Glossary and Abbreviations

If you are unsure about the meaning of a term or abbreviation related to higher education and/or the University, you can look it up in this A to Z. The glossary includes abbreviations.

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

A

A Block
The Ty Crawshay building used to be known as ‘A Block’. New home of the Law School, Postgraduate Centre and Directorate.


Academic Appeals
Students may appeal against the decision of an assessment board, and/or against the decision and penalty imposed by the Assessment Infringements Committee or an assessment board for an academic offence. This process is referred to as Academic Appeals page.


Accreditation
The process by which the University gives wide authority to another institution to exercise powers and responsibility for academic provision.


Advice Centres / Advice Shops
Now known as Advice Zones.


Advice Zones
Your first port of call when there is any issue affecting your ability to study, and for any other queries related to student life.


AGM / Union Annual General Meeting
Students’ Union government meeting, open to all students.


Alfred Russel Wallace
One of the buildings on our Glyntaff campus.


Alumni
People who graduated from the University.


Alumnus
Person who graduated from the University.


Aneurin Bevan
One of the buildings on our Glyntaff campus.


APCL
Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning


APEL
Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning


Assessment Board
The University has a two tier system of assessment boards: subject assessment boards where modules are assessed and award and progression assessment boards where students’ progression is considered and awards and classifications are agreed.

Atlantic House
One of the buildings which form our Cardiff campus.


ATRiuM
The name of the biggest building in our Cardiff campus.


Award
A qualification awarded by the University (e.g. a BSc or BA)


Award and Progression Assessment Board
Award and Progression Assessment Boards exist for every programme of study leading to an academic award of the University, in order to determine the students’ progression and completion of their awards.


Award External Examiner
An award external examiner is appointed primarily because of their experience of examination board functions in higher education. Their role is to ensure that the conduct of the award examination board is appropriate, the regulations of the University are adhered to and all decisions are properly made.


Awards congregation
Graduation ceremonies.

B

B Block
Brecon building.

BA/BSc
Bachelor of Arts/Science

Blackboard
Also known as UniLearn. The University’s Virtual Learning Environment. For more information and guidance, visit Using Blackboard

Blended Learning
Encompasses any activity from the simple use of e-mail and PowerPoint presentations delivered on campus, through to sophisticated multimedia simulations for use in stand-alone study at any location in the world.

Box of Broadcasts
Staff and students based at our Newport campuses can watch or record television and radio programmes using Box of Broadcasts.

Brecon building
Also known as B Block.

BTEC
Business & Technician Education Council

BUCS
British Universities and Colleges Sport

C

Cambrian Point
Privately run student hall in Cardiff, operated by Liberty Living.

CAS
Central Authentication System – the IT system allowing single sign on login to many different e-services and websites on campus.

CAT
Credit Accumulation & Transfer

CATS
Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme

CELT
Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

CES
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science

Clearing
The last stage of the Admissions Cycle (the time of year when university applications are made). Universities aim to fill up any spare places on the courses they offer. Usually starts around the day students get their A-level results in the middle of August.

Clubs
Sport organisations within the Students’ Union. Only BUCS recognised sports can form clubs. Clubs fall under the administration of Student Activities.

Connect 2
The University’s online Media Loans Booking System.

Core
Core modules are modules which were approved at validation as being essential for students to pass in order to achieve their award. Core modules are not eligible for compensation and may not be substituted.

Course
A course is an academic programme which results in a qualification. Courses can take several years to complete, and may involve a variety of compulsory and/or optional modules. The most common courses are undergraduate (resulting in Bachelor or Diploma qualification) and postgraduate (resulting in Masters or Doctorate qualifications).

Course Leader
A course leader is a manager of an award. They are the lecturer in charge of a course and the lecturers who teach it.

Course reps
Course representatives are elected volunteers who work with the University and the Students’ Union to represent student requests, experiences and comments and improve the student experience.

CPD
Continuing Professional Development

Crawshay’s
Café / food outlet in A Block / Ty Crawshay building.

Credit
A unit of academic ‘currency’ based on learning hours. Most undergraduate programmes require students to obtain 120 credits in each academic year.

D

D Block
Dyffryn building. Primarily used by the Faculty of Business and Society.

