Jargon Buster

  • A

    • Access Diploma

      Level 3 qualification designed for adult learners (aged 19+) to provide opportunities to make a successful return to education. They can enable successful progression onto higher education at university, or directly into employment. Can be completed on a full or part-time basis.

    • Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

      APEL is a process through which the learning you have gained from work experience can be counted towards entry onto a course.

    • Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

      APEL is a process through which the learning you have gained from work experience can be counted towards entry onto a course.

    • Accredited

      A course is accredited if it has been approved by a professional awarding body. If a course is accredited, it shows that it covers everything you need to know for a career in the relevant industry.

    • Apprenticeship

      An Apprenticeship is a real job with training, meaning you can earn while you learn and gain a nationally-recognised qualification. Apprenticeships combine practical training in the workplace with study in College. There are three main types of Apprenticeship available in Northern Ireland – Level 2 (equivalent to five GCSEs above Grade C), Level 3 (equivalent to two A Levels) and Higher Level Apprenticeships (Levels 4–7), which is equivalent to a range of higher level qualifications including HNCs, HNDs, Foundation Degree, Honours Degree and Masters Degree (see Higher Level Apprenticeship)

    • Award / Certificate / Diploma

      Terms which relate to the size of a qualification which depends on how in-depth the qualification is and the number of units you are required to study. Diplomas are the largest with the most units. Certificates are in-between and Awards are the smallest with the fewest units to complete. All three types of qualification can be studied at different levels.

    • Awarding Body

      A corporate body with the legal authority to award academic qualifications. ‘City and Guilds’ would be an example of an Awarding Body.

  • B

    • BTEC

      A vocational qualification that provides specialist, work-related learning in a range of sectors. BTEC qualifications can lead to further studies, employment and progression to Higher Education. BTEC Level 3 Diplomas are equivalent to A-Level qualifications and are recognised by employers and top UK Universities.

    • BTEC Level 3 Diploma

      Equivalent to 2 A-Levels and provides the learner with the opportunity to gain experience in a vocational qualification whilst obtaining UCAS points.

    • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

      Equivalent to 3 A-Levels, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diplomas are one of the most widely recognised qualifications for admission to higher education.

    • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma

      Equivalent to 1 A-Level, it provides the opportunity for vocational related academic study in a range of subjects.

    • Bursary

      A financial grant you apply for to help with tuition fees or living costs.

  • C

    • Careers Academy

      The Careers Academy is one element of the wider student services team and offers a one-stop support service for all students as they progress through their journey into training, further and higher education, university and the world of work. The Careers Academy adopts a student-centred approach and provides support with university and job applications, CV building and interview skills as well as the opportunity to volunteer.

    • Careers Advice and Guidance

      NWRC offers one to one advice and guidance sessions to all prospective and current students regarding available part-time and full-time course options, entry requirements, progression routes and career pathways. Individuals are provided with up-to-date labour market information and supported in career planning and in the use of a range of online career-related platforms.

    • Careers Education

      The delivery of bespoke programmes and interactive workshops that are embedded into the College curriculum with the aim of enhancing your transversal skills. The Careers Academy uses an innovative 3E approach (Employability, Entrepreneurship, Enrichment) to help you reach your full employment potential.

    • Central Applications Office (CAO)

      CAO processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions.

    • Conditional Offer

      An offer of a place on your selected course as long as you meet the entry requirements of the course.

  • E

    • Employability

      Employability skills are essential to securing employment in today’s economy. Skills such as communication, time management and teamwork are employability skills that can be developed through NWRC and increase your chances of being offered a job.

  • F

    • Firm Choice (UCAS)

      This is your first choice – the University you most want to go to. If you accept a conditional offer and meet the conditions, you will have a confirmed place here.

    • Foundation Degree

      A Level 5 qualification, which combines college study with work-based learning. After completing a Foundation Degree you can usually progress directly into year two or final year of a Level 6 degree programme at university. A Foundation Degree can be completed full-time over two years or 3 years part-time.

