This section outlines and defines a number of useful terms relating to academic advising and academic progression.

Jump to any section of the glossary using the alphabetical links.


Absence from studies

Whether students study online or in person, attendance at classes, tutorials, exams and all other academic activities is a vital part of their learning. If students are unavoidably absent from a module, it is their responsibility to communicate with the affected Schools as soon as possible.

Students must submit a self-certificate of absence for each affected lecture, tutorial or module, and contact the appropriate staff member to follow up as soon as possible, or in advance for a planned absence. Self-certificates of absence are available on the ‘My details and development’ workspace on MySaint.

Academic alert

A notice sent to a student by email and copied to staff who can provide support and guidance if students are at risk of encountering academic problems. Most academic alerts are issued because of absence from a compulsory element of a degree, or failure to submit coursework.

Academic family

A unique University of St Andrews tradition where older students adopt first-year students as ‘children’ and guide them in a system of mentoring.

This system helps first-year students to meet new people. Many of the friendships that begin as part of the academic family tradition continue throughout a student’s time at the University and beyond.

Academic misconduct

The University has a policy on good academic practice which all students must follow. Breaking the rules, or principles, of the policy will be considered academic misconduct.

Examples of misconduct include plagiarism, multiple submission (submitting the same piece of work for assessment more than once in the same module, to more than one module, or in another context), false citation, and misconduct in exams or tests and penalties range from written warnings and reduction of module grades (in some cases to zero) to, in extreme cases, termination of studies.

Academic year

The academic year, also sometimes referred to as a session, starts in September and ends in June for undergraduate students and August for taught postgraduate students.

St Andrews has two semesters each academic year: Martinmas semester from September to December and Candlemas semester from January to May.

Advanced standing credit (ASC)

Some degree programmes allow direct entry to second year for applicants who have been awarded up to 120 credits in recognition of their previous experience.

These advanced standing credits (ASCs) are awarded automatically if a student applies for direct entry on their application. If a student switches to direct entry on arrival, they should ask their Adviser of Studies to arrange the award.

Advice and Support Centre (ASC)

The Advice and Support Centre, commonly known as 'the ASC', is part of Student Services and the first port of call for any queries.

ASC staff can help students with a variety of issues, from paying bills or obtaining an academic transcript to getting advice on visas, making a complaint, and personal matters. If necessary, the team can also book appointments with one of Student Services’ specialist advisers for further support.

Adviser of Studies

Students need the approval of their Adviser of Studies before they can enrol in any module. 

Students in the Faculties of Arts, Divinity, and Science are assigned an Adviser of Studies, who is a member of academic staff. Advisers of Studies are assigned before each academic year (usually in August) for new students and for students entering Honours.

Each student must meet their adviser at the start of the academic year to discuss and approve module choices. Advisers of Studies can also help with degree options and academic regulations.

Different arrangements are made for students in the Faculty of Medicine, who do not make individual module choices.


All undergraduate students in the Faculties of Arts, Divinity, and Science must meet their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of each academic year (or in January if not studying in St Andrews during Semester 1).

Attending the meeting is a compulsory part of the matriculation process, which must be completed to become a registered student. Until a student's module choices are approved by their Adviser of Studies at this meeting, and confirmed in the academic advising system, students are not officially enrolled in those modules.

Undergraduate students in Medicine do not need to take part in the central advising process.

Alternative Format Suite

The Alternative Format Suite (AFS) produces electronic accessible reading materials for students who have difficulties accessing print.

It produces accessible books in various formats, including Proofed-Word doc, Searchable-PDF, Text-with-Audio-DAISY, and Braille and Bespoke Tactile Diagrams.


Some modules state that students can't take the module in some circumstances, for example, when two modules cover similar subjects.


A student can appeal an academic decision, such as a mark received for assessed work or if they are not accepted on an Honours programme. The University provides official rules on when students can and cannot appeal.

The appeals process does not cover complaints about the standard or quality of service provided by the University.


