A glossary of Informatics and Edinburgh University terms and acronyms.

Edinburgh University glossary of terms

Informatics Glossary


  Academic Misconduct Academic misconduct is any type of misconduct that occurs in relation to a formal academic exercise. This includes plagiarism, collusion, falsification, deceit, cheating and impersonation.
AIAI Artificial Intelligence and its Applications Institute  Informatics Research Institute. AIAI undertakes basic and applied research and development in knowledge representation and reasoning.
ANC Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation Informatics Research Institute. ANC focuses on brain processes and artificial learning systems, theoretically and empirically, drawing on the disciplines of neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science, computational science, mathematics and statistics.
AT Appleton Tower One of the Informatics buildings. Along with lecture theatres, labs and seminar rooms it also houses the Informatics Teaching Office (ITO).
ATAS Academic Technology Approval Scheme Students applying for postgraduate study in certain sensitive subjects, knowledge of which could be used in programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery, will need to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before they can study in the UK.
ATI The Alan Turing Institute The Alan Turing Institute is the UK’s national institute for data science. Edinburgh is one of 6 partners, the others are Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Warwick and EPSRC.


Bayes Bayes Centre The Universityʼs innovation hub for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. School of Informatics is one of the stakeholders in the Bayes Centre.
BoE Board Of Examiners A Board of Examiners is a body consisting of University staff and external examiners where appropriate, with membership approved by the relevant College whose role is to take an overview of each student’s academic performance on a relevant course or programme based primarily on assessment results, and to make a final academic judgement on the appropriate outcome, e.g. on progression or the award of degree, diploma or certificate.
BoS (secured) Board of Studies A Board of Studies is the committee in Schools which undertakes scrutiny of curriculum development proposals and where local decisions about courses, programmes and academic policy are made.
BDE Business Development Executive BDEs work within our Commercialisation team to forge and strengthen links between academia, research and industry.


CASE Collaborative awards in science and engineering CASE studentships provide doctoral students with a first-rate, challenging research training experience within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration between academic and non-academic partner organisations.
CDT Centre for Doctoral Training  
  Commercialisation Team Informatics has its own Commercialisation Team which provides valuable links between research and industry. We also host an incubator for start-up and spin-out companies.
CO Course Organiser

The Course Organiser is responsible for general course management, assessment-related activities, advising and supporting students on course-related matters, monitoring and reviewing courses.

  Courses You can find a sortable list of informatics courses at
CPD Continuing Professional Development Learning activities for professionals to maintain and develop their knowledge, skills and abilities.


DICE Distributed Informatics Computing Environment

This is a standard Unix desktop based on Scientific Linux.

DoGS Director of Graduate School The Director of the Graduate School is principally responsible for co-ordinating the recruitment, selection and funding of postgraduate research students. Also known as Head of Graduate School (HoGS).
DoI Director of Institute Normally appointed for a period of three years, the Director of Institute is responsible for the devolved management of Institute staff and budgets, as determined by the Head of School.
DoT Director of Teaching A member of College Learning & Teaching Committee and Convenor of the School Board of Studies, the Director of Teaching provides academic oversight of UG and PGT teaching delivery and strategy.
DRPS Degree Regulations and Programme of Study The DRPS provides information on the programmes of study offered by the University of Edinburgh, and sets out the regulatory framework by which these are governed together with the regulations and codes that govern the general context of a student’s academic career at the University. The University also recognises regulations in respect of those degrees offered by other institutions and validated by the University and relevant additional information is provided where appropriate.
DS Data Science  
DPT Degree Programme Table Subsection of the DRPS.


EASE   The university's authentication system. Log in to access secure, web-based university systems and resources.
EC Board of Examiners Convenor The Convenor of a Board of Examiners is ultimately responsible for the smooth running of the BoE process and the accuracy of the marks returned to Registry.
EE External Examiner  
EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. EPSRC is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences.
ERE Edinburgh Research Explorer A system which allows you to browse the research output of Edinburgh University staff.
ES Exam Secretary  
EUCLID Edinburgh University Complete Lifecycle Integrated Development EUCLID is the University's suite of web applications for managing the entire student life cycle from admission through to graduation.


HEAR Higher Academic Achievement Report The HEAR provides a single comprehensive record of students' achievements. It details activities beyond the traditional transcript or degree result. It can be accessed by students whilst studying on the degree programme or after completion and graduation.
HEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for England

It was the main funding body for teaching and research to universities and colleges. It closed on 1 April 2018 and was replaced by UKRI.


