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Applying to University

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1 Applying to University
Sandra Bloomer Senior Admissions Officer Admissions and Access Service

2 HIGHER EDUCATION UCAS: DIRECT: St Mary’s University College
Universities (Traditional and New) Stranmillis University College Further & Higher Education Colleges (Foundation Degrees) DIRECT: St Mary’s University College REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: CAO: Universities, Institutes of Technology & Private Colleges

Prospectuses University websites Other Publications (The Big Guide, Potter’s Guide, etc) Open Days Former Students Informal Visits

4 WHAT TO LOOK FOR Location (Ease Of Access)
Academic Reputation (Quality of Teaching and Research) Type (City, Campus, Technological) Type of Course (Vocational/Non-Vocational/Sandwich) Assessment (Formal Exams, Continuous Assessment, etc) Size Accommodation Other Facilities

5 CAO (for Republic of Ireland)
Covers most HE Institutions Closing date 1 February Fee €25 (online) or €40 (paper) Up to 10 Honours Degree and 10 Ordinary Degree / Higher Certificate choices No personal statement or school report Strictly order of preference No conditional offers Change of mind possible up to 1 July Selection by order of preference and results in August

Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine 15 October All other courses January (On-time) 30 June (Late) COSTS: Normal Cost (up to five choices) £ 23 One Choice Only £ 12



9 ABRDN A20 N400 MA/Acc Accountancy 1 N EDINB E56 M320 LLB/LAW Law QBELF Q75 N323 BSc/ACT Actuarial Science and Risk Management M100 ULS U20 N120 J BSc/BusS Business Studies



Personal statement is common to all course choices Motivation, aspirations, commitment to subject / career Work experience Extra-curricular activities Positions of responsibility Reasons for deferred entry / Gap year Similarity detection software (UCAS)

13 PERSONAL STATEMENT Structure: Reflective and insightful
What applicant has done What applicant has learnt Why this is relevant to chosen subject / career Structured, clear, concise, precise Avoid waffle, slang and inappropriate language Check GRAMMAR and SPELLING


15 REFERENCE Normally provided by teacher / academic who has experience of candidate’s performance Academic achievement and potential Predicted grades Suitability for course(s) Career aspirations/motivation Extenuating circumstances/health Personal qualities Interests and activities

16 HOW DECISIONS ARE MADE Made by admissions officers and academic selectors before final examinations are taken and results known All information on UCAS form important especially: If you are applying for a popular course If your application is at any stage borderline (offer criteria)

17 CRITERIA FOR OFFERS Factors taken into account:
GCSE grades and Year 13 performance Academic reference – including predicted grades Personal statement Interview Aptitude Tests

18 UNIVERSITY DECISIONS Universities can make one of three decisions:
Unconditional offer Conditional offer Unsuccessful  Conditional offers can be expressed in terms of A-level grades, BTEC grades, or UCAS Tariff points Queen’s makes offers in terms of grades Deadlines for university decisions on applications submitted by 15 January: 31 March 2015 (for most applications) Final deadline 7 May 2015 Deadline for university decisions on late applications 16 July (provided that late applications are being considered)

19 CANDIDATES REPLIES Applicants can make one of three replies
Firm Acceptance Insurance Acceptance Decline They are allowed to hold up to two offers 1. Firm acceptance (CF) 2. Insurance acceptance (CI) Applicants do not have to reply to offers until all decisions are received. Approximately three weeks to decide after the final decision is received. UCAS will decline by default on 6 May if candidates fail to reply, except where offers were made AFTER 31 March

Universities receive A-level and BTEC results directly from UCAS If conditions are exactly met, applicant will be accepted Applicants normally go to their Firm choice (CF) institution, if accepted Adjustment If Firm choice (CF) is unsuccessful and Insurance (CI) choice accepts, applicants are automatically placed at their Insurance choice If both Firm and Insurance are unsuccessful – Clearing

21 CLEARING Clearing commences mid-July Eligibility: very late applicants
those who are holding no offers for whatever reason those unsuccessful by CF and CI institutions in August Clearing vacancies declared mid-August Information available from newspapers, UCAS website and university websites

5 choices choices Alphabetically by Institution Strict order of preference Personal Statement - School Reference Conditional Offers Two offers can be held All choices can be held – changes allowed Decisions by selectors Possibility of flexibility Ranking/Computer selection in August – random number Clearing 2nd and subsequent rounds

23 Queen’s University Belfast Admissions & Access Service
Sandra Bloomer –

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