Learn English – What would be the British Equivalent Words to “Freshmen” “Sophomore”


I know that to describe which year you're in, with American English, people usually use words like:

  • Freshmen – 1st year college/university student
  • Sophomore – 2nd year
  • Junior – 3rd year
  • Senior – 4th year

However, since the British universities usually have three years in total, are there any equivalent words to these American expressions?

Or Does British people just say "I'm a third-year" instead of "I'm a junior"?

Best Answer

As you suggest, British English tends to just go by year number for University level students:

  • Freshmen - 1st year student or 1st year undergrad
  • Sophomore - 2nd year student or 2nd year undergrad

And so on until the final year (3rd year for Bachelor's Degree students and 4th year for Master's Degree students), the students of which are referred to as final year students.

Students who have completed their degree and are attempting to achieve a PhD typically do not use year numbering at all, and are merely referred to as post-graduates, which contrasts with students who complete their degree but do not go on to further education and are normally referred to as graduates.

British English never uses the terms Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior etc (in any educational context). Use of those terms is not well understood in Britain, and most British English speakers would not understand what the term means.

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