Here we have compiled a list of the terms and phrases used within the website that may be new to you or difficult to understand. If you think of an additional phrase/s that would be useful to add to this glossary, let us know by clicking on the feedback button at the bottom of the page.


An apprenticeship is a combination of practical training within a job role and academic study. You will earn a wage whilst you learn, gaining a qualification upon completion of the apprenticeship.

Bachelor’s degree

A type of undergraduate degree that usually takes 3 to 4 years to complete. Taking a bachelor’s degree will increase your knowledge in a specific subject, preparing you for employment or further study after completion.

Careers fair

A careers fair is an event for both employers and students to attend. Employers are there to provide information to students about any job opportunities available. They are a great place to network and find out more about a business/company.

Career path

This is a way of progressing into a particular career. Whether through specific types of education or training within a certain sector.

Diploma of Higher Education

This is a higher education qualification usually awarded after two years of study at a university or higher education provider.

Gap year

A gap year is a year out of education, typically taken in between finishing A-Levels and starting university. There are many uses of a gap year, such as giving yourself a break from education to explore the world, learn new skills, and work abroad.

Higher National Certificate

This is a vocationally focused course that usually takes a year to complete. This qualification is equivalent to a year of study at university.

Higher National Diploma

A higher national diploma is a qualification combining academic and practical elements to prepare a student for a particular career. This qualification is equivalent to the second year of a three-year degree course.


An internship is a period of work experience offered by that can be paid or unpaid and last anywhere between a week to a year.

Large enterprise

A business is classed as a large enterprise if it has over 250 employees. In 2019 there were over 8,000 businesses of this type in the UK.

Master’s degree

This is a form of postgraduate degree that usually follows an undergraduate qualification, but can also be taken as part of an apprenticeship.


This is the highest form of academic degree available. People usually go on to study a PhD after completing a Master’s.


This term refers to someone who has completed their undergraduate degree and is now studying a master’s or PhD.

Public sector

These are government organisations whose income comes from taxation. These organisations provide goods and service for the public and includes hospitals, fire services and some public transport.


Standing for small and medium-sized enterprises, this is a term used to define a business based upon its number of staff. With this in mind, a business is classified as an SME if it has less than 250 staff.

Summer job

Essentially what is says on the tin, many students decide to get a job over the summer break from university to gain a bit of extra money and all-important work experience.


This is a term used for a student who is studying for their first degree. Also, the name for the lowest degree qualification, the undergraduate degree.


Volunteering is an unpaid form of work where you give up your time to help a charity, non-profit organisation or group of people.

Work experience

Work experience is a broad umbrella term for experience in a workplace setting. Work experience comes in many forms such as internships, placements and even volunteering. It allows you to develop essential skills that are useful in a workplace setting. Can also be used to refer to any time spent in employment.

Work placement

A work placement is a period of work usually included as part of a degree. This can sometimes be referred to as a sandwich placement, which is essentially a year out of a degree working in industry to gain practical experience.


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