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Applying to University in the UK A step-by step guide
Background information There are over 300 institutions of higher education in the UK-England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All are government financed, except for the University of Buckingham, the New College of the Humanities and overseas institutions, for example, Regents College. They are, therefore not private, but public institutions.
Where are they?
What do I need to know before I apply? Degree courses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are generally three years in length. Degree courses in Scotland are four years in length. If you apply to the UK, you are applying to a course. Law, medicine, architecture, veterinary science are undergraduate degrees.
Qualifications An IB Diploma or three or four APs taken in your Senior Year qualify you to apply directly to a degree course in the UK. High School Diploma and IB Certificates or low AP scores qualify you for a Foundation year of a degree. Some universities will not consider IB certificates at all. Some universities will consider APs taken in Grade 11, but not all.
Applying to a course If you do not know what you want to study at university, then –honestly-the UK is not for you! You will be much better off in a four year liberal arts programme in the US, where you do not have to choose your major until the end of your second year. To apply to a course you need to demonstrate at the very least interest, if not passion for the subject you are applying for. No passion, no offer of a place!
Cross-disciplinary Courses New Courses for 2012/13. UCL Arts and Sciences. At least 38 points in the IB Diploma and at least one HL subject from Group 4,5 and one from Groups 1,2,3,6. KCL New Degree in Liberal Arts. 38 Points, 666 at HL.
Applying to the USA If you apply to the US, you will be admitted based on your current academic record, that is: your High School transcript, especially Grade 11, plus SAT scores, teacher recommendations, college essays.
Applying to the UK is different! If you are applying to the UK, you will be admitted on the basis of the results you are going to gain in the public exams you will take in the May of your senior year. Your admission will be conditional on gaining those results. The universities will have been persuaded to make you an offer because of your personal statement, your academic reference and your predicted scores!
Conditional Offers The universities are never going to see the D- you gained in Higher Level mathematics in Semester 1 of Grade 11, which you foolishly decided to take despite strong recommendations to the contrary. They are never going to know that you achieved poor grades in the second semester of Grade 11 because you fell hopelessly in love and spent an inordinate amount of time stalking the object of your passion on Facebook and messaging rather than doing homework..
Conditional Offers Once you have convinced them to offer you a place, they only care that you meet the conditions of the offer. For example, Business and Management. 35 points in the IB Diploma 18 points from Higher Level Subjects and a 5 in Standard Level Mathematics.
How do I persuade universities to offer me a place? 1. Choose your course! You need to be passionate about a subject, so passionate you are prepared to devote three years of your life studying it in depth and breadth at university level. 2. Search for universities that offer this course. 3. Apply. 4. You may consult many sources when you are considering what kind of course to apply to, But after that it is a one-stop-shop!
UCAS.com This is your one stop shop for applying to almost any university course in the UK. You can take a simple careers test to see what courses you might be interested in You can search for courses. You can apply! You can track your application and reply to offers.
Your application- a student driven process It is your application. Universities and UCAS communicate with you, not me and not your parents. You have five choices. It would be extremely foolish to apply to 5 courses that all require 39 points in the IB Diploma. 39, 37, 35, 32, 30. Thats a lot smarter!
UCAS.com Here is the UCAS website.
Applying through UCAS. You may apply to up to 5 courses. If you are applying for medicine, veterinary Science, dentistry, you may apply to four courses, plus one other related courses e.g. biomedical sciences.
Your UCAS Application Your application consists of: Personal details, Your choices. The 5 courses you are applying to. (Or 4 for medicine etc.) Education, including -most importantly-the exams you are going to take in the May of your Senior Year. It is the predicted grades for these exams your offer will be based on.
Your UCAS Application Your Personal statement. Your chance to sell yourself to the universities of your choice and convince them to offer you a place. You have 47 lines and 4000 characters to do this! Equality of opportunity means that everybody gets the same amount of space! :
The personal statement You must convince your audience that: You are passionate about the subject; You have the academic skills; can you write effectively? Can you research? Can you analyze? Can you synthesize? Can you present fluently? Are you an independent learner and a critical thinker? Provide evidence!!
Your UCAS Application You have the skills of leadership, team work, communication, negotiation, demonstrated through your extra-curricular activities. MUN, sports, dance, drama, music, DRF, dorm activities, student government, NHS, outside school activities.
Your UCAS Application Work experience. What skills can you demonstrate? Some course require it. Medicine, for example. For other courses it is highly desirable: law, architecture, sports science, education A final paragraph emphasizing your passion and indicating what kind of a career you might pursue once you graduate.
Our contribution to Your UCAS Application We write your reference. We predict your grades. To do this, we will ask your teachers for an honest appraisal of your ability and academic strengths in their subject and for the grade you are likely to gain. We ask you what grades you think you will gain.
