Applying For Higher Education

Your application checklist:
• For most courses you apply through the website
• You can choose up to 5 courses, there is no order of preference.
• You need to apply by 15th January (although some application dates may vary, see later down the page).
• For 2011 entry there is a fee of £21.00 (£11.00 if you only make one choice).

You normally get one of these 3 responses:
• Conditional offer - you have a place, provided you achieve certain grades or tariff points.
• Unconditional offer - you have a definite place.
• Unsuccessful application - you don't have a place.

You might also be invited to an interview or open day.
You can find out what's happening to your application if you use Track on the UCAS website.

Your reply can be:
• Firm acceptance (your first choice).
• Insurance acceptance (your back up choice).
• Decline.

Always visit a university or college before you accept an offer.

If you've used all 5 choices and don't have any offers, EXTRA lets you make new choices; apply through Track.

After Results
If you get the grades/points needed, your first choice is confirmed (if you miss them, the decision is up to he university).
If your first choice turns you down but you meet the conditions of your insurance choice, then the insurance place is confirmed.
If both choices turn you down, you can apply for a place in Clearing.

How Clearing works
Courses with vacancies are listed on and in the press. You then contact universities and colleges, usually by telephone. If you get a provisional offer you can make a formal application, through Track. Only do this if you are sure you want to accept the place.

The Adjustment Period
If your results are better than needed you can try for a place somewhere else during a 5-day Adjustment Period. Popular courses may be full by now so get advice.

The Different Rules

Art & Design
• The deadline for applications may be 15th January or 24th March. Check on the UCAS website.
•• Some courses like you to take a one year Art Foundation course first.
• You will need to take a portfolio of your work.
Here's a book you might find helpful:
Getting Into Art & Design Courses 2011 entry (MPW Getting Into Guides)

• You may need to take The National Admissions Test for Law, check on LNAT
Here's a book you might find helpful:
Getting Into Law (MPW 'Getting Into' Guides) (Getting into Series)

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine/Veterinary Science
• Apply by 15th October.
•• You can only use four of your five choices for these subjects.
•• You may need to take either:
          The Bio-Medical Admission Test (BMAT)
          or The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)
Here's some books you might find helpful:
Getting into Medical School 2012 Entry: The Insider Guide to Winning a Place at Medical School
Getting into Dental School: The Insider Guide to Winning a University Place at Dental School
Getting into Veterinary School: The Insider Guide to Winning a University Place at Veterinary School

You can apply through CUKAS for these 7 colleges:
• Birmingham Conservatoire
• Leeds College of Music
• Royal College of Music
• Trinity College of Music
• Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
• Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
• Royal Northern College of Music

• You can make up to six choices.
• Apply by 1st October.
• The application fee for 2010 was £15.00; there may also be audition fees.
Here's a book you might find helpful:
Getting into Music, Drama and Dance (MPW 'Getting Into' Guides)

Oxford or Cambridge
• You need to apply by 15th October.
• You may need to take additional admissions tests.
Here's a book you might find helpful:
Getting into Music, Drama and Dance (MPW 'Getting Into' Guides)

Other Courses
Here's some books you might find helpful:
Getting Into Psychology Courses (MPW 'Getting Into' Guides)
Getting into Business and Economics Courses: The Insider Guide to Winning a University Place on a Business Course
Getting Into Physiotherapy Courses (MPW 'Getting Into' Guides) (Getting into Series)
Getting into Engineering Courses: The Insider Guide to Winning a University Place on an Engineering Course
Getting into Films & Television
Getting into Teaching (Getting into Career Guides)

Some of this information could change by 2012, so check everything on UCAS.

Application FAQs

'I didn't apply to uni and now I've missed the deadline. Can I still apply?'
Yes - but some courses may already be full. If it's after the end of June your application will go into Clearing, by which time there will be fewer places.

'Can I apply for different subjects?'
Yes, in fact this is standard practice if you apply for Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Sciences. However, you have to discuss all your choices in your personal statement so, if you don't appear fully committed to a subject, you will probably be rejected.

'I didn't use all my five choices when I applied - can I add an extra choice?'
Yes, provided you haven't accepted any offers. Use Track to add choices.

'Help! I accepted an offer but now I've changed my mind!'
If it was less than 14 days ago you can change your reply by contacting UCAS. After 14 days you may need to ask the university if they will release you. If your grades are better than needed, you may be able to change your choice at results time - see below.

'If I had known my grades were going to be this good I'd have applied for something else! Is there anything I can do?'
If your grades are better than needed you may be able to change your plans during the Adjustment Period, which runs for five days, after results are published. But get advice first because the most popular courses may be full.

'Help! - I didn't get the grades I needed and I've lost my place.'
Don't panic - you can apply for another place through Clearing. You could also look at the other options, like taking a gap year, resitting your exams or choosing another course. You could also look into going for a job.

'I'm in Clearing and the two courses have made me an offer - can I apply for both?'
You can only formally apply for one course at a time so only do so once you are certain that you want the place. Make sure you read all the Clearing information carefully.

'I'm really confused about Clearing, can anyone help?'
Yes, ask your school or college for more information. There's also a helpline you can ring: 0808 100 8000 and a website.

Making A Good Application

Applications to higher education are up by more than 20% and there are fewer places available too. Making a good application has never been more important. Stay ahead of the competition by following our tips:

Check all entry requirements
26% of rejected applications are turned down because the student doesn't meet the basic, minimum entry requirements for the course.

Don't just look at grades and subjects, find out what skills or experiences are needed and don't forget to check GCSE requirements too.

How popular is the course?
A popular course will probably expect top predicted grades - this often means A*/As at GCSE too. They will also want excellent references and personal statement.

Will you need work experience?
Work experience is a must for some subjects, including:

• Teaching
• Social work
• Medicine/Nursing/other Health Care professions
• Veterinary Medicine/Science

Plan your work experience early. It won't be enough just to list what you've done, you will need to discuss your experiences in your personal statement.

Do your research
There's a huge amount of information available to help you make a good application. Find application tips for your subject in Course Entry Profiles on UCAS; see other suggestions later on.

Apply Early
Apply well before the deadlines, especially for popular courses.

Why didn't I get a place?
Here are the most common reasons for being turned down.
• Did not meet minimum entry requirements.
• Did not meet conditions of offer.
• Predicted grades and/or application weak.
• Poor personal statement.
• Unsatisfactory interview.
• Other reasons e.g. no work experience, wrong codes.
• Missed the deadline.

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