Michaelmas term

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For the Jacobean play by Thomas Middleton, see Michaelmas Term (play).

Michaelmas term is the first academic term of the academic year in a number of English-speaking universities and schools, 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[edit]

The term is also the name of the first of four terms into which the legal year is divided by the Courts of England and Wales and the Courts of Northern Ireland. While the name is not used in the legal systems of the United States, the U. S. Supreme Court nevertheless follows the same custom by beginning its year-long 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' include:

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.

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.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1]


Schools in the United Kingdom and Ireland which use the name 'Michaelmas term' include:

Willow Brook Primary

Schools in the United States which use the name 'Michaelmas term' include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Oxford University: Regulations on the number and lengths of terms, University of Oxford, UK.
  2. ^ "St. Bede's Manchester College". The Tablet: 25. 31 August 1878. Retrieved 27 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "St Bede's College Holidays and Term Dates". termdates.co.uk. Retrieved 17 April 2016. 

External links[edit]