Glossary of terms/words used at LJMU

As an LJMU student you may come across words, terms and abbreviations that are often confusing and sometimes ambiguous.

That’s why we’ve written this small glossary that explains what the most frequently used terms mean.

For a more in-depth glossary that includes an explanation of academic terms please refer to the UMF Glossary web page

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V |W



Academic Framework
The regulations apply to all taught LJMU programmes that lead to a validated award, wherever delivered.

Academic Year
The Academic year is the duration of a programme of study. This may not be a complete 12 months and it is divided into 2 semesters.

Access Course
These are preparatory programmes for students who do not have the appropriate qualifications to gain entry into higher education. Usually run at Further Education Colleges.

The singular name is Alumnus. An Alumnus is a graduate of the University, an ex-student.

This is an abbreviation for the Aldham Robarts Learning Resource Centre and the Avril Robarts Learning Resource Centre. To differentiate Aldham is locally known as ARC1 whereas Avril is ARC2.

A term that groups together all the ways used to judge the performance of a student or group of students.

This is a process that is undertaken in Higher Education to check that the correct procedures are in place to provide quality and standards of teaching and learning.


Bachelor of Arts (BA)
A general first degree in a subject that is linked to the arts/humanities.

Bachelor of Education (BEd)
A first degree that qualifies the student to go onto a teaching role.

Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
A first degree that involves the study of Engineering.

Bachelor of Science (BSc)
A general first degree that will be in a scientific or numerical subject.


A site or group of buildings occupied by a university. LJMU has 3 main campus areas, North/City Campus, Mount Pleasant Campus, IM Marsh Campus, each with their own teaching and study facilities.

This is a mobile phone application that LJMU students can load onto certain devices to have information about timetables, location maps and student services – all whilst they are on the move.

This is the ‘grade’ of degree that you are awarded when you graduate. Divided into 3 tiers, from First to Third class, the highest award at undergraduate level is a First.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
CPD is a programme of study designed to upgrade knowledge and skills to be used in the professional workplace.

Credit is awarded after the successful achievement of learning outcomes has been demonstrated. The volume of credit is thus related to learning outcomes as an output and to a notional amount of learning activity as an input. There are 10 hours of learning activity per LJMU credit at all levels.

Credit Accumulation
Is the process of collecting credit towards a qualification.

Credit Transfer
Credit Transfer involves the ability to transfer credits, for learning, from one setting to another.


Distance education/learning
Study that doesn’t require physically attending the University but using the internet, email and post to learn and correspond.

A dissertation is an extended project that contributes significantly to a final assessment for a qualification.


External Quality Monitoring (EQM)
EQM is a generic term that covers a range of quality related investigations carried out by external bodies.


A Faculty is the base for the academic, teaching and research, staff in the University. LJMU has six Faculties made up of academic Schools and Centres.

Foundation Course
A course specially designed to prepare students for university study in a particular subject.


Graduate Development Centre (GDC). LJMU has its very own centre that helps student gain World of Work Skills, and assists with employability and careers issues.


The Higher Education Funding Council for England. This is the organisation which decides how much money, for each type of student, per student, higher education institutions receive from central government. Different amounts are allocated depending on the programme type.

Higher Education Institution (HEI)
An HEI is an educational institution that has students graduating at bachelor degree level or above.

Higher National Certificate/Higher National Diploma. Alternative awards to a degree normally regarded as having a strong vocational basis.


LJMU is a higher education institution (HEI) and may often be referred to as "the institution".


A year of study e.g. Level Four, Level Five.

Bachelor at Law. This is a first degree award specific to legal courses.

Masters at Law. This is a higher level degree award specific to legal courses.

Learning Resource Centre.  LJMU has 3 LRCs located on each of its campuses. Within each LRC you will find all the library and learning facilities you need as well as a Student Zone which is your first point of contact for student advice and support.


Master of Arts. A higher level degree award that follows on from a BA.

Module Assessment Board. The Assessment Board whose role is to moderate the marks or grades achieved on individual modules for all students taking the module. The MAB will consider any claims for personal mitigating circumstances, and recommend any requirements for students who have failed or been deferred. MABs will normally consider results from a number of modules together.

Masters Degree
A higher level degree that follows on from an undergraduate degree.

Master of Business Administration. A postgraduate degree in business.

Master of Engineering. A postgraduate degree in the field of engineering.

Master of Science. A higher level degree award that follows on from a BSc.

Mode of study
This refers to whether the programme is studied on a part time or full time basis or through distance learning.

A module is a self contained learning programme, which includes assessment. The expected result of undertaking a module is set out as a number of learning outcomes which define the achievements that can be expected of a student after successfully completing the module. If a module is designed to be part of an award programme it will be given the module status of either core or option for that award programme.

Module Catalogue
Module proformas are held on a database, the Module Catalogue, is available on the LJMU website. This facility is available to anyone. It is designed to be used by prospective students, employers, and employees as well as staff and existing students.


National Student Survey (NSS)
The National Student Survey (NSS) was set up in 2005 to gather feedback on the quality of undergraduate courses and help potential students compare subjects and universities.


Off Campus Support
Computing support that is available to LJMU staff and students when they are using a computer that is not located within a university building.


Programme Assessment Board. These Boards oversee assessment procedures in designated programmes managed by Schools; each board examines individual student assessment profiles, and makes recommendations on progress and awards, except in certain cross programme cases where the final recommendation on awards is made by the University Cross Programme Assessment Board.

Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMC)
PMC is when serious problems or events beyond a student’s control have prevented completion of assessments or attendance at exams. 

Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Postgraduate degree leading to Qualified Teacher Status.

Doctor of Philosophy.

This is the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and pretending that they are your own. Plagiarism is a serious offence in the University.

Study that is at post first degree level.

All of the University's programmes are described in a University wide catalogue which is available on the web.

The programme comprises the total core and option modules contained within the award title for which the student is registered.


Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)
This is a major activity every four years which assesses all research from all Universities in all subjects. The exercise has funding implications for research.


A sandwich programme is one that has a significant amount of work experience built into it.

LJMU has a number of Academic Schools that will belong to one of six Faculties.

A seminar is a small group teaching situation in which a subject is discussed in-depth by participants.

A semester is a division of the academic year. LJMU operates two semesters per academic year.

Student Zone
The ground floor of each Learning Resource Centre is known as the ‘Student Zone’ and it is here that you can find all the support and guidance you’ll need to help you through University life. The Student Zone should be your first point of contact if you need help or support in using the facilities and resources available, guidance on LJMU rules and regulations, assessment or examination advice or would like to make a complaint.


A thesis is the outcome of student research at doctoral level.

A session of intensive tuition given by a tutor to an individual or to a small number of students.


A college or university student who has not yet received a bachelor's or similar degree.


Virtual Purse (ViP)
The Virtual Purse (ViP) is a convenient way of paying for library charges photocopying costs and networked printing using one account. It is automatically created and connected to your university card and computing account.


WoW (World of Work)
WoW® aims to give LJMU students the advantage in the graduate employment marketplace by providing students with the skills that employers want.


Page last modified 05 October 2011.

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