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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education


​​​​​QAA terms explained

This glossary explains terms that are frequently used in our work and publications.

Click on the appropriate letter(s) to find​​​ your required explanation.​

This glossary is also available in Welsh. Mae'r eirfa hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg​​.

  • bachelor of arts (BA)

  • bachelor of science (BSc)

  • bachelor's degree

    A course of academic study leading to a qualification usually over a period of three or four full-time academic years that requires a significant amount of independent study to develop a thorough understanding of a subject.

    Located at level 6 in The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, at level 6 in the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales and at levels 9-10 in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (9 for ordinary bachelor's degrees, 10 for bachelor's degrees with honours).

    Examples include the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees. To be awarded a bachelor's degree ‘with honours’, a student achieves the learning outcomes of a larger volume of study.
  • benchmark statement

  • blended learning

    ​​​​​​Learning delivered by a number of different methods, usually including face-to-face and e-learning (see technology enhanced or enabled learning​).​
  • Bologna Process

    An initiative to strengthen and develop the European Higher Education Area as a means of ensuring that qualifications are mutually recognised, systems are transparent and staff and students can transfer easily between higher education institutions in Europe.
  • branch campus

    A campus of a college or university that is located separately from the main or 'home' campus and is typically smaller.