The process that provides students with feedback on their coursework or exam performance.

Assistant warden

Halls of residence are managed by a wardennial team made up of a Halls Life Coordinator (or warden), sometimes a deputy warden, and a number of assistant wardens. The team works with student residents, the hall committee, and the University's residential services team to build a strong and supportive community and hall identity.
The team also provides advice and support to students who need assistance outside regular office hours (evenings, nights and weekends).

Associate Dean

The Associate Deans for Students, Associate Provosts, and Associate Deans for Curriculum deputise for the Deans and Provost in a variety of student matters.

The Associate Dean, Students (Arts and Divinity) and Associate Dean, Students (Science) deal with advising and welfare issues for undergraduate students in Arts, Divinity, and Science, and the Associate Provost, Students deals with advising and welfare issues for postgraduate students across all faculties.

If a student's Adviser of Studies or Director of Teaching is unable to resolve a problem, they may recommend that the student arranges a meeting with one of the Associate Deans or Associate Provosts. Appointments can be booked through the Advice and Support Centre (ASC).

Athletic Union (AU)

The student-run organisation for the support and development of University sports clubs. All matriculated students at St Andrews are automatically members of the Athletic Union.

The AU is led by a full-time student president who takes a year away from their studies and manages all the affiliated clubs and teams at St Andrews. 


A bejant is a first-year student at any Scottish university. It is equivalent to the US term 'freshman' and is mostly used at St Andrews.

Biometric residence permit (BRP)

Proof of the right to stay, work or study in the UK. A BRP can be used as a form of identification. The holder is not required to carry the permit at all times, but must show it at the border with their passport when leaving or returning to the UK.


The academic year is made up of two semesters. Candlemas semester starts in January and ends with exams in May. Martinmas is the first semester of the academic year, from September to December. 


The Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development, known as CEED, helps students develop the academic, professional, and IT skills they need for their academic studies and beyond.


The Chaplaincy provides guidance and support to all students and staff regardless of their faith or philosophy of life.
The team organises a number of religious and non-religious events over the academic year, which include sermons, concerts, and in-conversation evenings, provides pastoral care, and runs non-denominational support groups.

Class representatives

Class representatives, known commonly as class reps, are elected student volunteers whose job is to enhance learning and teaching at every level of undergraduate and postgraduate study. There are class reps for student year groups, areas of study, and specific modules who provide feedback to teaching staff on the student learning experience within their School. 

Common reporting scale

The University uses a 20-point common reporting scale for grades. A grade is attached to a module and provides a numeric value between zero and 20 (to one decimal place) to express the final outcome of a module. 

Marks are given to individual pieces of work, such as essays, dissertations, and exam questions. School handbooks explain the scale used in the School and, if they use a marking scale other than zero to 20, will explain their procedures for marking and for conversion of marks to final grades.

Complaints procedure

Students can use the University's complaints procedure if they are dissatisfied with the quality and standard of any service that it provides.

The complaints process does not cover situations where a student wishes to appeal an academic decision and marks cannot be changed as a result of a complaint. 


The University is committed to tackling issues of student misconduct. The University can take action against students for academic misconduct and non-academic misconduct.


The University has a lawful duty to protect the privacy of all students. To comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) outlined in the Data Protection Act 2018, staff are not able to disclose personal data to parents, supporters or guardians other than in the most exceptional circumstances.

The University also states in its Student Data Protection Code that “personal information will not be given out without the student’s permission. This restriction includes passing information to parents, legal guardians and next of kin”.


Means the same as degree and programme and refers to a particular programme of study leading to a degree award. Examples include MA (Hons) Ancient History and Economics or BSc (Hons) Biology with Arabic.

The University also offers summer short courses and online short courses that do not lead to a degree.


Work that is submitted for assessment during the semester. Typical forms of coursework include essays and lab reports. Coursework is marked and contributes to the overall grade for the module.

If coursework is submitted after the specified deadline, the mark awarded will be reduced according to University policy.