    • Further Education (FE)

      Non-compulsory education taken after school-leaving age. Usually used to describe education between school and higher education (university). This includes GCSEs, A-Levels, Apprenticeships and vocational training.

  • H

    • Higher Education (HE)

      Qualifications at Level 4 – 6. This includes Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), Foundation Degrees and Honours Degrees.

    • Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA)

      A work-based programme, which offers the opportunity to gain quality training and a recognised higher qualification while in paid employment. HLAs currently offer you qualifications from Level 4 to Level 7 (Masters degree). The majority are offered at Level 5 (Foundation Degree or equivalent). Upon completion, you will have gained a higher education qualification and two or three years of industry experience depending on your chosen course. The aim of a HLA is to improve business practice by developing a skilled and experienced workforce.

    • Higher National Certificate (HNC)

      A Level 4 qualification that is equivalent to the first year of a degree course. A HNC takes one year to complete full-time, or two years part-time. After completing a HNC, you can progress to a Higher National Diploma (HND).

    • Higher National Diploma (HND)

      A Level 5 qualification that is equivalent to the second year of a degree course. A HND is a work-related course provided by further and higher education colleges. After completing a HND you can progress to University to complete your degree. A HND takes two years to complete full-time, or three / four years part-time.

  • I

    • IELTS

      The International English Language Testing System is a standardised test of English language ability designed for foreign speakers who wish to study and work in an English-speaking environment. The test covers all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking.

    • Insurance Choice (UCAS)

      This is the choice you would want if you didn’t meet the conditions of your firm choice. If this is a conditional offer, you’d need to meet the conditions for your place to be confirmed.

    • Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC)

      The Leaving Certificate Examinations, commonly referred to as the Leaving Cert, is the final examination in the Irish secondary school system.

  • L

    • Learning Support

      The term used to describe the provision of resources, strategies and practices that provide physical and/or mental support intended to enable all students to have an equal opportunity for success at the College. It does this by addressing barriers to and promoting engagement in learning and teaching.

    • Levels

      The Level of a qualification indicates its difficulty. GCSEs at Grade A*-C are Level 2. A Levels are at Level 3. HNCs are Level 4. HNDs and Foundation Degrees are Level 5 and an Honours Degree is Level 6.

  • M

    • Modules (Units)

      Each course is made up of a number of modules (units). Some are compulsory (core), while others are optional.

  • N

    • Non-Accredited

      A non-accredited course has no connection to an external professional body. Non-accredited courses focus on developing your knowledge and skill in a specific area. You can study a non-accredited course to improve your current or future career, or to develop a hobby. Non-accredited courses are usually shorter in duration and have no exam.

  • R

    • Reasonable Adjustments

      Action taken by the College to ensure that the playing field is levelled for students with disabilities and/or learning difficulties, where practicable and reasonable. An example of a reasonable adjustment could be the provision of extra time in an examination for a student with dyslexia.

  • S

    • Safeguarding

      The process of taking action to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. Our dedicated safeguarding team promotes the awareness of safeguarding issues and provides support to students, families and staff. NWRC offers a listening ear, support and advice with issues such as abuse, bereavement, mental health issues, unplanned pregnancy, homelessness, relationship breakdown, gender change and or any concern a student may have during their time at college.

    • Study Skills

      Study Skills is a service available to help Learning Link registered students to enhance their learning.

    • Support Worker

      A Support Worker is a non-medical human helper deployed to help a student to gain equal access to the curriculum and services available at the College.

  • T

    • Traineeship

      A Level 2 vocational education and training programme aimed at school leavers who wish to progress to work in a specific sector. Traineeships have been developed alongside employers to ensure that students learn the necessary skills required for the workplace.

  • U

    • UCAS

      University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) is the organisation through which your applications to universities and most colleges of higher education are processed.

    • UCAS Extra

      UCAS Extra is a second chance for people that did not receive an offer by any of the original five universities they applied to. Essentially, this gives you the opportunity to apply to a sixth university.

    • UCAS Tariff Points

      A means of allocating points to post GCSE (Level 2) qualifications. It is based on a simple mathematical model, which uses a qualification size and grading scale to generate a total number of points.