Glossary Of Admissions Terms

We have put together an A to Z of university terms to help you understand what our jargon really means.

Academic transcript

If you wish to transfer you should contact the registry office, where they will be able to issue you with a record of your marks in the form of a Transcript or Notification of Performance. An academic transcript from a degree awarding body can also be referred to as an academic record, a diploma supplement, a statement of learning, a record of achievement or something else similar. It should list all the modules or subjects you studied in each year, the marks or grades you achieved for each module and the credit rating and level of each module.

BA / Bachelor’s degree

A three or four year course you can take in undergraduate higher education after you’ve finished further education – also known as a first or undergraduate degree. It’s either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, depending what subject you choose.

BA (Hons) / Honours

Most first degrees in higher education can come with ‘honours’. It’s not a grade as such; it just means it’s possible to get your degree ‘with honours’, which would be an extra indication of quality.

Conditional Offer

In your application this is an offer of a place on a course, subject to conditions set out by the University admissions department. To be accepted on the course you’ll need to meet the conditions – usually related to your exam results.

Credit Values

All Higher Education programmes at University College Birmingham carry a credit value which is measured in points. (For example, one full year of an undergraduate degree programme carries a potential credit value of 120 points; so one module of study is likely to have a credit value between 10 to 20 credits. This credit value links University College Birmingham to other academic institutions in the UK, and means that if you move to another Higher Education Institution to continue your studies, you can claim exemption from repeating the same modules of study at the new institution.

Equal Consideration Date

This date occurs in the UCAS cycle, any application submitted before this date must be responded to by institutions, if an applications is submitted after this date it is up to the discretion of each institution as to whether they respond to an applicant.


Is a vocational qualification in higher education that usually lasts 2 years. Once completed it may be possible for students to transfer onto the final year BA or BA (hons) course if transfer criteria is met.


Enrolled to attend a course of education lasting for at least one academic or calendar year - and which you are normally required to attend for at least 24 weeks out of the year and study for at least 21 hours per week during term time.

Further education (FE)

The level of education you complete at school or college before you start higher education; usually students aged 16 – 19 years old.

Higher education (HE)

The level of education we can help you apply to – from undergraduate courses when you’ve finished further education, to postgraduate courses you can move on to after graduating from an undergraduate degree.

Learning Outcomes

These are key points that outline the skills and knowledge that a student should understand and demonstrated through the module assessments. These are usually outlined at the beginning of the module handbook.

Module Handbook

All Higher Education programmes are composed of a number of different modules. Each time you begin a new module you will be issued with a detailed module delivery scheme or handbook. This gives a description of the module, a week-by-week breakdown of the topics covered, assessment information and details of the teaching team.


These courses at University College Birmingham are for students who are currently working/ volunteering in a relevant sector to the course being applied for. You will be required to attend university around one evening a week in term time over the extended period of time that course runs compared to the full-time equivalent.

Personal Statement

A piece of text applicants write to show why they’re applying and why they’d be a great student for a course provider to accept.

Point of Entry

In your application, which year of the course you start at – for example ‘2’ means you’d start in the second year of the course.


In your application, someone who provides a reference for you.


In your application, a recommendation on an applicant’s application form from a teacher, adviser or professional.

Sandwich course

A course with an additional year where you work in a profession you're studying.


This is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service in the UK. This includes the main UCAS undergraduate application. They also help students from 13 years old onwards with UCAS Progress to Colleges.

Unconditional Offer

In your application, an offer of a place on a course with no conditions – the place is yours if you want it.


In your application, either you haven’t been made an offer or you haven’t met the conditions of a conditional offer.


In your application, before the decision has been made to make you an offer or not, either you or the university or college can withdraw a choice.
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