Here is an A-Z of terms used throughout the website and their definitions.


Anthropology – is a Social Science that deals with the origins, physical and cultural development of humankind. Anthropologists study what it means to be human, from physical traits, social behavior, why different groups vary and many other questions.

AoR – Association of Reflexologists, a body who award qualifications and are a mark of excellence in the industry.

ARB – The Architects Registration Board is a regulatory body. They set the standard on what they expect an Architect to be able to achieve. They are responsible for assessing qualifications to ensure that the public can trust a registered Architect, knowing that they have met the requirements to practice.

Aromatherapy – the use of aromatic compounds to provide therapeutic effects. The aromatic compounds can be provided through inhalation or topically on the body.  The idea is to improve health.

Arthritis – A disease that affects the joints, such as between the foot and leg. The body’s mechanism to ensure that the joint is movable is lost in arthritis over a period of time. This can be very painful for the sufferer.

Aseptic technique – Aseptic technique is any technique that has been ensured for optimal cleanliness and is one that does not include bacteria and viruses within it. Modern surgery aims to be as germ free as possible, and important considerations are undertaken. This includes vigorous hand washing, clean gowns and gloves and other considerations to ensure the health of the patient.

Atmosphere – the envelope of gases surrounding the Earth

Auditor – Someone who evaluates performance. In terms of a company, an Auditor can check that business has been conducted in an appropriate manor in the past. Auditing can also include assessing finances, and for example checking that tax has been correctly paid.


BA – A Bachelor of Arts is awarded to students who complete their studies in the liberal arts or humanities.

BDS – A Bachelor of Dentistry is awarded to students who complete their studies in dentistry.

BEng – A Bachelor of Engineering is awarded to students who complete their studies in engineering.

Biodiversity – the variety of plant and animal life.

Biofacts – An object found at an Archaeological site carrying significance, but previously was unhanded by humans. This includes seeds, as an example. If there are many seeds in an area, it may be presumed that these were farmed by humans as an example.

Biosphere – regions of the Earth inhabited by living organisms

BMid – A Bachelor of Midwifery is awarded to students who complete their studies in midwifery.

BN – A Bachelor of Nursing is awarded to students who complete their studies in nursing.

BSc – A Bachelor of Science is awarded to students who complete their studies in the sciences.

BScEcon – A Bachelor of Science and Economics is awarded to students who complete their studies in the sciences and economics.


Chartered Accountant – A member of a professional accountant’s organisation. A member who is qualified as they have been assessed and shown to have the minimum requirements to practice Accountancy.

Chronic condition – A condition that will have a long term implication. In Medicine a chronic condition is one that will last for over 3 months.

Civil Service – A service that is provided through the government and normally employs professionals to work for the government The civil service, however, does not include those who are counted as military personal.

Commerce – The activity of buying and selling, especially on a large scale.

Computer Aided Design of Power Systems – Software tools that are used to design and simulate complex electrical power systems.

Conservation – The act of preserving objects from things like destructive influences, natural decay or waste.

Corporate responsibility – The idea that a business should act within the constraints of the law, ethical practices and normal international business behaviour. This ensures that a business is mindful of the implications of what they are carrying out, such as paying everyone fairly, whilst also achieving its goals of providing a profitable service.


Diabetes – A disease where the body cannot regulate where sugar is in the body. Sugars are required as an important form of energy, and the body normally regulates how much is available how much is stored. Diabetes is a loss of control of this. One of the risks of diabetes is loosing a limb as the body is unable to defend itself as effectively from infectious diseases.

Digital Economy – The management of digital technologies

Dissection – Methodically cutting up a body to study its internal parts.


Ecological – Something concerned with the relationship between living organisms and their physical surroundings.

Economist – A profession that is included within academia, within business and for the government. An economist applies business and mathematical models in order to identify trends within the economy. This can be applied to take advantage of a situation in order to better a business or service. Within academia an economist can study business trends in order to create new or update business models. These models can then be passed onto students who will learn about trends and business behaviour before entering the world of business. Ecosystem – A biological community of interacting organisms (people, animals, plants or microbes) and their physical environment.

Electromagnetism – the phenomenon of the interaction of electric currents or fields with magnetic fields.

Electronics – the branch of technology concerned with the design of circuits and with the behaviour and movement of electrons.

Embryology – The study of embryos (unborn and developing organisms) and their development.

Empathy – The capacity to recognise and to an extend share feelings that are being experienced by another individual. This is crucial in healthcare settings, as patients respond better to someone who can relate to how they are feeling, and understand how their condition can impact on their life.

