'Academic unit below department level' in English?

mugibil

Senior Member
Bulgarian
Hello,
I'm not sure if this is the place for this question, but I don't see a more suitable place. What would you expect an administrative unit to be called, if it is part of a department at a university (obviously, assuming you don't know the official designation in advance)? Let's say the department is 'Department of Middle Eastern Studies' and the administrative unit in question deals with the Turkic languages. A made-up concrete example sentence would be 'There are now ten tenured lecturers teaching in/at the ??? of Turkic Studies.' Or, say, 'the ??? of Turkic Studies was established in 1973 and is known for the high quality of its teaching and research'. Or, 'the ??? of Turkic Studies has organised three conferences in the past four years.'

What could we possibly say in English so as to be understood, considering the structure of universities in English-speaking countries? Obviously, the structure of universities itself varies a lot, but I'm looking for something that most people would understand.

Thank you in advance.
 
  • LanguageUser1234

    Banned
    English U.S.
    Often there are "institutes" at universities, which typically exist outside the departmental structure. There might be an "Institute of Latin American Studies," for example, which might consist of people from "Departments" such as History, Spanish, Sociology and Economics.

    If it is all within one department, the word "section" is often used. I used to be associated with a Department of Foreign Languages, which had a "Spanish Section," a "Russian Section," etc.

    I hope this helps.
     

    mugibil

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Thanks, Jeff_TX! This does help a lot - I had been thinking about 'section', too, but I had no idea exactly how common it was. Admittedly, I had been worrying a bit whether the word 'section' doesn't require a specification, so that one might have to repeat 'Turkic [Studies] Section of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies' in every other sentence, but I suppose 'Turkic Studies Section' will make sense in context.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    There is no standard term - each institution is free to use whatever word they wish. Section, team, unit, group...
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    My experience is like Jeff_TX's. From more to less general:
    university
    college
    department
    section

    There are also, as Jeff says, institutes and other such units outside the department structure.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It would be, Hildy: we have different systems. I studied French and Italian in the Department of Romance Studies which was part of the Faculty of Modern Languages. I think the main difference is that what you call a Department we call a Faculty.;)
     

    mugibil

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Thanks to everyone for these additional points! In my case, too, the University has Faculties, and they consist of Departments, but the problem is that there is also a unit below the level of Department, and I wanted to find a designation for which there is at least some precedent. Re Glasguensis, I had actually been thinking of 'Unit' as well, but I thought it might sound a bit, well, small, at least to someone whose mother tongue isn't English; and 'Team' and 'group' make me imagine something rather loose and temporary.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    At my university, we are organised into faculties/schools and centres. Within faculties, we have departments. And within the English Department, we have the English Language, English Literature and Theatre Studies sections.

    Units makes me think of individual modules.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Thanks to everyone for these additional points! In my case, too, the University has Faculties, and they consist of Departments, but the problem is that there is also a unit below the level of Department, and I wanted to find a designation for which there is at least some precedent. Re Glasguensis, I had actually been thinking of 'Unit' as well, but I thought it might sound a bit, well, small, at least to someone whose mother tongue isn't English; and 'Team' and 'group' make me imagine something rather loose and temporary.
    Yes, as Nat says: faculty - department - section. Unit sounds distinctly odd.:)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top