Coursework extension

A coursework extension allows a student more time to complete coursework when a particular situation has made it difficult to meet a deadline. To request a coursework extension, the student must contact their course or module coordinator and complete a self-certificate.

A coursework extension is approved by the relevant School and is not guaranteed. If it is approved, the School decides the length of the extension. 


Credits represent the amount of learning in a module. One credit is approximately ten hours of learning.

A full-time undergraduate degree has 120 credits in each academic year.

Critical responders

The Student Services Response team, also known as the Critical Responders, provide support to students in crisis outside regular business hours. The critical responders can be reached by calling +44 (0)1334 46 8999. 


The University's Schools and Departments all belong to one of the four faculties, and each faculty is led by a Dean.

The Faculties of Arts and Divinity are led by the Assistant Vice-Principal (AVP) Dean of Arts and Divinity, the Faculty of Science is led by the AVP Dean of Science, and the Faculty of Medicine is led by the Dean of Medicine. The role of AVP (Dean of Learning and Teaching) and Provost is supported by a number of Associate Deans and two Associate Provosts.


A deferral is when a student takes an assessment after the end of a semester. Students can send a deferral request to the Director of Teaching in their School


  • are not guaranteed
  • require approval from the relevant School
  • must be requested before the assessment deadline, or as soon as possible after the deadline.

Deferral of assessments is not approved for minor illnesses or permanent or long-term conditions that are under medical control. If a student has a prolonged chronic illness or disability they should contact the Student Services team for advice before the assessment deadline.


The words 'degree', 'course' and 'programme' refer to a particular combination of modules and assessments that lead to a degree award. The following are degree examples:

  • MA (Honours) Ancient History and Economics
  • BSc (Honours) Biology with Arabic

Degree classification

A degree is classified based on the overall marks received. Different classification schemes are used for different types of degree.

  • Honours degrees are classified as First Class, Second Class (Division 1), Second Class (Division 2) or Third Class.
  • Masters degrees are classified as Distinction, Merit or Pass.
  • General degrees are classified as Distinction or Pass.


The University comprises a number of academic Schools and Departments, which are organised into four faculties. Academic Schools used to be known as departments, but a department is now usually a specialised division in a School. For example, the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies comprises the Departments of Philosophy, Social Anthropology, and Film Studies.

There are also a number of professional service units at St Andrews which are referred to as departments, such as human resources. These departments support the academic Schools.

Direct entry

Some degree programmes in the Faculties of Divinity and Science offer direct entry to second year for appropriately qualified applicants.

While a direct-entry student can complete their degree in a shorter time, this option greatly reduces or may even remove the option to switch to a different degree programme. Direct-entry students take assessments that affect whether or not they will be admitted to Honours during their first semester of study, which can be a risk academically.

Director of Teaching

The Director of Teaching in each School or Department is responsible for all aspects of learning, teaching and assessment in the modules delivered by that School or Department.

Disability team

The University provides support for students who declare a disability.

The Disability team has specialist advisers who give advice to students with physical disabilities, sensory impairment, unseen medical conditions, longstanding health or medical conditions, mental health difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders, and specific learning differences. 


David Russell Apartments and Fife Park are known as 'DRA'. These are University student accommodation buildings, known as halls of residence.

DSA (Disabled Student Allowance)

A type of funding available to students from the UK who have a disability, ongoing medical condition, longstanding mental health problem, or a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia.


  • can cover additional course costs or expenses caused by a student's disability
  • is not means-tested (household income is not considered when calculating entitlement)
  • is paid in addition to a student's funding award (for example, a student loan)
  • does not have to be paid back.


The University's degrees are organised into four faculties: Arts, Divinity, Medicine, and Science. Each School belongs to one of these faculties. 

Most of the subjects students study will be offered by the School in their faculty, but many students take modules offered by more than one School.

Only students in the Faculty of Medicine can take Medicine modules. 

