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UCAS Universities and Colleges Application System
UCAS – Universities and Colleges Admissions system l Covers application to 50, 000+ full time courses in over 300 colleges and universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. l Most who apply to UCAS also apply to the CAO – completely separate systems. l Application fee: 1 course - £ 11, 2 -5 courses £ 21. l All applications are now completed using the online system ‘apply’ at www. ucas. com. l Lots of application info. also at www. ucas. tv including UCAStv video guides.
Applicants to UK from ROI - 2010 Scotland 3840 (+53%) NI 2241 (+44%) England 5235 (+52%) Wales 1239 (+37%)
Application Flowchart Up to 5 courses can be put on the form (not in preferential order). • 15 th October – closing date for courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Oxford and Cambridge. (UKCAT, BMAT) • No more than 4 courses in any one of the above medical areas may be put on the form. • Applicant completes form and passes it to the school • Only 1 course from Oxford or Cambridge may be put on the form. • 15 th January – closing date for all other courses. • It is advisable to get your application in as soon as possible before deadlines. • Give plenty of time before deadlines for referees to write references School adds reference to form and sends it to UCAS sends welcome letter to applicant who checks it carefully UCAS sends a copy of application to each university Each University views complete application and makes a decision Offer is made. Sent to Applicant No offer made. Unsuccessful
Application Flowchart Decisions may be posted individually to applicants. Generally by March 31 a letter will arrive which will summarise all offers/rejections and invite the applicant to reply to these. • Conditional offers are usually quoted in terms of certain grades to be achieved in the Leaving Cert. • Unconditional Offer • • Offer is made to student Firm offer must be taken if college confirms offer. Usually the insurance acceptance will require less grades than the firm acceptance. Leaving Certificate results are generally automatically send to UCAS. However, it is a good idea to check with the universities at results time. Conditional Offer based on LC results Decisions from all chosen universities are sent to applicant, who then replies Applicant can only accept 2 places. One Firm and one Insurance • Examination results are published • Grades achieved. University confirms place Grades not achieved No place confirmed
Making an Application – l Basic personal details - name, address, DOB, contact details, gender, country of birth, nationality, area of permanent residence, residential category, fee code, special needs, etc. l Course Choices – 5 choices, not in any order, college code, course code, campus code,
Making an Application – Choices A lot of time and research necessary in order to choose the correct courses. Can be difficult because of the fact that they are in another country, the sheer number of universities and a vagueness in terms of the LC entry requirements. Sources of information include: l University prospectuses and websites l UCAS website – course search l Previous UCAS applicants (friends, family, past pupils, etc. ) l Open Days / Exhibitions (Higher Options, FAS Opportunities, etc. ) l Admissions staff in Universities l Unistats Website – www. unistats. com l Ucas TV – www. ucas. tv
Course Search – www. ucas. com
Making an Application – l Basic personal details - name, address, DOB, contact details, gender, country of birth, nationality, area of permanent residence, residential category, fee code, special needs, etc. l Course Choices – 5 choices, not in any order, college code, course code, campus code, etc. l Education – School details, date starting/finishing, Junior and Leaving Cert details: year, school, subjects, levels, grades, etc. l Paid Employment – Name, job description, dates of employment, full or part time, etc. l Personal Statement -
Making an Application – Personal Statement l This is your one window of opportunity to bring yourself to life and state why you should be given a place on the course. l Approximately 550 words, preferably typed. l Areas to be covered include: ¡ Why I want to study in this particular area. Researchreading/Influences-present subjects/Suitability. ¡ Career/work experience undertaken. (Relevant? ) ¡ Career aspirations (evidence of thinking ahead) ¡ Evidence of your skills/achievements: communication, leadership, team work, self-reliance, organisation, etc. ¡ Interests, pastimes and achievements – rounded individual ¡ Evidence of your commitment and motivation
Making an Application – Personal Statement l It should be clear and concise, grammatically accurate and correctly spelled. l Get your parents, English teacher, Guidance Counsellor and friends to read it and suggest possible improvements. l A badly written or presented PS can give a very negative impression of you. l The statement should be drafted a few times before the finished product is ready. l Make sure all information is truthful, because if you are called for interview you may be questioned about the content of your Personal Statement. l From 2008 entry anti-plagiarism software is being used. l If you need to give further information (references) send it to individual colleges quoting your personal ID number.
Making an Application – Reference l This is where the school must comment on the applicant’s academic and non-academic activities to date in school. l In the reference the suitability of the applicant for higher education in general and in certain subjects is discussed. l The more information the school has the more thorough the reference will be. l Applicants need to provide Referee with as much information as possible to assist with reference. l Included in the reference are the predicted results of the applicants. Students need to discuss these very carefully with their teachers and parents before agreeing same with their referee. l Must be very realistic in this exercise. Go too high – generate lots of offers but with very high requirements, go too low – generate few if any offers. Error slightly high.
Making an Application – Reference Information student’s should provide to referees include: l Subject area being applied to. l Performance in school subjects related to above subject area. l List of any extra curricular activities participated in both in and outside school. What skills were involved. (Musicals, debating, choir, public speaking, voluntary work, etc. ) l Favourite pastimes or hobbies. Why? l Significant achievements to date. (awards, sporting, school prefect, etc. ) l Positions of responsibility held. l Any particular reasons why you feel you are suited to studying the subject area you have chosen. (suitability) l If you have very little of the above (extra-curricular activities, achievements, pastimes, etc. , are there particular reasons why?
Making an Application – Fees for 2010 l Since 2006 entry, Universities in the British system are now allowed to charge ‘top up’ tuition fees. l England, Wales and Northern Ireland ¡ Fees of up to £ 3290 l Scotland ¡ No fees l There is no blanket fee for all courses in a university. Each courses fees must be determined individually. (UCAS website – Entry Profile) l The above does not include accommodation, living or travel expenses. If living in college residences expect to pay in the region of £ 2500 to £ 3500 per year, selfcatering.
Why apply to UCAS - courses Generally speaking the following are the course areas which Irish students tend to apply to through UCAS: l Medicine – Cardiff, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh l Dentistry – Cardiff, Manchester, Dundee, Newcastle l Veterinary – Liverpool, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh l Physiotherapy – Newcastle, Manchester, Robert Gordon, Cardiff l Speech Therapy – Strathclyde, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Cardiff l Pharmacy – Robert Gordon-Aberdeen, Strathclyde, Cardiff, Keele l Architecture – Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Robert Gordon l Primary Teaching – Newman, Strawberry Hill, Liverpool JM, Bangor
And finally If you need any help: l Consult your Guidance Counsellor l Visit www. ucas. com l Contact UCAS on: 0044 870 1122211 Best of Luck