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University of Sunderland London Campus

Glossary of Terms

If you're not familiar with the UK education system, or if English isn't your first language, you might see words on this website which you don't understand. This glossary is a list of unusual words and their meanings. If you don't know what a word means and it isn't on this list, feel free to ask us directly on Twitter, Facebook, or email gateway-london@sunderland.ac.uk.

  • A

      • Admissions

        The process of applying to a UK university.

      • Assessment

        The process of measuring your knowledge against the defined learning outcomes for your course or module.

      • Agent

        Someone who acts on behalf of the University of Sunderland in London to help you apply for your course and visa.

      • Alumni

        A graduate of a university.

      • Applicant number

        A ten digit number assigned to you by UCAS.

      • Attendance

        The process of going to scheduled classes, tutorials, seminars and appointments at university.

      • Award

        A degree, diploma, certificate, or other similar formal mark of recognition for successful completion of a course.

  • B

      • Bachelor’s Degree

        A type of undergraduate degree that usually requires three years to complete.

      • Bachelor of Arts (BA)

        A type of Bachelor’s degree with a focus on the arts.

      • Bachelor of Science (BSc)

        A type of Bachelor’s degree with a focus on the sciences.

      • British Council International English Language Testing System / IELTS

        A common method of testing English language. Widely accepted and officially endorsed by the British Council. Test centres worldwide. See the IELTS website for more information.

      • Bursary

        See Scholarship.

  • C

      • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English

        A common method of testing English language. Widely accepted and with test centres worldwide. See the Cambridge English website for more information.

      • Cambridge Certification in Advanced English

        A common method of testing English language. Widely accepted and with test centres worldwide. See the Cambridge English website for more information.

      • Campus

        A building or collection of university buildings in which most university activity and teaching takes place.

      • Canary Wharf

        A major business district in Tower Hamlets, London. The University of Sunderland in London is located in Canary Wharf.

      • City Campus

        One of the University of Sunderland campuses in the city of Sunderland, North East England.

      • Conditional offer

        An offer of a place at university, which is dependent on certain conditions. Examples of conditions may include achieving certain grades or successfully obtaining a visa.

      • Confirmations of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

        An important document issued by the Home Office. You will need to request a CAS after you have received and accepted an unconditional offer from the University of Sunderland in London. All overseas students coming to study in the UK will need a CAS to apply for their visa.

      • Course

        A complete study route with defined aims and learning outcomes. A course is made up from combinations of modules and which leads to a recognised award.

      • Coursework

        A piece of work which is completed over a longer period of time, such as an essay or a project.

      • Credits

        Each module is worth a certain number of credits. You must achieve a certain number of credits in each year to be able to progress to the next level of study and ultimately graduate.

      • Curriculum Vitae (CV) (sometimes known as résumé)

        A summary of your qualifications, work experience and employment history, which you send to prospective employers when you are looking for a job.

  • D

      • Deposit

        An amount of money that must be paid to the University before you can enrol. The deposit is part of your tuition fee, it is not an extra fee.

      • Discover

        A website that allows you to search for high-quality academic information from academic sources such as journals, databases, reviews, magazines, and conference proceedings, across all subject areas. Accessible from the University of Sunderland in London website.

      • Dissertation

        A major written piece of work or research project, often undertaken in the final year of an undergraduate honours degree.

      • Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

        A light metro train system operated by Transport for London in the Docklands area of London.

  • E

      • Employability / employability skills

        The skills, experience, and attributes you have that makes you more attractive to employers. Employability is embedded into all courses offered at the University of Sunderland in London.

      • English for Academic Purposes

        A short course offered at the University of Sunderland London Campus that allows you to raise your English language skills and IELTS score.

      • Enrolment

        The process of becoming an official student of a university. Also known as registration.

      • Ensuite

        A bedroom with a private bathroom.

      • Entry clearance vignette

        A sticker placed in your passport which states the period of leave allocated to you, alongside any conditions and restrictions attached to the leave.

      • European Union (EU)

        An economic and political union made up of 27 European member countries.

      • Exams

        Assessments conducted under strict conditions where you are in a designated area for a set amount of time.

  • F

      • Full-time

        Definition from the University of Sunderland: a full-time student is one who is enrolled to study 120 credits. Any less than this is considered part-time study. Definition from the Home Office: for a study visa, you must attend at least 15 hours of organised study each week to be classed as a full-time student.

  • G

      • Gateway

        A service desk on the ground floor of the University of Sunderland in London where Student Relations Assistants can help you with financial advice, payments, welfare, visa issues, and accommodation.

      • GBP / £ sterling

        The official currency of the United Kingdom.

      • Graduate (noun)

        A student who has completed and graduated from an undergraduate course.

