Starting somewhere new can be hard, especially when you’re introduced to new words, terms and phrases that other people (we mean staff at the uni) have been using for years. We’ve put together a glossary to help you navigate your way through some tricky terms until you become a pro at uni-speak.


  • Academic: A teacher, lecturer or scholar in the University.

  • Academic induction: The period before teaching starts that acts as an introduction for new students to your course, school and the University. More information on the Welcome webpage.

  • Academic skills: These are the skills you use to learn, complete assessments and understand material in your course. You can make sure you’re ready by taking a look at the info on our ‘Get ready to learn’ webpage

  • Academic year: The period of the year in which teaching is taking place, divided up into three trimesters. Many undergraduate students study in Trimesters 1 & 2 only, but other students will study in different patterns.


  • Blackboard (or Virtual Learning Environment): A Virtual Learning Environment is a web-based platform for the digital aspects of courses of study. Blackboard is the Virtual Learning Environment used by the University of Salford. This is where you can upload assignments, access course documents and resources, as well as communicate with staff and students. Access Blackboard here.


  • e-Learning: An online guide, which usually includes video content to help you learn a particular skill.


  • Learning pathway: A course available on LinkedIn Learning to help you learn a particular skill. See more about LinkedIn Learning on our Library webpage.

  • Lecture / tutorial / seminar:
    • A lecture is an oral presentation intended to teach you about a particular subject on the course.
    • A tutorial is where you meet an academic either for a one-to-one session or as a small group, usually taking place in a smaller room than a lecture or a seminar.
    • A seminar is a mixture between a lecture and a tutorial. You often need to prepare for seminars before attending. These will be led by an academic and include anywhere up to 40 students (sometimes a few more on popular courses). Although this may differ from course to course.


  • Mathscope: Is a support unit for students who may experience difficulties with mathematics in whatever subject you are studying. Find out more on the website.

  • Module: Each course is divided into a set of units of study. These units are modules.


  • Personal tutor (or Academic Progress Review tutor): A personal tutor is an academic member of staff who will act as a guiding support in a student’s academic progress and university experience. Not every student has a personal tutor. Some students have Academic Progress Review tutors.

  • PMC (or Personal Mitigating Circumstances): This is a process to apply to change the deadline of an assignment if there were circumstances out of your control that meant you couldn’t complete it in time. Note: you should always try to submit your work by the deadline and only use a PMC when absolutely needed. Find out more on our website.

  • Programme (or programme of study): This is your course – e.g. Film Production, Zoology, Adult Nursing.


  • School: Courses are all organised into different schools that look after similar subject matter areas. Our schools are:
    • School of Arts, Media & Creative Technology
    • Salford Business School
    • School of Health & Society
    • School of Science, Engineering and Environment

  • SPA (or Student Progression Administrator): A staff member in your school who helps students to stay on track with progressing through their course. They can support you if you are having issues with your academic progression and can offer advice to stop you becoming overwhelmed.

  • StartSmart: An online platform for new students that helps you ‘start smart’ at uni, with a focus on all aspects of your university life. It covers content such as:
    • Settling in
    • What we expect from you (i.e. behaviour, academic integrity, working with us to raise concerns)
    • What you can expect from us (i.e. support, campus life, services, safety on campus)
    • How to manage your time and balance study with social activities
    • Employability and career support

  • Student Hub: The Student Hub is an internal site that hosts key information for students and links to all the systems you need for everyday uni life. Find it at

  • Student ID (or roll number): Your student ID is a unique number assigned to you. You will use it to access some systems. It is presented as @00123456.


  • Timetable – personal timetable: Your personal timetable will show you everything you are to attend this year as part of your studies, though you may have some pre-recorded content to view on Blackboard. See more on our website.

  • Timetable – programme timetable: Your programme timetable shows all the teaching scheduled for the entire course, which means you’ll see all groups for each module on the course timetable. See more on our website.


  • Welcome: Welcome is a period of time before your first trimester starts, including the period of events that introduce you to the University and Student life. You may have also heard this referred to as ‘Welcome Week’ or ‘Freshers’. Find Welcome events listed on our website.

  • Wordscope: A writing workshop to help you improve and develop your academic writing skills. Find out more on the website.