Data Protection
The Data Protection Policy determines how we use your personal information

DDS
Disability and Dyslexia Service

Department
A department is a unit within a faculty which can be further divided into subjects for management and administrative purposes.

Double Module
Module which contains 40 credits

DSA
Disabled Student Allowance

Dyffryn
Also known as D Block.

E

EDiC
Old terminology. The Student Development and Study Skills Sevice used to be known as ‘Education Drop-in Centre’.

EEA
European Economic Area.

EFL
English as a Foreign Language

E-Learning
On-line learning and teaching using software

Erasmus+
The European Community action scheme for the mobility of university students.

EndNote
Bibliographic Software.

Elaine Morgan
One of the buildings on our Glyntaff campus.

eStream
USW’s streaming media system

EU
European Union

Extenuating Circumstances
Formerly known as “Mitigating Circumstances”, these are unexpected circumstances beyond a student’s control which have an effect on academic performance.

F

F Block
Ferndale building. Formerly known as Forest Hall.

Faculty
A faculty is a group of similar or subject-related teaching sections of the University, which is further divided into departments and subjects for management and administrative purposes. Each faculty is headed by a dean.

FBS
Faculty of Business and Society.


FCF
Discontinued: Financial Contingency Fund. Replaced by the Hardship Fund schemes.


FCI
Faculty of Creative Industries


FD
Foundation Degree – a full or part-time course that allows students to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to move on to the first year of a degree or HND


FE
Further Education


Ferndale building
Former student hall, now an administrative building of the FBS faculty and home to the Disability and Dyslexia Service (DDS) and The Wellbeing Service.


FINDit
Online journals and learning resources.


First (Class)
Degree classification. The highest grade.


FoI
Freedom of Information


Franchise College/Partner Institution
Another institution which has been approved to offer a University validated programme, award or module. This includes those partnership arrangements deemed “validated” whereby the University acts as the awarding body and quality auditor for an award designed, managed and offered by another institution. A partnership between the University and another institution or organisation may also be for other objectives eg advanced standing, development of shared ownership awards, or research.


FTE
Full-time Equivalent

G

G Block
Glynneath building. Primarily used by the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science.

Gallery Restaurant
Now renamed Stilts. Main refectory / canteen / restaurant, located opposite G Block / Glynneath building.

George Knox
One of the buildings on our Glyntaff campus.

Glamorgan Conference Centre
– renamed USW Conference & Events. The Conference Centre is located above the Stilts Restaurant on the Treforest campus.

Glamorgan Court
Student halls complex in Treforest.

Glynneath building
Also known as G Block.

Glyntaff
University campus located at Glyntaff.

GNVQ
General National Vocational Qualification

Graduand
A final year student who has passed their course and is about to graduate.

Graduate
A person who has completed their university course and has graduated.

H

H Block
Hirwaun building. Home of the Business School.

Half Module
Module which contains 10 credits

HE
Higher Education

HEA
Higher Education Academy

HEFC
Higher Education Funding Councils

HEFCW
Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

HEI
Higher Education Institution

Hirwaun building
H Block, home of the Business School

HNC/HND
Higher National Certificate / Diploma

I

ICIS
The Integrated Curriculum Information System is a database for module and programmes information.

ICT
Information and Communication Technology. The study of the technology used to handle information and aid communication.

IISA
The Immigration & International Student Advice Team.


Induction
Special introductory sessions to familiarise new students with a range of topics.


Inter-Library Loans
If you require items which are not available from our own library collections, you can access them via the Inter-library Loans Request Service (ILL) which is administered through the British Library.


ISSS
The Immigration & International Student Advice Team used to be known as the ‘International Student Support Service’


ITT
Initial Teacher Training

J

J Block
Johnstown building. Primarily used by the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science.

Johnstown building
Also known as J Block. Primarily used by the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science.

Joint
The opportunity to study two subjects of your choosing in equal measure.

Joint programme
This is when the University teams up with another institution to deliver a university validated scheme, award, field or module

K

K Block
Kidwelly building. Mainly houses arts facilities and courses.

