Applying to university doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. It should be filled with excitement about what the future holds. But before you can get through the doors of your new learning institute, there are a few things that you need to know about apply to university to ensure that you find the perfect place for you!
Find a course and university that suits you!
Before you can apply to university, you need to find a course that sounds right for you. If you already know what career you want to pursue, then you’re in luck, as this process will be fairly straightforward. If you are not quite sure yet, don’t worry – take this time to explore your options.
When applying for university, It is always wise to look into more than surface-level information for any courses that catch your eye. Some questions to consider are;
How many contact hours will I have with my tutor?
How will the course be taught?
Does the course include work placement?
How will the course be assessed?
As well as the course, it is essential to feel comfortable on the university campus and in the town or city you will be potentially living in. Be sure to go to any open days your chosen university offers and take this time to ask students about the university and get a feel for the campus, area and accommodation offerings.
Finally, look into the cost of living for that area. If you are living there for the next few years, make sure you can comfortably afford to.
When searching for a course, your bible for any university information is UCAS, which can be visited here www.ucas.com. They are an independent charity that handles all applications to university, as well as holding all of the information needed about a university, its courses and any entry requirements. It is essential to pay attention to the entry requirements. These are put in place by the university, so will differ from location to location and course to course.
The requirements will be listed on the university’s course page including the amount of UCAS points needed and any additional requirements. The A-level grades’ respective UCAS points are listed below, but most universities will also take other qualifications at Level 3 (as long as you get the correct grades).
As well as grades, some courses will need potential students to either sit an entry interview, provide a portfolio, or both – so keep an eye out for this.
Make sure to register with UCAS
Every university course in the country is on UCAS, and to apply to any course, you will need to do this through UCAS, so it is essential to register. The earlier you do this, the better, as this will give you more time to look for the right course and to write your application.
Once you have picked your five universities, you must complete your application. This will include several main points, including your personal details, education history and any additional qualifications, references and a personal statement.
Someone can submit a reference from your school or college, and they will be prompted to complete this section once their application has been submitted. Your personal statement doesn’t have to be daunting - see this as an excellent way to sell yourself and let the university know what kind of person you are.
Offers from universities can come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no date for when they will be made. An unconditional offer from a university means that you have already met the entry requirements and have been granted a place on the course. Before accepting this and committing yourself to that course, it is always good to double-check and ensure there is nothing else you need to do.
A conditional offer means you must meet a specific requirement before the university confirms your position. This is usually based on grades, and for most means waiting for Results Day to see if you met the requirements. There is also a chance that a conditional offer may change to an unconditional one if you ‘Firm’ that offer.
If you don’t quite meet your offer's requirements, do not fear because you can find a course that suits you through clearing. Clearing is a way for universities to fill any spaces left on their courses, and support will be offered to you on Results Day to help you apply through clearing.
Know your Key Dates
There are a few key dates to remember when applying to university, and having these marked in your diary will ensure that you do not miss any critical deadlines. For 2023, the closing date for applications for most courses is 25 January 2023 at 18:00 GMT.
There are opportunities to apply for courses after this date, but it is not guaranteed, so it is essential to have sent your application before the 25th.
Another important day to mark is A-Levels Results Day – 17 August 2023. This will be the day that many students will have their offers confirmed by their university of choice.