Access courses are designed to prepare students who do not have standard entry qualifications for higher education courses.
Accreditation is the approval of a higher education course by an authorised body. The QAA does not accredit higher education courses.
Accreditation of prior learning (APL)
A general term used for the award of credit given to an individual student on the basis of demonstrated learning that has occurred at some time in the past. This learning may have come about as the result of a course, or self-directed study, or as the result of experience either at work or in leisure pursuits.
Adult Learning Inspectorate
Association of Colleges
Authorised Validating Agency
Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education
Bachelor of Arts/Science
British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education — A registered charity which defines and monitors standards for independent further and higher education institutions in the UK. Institutions accredited by the BAC undergo full inspection every five years on premises and health and safety, administration and staffing quality management, student welfare and teaching/learning.
Bachelor of Education
A term used to describe a standard against which comparisons can be made.
Business and Technology Education Council — qualifications now awarded by Edexcel
City & Guilds Awarding Body
Council for National Academic Awards
Continuing professional development (CPD)
A range of short and long training programmes. Some of which have an option of accreditation, which foster the development of employment-related knowledge, skills and understanding.
Credit accumulation and transfer schemes (CATS)
Arrangements within institutions which determine student progression towards defined learning outcomes, including formal qualifications, and recognition of these arrangements between institutions to facilitate the transfer of students.
A course of higher education leading to the award of a bachelor's or master's degree
Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland
Department for Education Northern Ireland
Department for Education and Skills
A qualification awarded for a course of higher education
Learning through TV, radio, correspondence, computer network, CR-ROM, video and so on.
Edexcel is a UK examining and awarding body. It provides a wide range of qualifications including at higher education level.
English as a Foreign Language
Education and Learning Wales - Training for Wales National Council
Further Education Funding Council
A recognised higher education course designed to prepare students who have qualifications which are acceptable for entry in general, but are not appropriate to a specific course of study. Foundation courses are also used as Year 0 of a degree course to enable students with non-traditional qualifications to participate in higher education by using Year 0 as a preparatory year for a full degree programme.
Foundation Degrees are two-year higher education qualifications that were first offered in 2001-02. They are designed to meet skills shortages at the higher technician and associate professional levels. Foundation Degrees are one level below honours degree.
Full-time equivalent. For comparison and funding purposes, numbers of part-time students and staff are converted to full-time equivalents.
General Certification of Education Advanced Level
General Certification of Education Advanced Supplementary
General Certification of Secondary Education
General National Vocation Qualifications
Someone who has attained a bachelor's or higher degree
Higher Education Funding Council for England
Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Higher education institution (university or college of higher education)
Higher Education and Research Opportunities in the UK
The Higher Education Statistics Agency collects, analyses and reports on higher education statistics for universities and colleges in the UK.
A degree above bachelor's level such as master's degree or doctorate.
Higher education courses are above the standard of GCE A-levels or National Vocation Qualifications (NVQ) Level 3. They include degree courses, postgraduate courses, Foundation Degrees and Higher National Diplomas. Higher education takes place in universities and higher education colleges, and in some further education colleges.
Higher education colleges
HE colleges are divided into specialist colleges dealing mainly with one subject areas, such as music, art and design or teacher training; and more general colleges offering a range of courses, particularly in business, humanities and education.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate
HNC, HND, HNQ
Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma, Higher National Qualification
A bachelor's degree with honours covering greater depth than a general or ordinary BA or BSc degree.
Information and communications technology
Initial teacher training (ITT)
A course that leads to a qualification as a teacher. ITT is funded by the Teacher Training Agency.
Local Education Authority
A free advice telephone line/web site, which offers information on adult education and courses wherever you live and wherever you want to study.
Level of study refers to undergraduate and postgraduate.
Learning and Skills Council
Master of Arts/Science
MA/MSc degrees are awarded to graduates who have undertaken a further course of study, after an honours degree, either full or part-time. Masters degrees may be taken following a period of work experience and some courses take the form of company training programmes. MPhil degrees may be awarded following a period of research rather than a course of study.
Master of Business Administration
Master of Education
Mode of study refers to full-time, part-time, sandwich, distance learning etc
A programme of study in which a student chooses a number of short courses or modules, the satisfactory completion of which leads to a degree.
National Qualifications Framework
National Union of Students
National Vocational Qualification
Office for Standards in Education — an official body which regularly inspects all the schools in England which are mainly or wholly state funded. Ofsted inspectors produce education reports which are meant to improve standards of achievement and quality of education, provide public reporting and informed independent advice.
A bachelor's degree awarded without honours.
The DfES publishes comparative secondary and 16-18 performance tables each year. The tables report achievements in public examinations and vocational qualification in secondary schools and further education sector colleges. Primary school performance tables are published by local education authorities and report the achievements of pupils at the end of Key Stage 2.
Note: performance tables are not produced for higher education.
Postgraduate certificate in education - a teaching qualification.
A student on a course which normally requires a first degree as a condition of entry.
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
Research Assessment Exercise — the process of assessing the quality of research for funding purposes. The RAE is carried out every few years by the four UK funding bodies. The most recent RAE took place in 2001 and details can be found at www.hero.ac.uk
There are six subject-specific research councils. They are funded by the government to support research in their own establishments and to fund research projects in universities. Research in the arts and humanities is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Board.
A course of study which includes periods of practical work in organisations outside the university or college.
Standing Council of Principals
Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework
A study period of up to 16 weeks, often with the last two weeks used as an assessment period.
Scottish Qualifications Authority
Scottish Vocational Qualifications
Times Educational Supplement
Times Higher Educational Supplement
Teacher Training Agency — funds teacher education, accredits providers of initial teacher training and provides information and advice about teaching and teacher education.
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
Student working towards a first degree, higher education certificate or diploma or equivalent.
Universities are diverse, ranging in size, mission and history. The Privy Council has the power to grant university status to an institution. Former polytechnics were given the status of universities under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. These are sometimes called 'new' universities. The existing 'old' universities include many founded in the 1950s and 1960s, the civic universities established in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which date from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The process by which a course is judged to have met the requirements for an award by the relevant degree-awarding body, or the relevant examining body, or by an accredited institution on behalf of that degree-awarding body.
Defined as a planned activity that uses work as a context for learning. It involves learning 'through' work contexts, 'about' work and working practices, or 'for' work by developing personal attributes and employability skills. It is an 'umbrella term' which describes a broad range of activities for learners of all ages and includes developing awareness of the local and broader economy, applications of work to the national curriculum and other subjects and learning, and careers education. It connects learners' understanding of the role of active citizen with awareness of economy.
Terms referring to what is measurable such as attainment and attendance and progression to further education and training. Work-related learning may embody an accredited course. Work-related or vocational courses contain knowledge and in some cases skills relevant to particular sectors of industry or occupations.