KTP
Knowledge Transfer Partnership

L

Labsoft
Lab Software Database – listing computer labs and the software available in each

LAN
Local Area Network

LEA
Local Education Authority

Learning Outcomes
Statements that predict what learners should gain as a result of learning. They can be specific (eg detailing competencies) or general (eg a broad appreciation of a particular culture or working environment).

Lecturer
A university teacher.

Level
An indicator of the relative demand, complexity, depth of study and autonomy of learning. A typical first degree has three levels, Level 4 (Certificate level), Level 5 (Intermediate level), Level 6 (Honours level).

LGBT
Lesbian, Gay. Bisexual or Transgendered students. Sometimes, the acronym gets extended to LGBT+ or LGBTQ or even LGBTTQQIIAA to be inclusive of further minority sexual orientations.

Lower Second (Class)
Degree classification. The third highest grade.

LSE
Faculty of Life Sciences and Education

M

Major
Major/minor honours degrees are for those who want to study two subject areas with a greater emphasis on one (the major) than the other (the minor).

Matrix
food outlet in Alfred Russel Wallace Building on the Glyntaff campus.

MBA
Master of Business Administration

Media Loans Booking System
The University’s online Media Loans Booking System (Connect 2) has a variety of Media and AV equipment, most of which may be booked and borrowed for a period of 1 to 48 hours.

Meeting House
The Meeting House is the home of the Chaplaincy on the Treforest campus, and a social space for students to use.

Minor
Major/minor honours degrees are for those who want to study two subject areas with a greater emphasis on one (the major) than the other (the minor).

Mit Circs / Mitigating Circumstances
Renamed “Extenuating Circumstances” in 2012.

Module
A module is a self-contained and coherent package of learning, with a general credit-rating, an assigned level, defined learning outcomes, and assessment strategies appropriate to its level and the outcomes.

Module Descriptor
A description of a module’s aims; synopsis of module content; teaching methods; learning outcomes; assessment requirements; concise indicative reading list; key skills delivered by this module; and validation details.

Module Instances
A module instance is created for each academic session in which the module is offered as part of the University’s portfolio.

Module Leader
Module leaders are normally based at the University and they have overall responsibility for the operation of the modules delivered both on-campus and in partner colleges.

Mountain Halls
Student halls complex in Treforest.

MPhil
Master of Philosophy – a postgraduate qualification / research degree.

MRes
Master of Research – a postgraduate qualification / research degree.

MSc
Master of Science degree – a postgraduate qualification.

N

Non-Sabbaticals
Volunteer / unpaid elected student representatives who look after specific issues / interest groups. Unlike Course Reps, Non-Sabbs are not representing a particular course.

NSS
National Student Survey

NUS
National Union of Students

NVQ
National Vocational Qualifications

O

O Block
The Otley Arms pub is sometimes referred to informally as the ‘O Block’ by staff and students. Please note: It is not officially designated as such by the University.

Optional
Optional modules are modules which students may choose at their own discretion. Optional modules can be compensated and may also be substituted with another module which the Scheme /Award Board regard as appropriate.

P

Partner institution
Another institution which offers or wishes to offer a University validated scheme/award or module.

PDP
Personal Development Planning. A tool to develop your awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, reflect on your learning, performance and/or achievement, and plan for your personal, educational and career development.

Personal Tutor
A lecturer or professor assigned as contact point to a student for issues related to their academic life. This role is now described as Coach.

PG
Postgraduate

PGCE
Postgraduate Certificate in Education

Plagiarism
Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work, whether intentionally or unintentionally, as your own.

Points-based system
An immigration system launched to ensure that only those with the right skills or the right contribution will be able to come to the United Kingdom to work and study.

Professional Bodies
Organisations which approve or recognise specific programmes in the context of professional qualifications eg the Law Society.

Professor
In the United Kingdom, the word “Professor” is a title conferred by a university denoting the highest academic rank. Not every lecturer is a professor.

Professor Bernhard Knight
One of the buildings on our Glyntaff campus.

Programme
An individual student’s pattern of modules leading to an award.