Your UCAS Application There is no point in applying to UCL to read psychology if they are asking 39 and the most you can hope for is 37. Unlike the universities, we can see your grades and we know your academic record. Despite what you might think, we are not going to predict you a 6 in HL English A, if your grades are Cs and Ds and if you have a very poor work ethic and dont stick to deadlines.
UCAS Deadlines Oxford/Cambridge/Medicine/Veterinary Science/Dentistry. Midnight on 15 th October. These institutions/courses require interviews, hence the early deadline. All other courses: Midnight on 15 th January.
UCAS Deadlines: An Urban Myth Unlike in the US, there is no advantage in applying early, except to yourself. It is in your interest in getting your application out of the way before Semester exams, IB internal deadlines etc. etc.
Urban Myths Despite what you may have heard.. Some universities or departments within universities might look at your application before 15 th January and make you an offer. Some may not. Legally, they cannot make all their offers until they have considered all the applications made on or before 15 th January. (Or 15 th October) Equality of Opportunity.
Urban Myths You have the same chance on November 1 st as you do on January 15 th. You have more of a chance if you have prepared your application carefully. A poorly prepared, rushed application on 1 st November has less chance of attracting offers than a carefully prepared application on 15th January.
More Information Are you an AP candidate? Then you will also need the High School Diploma and SAT scores. They make up a suite of US-style qualifications. Applying to the University of Edinburgh or St Andrews? You can apply though the Common App, so you could apply to five courses through UCAS and then to the above two universities through the Common App.
Law or medicine? Check very carefully. For law, do you need LNAT? Oxford, yes. Cambridge, no. If yes, go to the LNAT website to find out when to register, for practice tests etc. Medicine. Do you need BMAT? UKCAT? Go to the websites to find out all the information you need.
Are you an artist? You cannot embark on a degree in the fine arts in the UK unless you have an Art and Design Foundation. Apply to Foundation courses direct to the university by downloading the application from the websites/applying online. You need to ask your art teacher for a reference. You will need a portfolio.
Arts Foundation Courses You will be looking at The University of the Arts- Central St Martins, Chelsea/Wimbledon/Camberwell. University of the Creative Arts-Farnham, Epsom, Maidstone, Rochester. Kingston University. ACS Cobham Art Department has a special arrangement with UCA Farnham and Epsom. If our students apply, they are given a place.
Studying in Scotland Degrees in Scotland are four years in length. This is a reflection of the different education system in Scotland. Highly qualified students may be admitted to the second year of a degree programme. You can apply to Edinburgh and St Andrews through the Common App. You will need SAT scores. If you want to read law, Scotland has its own legal system, so beware!
Abide by internal deadlines. It is in your interest to abide by our internal deadlines. Use the College Counselling Calendar. Be proactive. Attend University of London taster courses in July. Go to Futurewise events. Research on-line. Use Twitter and Facebook. Go to Open Days.
University Fees and Funding Fees are up to a ceiling of £ That is still considerably cheaper than the USA. Degrees in England and Wales are three years in length. EU and home students can have their fees paid upfront by their local authority. They will then repay this when they earn £20,000 or more. If you are Scottish or from the EU and apply to universities in Scotland, your fees will be less than £1800 a year. If you are from England, Wales and NI, you will pay £ at Edinburgh.
Funding From 2012/13, government funding to universities has been slashed. Sciences and engineering have been protected. Funding will follow students who gain at least AAB at A Level or 35 Points in the IB Diploma. There is no AP equivalent to these grades. If you are an AP candidate you may find it harder gain a place if you are a home student, paying home fees and wish to study business or the arts and humanities.
I have five offers, now what do I do? After the beginning of May, you must reply to all offers. From May, you may hold two offers. 1. Firm offer. Where you really want to go, if you meet the conditions of the offer. E.g. Law at Cambridge. 43 Points 777 at Higher Level. 2.Insurance Offer, in case you dont achieve these grades. Warwick. 38. Thats still really high. If you are not comfortable with this, you could choose Kent at 36.
Research UCAS.com University websites. The Times university league tables. The Guardian University league tables Unistats.gov.uk Alternative prospectus. Find Cambridges here:http://www.applytocambridge.com/ Our College Office has all the university literature
Research IT careers in banking/earn while learning. Presentation th February. Have you signed up with Ms. Mortimer? University Fair, London March 11 th. Check your and register. Oxford and Cambridge Conference 22nd March Epsom. Have you signed up with Mr. Worthington? UCAS Fair, University of Surrey. March 20 th. Have you signed up with Mr. Worthington? ACS Cobham UCAS Day, This will take place in May. Watch out for announcements!
Questions? Thank you! Do you have any question? Nancy C. Jenkins /FrontPage