The UCAS application process explained

University application

Applying to university can be a daunting task for students who have to navigate the application process so as to get a university placement. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) process all the university applications in the UK. It is important that every student is aware of the UCAS deadlines and that they fully understand the university offers that have been made to them. The guide below will give you the insight you need to help you understand the process.

First things first

Your first major decision is choosing the right degree. Studying a course that you will enjoy will ensure that you gain the most out of your university experience. Imagine how you would feel studying a course that you hate day in, day out, for three years! This is why it is extremely important to choose the right one.

Make sure that you submit your application in plenty of time, and don’t leave it until the last minute. It is recommended that you pay the fee and get any problems with your application dealt with before the deadline date.

You will have a lot to consider when choosing a university, such as how far away from home is it and what facilities do they have?

The application form

When you have chosen the university you wish to study at, you will need to register with UCAS. You will be required to fill out all of the sections of the form; this will include your personal details, references and your personal statement, as well as details of the courses and universities you are applying for. The majority of the form is pretty straight forward; however, a lot of students do struggle writing their personal statement. This is because most people find it difficult to talk about themselves.

The golden rules to follow when writing out your personal statement are: always be yourself, don’t lie and don’t use language you wouldn’t usually use. In our ‘Tips for writing your UCAS personal statement’ blog post we said that: “Admissions tutors are looking for substance and passion for their subject, so students bragging and reeling off their achievements will not impress nor convince them that you love the subject.” There are personal statement examples that you can look at online to give you some ideas. You can also track your UCAS application so you can see how it is progressing.

Offers from universities

Once you have received offers from your chosen universities, be sure that you reply to the offers in plenty of time, do not leave it too close to the deadline or you might miss out. UCAS 2018 undergraduate applicants can register and start their application from 23rd May 2017 but it cannot be submitted until 6th September 2017.

A Level results

Your A Level results will determine whether or not you are accepted on your chosen course. If you don’t get the grades you need, there is still a possibility that you will be accepted on the course, just with a lower grade. The ‘How to prepare for A Level results day’ blog post on Downing Student website advises: “Not getting into your chosen university can feel less than ideal at first, but many people end up feeling that everything worked out for the best. Before results day, do some research into backup units you would genuinely consider going to, as well as similar courses to your own that you would be happy to accept.”

A Level results day will be on Thursday 17th August 2017. Once you have received your results, if you have received better results than expected, you may be able to apply for another course through Adjustment. You will have five days from the time your place was confirmed at a university, to research places that match your actual performance. You’ll need to opt in yourself, via Track, and then research alternatives. You can then consider new offers alongside your existing confirmed place.

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