Ethos – The guiding beliefs that define and influence a society or ideology. In terms of Business, the ethos can be considered as providing a service that is required within a society that is profitable and sustainable.


Fiscal policy – The government have an important role to support the economy. The policy that they set out changes tax, to help cause growth, is called the fiscal policy. For example, the government may lower the tax rate for businesses, this may then encourage more businesses to move to the UK as it is more profitable for them. More business creates more jobs, and even though less tax is collected, the economy may be better for it.

Freshers – First-year university students


Geographic Information Systems – a computer system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and present all types of geographical data.

Geosphere – the solid parts of the Earth

Genetic Counselling – With our new understanding on genetic diseases, it is now possible to advise parents-to-be on the risk of their child having a genetic illness. Genetic illness can include conditions like Cystic Fibrosis. Genetic counselling is a relatively new healthcare option, there are a lot of developments to be made. If you want to be a part of that, Genetics may be an option for you

Genome – The word genome describes all the genetic information that an organism has received. You have your own genome, that has dictated your hair colour, your eye colour, your height and many more. To appreciate someone’s genome you need to know all the genes that someone has inherited, and there are around 30,000 of them!


Histology – The study of the microscopic structure of tissues.

Holistic Medicine – An approach to healthcare that believes that all needs of a person should be taken into account and treated appropriately. This includes their psychology, social condition as well as their physical condition.

Human Resources – Managing human resources involves attracting, training, assessing and rewarding members of a company. The department also ensures that the law is carried out in relation to the work force. This includes employee rights like working hours, time off and sick leave.

Humanity based subject – An academic discipline that studies the human condition. These include languages, literature, history, philosophy, religion, anthropology and many more. In this definition the traditional sciences like Life Sciences are not included.

Hydraulics – the branch of technology which is concerned with the moving of liquids through pipes and channels.

Hydrology – a branch of science that is concerned with the properties of the earth’s water, especially its movement in relation to land.

Hydrosphere – all the waters on the Earth’s surface


IBM – International Business Machines is one of the largest computing companies across the globe. IBM mainly sells software and hardware, but also offers consulting services to companies. The knowledge that their trained staff have acquired is practically applied to companies who need to improve their computer use. One of the many career options offered to those in the Computing field.

IFPA – International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists, a body who award qualifications and are a mark of excellence in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine industry.

Inflation – Inflation is a raise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. For example, over the period of your time at your school, you may have seen an increase in food costs for lunch. The increase is due to inflation, and happens on all products.

Infrastructure – The basic physical and organisational structures and facilities needed for the operation of a society, for example buildings, roads and power supplies.


Linguistics – The study of language and its structure.

Lithosphere – The rigid outer part of the Earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle, which is the outermost part of the Earth’s surface and the layer directly below.

LLB – A Bachelor of Law is awarded to students who complete their studies in law.

Logistics company – A company who deals with the transportation of goods from origin to destination. This includes transport, storage and timing. This includes areas such as fuel transportation, supermarket delivery and the mail system.


Manipulation in Science – In other fields of Science, the normal way to understand something is to manipulate it, and see how it behaves. For example, testing pH of a solution is easy, we add the solution and observe a colour change. The same luxury cannot be extended to Astronomy, as we are unable to travel to these stars and manipulate them.

MBBCh – A Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery is awarded to students who complete their studies in medicine and usually take five to six years to complete.

Meteorological – The study of the weather

Molecular – A molecule is a group of atoms bonded together, representing the smallest fundamental unit of a chemical compound that can take part in a chemical reaction.

MTI – Massage Training Institute, a body who award qualifications and are a mark of excellence in the industry.

Multidisciplinary – An approach to problem solving that draws from a range of different skills and areas of knowledge that are incorporated together.


Nucleic Acid – Genes inform our cells on how to behave. Genes are made up of lots of small molecules called nucleic acids. There are different types of nucleic acid which will be studied in Biosciences that in sequence, provide information. Think of it like Morse code! Different sequences dictate what the message is. The appreciation of how nucleic acids determine genetic information is used across all biological fields.


Palliative  – Relieving the symptoms of a disease or condition without dealing with the underlying cause.

Parkinson’s Disease – A disease which affects the brain. For reasons that are yet to be understood, part of the brain breaks down, leaving the person with movement difficulties. One of these difficulties can be with speech.

Performance Development – In a world where people want to access data everywhere, quickly and where people own multiple devices, the demands on performance has never been higher.  Performance development looks onto larger-scale computer systems and the techniques required to use them efficiently. If you are interested in this challenge, a degree in High Performance Computing may be one of the strong options for you.

