Jargon Buster

What does it all mean?

This Jargon Buster will help you make sense of the acronyms and terms you may come across. If there’s anything we haven’t covered, then just give us a call or ask when you come in during the application process.

An awarding body offering qualifications in vocational areas such as Motor Vehicle.

One year pre-degree course designed to help adults who have been out of education for some time re-engage with learning and progress onto higher level pathways.

An awarding body offering qualifications in vocational areas such as Motor Vehicle.

One year pre-degree course designed to help adults who have been out of education for some time re-engage with learning and progress onto higher level pathways.

A single subject course usually completed in two years, made up of an AS Level and an A2 in the same subject.

Accreditation of Prior Learning. Skills and competencies gained in the workplace can be accredited as an alternative to formal qualifications. Generally for mature students who wish to enter Higher Education, but lack the formal entry qualifications.

Work-related qualifications which are designed to develop skills for a specific field of employment.

The first part of an A Level, taking a year to complete, and a qualification in its own right.

The second part of an A Level. Progression to the A2 depends on passing the AS Level in the same subject.

Vocational training programmes for people in employment. Available at Levels 2, 3 and 4.

An awarding body, provider of many A Level courses.

These terms relate to the size of a qualification – the number of units you are required to study. Diplomas are the largest, Awards are the smallest. All three types of qualification can be studied at different levels.

Refer to Bachelor degrees in various areas: Bachelor of Arts (BA); Bachelor of Education (BAEd); Bachelor of Engineering (BEng); and Bachelor of Science (BSc).

Originally stood for the Business and Technology Education Council but is now used to refer to work related qualifications offered by Edexcel. Offered at different levels, and the Level 3 BTEC Diplomas can be used to gain access to universities.

An awarding body, provider of many childcare courses.

An awarding body, provider of many vocational qualifications.

An offer made by the College Admissions team which is dependent on a certain target being reached.

Specialist awarding body for the construction industry.

An awarding body, particularly associated with health and fitness qualifications.

An awarding body, particularly associated with engineering qualifications.

An awarding body, providing both academic and vocational qualifications.

The results, evidence or level of performance necessary to gain a place on a given course.

A stand-alone qualification, this is worth half an A Level (up to 70 UCAS points). Provides an opportunity for independent research in an area of the student’s choice.

Wakefield College’s Foundation Learning programme. Offers a mix of vocational study, basic English, Maths and IT and personal and social development.

Higher Education qualifications that combine academic study with work-based learning and are designed to equip you for a particular area of work. Usually studied full-time over two years, although part-time foundation degrees do exist. Can lead to an honours degree with a further year’s study.

Qualifications in English, Maths and ICT at Entry Levels 1-3 and Levels 1-2. Offered as stand-alone qualifications or form part of other qualifications and the apprenticeship framework. Integral part of all full-time programmes at College.

Stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. GCSEs are single subject qualifications, usually completed in one year. Grades D-G are Level 1 qualifications, while grades A*-C are Level 2.

All education above Level 3. This includes HNCs, HNDs, foundation degrees and honours degrees.

Usually studied part-time over two years. Progression is to the second year of an honours degree or top-up to an HND.

Vocationally orientated, usually full-time and studied over two years. Can lead to progression to the second (or sometimes third) year of an honours degree.

The level of a qualification indicates its degree of difficulty. For instance, GCSEs at grades A*-C are at Level 2 while A Levels are at Level 3. Some qualifications are also offered at Entry Level, which is lower than Level 1.

An awarding body offering both academic and vocational qualifications.

A form of assessment consisting of a collection of written coursework tasks.

(AAT, City & Guilds, ILM, CIM etc.) usually studied part-time, alongside work and designed for a specific field of work; often by professional bodies. Undertaken to assist in professional development, they can lead on to further study.

These terms relate to all the different sizes of qualifications.

Available to those who have successfully complete an HND or Foundation Degree and wish to ‘top up’ to a full honours degree. Can be studied either part or full-time.

The amount to be paid each year in order to study your chosen course. Fees vary depending on choice of institution. There are a number of ways in which you can fund your Higher Education study, depending on your personal circumstances.

Central organisation processing applications to higher education courses in the UK.

A website where you can search, compare and apply for courses at schools, academies, colleges and work-based learning providers in your area

An awarding body, particularly associated with hair and beauty qualifications.