Admissions jargon buster

Admissions The admissions team at a university process potential students’ applications to see if they can make an offer for a place on a course.
Bachelor's degree A bachelor’s degree is the qualification you achieve after successfully completing a three or four year programme of degree-level study, it can also be called an undergraduate or first degree. You achieve either a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering, depending on which subject you studied.
Honours degree The name given to undergraduate programmes which include a dissertation or research project in the final year.
Foundation degree A foundation degree is a two year course which focuses on a particular job or profession. They are often set up in association with employers and combines academic study with work place learning for example Paramedic Science Foundation.
Foundation year This is a yearlong course designed to prepare students for university as they do not have the appropriate level or subject coverage for a specific degree programme.
Placement/
Sandwich year
This is a year of either work experience or study abroad which can be an optional or compulsory part of a university course.
Entry requirements These are the required grades or qualifications a student needs to gain entrance to a particular degree at university. Different courses will have different entry requirements.
Stage This indicates the year of entry you are seeking. For the majority of undergraduate students this will be stage 1 (year 1) however, you may be eligible for stage 2 or 3 entry if you have significant prior learning, for example are transferring from another Higher Education institution.
Top-up If you already have a Foundation degree, or another relevant qualification like a HND, you can complete just one further year of study on a Top-up degree which allows you to achieve a full Honours level qualification and graduate with a BSc (Hons) or BA (Hons).
Deferred entry A student can apply for a university place but request to start the course the following year. Students who wish to take a gap year do this to ensure they have a place at university for when they complete their year out.
UCAS The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is the organisation responsible for managing applications for all full-time undergraduate courses at UK universities and colleges.
Personal statement A part of the application where applicants write to explain why they are applying to study a particular course, their interest in that area and what would they bring to the university.
Reference A recommendation to testify the applicant's suitability and ability to study at Higher Education level. If you have been in education within the last three years this must be submitted by a teacher, otherwise it can be from an employer or professional.
Conditional Offer This is an offer made which is dependent on the student reaching certain criteria such as obtaining specific grades for example BBB from three A levels.
Unconditional offer This is an offer of a place on a university course where the applicant has met all of the entry criteria. There are no academic conditions to meet, the place is yours if you want it.
Unsuccessful Either you have not been made an offer as you do not meet entry requirements or you have not met the conditions of a conditional offer given.
Withdrawal Before the decision has been made by a university to make you an offer or not, you can withdraw your choice to study there. However, you are not able to re-use this choice and make another application elsewhere.
Extra Gives applicants who have used all 5 choices, but are not holding any offers anywhere, the opportunity to make further applications to receive an offer.
Firm choice An offer you accept as your first choice
Insurance choice An offer you accept as your second choice, just in case you do not meet the conditions of your firm offer.
Clearing Clearing is a system that operates after A level results are published. It allows students without a university place to apply for courses at universities where there are still vacancies.
Adjustment If you met and exceeded the conditions of your firm choice and would like to see if you can get on a course with higher entry requirements, you can use this service to do so whilst still holding your original confirmed place.