HoGS Head (Director) of Graduate School The Head of Graduate School is principally responsible for co-ordinating the recruitment, selection and funding of research postgraduates. Also known as Director of the Graduate School (DoGS).
HoS Head of School Responsible for overall operations of all of the School's activities (in research, teaching and outreach), including: academic leadership, development of strategy, governance and management.
HPC High Performance Computing  


IAD Institute for Academic Development A University department dedicated to improving academic skills for staff and students.
ICSA Institute for Computing Systems Architecture Informatics Research Institute. ICSA is primarily concerned with the architecture and engineering of future computing systems. Its fundamental research aims are: to extend the understanding of the performance and scalability of existing computational systems; to improve the characteristics of current systems through innovations in algorithms, architectures, compilers, languages and protocols; to develop new and novel architectures and to develop new engineering methods by which future systems can be created and maintained.
IF Informatics Forum The main Informatics research building.
IGS Informatics Graduate School The IGS is an administration team responsible for the operation of all the School's postgraduate research programmes.
ILCC Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation Informatics Research Institute. ILCC is dedicated to the computational study of language, communication, and cognition, in both humans and machines. Research areas include automatic speech and language processing, dialogue systems, models of human communication and language processing, information retrieval and presentation, and assistive technology.
InfBase   A dedicated support base for Informatics 1st and 2nd-year students.
InfComms Informatics Communications Team Responsible for the promotion of School's achievements (including students successes), School's website and social media channels, recruitment of new students, outreach, public engagement activities and alumni communications
InfPALS   Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) for 1st-year Informatics students.
IPAB Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour Informatics Research Institute. Linking computational action, perception, representation, transformation and generation processes to real or virtual worlds: statistical machine learning, computer vision, mobile and humanoid robotics, motor control, graphics and visualization.
IRR Informatics Research Review Part of the Taught MSc. This course provides students with the opportunity to explore an area of interest in more depth than allowed in a standard taught course.
IS Information Services

The University's central support service, offering physical and digital services across library, IT, learning technology, student study spaces and teaching room technologies. department that runs the central library, computing, multimedia and e-learning services.

ISS Informatics Student Services Informatics Student Services staff are responsible for all student-related activities across the School and include the IGS and ITO.
ITO Informatics Teaching Organisation The ITO is the administration team responsible for the operation of the School's undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes.
IV Informatics Ventures An Informatics based team which provides start-up acceleration, innovation programmes and entrepreneurship education for Scotland's emerging technology companies.


KTP Knowledge Transfer Partnership Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base.


LEAPS Lothian Equal Access Programme for Schools LEAPS aims to promote social inclusion and equality of opportunity by facilitating increased participation and success in higher education of young people whose ability to choose higher education as a post-school option and/or to demonstrate or realise their potential may have been inhibited by economic, social or cultural factors.
LEARN   The virtual learning environment, or VLE, that some courses use to accompany more conventional methods of teaching.
LFCS Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science Informatics Research Institute. Research focuses on achieving a foundational understanding of problems and issues arising in computation and communication through the development of appropriate and applicable formal models and mathematical theories.


MInf Master of Informatics A 5 year undergraduate Master's programme.
MOOC Massive Open Online Course An online course aimed at mass participation and open access via the web.
MPhil Master of Philosophy This award is an advanced research qualification. The School of Informatics offers this as a  
MRC Medical Research Council The Medical Research Council improves human health through world-class medical research.
MSc Master of Science  
MScR Master of Science by Research  
MyEd   The University's web portal providing a centralised access point for web-based services.


NERC Natural Environment Research Council The leading funder of independent research, training and innovation in environmental science in the UK.




PGR Postgraduate by Research  
PhD Philosophiae Doctor, Doctor of Philosophy.  A post-graduate doctorate programme.
PI Principal Investigator The scientist in charge of an experiment or research project.
PPar Pervasive Parallelism  
PPLS School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science The School which sits next to Informatics in the Forum building. There is often crossover in research between the two schools.
PPR Postgraduate Programme Review A internal university review of postgraduate programme standards.
PURE   Edinburgh University system for recording research output.




RA Research Assistant A research assistant is a researcher employed, often on a temporary contract, by a university or a research institute, for the purpose of assisting in academic research.
RAS Robotics and Autonomous Systems  
RCUK Research Councils UK The main source of UK government research funding.
REF Research Excellence Framework The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.


SAMO School Academic Misconduct Officer  
SCAO School Curricular Approval Officer  
ST Senior Tutor The Senior Tutor is a level above the Personal Tutors, and may be contacted when a student cannot contact or has an issue that they feel they cannot take to their own Personal Tutor.
SFC Scottish Funding Council Scotland's main education funding body.
SICSA Scottish Informatics & Computer Science Alliance The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) is a collaboration of Scottish Universities whose goal is to develop and extend Scotland’s position as a world leader in Informatics and Computer Science research and education
SSLC Staff Student Liaison Committee The Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC) is an opportunity for student reps to raise issues on behalf of their year with staff.
SSR Staff-Student Rep meetings Class reps participate in regular Staff-Student Rep (SSR) meetings with the Director and Deputy Director of Teaching throughout semester.
SWAP Scottish Wider Access Programme SWAP gives independent advice to adults about opportunities to access higher education.


TA Teaching Assistant  
  Technical Course A course that is not a project.
TC Teaching Committee The Informatics Teaching Committee exists to develop policy on the delivery (rather than the syllabus definition) of taught courses and to monitor activity within those courses. It will also contribute to the development of policy in the areas of undergraduate admissions, recruitment and schools liaison.
Theon   Theon is the school's database which stores staff and student information.


UG Undergraduate  
UKRI UK Research and Innovation It is is the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK.


Viva   After submission of a PhD thesis a student will be invited to defend their doctorate at a ‘viva voce' (Latin for ‘by live voice') or oral examination.
VLE Virtual Learning Environment A virtual learning environment (VLE) is a web-based platform for the digital aspects of courses of study.
VUG Visiting Undergraduate Student  



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