Decided you want to go to university? That’s great! You’ve got until 15th January to get your application in via UCAS and if you haven’t already, it’s time to get the ball rolling. Hundreds of thousands of students apply to university every year, meaning there is a lot of competition for certain courses and universities. It’s essential to make your application stand out to make sure you get the place you want. Don’t forget – the person reading your application will read hundreds just like it – so make sure you give yours a unique twist.
The application process* contains a number of steps and can take quite a bit of time. It’s a good idea to get yourself to your laptop or computer, grab a cup of tea and settle down to give it your full concentration.
*Note: The application fee is £18 if you’re applying for just one course, or £24 for multiple courses and for late applications sent after June.
How do I apply?
You will complete your UCAS application online. Start out by registering at www.ucas.com/apply. You will need to create an account, add personal details, and set a username and password (all the usual stuff). If you’ve spoken to your tutors about applying for university, they may have given you a buzzword, which you can apply at this stage. Otherwise, you will need to answer some additional questions. You will also have to input your full education history, employment history, the courses you’re applying for, and some general additional information. These are the sections to simply input information. You can get to the good stuff and really sell yourself in the next section, the Personal Statement.
Arguably the most important part of your application, the Personal Statement is your chance to toot your own horn and explain why you’d like to study a particular course or subject, and how your experience and skills supports this.
Remember: You can only write one personal statement, even if you’re applying for more than one course. Avoid mentioning colleges or universities by name, and if you’ve chosen to apply for a variety of subjects, you should write about general themes such as creativity, team work and problem-solving.
Top tips for your personal statement:
• Read the description of the courses you’re applying for and identify the skills, qualities and experiences it calls for. These are a good basis to write a few sentences on if you’re not sure how to start, or if you get stuck.
• This is the place where you can elaborate on your employment and life experiences, and how they contribute to your suitability for this course.
• Make sure you include any extra-curricular/clubs or societies you’re involved in, including sports and music. Mention any additional skills these have led you to gain, such as leadership and organisation.
• Relevant work experience and volunteering really show your passion for your chosen industry and influence. Make sure you point out your enthusiasm, and what you’ve learnt through these experiences.
• Think about why you should be offered a place over someone else. What sets you apart? Where did your interest for the subject come from? How have you investigated the topic for yourself?
• Write creatively! Make sure you use varied vocabulary and triple check your spelling and grammar. Getting someone else to proof read, and then read aloud your statement will point out any mistakes.
Remember, you can always ask your tutor or learning coach to read over your application. The deadline isn’t until 15th January – but the earlier you get it done, the more you can relax! Don’t forget – if you want to study a university-level qualification right here at MK College, you can either apply via UCAS or simply apply via our website.