Glossary

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

Here is a glossary of words from our Parents webpages and some other words you may hear used in connection with the university.

A

Academic Department Each student belongs to an academic department who is responsible for their learning, teaching etc. They may have classes outside their department, if they are taking modules as part of their degree which are offered by another department.
Academic Year The academic year consists of thirty weeks divided into two semesters each of fifteen weeks. The year usually starts in late September, and runs through to June, with breaks for the Christmas and Easter vacations.
Approved module A module from a selection of modules that a student's department will allow them to take and along with core modules as part of the course regulations.
Autumn Semester The Autumn semester usually starts in late September and consists of twelve teaching weeks before Christmas and, after the Christmas Vacation, a three-week examination period when the modules taken during the semester are assessed.

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B

BACS transfer Electronic payment from one bank account to another

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C

Calendar of Prize Regulations the rules and criteria that govern the award of official University of Sheffield prizes.
Capped/Uncapped results Capped results reflect the regulatory pass grade of 40 for undergraduates, and are usually used for resit attempts for a module. Uncapped results are those on the student’s official record which reflect the actual grade gained for a module.
Certificate official university degree certificate, given to students who successfully complete a programme of study, and have been conferred at a graduation ceremony.
Change of Programme the change from one programme of study to another. This can be either within the same academic department, or to another department or faculty.
Change of Status form the form used by a student to alter their programme of study, apply for a leave of absence, withdraw from the university, or apply to repeat some exams.
Conferment this is the official process whereby a student is recognised as having a degree. This usually takes place at a graduation ceremony but can also be done ‘in absentia’ if a student cannot attend a ceremony in person.
Core modules the modules that are central and compulsory to the programme of study. Passing assessment and/or examination in these is essential to enable the student to progress to the next level of the course.
Critical Support A service which provides help and support for students and their families affected by serious incidents.
Cross-sessional Occasionally, a particular change in a student´s status can have the effect of interrupting study such that it may be possible for the student to rejoin their programme on a `cross sessional´ basis, this usually results in the student studying the second semester of a level of study before the first semester.

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D

Data Protection Act UK law governing the use and storage of personal information.
Debt checking process The process used within the Student Administration Service to ensure students due to graduate do not owe the university money. A student with a debt will not be able to graduate until that debt is paid.
Deferred Usually used in connection with examination results to indicate that a result cannot currently be supplied, but is expected to be advised in the near future.
Departmental Examination Board a meeting at which examination results are discussed and approved by departments. This will also include the discussion of special cases, and the award of Prizes.
Degree Ceremony An event at which students (now called graduands) are formally awarded their degrees and receive their degree certificates.
Degree classification the overall grade an undergraduate degree is given. The degree will be classified on the basis of a calculation which takes account of the grades achieved at Level 2 and Level 3 (and where applicable, level 4).
Degree Congregation Programme A pamphlet listing graduands attending the degree ceremony and a list of prizes won.

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E

Events Team The department responsible for organising the degree congregations.
Extra curricular activities that are considered outside the scope of the academic requirements of the degree programme of study.

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F

Faculty There are five Faculties: Arts and Humanities; Engineering; Medicine, Dentistry and Health; Science; and Social Sciences. Each School or department in the University belong to one of the Faculties and the degree programmes they offer, in turn, belong within the same Faculty.
Faculty Officer/ Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching This is a senior member of staff within each Faculty who has responsibility for coordinating learning throughout the Faculty. They will also sit on various committees, and have responsibilities in dealing with student appeals, conduct, behaviour, progress etc.
Faculty Student Review Committee A Faculty-level committee which meets at the request of a department who has concerns about a student’s progress and ability to study or remain on their course.

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G

General Regulations for First Degrees these are the “rules” that are used to ensure degree programmes are run properly and fairly. They cover everything; from what subjects will be taken, to the time limit for completing a course.
Graduands students attending a ceremony, who are due to graduate

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H

HEAR ‘Higher Education Achievement Report’: a new kind of undergraduate degree transcript that provides a comprehensive record of students’ curricular and extra-curricular university achievements.
Head of Department The term Head of Department applies to those who have responsibility for either an academic department or school. Heads of Department are appointed by and are responsible to the relevant Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor. (FPVC).
Home department Each student belongs to an academic department who is responsible for their learning, teaching etc. They may have classes outside their home department, but their record is managed by the department their degree programme belongs to, sometimes known as their Home Department.

