There are many terms in currency around the education world which display ambiguity of meaning. This is an attempt to define a vocabulary which clarifies at least what is meant when we use a word or phrase of jargon in the context of engineering education.  The following list is alphabetical: no further significance is intended by the order of terms.


The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology is a US-based non-governmental organisation which accredits programmes in engineering and applied science.

Academic year

In the UK, the academic year traditionally starts in September or October and ends in June, usually divided into quarters, terms or semesters.


Engineering undergraduate degrees in the UK can be accredited by one or more professional engineering bodies acting for the Engineering Council to implement a set of guidelines called AHEP linked to UK-Spec. Possession of an accredited degree is a first step to Chartered Engineer or Incorporated Engineer status (CEng or IEng) but there are other routes to these qualifications which in any case are rarely mandatory for employment as an engineer.

active learning

Active learning involves students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing.


The Engineering Council sets the overall requirements for the Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes in engineering, in line with the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC).


The study and theories associated with how adults learn (see pedagogy)


 Assessment may be formative (it helps the student learn) and/or summative (it measures what the student knows or can do). Summative assessments usually lead to a mark or a grade.