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UCAS Applications & Personal Statements Geeta Uppal Recruitment Officer November 2012 Southampton City College.

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Presentation on theme: "UCAS Applications & Personal Statements Geeta Uppal Recruitment Officer November 2012 Southampton City College."— Presentation transcript:

1 UCAS Applications & Personal Statements Geeta Uppal Recruitment Officer November 2012 Southampton City College

2 UCAS – What is it? “University and Colleges Admissions Service” Deals with most UK university (undergraduate) applications website looks like… The Strategic Planning Process April 2008


4 UCAS – Important dates Summer Term & Hols – Research choices and start to plan your Personal Statement September to January - Fill out and submit application Main deadline - 15 January Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary courses & Oxbridge Deadline -15 October Art and Design 15 of January or 24 March (up to university) Clearing All applications made after 30 June October to March – Universities are making decisions December to March - Applicant Open Days February to July – UCAS Extra April/May – Decide on firm & insurance choice July / August – Clearing, Adjustment and Confirmation

5 UCAS - Applying to university One online application & personal statement For all your choices (up to 5) Apply Automatically checks your details You can adapt your application You can copy and paste into it BUT… Apply can’t write your Personal Statement for you So what is the point of the Personal Statement?

6 UCAS - Your ONE Personal Statement “…your opportunity to tell universities and colleges about your suitability for the course(s) that you hope to study. You need to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment, and above all, ensure that you stand out from the crowd.” ( The Strategic Planning Process April 2008

7 Why do universities need Personal Statements? They enable universities to see why a student is interested in the course It demonstrates a student’s interest and motivation in a subject A part of the application process e.g. - GCSE Grades / Predicted Grades - References - Interview / Audition / Portfolio Viewing It can be used to decide between applicants with similar grades The Strategic Planning Process April 2008

8 This your opportunity to...... The Strategic Planning Process April 2008

9 Activity Benefit Course What you’ve done What skills it has given you How these relate to the course you’re applying for Writing your Personal Statement – The ABC Guide …which will ensure that I will positively contribute in mooting sessions. I have played an integral part of the school debating team for two years participating in inter-school competitions. This has helped me to develop into a confident speaker…


11 The Strategic Planning Process April 2008 Evidence of:  Independent study skills  Self-awareness  Motivation and commitment  An understanding of the course  Good numeracy and literacy  Essay writing  Research skills  Time management skills  Enthusiasm to go beyond the syllabus Personal Statement – What Admissions Tutors are looking for

12 Personal Statement -Size & Style The same Personal Statement for all your choices (CAUTION: different courses / university names) MAX: 4,000 characters / 47 lines of text - Draft in Word & copy and paste it into Apply The system will monitor the length of your statement You can’t change the style e.g. bold, italic Approach it like an essay (make sure it flows logically) Check spelling & grammar carefully (don’t reply on Spellchecker) Don’t be tempted to copy!!

13 Personal Statement - starting points This subject interests me because… The reason(s) why I chose this subject… I have some great work experience… After I graduate, I want to be… My greatest achievement to date is… In my spare time…

14 What balance should I make between my course interests and my extra-curricular activities in my personal statement? There's no clear rule for how much of the personal statement should be allocated to course-related interests and skills, and how much for hobbies and other activities, because the importance placed on the information varies between universities, colleges and courses. What is important to remember is that a good personal statement will usually manage to link most activities back to your chosen degree. UCAS, 2011 The Strategic Planning Process April 2008

15 Personal Statement – Hobbies & Extra Curricular Activities Show you as a ‘well-rounded’ applicant Relevant to the subject you are applying for and how they support your application What transferable skills you have learnt from these experiences? Commitment / Team work / Responsibility / Leadership

16 Personal Statement – Hobbies & Extra Curricular Activities Rather than: “I like playing football” Instead: “ I play for my local football team. I train weekly and also offer coaching support to the younger players. I have input on the tactics we use”

17 Personal Statement –Work Experience/ Volunteering Relevant work experience/ volunteering is very valuable on an application form Vital for some courses e.g. Teaching, health Other work can be included, if relevant Try to demonstrate transferable skills e.g Time management / Responsibility /Customer service You still have time to get work experience!!

18 Don’ts  Lie or use intellectual pretensions  Plagiarise  Be negative  Mention an institution  Be vague  Use bad grammar or spelling  ‘I so don’t want to miss this opportunity’ Do’s Mention future aspirations Get feedback from others -Advisers -Parents / Guardians Write it early and edit Take it with you to interview Be prepared to answer questions about it Personal Statement - Do’s and Don’ts

19 Edit, edit, edit!

20 Finally, do not go over the top… … and when I’m not working towards World Peace, I enjoy learning languages from scratch, writing symphonies and playing a standard of golf that Tiger Woods can only dream about.

21 Personal Statement – Top Tips!! Make it clear, concise and well-structured Don’t repeat yourself: Don’t re-list your subjects: They know them! Check spelling and grammar Swap with a friend and provide suggestions Get them to consider: “Is this applicant enthusiastic about the course, and will they enjoy their time here?” Get teachers and careers advisors to read it (you are unlikely to submit your first draft) Is it all true?!

22 The Strategic Planning Process April 2008 ActivityBenefitCourse Research & relate Slepping & Gram’ma Get started! Get checked Personal Statement – Remember…

23 The road to University – What should I be doing now? Research courses Attend University Open Days/UCAS Fairs Brainstorm your statement; get writing! Continue to: Do extra-curricular activities Gain work experience Focus on doing well in exams Go beyond the syllabus

24 Useful websites Ruthlessly independent uni guide Tools to help you decide about the right uni for you University open day directory

25 Who do you want to be? The Strategic Planning Process April 2008

26 Any questions...... The Strategic Planning Process April 2008

27 Contact us 023 8031 9000 The Strategic Planning Process April 2008

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