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Jargon buster


Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
The Arts and Humanities Research Council supports research on a very wide range of subjects such as history, English, linguistics, French and other modern languages, philosophy and classics, as well as creative and performing arts such as drama, dance, music, art and design.


Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council funds academic research and training in the non-clinical life sciences.

Board of Graduate Studies (BGS)
The University Committee with oversight of all matters relating to the provision of postgraduate study at the University.


Carrels (Library)

There are a small number of carrels available in the Library for quiet individual study. These are now offered on a 'first come first served' basis.

China Scholarship Council (CSC)
The China Scholarship Council (CSC) is a non-profit institution providing financial assistance to Chinese citizens wishing to study abroad and to foreign citizens wishing to study in China in order to develop the educational, scientific and technological, and cultural exchanges and economic and trade cooperation between China and other countries.
Course Transfer

The process of transferring from one course to another.

Note: If your new course requires you to obtain an ATAS certificate, before your transfer can be approved, you are required to have obtained your ATAS certificate and have submitted a copy to the Graduate School/Postgraduate Student Records.



Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Degree Verification
A letter provided by the University verifying that you have been made an academic award, normally including the level and title of that award and the period of study.



An e-portfolio is a collection of web pages, representing and showcasing your research, ideas, experience, resources and academic interest.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funds research and training in the economic and social sciences.

Doctor of Education

Doctor of Engineering
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funds research and training in the engineering and the physical sciences, covering subjects ranging from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.
The process of registering onto your course of study. All students are required under University rules to enrol (or re-enrol) each academic year.

An additional period of study, granted at the end of the normal period of registration. Periods of extension can only be approved by the Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies.


Failure on Taught Postgraduate Degrees (Policy on Remedying)

Policy on Remedying Failure in Assessments on Taught Postgraduate Degrees



The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) distributes public money for teaching and research to universities and colleges. In doing so, it aims to promote high quality education and research, within a financially healthy sector. The Council also plays a key role in ensuring accountability and promoting good practice.

Higher Doctorate

A tier of research doctorate higher than a PhD and normally awarded on the basis of a portfolio of published research of a very high standard.

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is the central source for the collection and dissemination of statistics about publicly funded UK higher education.



Master of Laws

Library carrels

There are a small number of carrels available in the Library for quiet individual study. These are now offered on a 'first come first served' basis.


A research student is recorded with a status of "limbo" during the research examination process. Once a student submits their thesis, the student record will be updated to "limbo" until such time as the examination process is completed. Students with the status of "limbo" maintain access to University buildings and IT/library facilities throughout the examination period.


Master of Arts
Master of Business Administration
Master of Clinical Science
An MPhil (Master of Philosophy) is a research degree which normally takes two years to complete. It is sometimes undertaken before a PhD.
Master of Science
Master's degree by Research (MA, MSc or LLM)

The MA, MSc or LLM by Research are postgraduate research degrees. Further information on the requirements for the award of these degrees can be found here.

Mode of Attendance Transfer

The process of transferring from full-time to part-time study, or vice-versa.

Multidisciplinary Research Degrees

Although degrees by research are normally awarded in a specific subject, there are situations where a student may pursue research across more than one subject.


The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education ("OIA") operates an independent student complaints scheme pursuant to the Higher Education Act 2004. You may only appeal to the OIA once you have exhausted the University's appeal and/or complaints procedure and upon receipt of a completion of procedures letter.


Permanent Withdrawal (PWD)

Students wishing to permanently withdraw from their course at the University are requested to complete the Permanent Withdrawal form, available in Word (Word Document) and PDF formats. This form must be signed by the student and by either the Head of Department or Director of Graduate Studies. Please read the Guidance Notes (included on the form) carefully before submitting the form.

The University may also initiate permanent withdrawal on several grounds, of which the most common is a student's failure to attend classes or to make adequate progress with his/her research or failure to enrol/re-enrol.

PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

A doctorate is the highest postgraduate degree awarded by universities in the UK. PhD candidates are normally required to submit a thesis or dissertation consisting of sufficient original material to be deemed publishable. In most cases, the candidate is required to defend their thesis before a panel of expert examiners appointed by the University. Under normal circumstances, a PhD normally takes 4 years by full-time study and 7 years if studying part-time.

PhD by published work

A PhD awarded for the submission of a portfolio of published research to the standard of a regular PhD.

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)
The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is a service designed to help institutions enhance the quality of postgraduate research degree provision by collecting feedback from current research students in a systematic and user-friendly way.
Postgraduate Research Student (PGR)

A student on a research postgraduate course. A research course is one which involves the student undertaking research into a specific topic, followed by the preparation and submission of a thesis.

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES)
The purpose of the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) is to gain feedback from students studying on taught master programmes in the UK on their experience of their courses. Results help institutions to revise and improve their taught master programmes and inform the choices of future applicants to higher education.
Postgraduate Taught Student (PGT)

A student on a taught postgraduate course. A taught course is one which normally includes a period of advanced instruction followed by the preparation of a dissertation.


The process of re-registering onto your course of study. All students are required under University rules to enrol (or re-enrol) each academic year.
Research Activity Survey (RAS)

An annual survey of universities by HEFCE, which gives HEFCE an indication of the universities' most recent research activity and informs HEFCE's subsequent allocation of research funds.

Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) assesses the quality of research in universities and colleges in the UK.


Postgraduate research students may be asked to revise and resubmit their thesis by the examiners within a specified period. There will be a fee payable when you resubmit and you will be informed of the current level of fee when you are notified formally by the Graduate School of the requirement to resubmit. Please see Guide to Examinations for Higher Degrees by Research for more information.



SITS is the University's student records system used to store, administer and manage all aspects of student information from initial enquiry and application through to Degree Congregation.

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
The Science and Technology Facilities Council provides a wide selection of funding opportunities for major scientific projects within the UK.
Status letter

A letter from the University confirming that an individual is, in fact, studying on a recognised course and therefore has "student status".


Temporary Withdrawal (TWD)

Temporary withdrawal (or suspension) is an agreed period of time when a student is not studying for his/her award as a result of illness, maternity or other personal reasons. Temporary withdrawal requests should be submitted via eVision.


University Card
Your University Card is your evidence of being a student or staff member at the University. It contains your name, membership number, a photograph and indication of membership status e.g. undergraduate student, postgraduate student, staff visitor etc.  University cards are issued in line with University policy.
Upgrade from MPhil to PhD

A candidate in the Faculties of Arts, Medicine and Social Sciences shall normally be registered in the first instance for the degree of MPhil. Subject to satisfactory progress, this registration may be upgraded to the degree of PhD.


VAM form

This is the Variable Monthly Payroll form, which external examiners are required to complete in order to receive payment for examination of research degree theses.

Verification (Degree)
A letter provided by the University verifying that you have been made an academic award, normally including the level and title of that award and the period of study.
Viva voce examination

Postgraduate research students are normally examined by viva voce examination (oral examination) on their submitted thesis. This oral examination is sometimes referred to simply as a viva.



The Warwick Research Archive Portal (WRAP) aims to establish, populate and promote an institutional repository to house and provide access to University of Warwick authors' journal articles as well as e-theses.

Warwick Postgraduate Research Fellowship (WPRF)

Warwick Postgraduate Research Fellowships, which required students to teach in return for their funding, are no longer offered to students. They have been replaced by Warwick Postgraduate Research Scholarships (WPRS), which do not include any requirement for students to teach.

Warwick Postgraduate Research Scholarship (WPRS)

Warwick Postgraduate Research Scholarships are doctoral scholarships awarded on the basis of an annual competition. Applications are welcome from all applicants to doctoral programmes as well as PhD students in the first year of their programme. The awards currently cover fees at Home/EU level and a maintenance award and are tenable for up to 3 years.

Wolfson Research Exchange (Library)

The Wolfson Research Exchange is part of the University of Warwick Library and its main aim is to connect researchers to researchers and facilitate sharing of knowledge and expertise across disciplines.