About Higher Education

University jargon buster: An ABC of key terms to understand when applying for Higher Education

Alumni - A former student.

Alumni is the collective term for the community of graduated students.

Bachelors Degree - An undergraduate degree course that typically lasts 3 years.

A 'BA' is the study of Arts and Humanities such as History, Literature and Languages. A 'BSc' is the study of science subjects, and a 'BEng' is the study of Engineering.

Campus - A collective location of all university buildings, lecture halls, libraries, accommodation and catering facilities.  

Some universities are campus-based, meaning all facilities can be accessed on the same site, whereas others will be city-based. This means that uni buildings will be spread out across a few streets or even a bus ride away. (The University of Bolton is campus-based).

Dissertation - A researched-based essay submitted at the end of your final year.

A dissertation is a demonstration of your chosen topic of research over your years at university and have an average word count between 8,000 and 15,000. But don't worry! You will have support and guidance from a personal tutor, course librarians and a whole year to write one. Not all courses require a dissertation.

Erasmus - An exchange program that allows students to study at Universities across the EU.

You can learn more about Erasmus opportunities at the University of Bolton HERE.

Foundation Year

A 'year zero' completion will gain automatic entry into Year One.


Financial aid from university that doesn't need to be paid back, unlike Student Finance which does.

Halls of Residence

You can learn more about Hall of Residence at the University of Bolton HERE.

Independent Learning

Research and studying topics not taught in a formal lecture setting.

Joint Honours Degree

A degree that allows you to study more than one subject.


In science-based courses these are the practical sessions where you will put what you have learnt into practice. 

Maintenance Loan

A loan paid directly to the student to cover the costs of living expenses. 

You do not have to start paying this back until you have graduated and have begun earning over £25,000 per annum.

NUS - The National Union of Students

Learn more about Student Unions, their campaigns and member ship HERE.

Prospectus - A booklet cataloguing all the useful information about the university regarding courses and entry requirements. 

You can download our online Prospectus HERE or request a hard copy HERE.


Academic writings require quotes from other sources. When not properly referenced to who wrote them, in what text and where it was found, you're work can be flagged as plagiarism.

Societies - Clubs and groups that meet to socialise or take part in recreational activities.

There are lots of different kinds of societies. From culture and languages to sports and hobbies. There are also societies focused on religion and lifestyle. Societies are open to everyone and usually free to join. University of Bolton Societies

Tuition Fees

Tuitions fees are currently £9,250 a year. This fee is paid by the government in the form of a student loan.

You do not have to start paying this back until you have graduated and have begun earning over £25,000 per annum.


Practical or 'how-to' activities where staff, visitors, guest speakers, or industry professionals will demonstrate skills and show you how to do them.

Year in Industry

Time spent working in a professional environment whilst studying for you degree to better prepare you for working life.

You can also chat with our staff directly every Wednesday from 2 pm - 4 pm and periodically throughout the working week.

Alternatively, chat with our current students who will be able to share this information with you and any other course-related queries.

Or book onto one of our Open Days or Course Advice Days to find out more and speak with the team.

What is #UniAsItShouldBe? A University that puts its students and their needs first through a supportive learning environment. Welcome to the University of Bolton.