Science terms and definitions a-z


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Elective module — a module that you can choose from anywhere within Queen Mary or the University of London, subject to School or Institute approval and timetable constraints. Employability — a way to describe work readiness. Taking part in work experience and extra-curricular activities, as well as gaining skills that employers look.

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For example — IT Skills, leadership and problem solving, are ways to boost your employability. Enrolment — the process of officially registering with the university, and it is compulsory that you do this during your first week here. Erasmus — see Associate and Erasmus students.

They also direct the Union in the way students want it to be run and to suit their needs. Faculty — a group of university Schools or Institutes concerned with a major division of knowledge. Formative assessment — takes place when the feedback you are given helps you learn and progress in your subject area and your skills.

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It is designed to help you take the comments forward and improve your work. You will probably not be given a grade for this work, but if you are, the grades are not part of your formal transcript or your end of year results. Foundation programmes — are designed to prepare students for undergraduate study. Halls are managed by the Residential Services and Support department. Honours degree — a qualification awarded by a higher education institution after the successful completion of a three-year full-time degree or the equivalent part-time.

In-sessional programmes — help you to maximise your performance at university and improve the quality of your academic assignments. They are designed to help you increase your English language skills. Institute — an organisational body created for a certain purpose. Institutes are often parts of a university that are dedicated to postgraduate study and research.

They are aimed at those medical, dental or veterinary students wishing to undertake a year of research-orientated study. Intercollegiate — relating to two or more colleges.


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Queen Mary is a college of the University of London, which is a federation of colleges. International airport collection — we offer a free airport collection service by coach from London Heathrow Airport to our Mile End campus for international students arriving over Moving-in Weekend.

International exchange programme — enables students from Queen Mary to spend a year or the autumn semester at one of our partner institutions. International student — students from outside the UK and the European Union who have a different fee status from home students, and who are usually governed by the Tier 4 student immigration regulations. Internship — a formal period of time in a work place where you have responsibility for completing work tasks. Normally, this takes place in the summer before your final year of study and last from months, but now internships for graduates and shorter internships known as insight weeks aimed at first year students are available.

Employers highly value previous work experience, as it provides evidence that the candidate is able to use their skills effectively in a work environment. Deadlines for internships can often be in the November and December of the year before. At Queen Mary, internship opportunities are provided by Careers and Enterprise.

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Interruption of studies — when you are considering or intending to interrupt or suspend your study for a whole term, semester or year s but you intend to resume studies with the university at a future date. Before making your mind up, the first thing you should do is to speak to your personal tutor to discuss the situation.

Lecture — an educational talk delivered by a member of teaching staff. Lectures start at five minutes past the hour and are scheduled to finish five minutes before the hour for example, on your timetable it may say you have Research Methods at am, but the lecture should start at For lectures that last longer than an hour, it is normal for a five to ten minute break to be scheduled in the middle of the session. The purpose of a lecture is to gain the basic information that you need so that you can then carry out extra reading around the subject. Learning Development — this is a free service for students at any level from any subject discipline to become more effective in their academic work.

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Throughout the year they run one-to-one tutorials, drop-ins, retreats and various workshops and can help with reading, writing, revision, note-taking, avoiding plagiarism and other aspects of study. Mature student — defined as someone who will be 21 or over on entry to university.


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Module — a course that is offered by your School or Institute, as part of your degree, which in most cases will contribute to your degree credits. Module registration — is the process of selecting the elective modules you intend to study in a particular academic year.

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Please note that not all programmes offer a choice of modules and therefore you might not have the opportunity to alter the modules that are allocated to you. Moving-in Weekend — the weekend before Welcome Week. Students who have arranged accommodation in Halls collect their keys and move into their rooms during this period. MySiS — a repository of your personal details, funding and scholarship information, exam timetable and exam results. MySiS is also where pre-enrolment, enrolment and module selection must be completed. It is a confederation of students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK.

Optional module — practical optional elements designed to enhance your skills and knowledge. Oyster Card — is a travelcard produced by Transport for London TfL which can be topped up with cash or card for use sometimes at reduced rates on buses, Tube trains, the Docklands Light Railway, Overground and some national rail trains in the London area. Full-time students can apply for a student discount Oyster card. Pre-enrolment — pre-enrolment is the first part of the enrolment process.

Once you have been accepted to Queen Mary, and have had your place confirmed, our Admissions and Recruitment Office will email you with details on how to pre-enrol. Pre-sessional programmes — are designed to develop your English language and academic study skills, and prepare you for your chosen undergraduate or postgraduate degree. Principal — is the executive head of the university often called vice-chancellor elsewhere. Programme — your degree of choice, which consists of credit-bearing modules that make up an award, eg BA Comparative Literature.

Programme introduction formerly, school induction — consists of a series of talks during Welcome Week to ensure you have the basic information required to successfully complete your degree and adhere to the academic regulations and rules. Here you will find your teaching timetable, all of the information from your specific modules which may include lecture notes, workshop schedules, etc , the QReview lecture capture system, and information from the administrative staff of your School or Institute.

QMSE advises the Principal on the management of day-to-day university business as well as its long-term future. QMSU elections — the Students' Union runs elections in March so you can choose who should be the next group of students to run and lead the Students' Union. There are lots of positions you can nominate yourself for including full-time paid positions and part-time voluntary positions.

Elected students then set the direction of the Students' Union, decide on student policy and run campaigns and projects to improve students' lives and student experience. QReview — a repository of recorded lectures.

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Reading Lists Online — web-based system designed to manage reading lists through a single online application. Reading Week — Week 7 is reading week in Semester A and B in which there is normally a break in timetabled teaching to facilitate a space in the semester for a week of independent study. It is not the same as half-term at school because under some circumstances there may be lectures, workshops or assessment scheduled during this week. Therefore, it is advisable not to schedule a holiday during Week 7 and to use this time to catch up on any work from the previous weeks.

Residential Services and Support — manages QMUL-owned accommodation as well as providing support for those living on campus and help and support for those seeking alternative accommodation. Russell Group — QMUL is a member of the Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector.

Not all degree programmes offer a year in industry. Semester A and B are 12 weeks long, and the Exam Period runs between the first week of May until the first week of June. Seminar — the word seminar may mean different things across different Schools or Institutes. In general, a seminar is an opportunity to discuss a topic related to the teaching material in a module with an academic as well as with your peers. You might squeak by in your company of technological nonexperts, but even some of them will surprise you. These days, technical acronyms quickly insinuate themselves into the vernacular.

The abundance of terminology arises due to several factors:. IT is a broad and growing field IT concepts are often virtual and described using metaphors. IT businesses use marketing terminology to differentiate and sell their products. Abbreviations and acronyms are extensively used.

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