Failure to complete academic advising

Students must complete the academic advising process every academic year. The process must be completed by 9am on Monday of the third week of semester, and must include meeting their Adviser of Studies in person. 

If students do not meet the deadline, they will not be officially enrolled in any modules at the start of teaching. Entrant students will not be allowed to start their studies and will have to reapply to the University and returning students will have their studies terminated without the right to appeal.

Failure to matriculate

Matriculation is the process to formally register as a student.

When a student does not complete matriculation by the end of the third week of teaching, they will receive 'Failure to matriculate' reminders from the University. If the student does not take action after receiving the reminders, a termination of studies may apply.

Students must complete matriculation each academic year.

Fast track

A study option available with some integrated Masters programmes that allows a student to complete a programme in four years of study. It is similar to direct second-year entry, but provides additional support in the first year.


The information that students receive about their performance on coursework or exams.

Feedback is part of the assessment process, and can be:

  • formative (comments on the quality of the student's work that do not affect the module grade)
  • summative (a mark that counts towards the module grade).

Freshers' and Sports Fayres

The Freshers’ Fayre happens during Orientation Week and is when all the student-run clubs and societies set up stalls to introduce themselves and their groups to new students. New students can meet the representatives and sign up to become members of their chosen societies. 

The Sports Fayre runs at the same time as the Freshers’ Fayre and is organised by the Athletic Union. Sports groups and University sports staff, known collectively as Saints Sport, introduce students to the sports and facilities on offer in St Andrews.


On 5 January 1800, John Honey, a student of the University, rescued members of the crew of a small ship called the 'Janet of Macduff' that had run aground off the East Sands of St Andrews. Every year, on 30 April, students join a procession by candlelight to the East Sands in his memory.

A piper leads the procession and students lay a wreath at the site of the shipwreck. This tradition is called 'The Gaudie' and it happens the evening before the May Dip.

General degree

The General degree can be completed in three years and is available in the:

  • Faculty of Arts as an MA (General)
  • Faculty of Divinity as a Theol (General)
  • Faculty of Science as a BSc (General).

The degree involves studying modules at 1000, 2000 and 3000 level. Students who start an Honours degree but do not meet the entry requirements for Honours may need to transfer to a General degree.

Good academic practice

The University policy on good academic practice outlines how students should conduct themselves during their academic studies. The policy explains what is meant by academic misconduct, the process for dealing with suspected academic misconduct, and the possible penalties.


A grade is the weighted average of the marks that students receive for each of their assessments in a module. Assessments can include coursework, class tests, and exams. 

Grades are calculated using a 20-point scale at St Andrews. A module grade is rounded to one decimal place.


Students receive their degree award at their graduation ceremony. There are two graduation ceremonies each year at St Andrews, in June and November.

Halls Life team

Each University hall of residence has a Halls Life team who organise events and social activities. The team also care for the wellbeing and safety of the hall residents, and help them make the most of their experience at university.

Some Halls Life team members are students who live in the hall they represent.


The final part of an Honours degree that involves study at 3000, 4000, and 5000 level in some cases.

To gain Honours entry, students must meet the sub-honours requirements for their degree. 

Fixed time limits apply to the completion of the Honours part of a degree, depending on the mode of study.

Honours degree

An undergraduate programme with two parts: sub-honours and Honours

Honours degrees involve studying modules at 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 level. Integrated Masters involves study at 5000 level.

When studying full time, students will usually complete an Honours degree in four years. Integrated Masters degrees will usually take five years. Completing an Honours degree on a different mode of study will take longer.

Some programmes offer direct entry into the second year of a degree and students can complete their degree in less time.

Honours entry

The University's Entry to Honours Policy defines the rules for progression to the Honours part of an Honours degree. The required module grades are included in the programme requirements.

Depending on their programme of study and their circumstances, students who do not meet the requirements for Honours entry may be given other progression options or may be able to request a review of the decision.

Integrated Masters degree

Some Schools in the Faculty of Science offer Integrated Masters degree programmes. These are five-year undergraduate Honours programmes.

