Glossary of Terms

We know that universities, including our own, have some pretty odd words and phrases (what’s the difference between a thesis and a dissertation anyway?) And if, like us, you’re the first person in your family to go to university, it can be a bit difficult to know where you should turn to ask what it all means.

There’s no need to worry, though, because we’ve put together this short glossary of common university terms – along with some links to helpful info, which will give you that bit of extra guidance when you need it. If you have any further questions, get in-touch through the myHull portal.

You can refer back to this glossary at any time by going to should you need to.

So we hope you find it useful, and all that’s left to say is good luck!

Josie, Brad, and Eve

Academic Reps

  • Supported by Hull University Students' Union, academic reps gather feedback from students on their programme and raise issues with academic staff at student staff forums. University-wide issues are discussed at course rep forums.
  • Click here to find out about becoming a course rep.

Academic Standards

Academic Year

  • The year running from September to June which is split into trimesters with the Christmas and Easter breaks in-between.Some exceptions apply as healthcare students will be taught over the summer months also.


  • Where appropriate, courses with accreditation are endorsed by the appropriate professional body. For example, courses in accounting and finance are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Additional Consideration

  • If a student is experiencing issues preventing them from completing an assessment, either at all or to the best of their abilities,they may request to retake the assessment at a later date. Evidence (such as self-certification) will be needed to support the request.
  • Click here to view the Extension and Additional Consideration Request guidance.

Advice Centre (HUSU)

  • An independent advice service for students, managed by Hull University Students' Union. The Advice Centre can offer impartial guidance and support on a range of topics including finance, accommodation, employment and academic issues.
  • For more information about the Advice Center, click here.


Annual General Meeting (AGM)

  • An open meeting of a society/sports team for all members to attend often used to elect the next committee for the next academic year and discuss any future development for the club.

Annual Review

  • PhD students are required to undertake both six-month and annual progress review meetings. Progression is dependent on successful completion of such assessments.

Athena SWAN

Athletic Union (AU)


  • A qualification, or academic credit, conferred in formal recognition that a student has achieved the intended learning outcomes and passed the assessments required to meet the academic standards set for a programme or unit of study.

This resource has been developed for students, by students.

The First Generation Scholars Network at the University of Hull identified that those who are the first in their family to attend university sometimes take longer to adapt to academic terminology.

This glossary has been created to help bridge this gap, giving all students the opportunity to understand the language of higher education and signposting to further information and support.

Lead authors: J G Cavaliere, B Durie and E M Jones (2019). Adapted by Student Services (2020).

Last updated : March 2021

Glossary of University Terms by Student Services - University of Hull is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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