amount of credit towards the award you are studying for.

Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme (CATS)
Sometimes it is possible to gain credit for completing parts of a degree. You may be able to transfer credits under CATS if you have already studied to HND level, on a degree programme or for relevant professional qualifications before you start your degree.

Credit level
Credit level represents the difficulty of your module. Normally you will find that your first year modules are rated as Level 4, your second year courses as Level 5, and your final year courses as Level 6.

D

Dean
The Dean is a senior member of University staff who is responsible for the operation of a faculty, including teaching.

Dissertation
A dissertation is detailed and heavily-researched piece of writing, usually between 6,000–8,000 words and submitted at the end of the final year of your degree.

E

English Language Development Programme
Free English language courses offered throughout the academic year for international students, designed to improve: academic writing, communication and seminar skills; study skills and project work; and revision and exam techniques.

Enrolment
To register formally for a course/module. You must enrol at the University to use our facilities.
Did you know? Once your enrolment has been fully completed, you will gain access to university services such as library, computing and sports facilities; and become a member of the Union of Kingston Students.

Erasmus student
A European exchange student whose home university has an Erasmus exchange agreement with Kingston University, the student usually receives an Erasmus grant from their home university and their choice of modules studied at Kingston is subject to a learning agreement.

EU student
A student whose your normal home is outside the UK within one of the other member countries of the European Union.

F

Faculty
A faculty is a community of students, academics and other staff members who are grouped together for teaching, research and administrative purposes.
Did you know? At Kingston we have five faculties.

Field
An area of study grouping together modules on a related topic.

First degree
This is normally a bachelors degree, eg BA, BSc, BEng, LLB (also see 'Honours degree').

Foundation degree
This is a two-year programme with the opportunity to top up to honours level over a further year.

Foundation year
This is a year-long programme providing you with an entry qualification to a BA/BSc honours degree.

Fresher
A new undergraduate student.

Freshers' Week
The first week at university, which includes registration, welcome, induction and social events.

G

Graduate
A person who has completed and passed his or her degree and has it officially conferred by a Graduation Ceremony.
Did you know? Between passing your exams and the graduation ceremony, you are officially termed a 'graduand'.

H

Halls of residence
University-owned accommodation in which students often live while studying.

Head Start
Our summer school programme for our Compact Scheme students to provide support with the transition from school, college or employment and give an insight into university life.

Higher degree
This is a postgraduate degree such as a masters degree (MA/MSc) or doctorate, usually undertaken after completing an undergraduate degree.

Honours degree
A first course of higher education study undertaken at university, normally lasting three or four years.

I

IS
Our Information Services department at Kingston, which includes information technology services.

International student
A term used to describe students whose normal home is outside the UK, and sometimes also outside the European Union.
Did you know? There are students at Kingston University from 154 countries, ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe (as of December 2015).

International Student Advisory Centre (ISAC)
A specialist support department for international students that provides advice and information on a range of issues from: immigration; travelling abroad; working in the UK both during and after your studies; general wellbeing; and living in the UK.

J

Joint honours
A first degree combining two subjects, usually split 50:50. Sometimes you spend more time studying one subject (in which case it is your major field) than the other (which is your minor field).

Journals
As well as books, the libraries at Kingston include specialist periodicals or journals containing articles written mainly by university researchers.

K

Key skills
Skills important for all careers, such as communication and information technology.

KULISC
The Kingston University, London – International Study Centre offers specialist preparatory courses for international students.

L

Laboratory class
A workshop held in a laboratory, usually practical based.

LEA
Local Education Authority

Learning resources centre (LRC)
The learning resources centre (LRC) at Kingston University houses traditional library resources, plus computing and multimedia facilities.

Lecture
A formal instructive talk given by a subject specialist to a group of students. Students usually listen and make notes, although some also involve interaction between the lecturer and students.

M

Major/minor subject
If you study two subjects but concentrate on one (normally taking up 75% of your time), this is your major subject. The second subject (normally 25%) is known as your minor subject.

Mature student
An undergraduate student aged over 21 on entry.

