• The correct names for our campuses are:
    Headington Campus (not ‘Gipsy Lane Campus’,‘Gipsy Lane site’ or ‘Headington Hill site’)
    Headington Campus, Marston Road site
    Harcourt Hill Campus
    Wheatley Campus
    Swindon Campus
  • Correct building names: use upper case for each main word including ‘Building’, eg
    John Henry Brookes Building
    Abercrombie Building
    Joel Joffe Building


  • Captions under a quote usually take the form of: full name, subject of study/job title. These do not require punctuation at the end, eg David Halligan, Digital Media Production student



  • Proper names of companies and other organisations, including faculties and schools, are upper case for each main word:
    School of Architecture
    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
    Brookes Union
    Harcourt Hill Library
    John Radcliffe Hospital
    Oxfordshire County Council
    Student Loans Company
  • Descriptive or general terms are lower case: universities, schools, faculties, hospitals, open days, website.
  • Abbreviated names for specific institutions are lower case, eg the government, the department, the library, the careers service, the union.
  • The Oxford School of Hospitality Management but subsequently the school.
  • The exception to the above rule is University with a capital U when talking about Oxford Brookes, eg The University has outstanding teaching spaces but lower case u when talking generally, eg your university application.


  • Capitalise each main letter for course and module titles, eg Our International Hospitality Management degree is highly regarded in the industry. Subject areas are lower case, eg We offer a wide range of business and management degrees.
  • Capitalise Semester 1 and Year 1 (rather than semester 1 or year 1).

See also Courses below for further guidance.

Job titles

See also Gender bias

  • Job titles held by specific people are upper case, eg Professor Alistair Fitt is Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.
  • Generic job titles are lower case, eg Professor Alistair Fitt is a vice-chancellor.
  • Acting is always lower case, eg Martina Wheeler is acting Admissions Officer.
  • General references to job titles are lower case, eg The course leader offers individual tutorials as required.
  • Seasons are lower case: spring, summer, autumn, winter, eg In autumn 2017 the new intake of students will come to Oxford Brookes.

Clearing (UCAS system)

  • Capital ‘C’

cliche, colloquial expressions

Expressions peculiar to British English

  • Try to avoid the use of cliche phrases and instead replace with plain English alternatives. These do not translate well to an international audience and some are not well understood even by native speakers in the UK. Examples include:
  • Acid test
  • Ballpark figure
  • Catch-22
  • Last but not least
  • Pass muster
  • Rule of thumb
  • The bottom line

collective nouns

  • It is important to deal consistently with a noun or noun phrase which is singular in form but collective in sense. To avoid confusing the reader, we recommend:
    • If the collective noun is generally thought of as a single item, treat it like ‘it’, ‘she’ or ‘he’, eg:
      The team is very efficient.
      The group is on a field trip.
      The government is reviewing the legislation.
    • If the item is generally thought of a collection of individuals, treat it as a plural, eg:
      The committee are not in agreement.
      After a long debate, the jury made their decision.
    • Avoid mixing single and plural use of verbs, eg:
      While they await the results of their research the company have refused to issue a statement (not ‘While they await the results of their research the company has refused to issue a statement.’).

colon (:)

  • A colon can be used in the same way as a dash, to indicate that what follows is an explanation, eg Harcourt Hill Campus is popular with students: it has a strong sense of community.
  • Colons can also be used between two parts of a title, eg Proofreading for clarity: a four-step strategy.


  • Commas can be used to separate items in a list, eg The Deli stocks sandwiches, hot food, soup and drinks.
  • Use an additional comma before the ‘and’ at the end (known as ‘the Oxford comma’) only where it clarifies the sense of the sentence, eg We also have a climbing wall, swimming pool, steam and sauna room, and indoor rowing centre.
  • In pairs to mark clauses and break up a sentence for clarity, eg The bus service, which runs night and day, links the campus with the city. Or singularly to mark off a word or phrase at the beginning or end of a sentence eg However, many other studies have shown...
  • To join two complete sentences into a single sentence, eg Each has its own community and great facilities, and is linked to the other campuses by our BROOKESbus service. When used in this way they must be linked with a connecting word (and, or, but, while, yet) otherwise a semicolon must be used instead.

common words that sound similar

See Quick reference for keywords

contact details

See Addresses


See also Apostrophes

  • Common verbal contractions (you’ll, you’d, we’re, there’s) can be used, as long as they don’t interfere with clarity, eg If you’re from outside the EU then once you’ve accepted your place at Oxford Brookes…
  • However, avoid should’ve, could’ve, would’ve, they’ve - as these can be hard to read.
  • Think about tone when using contractions - a good rule to follow is to use the full version first, then the contraction after, eg At Oxford Brookes we are doing x, y, z and we’re also planning to….
  • Common contractions, such as Dr, Ms, BA, PhD, St, do not require punctuation.


  • Use the word course rather than ‘programme’. (‘Course’ is more widely understood by external audiences and more suitable for general marketing and recruitment material.)
  • The word ‘course’ may refer to degrees, diplomas, certificates, masters' and any other qualification we teach.
  • Capitalise each main letter of the course title, eg Animal Biology and Conservation.
  • Capitalise each main letter of course modules, eg Introduction to Materials.
  • Capitalise Semester 1 and Year 1 (rather than semester 1 or year 1).

cross references

  • Use brackets and spell out pages in full, eg Check on the course descriptions (see pages 34-36).


  • Currencies should appear in lower case when in words, eg euro, pound, sterling.