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Academic Dictionary




Academic quarter

A phenomenon that exists only at universities in Scandinavia. Unless the schedule expressly states that a lecture or class begins precisely at the time given, it will normally begin 15 minutes (a quarter of an hour) later.

Adjunct professor

A professor whose main employment is outside the University. Such a position may have a maximum duration of 6 years.

Admission notification

Once the universities, colleges and the National Admissions Office to Higher Education have received the applications, a first selection is made. Students are then sent a national admission notification telling them whether they have been admitted, placed on a waiting list, or refused. Admission notifications are sent out by post in July and December.


A graduate or former student of a college or university. Alumnus is a Latin word that means pupil or protégé.


A student who is employed by a department on a part-time basis.


In order to study courses or programmes, students must first apply for them. Information about when and how to apply are posted on the University’s web-site.



Bachelor's degree

See “Degrees and diplomas”

Basic year

A preparatory year of study, comprising for example mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and technology, that leads to qualifications equivalent to upper secondary school level in the subjects studied. Note that the basic year leads to qualification and not to an upper secondary school grade. When they apply for university places, students compete on the basis of their original upper secondary school grades.

Board of the Faculty

The board of a faculty consists of professors and doctors who discuss and make decisions regarding post-graduate studies, how the University’s state research grants are to be used etc.




Campus is the term used to refer to the University’s grounds and buildings. It is a Latin word and means “field”. Luleå University of Technology has four campuses: in Luleå, Boden, Piteå, Kiruna, and Skellefteå.


Courses are short blocks of study in a certain subject. A course may be part of a full study program or a single-subject course. It is possible to take a degree by combining a number of single-subject courses.

Course syllabus

The course syllabus includes a descriptioin of the course and literature to be used.


University studies are graded according to a credits system, where one credit is equivalent to a week’s full-time study. A full-time course will generally be worth 30 credits and is one term long. The same course studied part-time, has the same number of credits, but takes two terms.


Centrala Studiestödsnämnden, the Swedish National Board of Student Aid. Handles all matters related to study allowance.


Curriculum Vitae. A CV is a detailed account of a person’s education, qualifications and previous experience.




The Dean is the chairman of a board of the faculty. The board of a faculty makes decisions regarding

Degree project

A degree project is a major independent project or thesis that is done by a student individually or in a small group. Such a project will often require ten weeks of full-time work. The project is presented in the form of a paper. For a Bachelor’s degree, students must carry out a degree project equivalent to fifteen credits in their main subject. For a Master’s degree with in-depth study, a degree project equivalent to a total of 30 credits in the student’s main subject is required.

Degrees and diplomas

At Luleå university of technology you can be awarded a diploma, a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, or a vocational higher education degree. A degree or diploma is not always linked to a particular form of study. Students can elect to pursue a study programme or combine a number of single-subject courses for a degree or diploma. Vocational higher education degrees, however, are linked to study programmes.


Luleå University of Technology consists of six departments that are responsible for the courses and programmes taught at the University.


A person appointed to assist and/or stand in for one of certain the university’s highest officials, for example the Deputy Vice-chancellor.


See “Degrees and diplomas”

Distance learning

Distance learning means that students study independently without leaving home and maintain contact with the University in different ways for lectures, classes, and guidance and supervision. Most distance courses/programmes use various kinds of modern technology both in the actual teaching and for teacher-student and student-student contact.


Divisions and their work is an important part of the democratic process within their respective union, and is broken down by field of education. Each section has its own statutes, its own elected officials, election committee and auditors. Divisions have the right to establish partnerships, organize and engage on the basis of their own agenda.

Doctoral thesis

A major work consisting of original research that is presented, discussed and approved (or possibly not approved) for the awarding of the degree of PhD. The thesis is often printed and bound and presented in the form of a book that is subsequently used as a course book and in further research.



Entry requirements

The qualifications for a course or programme are the basic level of knowledge required for different courses and programmes. Students may fulfil the entry requirements in different ways. There are two types of qualifications: basic and specific qualifications. Read more on our web-site and/or request our course catalogue for more detailed information.


An examination is a formal test of the knowledge that a student has acquired on a course. Examinations can written or oral.




A group of university departments concerned with education and research in a major field of knowledge. At Luleå University of Technology, there are two faculties: the Faculty of Science and Technology and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

First year students

A broad range of activities are arranged for newly admitted students (Freshers) during their first few weeks at the University. The aim is for them to get to know each other and have some fun together. All freshers are naturally free to take part in the activities they want to and are interested in.

Formal dinner

A formal function. The evening will often have a theme, which is reflected in dress, entertainment, food etc

Fresher period

See First year students

Full-time equivalent (FTE)

A student who studies full-time for a whole year, i.e. 60 credits in one year. However, many students study only single-subject courses so the number of students at the University is higher than the full-time equivalent. The difference is normally about 20%. Example: Anna is studying for 15 credits, Barbro 15 credits, and Anton 30 credits; together they make up one full-time equivalent.

Full-time studies

The student studies for 30 credits a term, which is the normal study tempo. Equivalent to 40 hours of work a week.




An organised students’ party or function with food and dancing.


The normal grades awarded at the University are Fail (U), Pass (G) and Pass with special distinction (VG).



Head of Department

The overall head of a department.



Industrial postgraduate student

A postgraduate student who is employed by a company (or equivalent) and is pursuing postgraduate studies within the framework of his employment.




A university teacher who holds a first degree but who has not taken a PhD. See also Senior lecturer.