The Integrated Masters degrees are different from the one-year postgraduate Masters programmes. The Master in Science (MSci) is a five-year undergraduate Integrated Masters programme, and the Master of Science (MSc) is a one-year postgraduate Masters programme.

The Honours entry requirements for Integrated Masters programmes are higher than for Bachelor of Science (BSc) programmes.


The nickname for John Burnet Hall, one of the University halls of residence.

Lateness penalty

A lateness penalty is applied when formally assessed coursework is submitted after the deadline. There are three schemes that define how the lateness penalty is applied:

  • Scheme A: one mark (on the 20-point scale) deducted for every day (or part) late
  • Scheme B: one mark deducted for every eight-hour period (or part) late
  • Scheme C: three marks deducted, plus one mark for every further eight-hour period (or part) late

Similar schemes apply where work is marked in percentages. The School selects the lateness penalty scheme.

Penalties do not apply if an authorised extension has been granted.

Leave of absence

A leave of absence is a pause in a student's course of study. Students must apply for an academic leave of absence and get approvel to take a break from their studies. 

A leave of absence is temporary and is different from a withdrawal from studies


The level of a module indicates its academic difficulty and the amount of assumed background learning.

The level of a module is indicated by the first digit of the numerical part of its code. For example:

  • a 1000-level module is a level 1 module
  • a 5000-level module is a level 5 module

Level 1 corresponds to level 7 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Level 2 corresponds to a level 8 on the SCQF, and so on.

Students will usually take level 1 modules in their first year of study, level 2 modules in their second year, and so on. This is not a strict rule. Many students take some level 1 modules in their second year. If necessary, and subject to any visa restrictions, students are allowed to take three years of study to complete the requirements at level 1 and level 2 for Honours entry.


MA is the main Honours degree offered in the Faculty of Arts, and is equivalent to BA offered at many other institutions. St Andrews uses the title MA for historical reasons, in common with the other ancient Scottish universities.

St Andrews also offers the unique BA (International Honours) degree, in partnership with the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA.


The academic year is made up of two semesters. Martinmas is the first semester, from September to December. Candlemas semester starts in January and ends with exams in May. 

Masters degree

Masters degrees are offered in every Faculty and include the following postgraduate taught programmes:

  • Master of letters (MLitt)
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA in the Faculties of Arts and Divinity)
  • Master of Science (MSc in the Faculty of Science)

There are also Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Master of Research (MRes) degrees.

Postgraduate Masters programmes are different from undergraduate Integrated Masters programmes.


Matriculation is the compulsory process of registering as a student.

May Dip

A University tradition that involves hundreds of students plunging into the North Sea from the East Sands beach at dawn on the first day of May. The tradition is said to promote good luck in exams.


Nickname for Andrew Melville Hall, one of the University halls of residence.


The Module Management System (MMS) is the University's online system where academic modules are managed. MMS is used for submitting coursework, returning feedback, and processing exam results.

Mode of study

Students can study a programme in various ways, or modes:

  • full time
  • part time
  • part time in the evenings
  • online

The mode of study defines the number of credits students can take each semester and the minimum number of credits they must gain to progress to the next semester.


A module is a self-contained unit of teaching, learning and assessment. Students must achieve a final grade of at least 7.0 out of 20.0 on the University common reporting scale to pass a module and gain credits.

When your Adviser of Studies has approved your module choices, they will show with a solid 'tick' in the advising system, and your 'advising status' will be 'confirmed'. At this point, your choices are recorded in the main student database. It takes some time for the information to be transferred to other IT systems:

  • MMS, Moodle and personal timetables are updated at 6am each day
  • the student record card is updated three times per day (early morning, lunchtime, early evening)
  • personal timetables are updated twice per day (Mon-Fri).

If you think there is a problem with confirmed modules not showing up in other systems after these times, you should contact for MMS, Moodle and student record card, and for personal timetables (please allow two working days for new or changed modules to show on your personal timetable).

