• H

    healthcare (one word)

    HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England)

    higher education/HE

    • higher education lower case, but HE in capitals


    • lower case unless part of a specific degree title


    See also Dashes and our Quick reference guide for key words.

    • Use a hyphen where words are paired together as adjectives, eg four-year course, full-time students, world-leading research, practice-based teaching, computer-related work.
    • But if the same two-word adjective is given in the predicative position (see below), it should be two separate words: eg, our research is world leading and the work is computer related.
    • Hyphens are also used where there is an awkward collision of vowels or consonants, eg take-off, part-time, co-operate. Exceptions include override, overrule, skiing
    • Use a hyphen to signal an abstract rather than literal meaning, eg cross-question, bull’s-eye.
    • Don’t use hyphens after adverbs ending in ‘ly’, eg an internationally recognised course, scientifically rigorous research.
    • Use hyphens in points of the compass, eg south-east, north-west, but there are exceptions, as in southeasterly.

    Common hyphenated words

    • part-time
    • four-year
    • CD-ROM
    • A-levels
    • pro Vice-Chancellor
    • Vice-Chancellor

    Words that are not hyphenated

    • postgraduate
    • healthcare
    • email
    • online
    • word processing
    • website
    • wifi


    • Use hyphens in most compound or double-barrelled personal names Anne-Marie, Baden-Powell.
    • Use in compound names that describe single entities, such as companies eg Rolls-Royce and some place names, eg Weston-Super-Mare.
    • Hyphens are sometimes used in place names with prepositions, eg Kingston-upon-Thames but do check each individual place name.


    • Use hyphens in spelt-out numbers, eg Twenty-one students took part in the project.