Word list and common terms

In the word list, you will find guidance on words, phrases and expressions that can be written in different ways. In some cases, the guidance will be a matter of convention, i.e. where there is only one ‘correct’ way to express the item, or where the form chosen is based on one or more external sources (see ‘References’, overleaf). In other cases, we will have chosen a particular form for the university’s style.


not advisor

A level

not A-level or A Level

all right/alright

she got the answers all right; she is feeling alright


not audio visual or audio-visual. AV is fine if using informally or internally


not Bachelor’s or bachelors


hyphenated when combined with another word to form an adjective, e.g. ‘work-based study.’ However, ‘teaching is classroom based.’


Brexit is the name given to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, or the modifier used in matters pertaining to this withdrawal, as in ‘the Brexit withdrawal agreement has been signed.’ The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.

The University of Exeter is both a British and a European institution and continues to welcome staff and students from all over the world. Please take special care to ensure references to Brexit in all official copy are impartial, unbiased and factually accurate.


Streatham Campus, St Luke’s Campus, Penryn Campus

campuses (e.g. Streatham and St Luke’s campuses, Exeter campuses, Cornwall campuses)

campus tours

not Campus Tours

Career Zone

Civil Service

not civil service


In digital media, links and buttons are clicked, not clicked on.

compass points

lower case, unless part of a proper name (e.g. North Korea, the East End)

ordinal directions

as above, and closed up (e.g. northwest, southwest)

coordinate, cooperate

not co-ordinate or co-operate, but co-operative (or co-op) when talking about the business style


not course work


not curriculum vitae


not Dissertation


A Doctor of Philosophy is someone who has completed doctoral study in the discipline of Philosophy. Doctoral study is a type of postgraduate study usually resulting in a PhD. A doctor is a qualified medical practitioner.


not ebook or eBook


not eg or eg,


not elearning or eLearning


not e-mail


not en suite or ensuite


not etc,


you give and receive feedback but feed back (to the group)


A fellow is a senior position within an academic institution; a research fellow is someone who has received funding for academic research.


not field-work or field work

the Forum; Forum Library

Freshers’ Week

not Fresher’s Week, freshers’ week or Freshers week

further education

not Further Education


always lower case


A graduate is anyone who has recently or relevantly received a degree; a graduand has completed their degree study and is due to receive their certificate (i.e. to graduate) imminently.


not ground breaking or ground-breaking


not health care or health-care

higher education

not Higher Education


not inter-disciplinary or inter disciplinary


not ie or ie,


not Qur’an or Quran


A member of academic staff who gives lectures.


In line with guidance from Stonewall, the university uses this term to discuss its community of staff and students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning, as well as other sexual and gender identities such as asexual, intersex and genderqueer.

We always use LGBTQ+ in full to refer to the community without isolating any of the constituent parts to which it refers.


For the correct presentation of locations across our campuses, see our campus maps:

Penryn Campus map

St Luke’s Campus map

Streatham Campus map

log in/login

you log in with your login

Market Place


not masters or Master’s

Open Day

not open day


not path-way, path way

policymaker; policymaking

do not hyphenate in either instance



A postgraduate programme is any course of study that requires students to have first acquired an undergraduate degree. A postgraduate student is anyone studying for a postgraduate qualification.


A professor is a senior academic of the highest rank. Professorships are usually only awarded after decades of scholarly work but are not a qualification in the same sense as an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. In other parts of the world, including North America, ‘professor’ is often used as a generic term to describe a university lecturer.


degree programme, programme of study; computer program


not résumé; but prefer CV

the South West

The South West is the internationally recognised term for the region in which the University of Exeter is located. A full list of UK nations and regions and their official names is available through CIHT.

Student Information Desk (SID)

Student Services Centre (SSC)

Students’ Guild

This is the organisation representing students on our Exeter campuses. Also referred to as ‘the Guild’.

Students’ Union (or the SU)

This is the organisation representing our students in Cornwall.


not team work or team-work


An undergraduate programme is one for which no prior degree study is necessary. An undergraduate student is anyone studying for an undergraduate degree.


lower case (e.g. going to university, at university) unless referring to a specific university by its full name (e.g. the University of Exeter, Manchester Metropolitan University), or to the University of Exeter or one of its services, programmes, or departments, e.g. ‘the University has six academic colleges’. In the latter case, our tone of voice guidelines suggest we should prefer to use ‘we’ rather than ‘the University’ where possible, e.g. ‘we have three campuses’.

Always check the correct university name, (e.g. the University of Oxford, not Oxford University).

up to date

but in an up-to-date fashion.


not web page or web-page


not well being or well-being

West Country

the West Country not Westcountry or the west country


not WiFi, wi-fi or Wi-Fi


Three-year programme; Year 1, Year 2; years 1–3.