      • Graduate (verb)

        The act of attending a graduation ceremony and receiving an official higher education award.

      • Graduation

        A graduation ceremony where students receive their official higher education awards.

  • H

      • Highly trusted sponsor status

        A status that is only given to universities that have demonstrated the highest levels of immigration compliance.

      • Home Office

        The UK Home Office is a ministerial department responsible for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime policy, counter-terrorism and policing.

  • I

      • Independent study

        Time spent learning on your own or in a group with other students, without the presence of a member of teaching staff. It includes reading, researching, completing assignments and preparing for taught sessions. Independent study can take place in the library, your home or any other space.

      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

        See British Council International English Language Testing System / IELTS

      • ILE (Integrated Learning Environment) (also known as SunSpace)

        A virtual learning environment that contains course materials and lecture notes which can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.

      • International bank transfer

        A method of transferring money from one person / institution to another person / institution in another country.

      • International student

        A student with a nationality from a country outside of the European Union.

      • Internship

        A paid or unpaid period of temporary employment that will provide you with valuable experience and improve your employability.

  • L

      • Leave of Absence

        Time away from university during term-time, which must be approved by the University of Sunderland in London.

      • Library

        A place for students to study, work in groups and carry our research. The Library contains many books and computer to access journal and eBooks.

      • Library Catalogue

        A fully searchable database of all books available in the University of Sunderland in London Library. The Library catalogue can be accessed from any internet connected computer or device.

  • M

      • Master of Arts (MA)

        A type of postgraduate degree with a focus on the arts.

      • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

        A type of postgraduate with a focus on business.

      • Master of Science (MSc)

        A type of postgraduate degree with a focus on the sciences.

      • Masterclass

        A class or lecture, given to students in a particular area, by an expert from outside the University.

      • Module

        A unit of assessed learning with coherent aims and learning outcomes. You can customise your degree with your choice of modules.

  • N

      • National Health Service (NHS)

        The UK’s state health service, which provides treatment for UK residents. If your course lasts for six months or more, you and your dependants may qualify for NHS health treatment.

  • O

      • Offer letter

        An official letter from the University of Sunderland in London, giving an unconditional or conditional offer of a place on a course. You need to accept an unconditional offer before you can apply for a CAS.

      • Overseas student

        A student with a nationality from a country outside of the European Union.

  • P

      • Placement

        A period of unpaid work experience with a company or organisation that is related to your course, usually undertaken during your course.

      • Postgraduate

        Higher Education study for students who have already completed an undergraduate course. Postgraduate study leads to a qualification such as a Masters degree.

  • R

      • Registration

        The process of becoming an official student of a university. Also known as enrolment.

  • S

      • Scheduled learning

        Contact time with a member of teaching staff. It includes lectures, tutorials, and seminars.

      • Scholarships

        Money, given to students by the University. Scholarship money is yours to keep and does not need to be repaid.

      • Sir Tom Cowie Campus

        One of the University of Sunderland campuses in the city of Sunderland, North East England.

      • Student Relations Assistant

        A member of staff at the University of Sunderland in London who is based in the Gateway and can help with financial advice, payments, welfare, visa issues, and accommodation.

      • SunSpace

        See ILE.

  • T

      • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

        A method of testing English language. Please note that the University of Sunderland in London DOES NOT accept TOEFL.

      • Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)

        A method of testing English language. Please note that the University of Sunderland in London DOES NOT accept TOEIC.

      • Top-Up

        A short undergraduate course that allows you to turn a qualification or HE study that is above level 3 on the UK National Qualifications Framework into a full Bachelor’s Degree.

      • Transnational education

        The delivery of our courses with partners abroad.

      • Tuition fees

        The amount of money you are required to pay for your course.

      • Tutor

        A lecturer who supervises the welfare and studies of students.

  • U

      • UCAS

        The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. A UK-based organisation that administers applications for entry onto full-time UK higher education courses from both UK and overseas students.

      • Unconditional offer

        An offer of a place on a course, given to a student who has satisfied all entry requirements.

      • Undergraduate

        A student who is studying for a Bachelor’s Degree.

      • Undergraduate degree

        A course of study leading to a Bachelor’s Degree.

      • University of Sunderland

        A provider of higher education with campuses in Sunderland and London.

      • University of Sunderland Students’ Union (USSU)

        A student body run by students for students. The USSU support students based both in Sunderland and in London and is a separate organisation from the University. See the Students’ Union website for more information.

  • V

      • Visa

        A document issued by the UK Home Office giving you permission to enter the UK and remain there for a limited duration.

  • W

      • Withdrawal

        The act of formally leaving your course before completion.

      • Work placement

        See placement.