Module availability

The availability of a module defines which students can take it. Some modules are available to any student who has passed the prerequisites.

Other modules are restricted to:

  • students in a particular Faculty
  • first-year students
  • students on a particular programme
  • students following a particular mode of study.

The number of students that can take particular modules is limited. The University's module catalogue lists all availability restrictions for each module.


Moodle is the online system the University uses to provide course materials to students.


The MySaint portal is the gateway into your virtual learning environment.

MySaint brings the learning systems and resources you need to do your studies together in one online space.  

Non-academic misconduct

The University is committed to tackling student behaviour that adversely impacts other students, staff, or local residents and will take action to resolve these issues when appropriate. Non-academic misconduct can include physical attacks, abusive behaviour, bullying, sexual harrassment, and noise.

Academic misconduct is dealt with under the good academic practice policy; non-academic misconduct is dealt with under separate procedures. The most serious cases of non-academic misconduct can result in a student being expelled from the University.

Orientation Week

Orientation Week is when students who are new to St Andrews get fully matriculated and settle into university life. There are a number of events students must attend during the week so they are prepared for their first classes.

The Freshers’ and Sports Fayres run during Orientation Week, providing an opportunity for students to find out about the student-run societies and sports facilities available at St Andrews.


Postgraduate research or postgraduate researcher.


Postgraduate taught or postgraduate teaching.

Pier Walk

The Pier Walk is a weekly St Andrews tradition. Students attend a Chapel service and then walk along the length of the pier east of the town wearing their red gowns.
The first Chapel service and Pier Walk, on the Sunday at the end of Freshers’ Week, marks the end of the week before the Martinmas semester begins.


Plagiarism is the act of taking another's ideas and representing them as one's own. It is one of the forms of academic misconduct that is forbidden under the policy on good academic practice.


A programme of study at level 11 or higher on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Students typically complete an undergraduate degree before studying at postgraduate level.

A student registered to study this level of programme is known as a postgraduate.

Postgraduate certificate

A taught postgraduate programme involving one semester of study for full-time students.

Postgraduate diploma

A taught postgraduate programme involving two semesters of study for full-time students.


An online process for students to submit their provisional module choices. It takes place before advising and the approval of module choices.

Preadvising allows students and Schools to plan for the next academic year. Students can change their mind about the modules they chose during preadvising, but any changes must be made before the advising meeting with the Advisor of Studies. In some cases, changes can be made after the meeting, as long as they are made by the readvising deadline. 


The academic knowledge  student must have before taking a specific module. In most cases, it involves passing other modules, or a pass in an external exam for first-year modules.

Allowing a student to take a module without meeting a prerequisite requires permission from the relevant School and the student's Adviser of Studies


An academic process that the University applies when a student fails to gain the expected number of academic credits.

The student will receive a probation letter explaining the conditions they must meet to be allowed to continue their studies. Conditions include passing a specific amount of credits per semester in the first exam diet for the next two semesters.

Probation is not recorded in the student's academic record.


The Proctor is responsible for areas related to learning and teaching, such as oversight of the teaching and learning strategy, regulations and policy, as well as managerial responsibility for Student Services, the Chaplaincy, and the Students' Association. 


A programme of study is the combination of modules and assessments required to obtain a particular degree. A programme name like MA (Hons) Ancient History and Economics or BSc (Hons) Biology with Arabic indicates what degree award students will get when they meet their programme requirements.

The terms course and degree are often used instead of programme.

Programme requirements

The requirements for a University programme specify which modules or combinations of modules a student must pass to qualify for the corresponding award. Programme requirements also include the Honours entry requirements.

The modules that students choose for the next academic year are likely to affect the modules they can choose in subsequent years.


The Provost is responsible for the development of postgraduate education and research and for the postgraduate community.


A St Andrews tradition where first-year students wear a fancy dress costume chosen by their academic parents, play pranks and games, and gather in St Salvator’s Quadrangle for the annual Raisin Monday foam fight.


