New Students

Key Definitions

You might encounter some new words in your first few weeks – it's okay not to know them all!

Key Definitions

Here are some helpful definitions.

Lecture theatre full of students

Academic year – While teaching mostly takes place from September to June, post-graduates will be working over the summer, so the official academic year is from 1st August to 31st July.

Advisor – An academic member of staff within your department that can give you advice about modules or references for postgraduate study/job opportunities. They’re really friendly and can help with personal issues that might impact your studies.

Core/compulsory modules – A core/compulsory module is a module that must be taken to meet requirements of your course and progress in your degree.

Elective module – a module that you can choose from anywhere within Queen Mary or University of London, dependent on School/Institute approval and timetable constraints.

Enrolment – The compulsory process of officially registering with the University.

Module – Another word for a course offered by your School/Institute.

Module registration – You can select elective modules and register for them on some academic programmes. However, not all programmes have these.

Optional module – You don’t have to take these courses, but they often help build your practical skills and knowledge related to your overall degree.

Programme introduction (formerly school induction) – A series of talks during Welcome Week with basic information about your degree and academic regulations.

Semester – This is another word for ‘term time’. At Queen Mary we have three semesters: A, B and Exam period. Semesters A and B are 12 weeks long; the exam period runs from the first week of May to the first week of June.

Student Support Officer(s) – For any issues you may be facing that may impact your ability to study, these are your people. They know their way around your School processes and all Queen Mary support services.

Welcome Week – Your first week before semester A. During this week there’s lots to do – more information is coming soon about what will be on offer!

Check out our larger glossary if the word you’re looking for isn’t listed.