Michaelmas term is the first academic term of the academic year in a number of English-speaking universities and schools in the northern hemisphere, especially in the United Kingdom. Michaelmas term derives its name from the Feast of St Michael and All Angels, which falls on 29 September. The term runs from September or October to Christmas.
The legal year
While the name is not used in the legal systems of the United States, where most American courts operate on continuous year-round calendars without terms, the U.S. Supreme Court roughly follows the English custom by beginning its annual nine-month term on the first Monday in October, a few days after Michaelmas.
Universities in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland which use the name 'Michaelmas term' as of July 2018 include:
- University of Cambridge
- Canterbury Christ Church University
- Trinity College, Dublin, The University of Dublin
- Durham University
- Lancaster University
- London School of Economics
- University of Oxford
- Swansea University
- Aberystwyth University
In addition, the name is used unofficially in several other University of London colleges. It also used to be the third and final term at the University of Sydney before it swapped over to the two-semester system in 1989. It was formerly used at Heythrop College, King's College London, University of Kent and University of Wales, Lampeter. The University of Exeter no longer seems to use the name officially, as it formerly did (the term dates on their website don't use it), but their Anglican Chaplaincy retains the name.
At the University of Oxford, following the resolution made by Council on 8 May 2002, Michaelmas Term begins on and includes 1 October and ends on and includes 17 December. In the Michaelmas Term, as in Hilary Term and in Trinity Term, there is a period of eight weeks known as Full Term, beginning on a Sunday, within which lectures and other instruction prescribed by statute or regulation are given. The dates on which each Full Term will begin and end in the next academic year but one are published by the Registrar in the University Gazette during each Hilary Term.
- "Term dates and calendars". University of Cambridge. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- "University Dates 2017-18". Canterbury Christ Church University. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- "Academic Year Structure 2018 – 19" (PDF). TCD. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- "Dates of meetings and events". Durham University. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- "Term Dates". Lancaster University. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- "Term dates". info.lse.ac.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- "Dates of Term". University of Oxford. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- "Semester and Term Dates". Swansea University. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- "Aberystwyth University - : Session 2020/2021". www.aber.ac.uk. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
- Oxford University: Regulations on the number and lengths of terms Archived 2008-05-27 at the Wayback Machine, University of Oxford, UK.
- "Almanach for the year 1839". The Royal Calendar, and Court and City Register for England, Scotland, Ireland and the Colonies. Vol. 1. Suttaby. 1839. p. 8. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
- The Illustrated London Almanack for 1877. Illustrated London News. 1875. p. 4. Retrieved 19 August 2021.