Module
A unit of study that explores a specific area within a subject. At Kingston modules all have a code and a title. Each module has a set number of credits which will vary from course to course.

Module leader
An academic who organises a module.

Module team
The module team is made up technical, support and academic staff.

N

NUS
National Union of Students. the Union of Kingston Students is a member of the NUS so as a member of the Union you will receive benefits from their membership.
Did you know? The NUS represents the interests of more than seven million students in further and higher education.

O

OSIS
Online Student Information System. This system enables you to update essential information the University holds about you (such as emergency contact details) and it also allows you to view your timetable. You'll be using it even before you arrive to upload a copy of your passport (so that we can confirm which fees you pay) and during your online enrolment. International Students also request their CAS through OSIS.

P

Partner colleges
Kingston University works with a variety of colleges and other organisations to deliver its courses, particularly foundation degrees and professional development programmes. These partner colleges include local further education colleges (such as Kingston College and West Thames College) and organisations, for example, the NHS. Our partner colleges are also referred to as collaborative partners.

Pastoral tutor
A pastoral tutor is a member of academic staff to whom you can turn for both academic and non-academic advice.

PDP
Personal development planning (PDP) helps students reflect on their own learning and plan for their personal, educational and career development.

Placement year
A year of a university course in which you gain experience in the workplace. A placement year is usually the penultimate (last but one) of any course.

Plagiarism
Using or copying another person's work without acknowledgement. Anyone found to be plagiarising will be subject to disciplinary procedures.

Pre-sessional English
English preparatory courses that run before the start of term, designed to improve English language proficiency.

Professor
Usually a senior member of academic staff becomes a professor as a result of specialist research and teaching. Some large departments will have more than one professor, each with their own subject specialism.

S

Sandwich
A course of study which includes a year of practical work ('placement year') in an organisation outside the University. The sandwich year is usually the penultimate (last but one) year of a degree programme.

Scholarships
We provide additional financial support to eligible students. Find out more.

School
A faculty is made up of schools representing different subject areas.

Semester
Teaching takes place over two semesters in blocks of 14 weeks.

Seminar
A group of students meet to discuss a subject with a tutor. Usually someone (or a group) prepares a paper for discussion and shares the research they have done and their opinions on the subject. Seminars are more interactive than a lecture and are often student led.

Student and Staff Committee
This is a talking shop for elected student representatives to discuss good practice and a broad spectrum of issues.

Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)
SAAS is the service that deals with applications for student finance for students from Scotland.

Student Finance England
Student Finance England is a service of the Student Loans Company. It deals with applications for student finance from higher education students in England, and lets parents and partners of students provide financial details to support an application online. Similar services operate for students from Wales and Northern Ireland.

Student Finance Services
Student Finance Services is the part of the Student Loans Company that deals with applications for tuition loans from European Union students.

Study Abroad student
A visiting student (including non-European exchange students) who has been accepted onto the Study Abroad programme at Kingston for a semester or full academic year as part of their home university course.

T

Tuition fees
Tuition fees for UK and EU students are regulated by the Government and the University can only charge up to a certain amount per year. Fees for eligible students are paid directly to the University by the Student Loans Company. International students pay different fees to Home/EU students.

Tutorial
A small group meets to discuss their work and more general course issues with each other and their tutor. Tutorials can also be on an individual basis with a student discussing their work with a tutor.

U

UK student
Students whose normal home is the UK (also called 'Home' students).

Undergraduate
A person who is studying for a first degree.

Union of Kingston Students
Kingston University's student union is called the Union of Kingston Students.
Did you know? The Union sports clubs range from American football to yoga.

V

Viva voce (often abbreviated to viva)
An examination in which you have a spoken interview rather than a written exam. Some university courses, especially in languages, will test students' knowledge through a combination of written and viva voce examinations.

Y

Year tutors
Academics responsible for overseeing the first-year student experience. They look after Year 1 activities, both academic and non-academic. Pastoral tutors help support the work of the year tutor.

Contact us

Kingston University
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

Getting ready
Site menu