A short time when students can make changes to the modules they selected during advising. Changes must be approved by the student's Adviser of Studies.

Readvising for:

  • Semester 1, ends midday on Monday of week 2
  • Semester 2, ends midday on Wednesday of week 2.

Changes to Semester 2 modules selected at the start of the academic year can be made between early January and the end of the Semester 2 readvising period. 

Reasonable adjustments

Changes that organisations must make to ensure that someone's disability does not put them at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled people or people who don't share their disability.

The University provides support for students and staff who declare a disability at any stage of their degree programme. Reasonable adjustments will be identified on a case-by-case basis according to the evidence and individual needs assessment.

Students don't have to inform the University of their disability, however, if they don't it might make it harder to access the support and reasonable adjustments available to them.


A reassessment allows students to retake the assessment of a module if the original grade is between 4 and below 7 (the pass threshold). Reassessment may not be available for all modules.

The Module Board decides the reassessment method. Grades for modules passed at reassessment are capped at 7.0, except for English for Academic Purposes modules. For failed reassessments, the original grade is used in the degree calculation.

If a student fails a reassessment, they cannot retake the reassessment but may be able to retake the module.


The Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews is the President of University Court (the highest governing body of the University). The Rector is completely independent and external to the University, represents the student community, and plays an informal and pastoral role for students.

Since 1858, the Rector has been elected by students every three years. 

Red gown

The red gown is a traditional form of clothing at the University. Most undergraduate students, except students of the School of Divinity, wear a red gown for special academic events. 

Students wear the red gown differently every year of their degree. This tradition represents each student growing wiser each year and becoming more independent until they graduate.

The red gown was introduced post-Reformation as a compulsory 'school uniform' for young students to prevent them from illegal drinking in public houses in Scotland.


The process for returning to studies after a leave of absence. To resume their studies, the student must demonstrate that the circumstances that caused the leave of absence have been resolved.


A University staff team also known as Academic Registry, who are responsible for the administration of student records. They provide support for students, Schools, senior management and stakeholders on course applications, matriculation, progression and academic awards.


A nickname for St Regulus Hall, one of the University halls of residence.

Reporting scale

The University's common reporting scale is used for reporting module grades. The highest grade is 20.0 and the pass threshold is 7.0.

Report and Support

Report and Support is an online tool for anyone connected to the University who wants to report incidents of bullying, discrimination, abuse, assault or harassment, as well as wellbeing concerns. Reports can be made anonymously or with contact details.


An exam taken as part of reassessment in a module. Students who can take a resit are contacted by email and invited to register.

Sabbatical officers (Sabbs)

A student who takes a year out from studying to work full time for the Students' Association. Sabbatical officers are elected by other students.

Saints Sport

The brand of the University's sports department. This includes sports facilities, services and activities.


A nickname for St Salvator's Hall, one of the University halls of residence. 


S-coding is an academic policy applied to the final grade of a module when all or most of a student's work has been affected by special circumstances.

When S-coding is applied, the student retains the module credits but the final module grade may not be included in the degree classification calculation.

S-coding may be used to give a student the opportunity for reassessment.


The University has several Schools, each responsible for the teaching and research of a particular academic subject.

Some Schools are divided into departments.

School presidents

A School president is the representative of the students of a School or Department.

A School president communicates the students' views to the relevant University staff, chairs meetings attended by staff and students, and manages class and School representatives.


A compulsory process that students must follow to inform the University when they can't attend a class, exam or academic meeting, or complete an assignment.


A period of academic instruction. There are two semesters of module teaching in the academic year at the University of St Andrews, and a summer period for Masters dissertation work.

Semester 1, also known as Candelmas, runs from September to December. Semester 2, also known as Martinmas, runs from January to May.


An academic year.


A society is a group of students with a shared interest. Students can become members of one or more societies and enjoy their events and activities. 

