Editorial style guide - H

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head of department

Use sentence case, unless you're referring to a specific individual when you should use title case.

All heads of department will attend the meeting.

Head of Department John Smith will attend the meeting.

headlines, headings and sub-headings

For page headings, headlines and sub-headings use sentence case – an initial capital for the first word only.

How to apply
How To Apply

You should only use title case if your header is also a proper noun, the official title of something, for instance:

The Department of Paranormal Investigation

Never use all caps for a header in print or online.

See also Title case and Sentence case

headlines and links

The headline of a web page should always be the same as any links leading to that page. For instance, don't call your link How to apply for a place if the page it links to is headed Information for prospective students.

Headlines for magazine and newsletter articles, in print or online, should be kept as short as possible. If your headline runs over more than one line, you should cut it down.


Use an apostrophe when writing Henderson's Relish or the name of the Unversity pub.

The abbreviated version is Hendo's.


One word.


One word.

higher education

Although it's often abbreviated to HE, higher education isn't really a proper noun so it doesn't need initial caps when you write it out in full.

Honorary Professor

Honorary Professor, Honorary Reader, Honorary Fellow are proper nouns with initial capitals. Honorary professorship, honorary degree etc are common nouns – no initial caps.

honorary titles

Write the titles of academics with a knighthood or damehood in this order: Academic title > honorary title.

When first referring to someone, use a full formal title.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw

For secondary mentions, use a shortened version.

Ask the person which title they would prefer you to use, for example:

Professor Smith
Or Dame Smith

Houses of Parliament

Upper case H and P. If you're just writing 'parliament' then use a lower-case P.

hyphen (-)

Hyphens can be used to join together two words to form an adjective. If the first word is an adverb you don't need a hyphen.

Note that in the fourth example there's no need for a hyphen after full.

Work-based learning
Full-time study
The course is broadly based
The course is completed through full and part-time study

The following words are never hyphenated:

  • postgraduate
  • worldwide
  • nationwide
  • milkround
  • multidisciplinary
  • multinational
  • interpersonal
  • ongoing
  • cooperative
  • teamwork
  • coordinate

hyphenating compounds

Permanent compounds

You don't need a hyphen if the compound is well-established or if it has become one word, for instance:

prime minister

Temporary compounds

You can add the hyphen temporarily, as in 'much-needed', to avoid ambiguity.

Jayne gave us much-needed training.

means the training was acutely necessary.

If you take the hyphen out:

Jayne gave us much needed training.

you're saying that Jayne gave us a lot of necessary training.

You don't need to hyphenate a phrase like 'richly deserved' because the adverb clearly modifies the verb. There is no room for confusion.