In British English, how should I properly write a sentence like

What knowledge is required at university?

Basically, I want to ask what knowledge is required for study at a university or in a university, or in university, as appropriate to the sense of being a student at the university.

  • 3
    Hello, Saras, and welcome. I think you need to tell us a little more about the kind of knowledge you're talking about. Do you, for example, mean knoweledge of a particular subject? If so, which one? – Barrie England Jan 13 '12 at 21:25
  • In the UK I think it would be odd to speak of academic requirements for entering a university. It normally depends almost entirely on the particular course you're interested in. – FumbleFingers Jan 13 '12 at 22:46
  • Hello @Barrie England how should I phase a sentence that I've wrote below the first answer? – Saras Jan 14 '12 at 10:11

Either at university or in a university would sound odd (without being ungrammatical) because the usual context is a specific course, or at least subject. There are plenty of people within university buildings who have neither knowledge nor skills. [Some of them may even be professors ;)]

"This is the knowledge required to pursue a university course in Computer Studies" or "...to study at university level" would be right if your paper qualifications are sufficient but you are worried that you might be thought not to know enough. (I find that idea odd, but this probably isn't the place.)

"This will enable me to meet the requirements for the Computer Science BSc course at Redbrick University" or just "This will allow me to study Computer Science at Redbrick" (which will be taken to mean the same, despite its technical ambiguity) would be right in the more usual situation where you already know enough to understand a degree course, but don't have the relevant pieces of paper.

(synthesized from comments, with particular thanks to Barrie England, as ever)

  • Does 'Computer Studies' has to be in capitals? – Saras Jan 15 '12 at 22:26
  • can degree be instead of course, like: "This is the knowledge required to pursue a university degree in Computer Studies" or does it sound wrong? – Saras Jan 15 '12 at 22:34
  • 'Computer Studies' is the name of the subject and the course: there are books on computer science as there are on history, but they are read in the History department. Degree can usually be used instead of course, with some loss of precision. And if these points are important, perhaps you could have put them into the original question? We're all happy to help, but not necessarily to play 'guess what you were thinking of'. – Tim Lymington Jan 15 '12 at 23:08

It might be "What is the procedure for admission into ABC University?" Or "What are the requirements to be accepted ... ?"


The basic admission requirement is a high-school-leaving certificate.
Once you have met the requirements for University Entrance ...

  • Hello, if I want to say that: 'This course would provide me the knowledge required (at or in) (a) university.' How should I phrase that, or do I still need to mention the course I'll be studying? If so, how could I phrase that using Computer Science as a course? – Saras Jan 14 '12 at 9:26
  • @Sara, you can say something like this: This course will provide me with necessary knowledge and skills. – Mustafa Jan 14 '12 at 9:51
  • but I want to say that it will provide me with necessary knowledge and skills (ar or in) (a) university – Saras Jan 14 '12 at 10:08
  • @Saras, it will provide me with knowledge and skills necessary at a university. – Mustafa Jan 14 '12 at 10:16
  • @Saras: It sounds now as if you're considering a pre-university course and that you want to say that it will give you the knowledge you need to go on to university. Is that right? If so, you could say something on the lines of Mustafa's suggestion. – Barrie England Jan 14 '12 at 10:32

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