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I

In Absentia Ceremonies enable students who complete their studies outside the graduation ceremony periods, to have their degree conferred and, therefore, receive their degree certificate without having to wait until the next degree ceremony.
Integrated Masters A four- or five-year undergraduate course which begins at undergraduate level, but continues into postgraduate level, offering the opportunity for the successful student to exit with a Masters qualification, eg MEng, MBiolSci.

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J

K

L

Leave of Absence an authorised period of time off from a student’s course – often a whole semester or full year. This period is not included in calculations regarding a student’s time limit for completion of their degree.

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M

Module dropped a module which was replaced by studying another module – where the decision to change was made after week 3 of the relevant semester. No exams are taken, and no marks are received for such a module.
Module Results overall results for assessment and exams on modules which are confirmed and released at the end of the Autumn and Spring semesters, or during the August resit period.
MUSE My University of Sheffield Environment. An online portal which allows students to access University of Sheffield information from any computer. Students can check that their details are up to date, eg address, and amend if necessary, by logging on to MUSE.

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N

Not Completed A result for a module which indicates that the student did not attend the exam, or submit or take some or all of the assessment/examination on the module. This is treated as a Fail.

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O

Optional modules some degree programmes have core modules whose total credit value do not add up to the required 120 credits per year; so a student can fill up the remaining number of credits with unrestricted modules, ie optional modules, from a choice of subject areas and/or other departments, which get approved at a “Module Enrolment” event at the start of the Semester.

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P

Prize Award Statement Document confirming the award of a prize.
Progress of Students the term used for reviewing a student’s performance on their degree programme in the light of failed exams, poor attendance, lack of work submission etc. If a Faculty Student Review Committee is convened to consider a case, this committee has the power to exclude a student from the university.
Progression the term for a student being permitted to move up to the next level of study, after passing the required number of modules.

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Q

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R

Repeat Study the term given to the course of action required to take modules again, in the following academic year, if they haven’t been passed during the August resit period. Repeating can be done as an “Internal” student (full attendance and support from the department); or as an “External” student (no attendance at classes – solely by submission of assessed work/attendance at examinations)
Resit Period The time, usually, in August when students can resit exams they haven’t passed.

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S

Special Circumstances Form The form used by students to advise departments of short absences during their course; or problems which have affected their performance in assessment and/or exams.
Spring Semester The Spring Semester starts immediately after the Autumn Semester examination period and consists of twelve teaching weeks broken into two blocks (one before and one after the Easter Vacation), followed by a three-week examination period when modules taken in this semester are assessed.
Statement of Award the official notification of results a student will receive. These are issued after every exam period, usually online via the University’s webpages.
Student Administration Service The part of Student Services which comprises Registry Team, Fees Team, Exams Team, Student Conduct and Appeals Team, Results and Awards Team, Information and Developments Team, Engagement and Progress Team.
Student Attendance Monitoring departmental procedures whereby student’s attendance is monitored, and non-attendance may be reported to the Taught Programmes Office.
Student Services A department within the University’s Professional Services which has a wide range of responsibilities spanning the whole student 'journey' from student recruitment through to learning and teaching services, student administration and student support.
Student Services Information Desk (SSID) One-stop shop for all former and current student enquiries.

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T

Transcript Official statement containing a student’s module results.
Transfer to another Institution a move from The University of Sheffield to another educational institution.

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U

Uncapped/ Capped results Uncapped results are those on the student’s official record which reflect the actual grade gained for a module. Capped results reflect the regulatory pass grade of 40 for undergraduates, and are usually used for re-sit attempts of a module.
Undergraduate Students students who are studying for a first degree.
University Counselling Service the University Counselling service which provides counselling and other support services to registered university students.
University Health Service (UHS) the health service which provides GP and other medical services to registered university students.
University Regulations The rules guiding all aspects of university business, including undergraduate degrees. By registering, a student agrees to abide by these rules.
Unrestricted module These are modules students can choose to study alongside their core modules to make up the 120 credit load per academic session. These are modules that are open to all students where applicable, depending on availability and numbers.

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V

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W

Withdrawal leaving the university permanently.

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X

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Y

Year end results the results received by students at the end of each academic year – reflecting whether they have passed the year, and can proceed to the next level of study, or are required to repeat a study year to redeem failed modules.

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Z

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