A large number of academic, artistic, political and cultural interests are represented by the wide variety of societies available at St Andrews. Membership fees apply.

All University societies are part of the Students' Association.

Sponsio Academica

A promise or oath that students must sign when they complete their matriculation to guarantee they will respect others and behave according to the University values of honesty, integrity, reliability, punctuality, tolerance, politeness, and mutual support in all academic and non-academic activities during their studies.

All four ancient Scottish universities have a Sponsio Academica that students originally recited in Latin.

Sports clubs

Students can choose to join one or more University sports clubs. Various competitive and recreational teams are available at St Andrews for all levels of ability and aspiration.

Student Data Protection Code

The University has a Student Data Protection Code which states that “personal information will not be given out without the student’s permission. This restriction includes passing information to parents, legal guardians and next of kin”.

The Code forms part of the University's lawful duty to protect the privacy of all students under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) outlined in the Data Protection Act 2018.

Student mentoring

A variety of schemes where University student mentors provide support for other students. 

New students can request a mentor and existing students can volunteer to be a mentor.

Student Services

This University department is responsible for student advice and support, including counselling, providing support for wellbeing and mental health, running the University's disability services, giving money advice, and supporting residential life.

Student visa

Whether you require a visa to come to the UK to undertake a course of study at the University of St Andrews will depend upon your nationality, and the duration of the course you intend to study.

If you have any other queries about visa applications, email the International Advice team at

Students' Association

A student organisation, also known as the 'Union', involved in all areas of student life, including events, student representation, student support, and extra-curricular activities.

All registered students are automatically members of the Students' Association.

Study abroad

An opportunity to study a semester, or a year of your degree, outside the UK.


The first two years of an Honours degree programme when students get a broad understanding of their intended degree subject. Students can also take courses in other subjects depending on their interests.

Support plan

Teaching and exam arrangements to help students with disabilities to access their course of study. A support plan may include access to learning materials in alternative formats or extra time for exams.

Support to study

An academic policy that defines how the University responds to concerns about a student when their health or behaviour affects their ability to continue their studies or cope with university life. A support to study plan determines what support will be available to the student and how it will be provided.

Termination of studies

When a student's academic performance is unsatisfactory for an extended period, the University may require the student to leave the University. This is known as a termination of studies.

Training in Good Academic Practice (TGAP)

A compulsory online module to help new students understand the University's expectations of academic conduct, and how to avoid academic misconduct


An academic transcript is an official record of a student's academic modules, grades, and degrees if applicable.

Students can use their academic transcript to prove their academic education.


A programme of study at level 9 or 10 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Also known as a Bachelor's degree in the USA.

A student registered to study an undergraduate programme is known as an undergraduate.


V-coding is an academic policy applied to module grades for students in exceptional circumstances. When V-coding is used, the module grade is cancelled and recorded as a ‘V’ in the student’s academic transcript. The module is removed from the student's course of study.

Students cannot request V-coding. Only the Proctor or delegate may offer this when it is justified by the student's academic and personal circumstances.

Visa confirmation

The University of St Andrews is a Student visa sponsor. This means that we are able to welcome students from all over the world to study.

If you are studying under a Student visa, you will be need to have your passport and visa documentation verified twice each year by a member of staff. Verification will take place at matriculation and at the confirmation event held in Week 3 of Semester 2.

If you need to renew your visa while studying at the University please contact our International Advisers at, or see the support for international students pages.

If you have any queries regarding passport and visa checks or the confirmation event please contact

Wardennial team

The wardennial team are the key contacts for students living in a hall of residence.

Each hall has a wardennial team made up of a Warden or Halls Life Coordinator, assistant wardens, and a deputy warden in larger halls. They provide advice and support outside regular office hours.

The team also work with the hall's residents, the hall committee, and the University's residential services team to build a strong and supportive community and hall identity.

Withdrawal from studies

Students who choose to permanently leave the University must apply for a withdrawal from studies before leaving. A withdrawal from studies is permanent, and is different from a leave of absence.