Ok, so you’ve decided you definitely want to study at University level, but first you’ve got to get there. If you haven’t already, you must register with UCAS, enter your personal details and choose 1-5 course options. If you can’t decide what courses to go for, check out this handy post to help you out.
Now you know what you want to do you need to get your application in. The UCAS deadline for undergraduate applications is 15th January 2018, but luckily you’ve only got to complete one application, no matter how many courses you’re applying for. It sounds simple enough, but don’t forget that what you say may affect the outcome.
- Read each section and question three times over
- Write your personal statement in Word, check it for spelling and grammar then paste into the application form
- Keep UCAS informed of any changes in address/phone number/e-mail
- Make sure your inbox is not full, especially during exam results time – you don’t want to miss any key information
- Get your facts right! Make sure you list your subjects with the correct names, e.g. if you are doing an A-Level in English Language, make sure you don’t just put English
- List the full module details of your BTEC award to clarify the subjects you’ve studied
- Be warned – if you knowingly give any incorrect information, you will most likely be caught out and lose any chance of a place at University that year, just don’t do it!
- You will be asked to supply one or more academic references. Think about which teacher you would like to represent you, and what subject they teach – also make sure you leave them enough time to actually write it!
Your personal statement
This is your chance to explain in your own words (4000 characters to be exact) why you should be given a place over someone else. Thousands upon thousands of applications will be received this year, so you’ve got to make yours stand out. You need to make your personality come across and make your application unique, but here are some of the key areas you should include to make sure you leave a lasting positive impression.
- Why do you want to study that subject? Have you always been interested, or did something recently ignite the spark? You need to show your passion and your enthusiasm for learning the ins and outs of your chosen subject
- You need to demonstrate your passion – have you taken part in a society or club outside of your education? Have you done much research into your subject on your own – what have you found out that particularly interests you?
- Focus on both your academic achievement and extra-curricular activities. You may have got an A* in Biology – but what have you done in your own time to support this? Even if what you do outside of college isn’t entirely relevant, you can still show that what you do has given you relevant skills and new experiences that will come in handy
- Word of warning – you can expect to be quizzed on what you have written in your personal statement so don’t make anything up or exaggerate
- Discuss your career aspirations, what do you want to be and how can this course help you get there?
- Don’t talk about a specific college or university, remember that your application goes to everywhere you’ve applied, so the course content may not be exactly the same
Make sure you get someone else to read your personal statement out loud to ensure it makes sense and is grammatically correct. Remember that the extra effort you put in now will pay off in the long run – so what are you waiting for?