Licentiate degree

(Generally) a degree that a postgraduate student may take while pursuing his or her studies for a doctorate. Equivalent to two years of full-time study.



Main subject

The subject in which a student studies for most credits.

Master’s degree

See “Degrees and diplomas”


To simplify course selection planning a modular schedule with fixed scedule position is used. Courses in the same module involves scheduling conflicts and exam clash.



National university aptitude test

The national university aptitude test is a way in which prospective students can gain additional qualification for admission to a university or university college. The test is arranged twice a year. Candidates may sit the national university aptitude test as many times as they like. Their results are valid for five years.




The examiner at the public defence of a doctoral thesis who makes a critical, public review of the thesis.




See “Degree project”

Part-time studies

The normal study tempo is 30 credits a term. Part-time means that the same course takes two terms instead of one, i.e. a student studies for 15 credits a term.

Postgraduate student

A student who has been admitted to and is pursuing postgraduate studies. A postgraduate student also has a teaching obligation. Also sometimes called a doctoral student or doctoral candidate.

Postgraduate studies

A comprehensive and cohesive postgraduate course centred around a theme, for example learning, the environment, innovative technology etc.

Programme syllabus

The programme syllabus includes a description of the programme structure and its courses.


A person who holds a professorship (also called a chair). A professor is appointed after applying and being accepted for a vacant professorship. Only people with competence as reader are qualified to apply for such a position (see Reader) A professor is in charge of research and postgraduate studies in a particular subject, for example economics, history, literature, chemistry, biology etc. There are also professors who have a special focus, for example health care or ore geology.

Professor emeritus/emerita

A retired professor.

Public defence (of a doctoral thesis)

The formal occasion when a postgraduate student presents and defends his or her doctoral thesis to be awarded a PhD.



Qualification descriptor

The qualification descriptor includes local and central requirements that must be met for a particular degree.


See Entry requirements


Part of the semester. Each semester is divided into two quarters. Autumn term consists of quarter 1 and 2 and the spring semester covers quarter 3 and 4.




An academic rank, approximately equivalent to four years of full-time research after taking a PhD.


Students who have been admitted to courses and study programmes must register. This is normally done on the first day of the course; attendance is thus mandatory on that day. Admitted students are notified of the time and place. Any student who can not attend the course must inform the University so that a student on the waiting list can be offered the vacant place.




When the number of applicants for a course or study programme is higher than the number pf places available, a selection must be made. For most study programmes, this is done on the basis of grades and test results. Many courses often have only a limited number of places. Different selection criteria are applied depending on the type of course. More information can be found in our course catalogue.

Senior lecturer

A senior lecturer is a teacher who has taken a Doctor’s degree or has equivalent academic competence. A teacher may also become a senior lecturer on the basis of professional experience of importance for the subject in question.

Students’ unions

The students’ unions work at several different levels and with several different objectives. On a national level, the unions influence the Government and Parliament in matters to do with education. Luleå University of Technology has two student’s unions – the Student Association of Engineering and Luleå Students’ Union – that represent their members’ interests in dealings with the University, the local authority, and trade and industry. The Students’ unions are also major organisers of leisure-time activities and stimulating interests that students can participate in during their time at the University.

Study advisors

Study advisors can answer questions about the range of courses and study programmes available and suitability for individual students. They can also answer questions about how to apply, the qualifications needed, registration and admission to courses and programmes, study allowance, study techniques, examinations, degrees and diplomas, and other practical issues.

Study allowance

This is the term used to refer to study loans and state study grants. The Swedish National Board of Student Aid, Centrala Studiestödsnämnden (CSN), handles all matters related to study allowance.

Study credits

See Credits

Study programme

A study programme is made up of courses that students study in a particular order. The study programmes lead to a degree. Towards the end of a study programme, students can in most cases choose between a number of advanced courses. Options also often include a free choice and a period or study abroad.


A specific field of knowledge.

The Swedish Council for Higher Education (Universitets- och högskolerådet - UHR)

This is where applications for most of the study programmes available in Sweden are sent.

The Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet)

The Swedish Higher Education Authority is the supervisory authority for Sweden’s universities and university colleges. The Agency can make independent investigations and reviews, suggest numbers of university places etc. The Agency is headed by the Chancellor of the Swedish Universities.




Just as for other schools, the University year is divided into two terms. The autumn term normally begins towards the end of August and continues until around 20 January. The spring term begins immediately afterwards and usually continues until the beginning of June. These dates are approximate, however, and some years may be different.




Provides post-secondary education and in addition to basic academic degrees is also allowed to confer the highest academic decrees (doctorates). Universities also receive state research grants. They are also allowed to establish professorships (chairs) and employ professors. They also have the right to decide for themselves in which subjects post-graduate studies and Doctor’s degrees will be given.

University college

Provides post-secondary education and basic academic degrees. A University college can not confer the highest academic degree (doctorates). State research grants to the university colleges are not as high as the universities’, but increased during the latter half of the 1990s. During the same period the university colleges gained the right to establish professorships of their own subject to approval by the National Agency for Higher Education.

Utbildningskoordinator (UK)

Utbildningsledare (UL)

Utbildningsråd (UR)



VHS - Verket för Högskoleservice

The National Admissions Office to Higher Education. This is where applications for most of the study programmes available in Sweden are sent.


The Head of the University.

Visiting professor

A teacher who fulfils the qualification requirements for the rank of professor and who is employed for a limited time as a guest teacher or professor.



Work placement

Several study programmes contain one or more work placement periods. A work placement period is intended to give the student an insight into working life and may be a good contact to have when the time comes to look for employment.