Pharmacogenetics – We are all different, we can see that on the outside. But on the inside too! When you take a drug if your ill, it is easy to presume that we will all react the same way to it. Pharmacogenetics, is a new field that explains why this is not the case. Pharmacogeneticists aim to identify trends in someone’s genetic information, so that when a drug is taken, it is the most effective option, and the safest. Think of it like people who have lactose intolerance. You might be able to have milk, but to others, it can cause painful digestion due to the gene they have inherited. The same principal applies to drugs. This is a new area of Medicine, that will revolutionize care. Interested in being a part?

Primary Source – a document or physical object which was written or created during the time you are studying. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event.

Private Sector – The government will offer services such as rubbish removal from your house. This is paid for by tax, and the service is usually aimed to be cost effective. However, the private sector is the division of services that are run by business people. Usually the service is more for profit. Examples of private sector are shops, television (Excluding the BBC) and theme parks, just as examples. In the private sector, the aim is to sell you a product that will make them the most money in return.

Professional Body – An organisation that seeks to manage a profession in the interest of the professional and to the public. Normally they regulate the professional to ensure high standards, ensuring that the public can trust the services that the professional provide.

Protozoa – a group of single-celled microscopic animals, which includes amoebas, flagellates, ciliates, sporozoans and many others.

Public Sector – Departments/organisations that are involved in the production and/or delivery of services that are provided by the government. In terms of Accounting, Accountants will ensure that budgets are kept and methods to become more efficient are implemented. Services include rubbish collection, policing, NHS and many more.


Recession – Recession, recession, recession. I am sure you have heard this on the news, and really everywhere for the past few years. Recession is when growth of the economy slows down. This stops jobs being created, businesses developing and impacts greatly on the society. Normally it results in prices rising, but people not earning the money to match the increased costs. Understandably, this is why the government is so focused on getting us out of recession!

Reflexology – A therapy that focuses of the feet and hands in order to provide therapeutic benefit to other regions of the body. Normal this involves applying pressure to the feet and hands or using specific thumb and finger movement techniques.

RIBA – A regulatory body that inputs alongside the ARB with standards of teaching for Architecture to ensure Architects are capable within the profession.


Scientific Literature – By now, you are probably familiar with text books that provide you with information discovered by scientists. Scientific literature, however, is the source of where the information has come from. It is a published copy of what a scientist has experimented on. You will have gained practice in writing a scientific report in science classes. This is the idea of what scientific literature is like. During the degree students are taught how to read a paper carefully, how to learn from it and how to assess if the information can be trusted.

Secondary Source – A document written after an event has occurred, providing secondhand accounts of that event, person or topic. Secondary sources offer different perspectives, analysis and conclusions to primary sources.

Security and Forensics – There are various technologies and software that aims to keep data safe. With banking being made available online, along with confidential information being stored online, computer security has never been more of a concern to companies. Hacking poses a threats to individuals, companies, banks and the government. Want to ensure that data is kept safe through a serious of pragmatic solutions? Computing and Security could be for you.

Social Science – The field of study that is concerned with the society and human behaviour. This includes study of how the economy affects human behaviour, how religion affects behaviour and also the effect of politics, as examples. Social sciences can be studied as a subject on its own!

Stockbroker – A professional who sells shares and other aspects of companies through the market. Shares are a unit of ownership of a company and can be bought to support a company, usually with the aim that the share will generate the owner money through the success of that company.

Stroke – A stroke is a condition that arises when part of the brain has its blood supply blocked. This causes damage in the area of the brain and can have various ongoing health affects. One of these affects may be disrupting the way that the brain processes speech, leaving people unable to talk properly.

Sustainability – In terms of Architecture, building materials may be best suited but may be at risk of running out, be damaging to the environment or damage the area if the building is later removed. Architects now have a responsibility to select products that have low impact on the environment and design buildings that reduce the demand on energy to run.

Sustainable – To be able to maintain for an indefinite period of time.


Trading Room – The office space where buy and sell orders are carried out in the financial markets. The people who carry out these orders are called traders and they attempt to profit by short-term changes in market prices. A trading room may also be referred to as a trading floor.


Visual Computing – An area of study that focuses on how computers can obtain, process, represent and understand visual data. Microsoft within this area have said that they hope to surpass the ability of the human eye and brain in order to process visual information. With this, humans will be assisted in various ways. This may be used for security reasons, identifying human emotions via images and movement or other applications.

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