Programme Specification
Programme specifications provide a description of one or more awards leading to a University qualification. This description, should include reference to the programme’s Educational Aims; Intended Learning Outcomes; Award Requirements and Delivery; Programme Structure; Support for Students and their Learning; Criteria for Admission; Methods for Evaluating and Improving the Quality and Standards of Teaching and Learning; Regulation for Assessment; Indicators of Quality and Standards and Validation Details.

Q

Quercus
The University’s student records system is called QuercusPlus. The student interface for the system is called QuercusLive and allows you to amend some details in your student record yourself.

R

RCT
Rhondda-Cynon-Taf County Borough Council

Referral
Academic work that needs to be redone / resubmitted / retaken to achieve a pass grade.

Repro
Reprographics centre, for photocopying and printing services. Rebranded USW Print & Design

Resit
An individual assessment/examination or all the pieces of assessment have to be taken again. These will be capped at a maximum of 40 marks.

RWCMD
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama – part of the University of South Wales Group.

S

Sabbaticals
Also known as Trustees. Full-time employed, elected student representatives who form the executive arm of the Students’ Union.

Schengen
The Schengen Agreement deals with the abolition of internal borders in many European countries. As a result, it included the introduction of the Schengen visa, which govern visits for foreign nationals from some countries outside the Schengen area.

School
Organisational entity within the hierarchy of the University, usually made up of several departments, but not at the same level as a faculty.

SDSSS
The Student Development and Study Skills Service.


SLC
Student Loans Company


Societies
Cultural groups within the Students’ Union. Societies fall under the administration of Student Activities.


Special Needs
Disability/Dyslexia


SSAA
Self-Service Account Administration – an online tool for changing your password and administering your IT account.


Standard Module
Module which contains 20 credits


Student Administration Services
Responsible for student records, exams information, graduation ceremonies, your results, timetable information, enrolment and your personal information. Renamed “Academic Registry” from 2017 onwards.


Stilts Foodcourt
Main refectory / canteen / restaurant on Treforest campus, located opposite G Block / Glynneath building. Also includes a coffee outlet selling Starbucks products.


Student Charter
The Student Charter sets out your rights as a student and the quality of service the University expects to deliver to you.


Student Services
Support for students. Most of these fall within the remit of the Student Support and Library Services department.


Subject Assessment Board
Subject assessment boards agree the overall module grades of individual students for all modules belonging to that subject.

SVR
Student Voice Reps are responsible for communication between Course Reps, the Faculty, other Committees and groups and the Students’ Union.

T

TEFL
Teaching English as Foreign Language

TESOL
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

The Street
Area in the main hall of the ATRiuM building in Cardiff.

Third (Class)
Degree classification. The fourth highest grade.

Triple Module
Module which contains 60 credits

Trustees
Also known as Sabbaticals. Full-time employed, elected student representatives who form the central government of the Students’ Union.

TTA
Teacher Training Agency

Turnitin
System for assignment submissions and plagiarism prevention.

Tutor
A tutor can be either a lecturer (teaching a particular module), or someone who assists with the provision of specific practicals or seminars.

Ty Crawshay
Also known as A Block. Home of the Law School and Postgraduate Centre.

Tyn-y-Wern
University Outdoor Sports facility located just off Treforest Industrial Estate, also called USW Sport Park

U

UCAS
Universities & Colleges Admissions Service

UCS
University and College Sport

UG
Undergraduate

UKCISA
UK Council for International Student Affairs. Formerly known as UKCOSA.

Union Council
Students’ Union government entity, made up of volunteers. Union Council is the group which discusses and votes on Union policies. To join Union Council, a student needs to get themselves nominated by other students early in the first term.

USWSU
University of South Wales Students’ Union

UoG
University of Glamorgan. One of the two universities which merged to form the University of South Wales.

Upper Second (Class)
Degree classification. The second highest grade.

UWN
University of Wales, Newport. One of the two universities which merged to form the University of South Wales.

V

Validation
The process used by the University to judge if a proposed scheme, amendment to an existing scheme, or module meets its requirements in accordance with its regulations and nationally recognised standards

Victoria Hall
Privately run student hall in Cardiff.

VLE
Virtual Learning Environment

W

Wenvoe
One of the buildings on our Treforest campus.

WIHSC
Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care

Z

Zone
Food court on Glyntaff campus