A-Levels – Advanced Level exams. This can be taken after CSEC/iGCSE.
Access to HE – Access to Higher Education. A one year course for people aged 19+, performing as a fast track to university.
Apprenticeship – You can think of this as “learn-while you earn:” a person is hired for a job and learns the standard skills needed through coursework. Apprentices can earn and increase their credentials while they work.
Associate degree – A two- or three-year degree usually earned between completing high school and beginning a bachelor’s degree. The most popular types of associate degrees are Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Arts (AAA), and Associate of Applied Science (AAS).
Bachelor’s degree – A four-year degree; usually requires 120 credit hours to complete. The three most popular types of bachelor’s degrees are Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).
BTEC – Business and Technology Education Council. BTECs are specialist work-related qualifications. They combine practical learning with subject and theory content. These can be taken after high school. – UCAS
Career cluster – A group of careers that share common skills.
City & Guilds – a vocational assessment and accreditation.
College – 1. (America & Caribbean) Universal term for tertiary education like university . 2. (UK) Institution where you get Level 3 Education (A-levels, BTEC etc.) [sometimes Level 2). One can go to a sixth form college or further education college.
Credit hour – credit given for attending one lecture hour of class each week for 15 weeks or equivalent. Most college classes are three credit hours, meaning the total meeting time for a week is three hours.
Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) – the academic equivalent to the HND and is awarded after two years of full-time study at a university or other higher education institution. It’s recognised as a stand-alone qualification and teaching is delivered to the standard of a full undergraduate degree. – Prospects
Doctoral degree (doctorate) – the highest degree you can earn in most fields.
Foundation Degrees (FdA, FDA, FdSc etc.) – a standalone academic equivalent with a study duration of two years. It is two-thirds of a Bachelors degree, a Higher National Diploma (HND) and Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) – at Level 5 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). – Prospects
Foundation Year – a year in a university which gives you access onto a degree course (different from a foundation degree). A top-up degree can be taken afterwards to get the full Bachelors degree.
Further Education – education in addition to that which is received at secondary school (high school) and differs from what is offered in universities. The most common form of Further Education is A-Levels.
Graduate School – A school that awards advanced academic degrees (master’s and doctorate degrees) with a general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree.
Higher National Certificate (HNC) – equivalent to the first year of university. It is a one year course that helps the development of the necessary skills for your chosen career path.
Higher National Diploma (HND) – equivalent to the first two years of a Bachelors degree. It takes two years of full-time study to complete, or three to four years part time, and is designed to equip you with skills relevant to your chosen career. – Prospects
Internship – A type of work experience to give students meaningful exposure and experience of working in a specific industry related to their field of study or career interest.
Master’s degree – The first level of graduate study. You usually must already hold an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree to enter a master’s degree program.
National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) – NVQs are awarded at six different levels, equivalent to other academic qualifications. A Level 6 NVQ is equivalent to a Bachelors degree, while Levels 4 and 5 equate to the first and second years of a Bachelors degree respectively. NVQs are focused on practical skills in the context of your full or part-time work. You must be employed prior to enrolling onto an NVQ course. – Prospects
Open Day – an event that colleges and universities hold to give prospective students a tour of the institution and inform them of what they have to offer.
Postgraduate degree – tertiary education conducted after an undergraduate degree.
Resits – a period where colleges and universities allow you to retake exams and coursework you failed.
Sixth Form – this is the post-secondary section of a school where students ages 16-18 study for their A-Levels.
Technical College – a two-year college that provides specialised training in a specific career field, trade, or profession.
UCAS – Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. This is the service required to apply to any university inside the United Kingdom.
UCAS Tariff Points – these convert your grades and qualifications into a number. Most qualifications will have a numeric value which is based on the grade achieved and the weight of the qualification.
Undergraduate – education post secondary but prior to postgraduate study.
University – tertiary education school where you can obtain an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
Vocational Training – Job-specific technical training for work in a specific career.
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Brain Food TCI is a non-profit Career and Education advisory association in the Turks and Caicos Islands. We offer services ranging from career advising to cover letter writing and so much more.
To assist with career pathways we publish monthly blogs on various careers. We don’t only dissect careers and give university tips but we also provide info how to pursue that career within the Caribbean, UK, USA from both academic and vocational routes.