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  • 1. Applying for University and other Higher Education Institutions June 2009. Please note: • Your application is your responsibility. • School UCAS form deadline is Fri. 6th Nov. 2009 • Do not leave everything until the last minute! If you do, your application will not get submitted on time. • Important: Do not discard this booklet until Sept. 2010. 1
  • 2. Summary of content: Page(s) A. Getting started 3-4 [Useful websites and publications] B. The Application Process 5-10 [Setting up your account, completing the online form, common mistakes, key dates, admissions tests, payment & UCAS extra] C. After you have applied: 11 [Interviews and financial support] D. Summary timeline 12 The ‘typical’ ‘Applicant Journey’: 1.Choose courses and institutions. 2. Apply online using www.ucas.com/apply 3. Receive offers and select your first choice and reserve. 4.Get your results. 5.Start University or college. 2
  • 3. A Getting started • You will need to check the prospectuses of individual institutions or use: www.ucas.com/students/coursesearch/ From here you can search for almost any subject, course type, institution or region that interests you. Just click on “Search for courses starting in 2010” & start looking. Almost all courses will have entry profiles (EP) which will vary between different institutions. These tell you useful information, such as the course start date, application deadline and whether an interview/portfolio etc may be required. They also provide links to things like entry requirements. • Take the ‘Stamford Test’. This is available at www.ucas.com/students/coursesearch/. Answers to a short series of questions give you a pointer to subjects that might be worth looking into. • Register for your UCAS card www.ucas.com/ucascard. The deadline is the end of August. Once registered you get a range of offers from leading brands, but more importantly access to the UCAS card website which is packed with information and advice on how to complete a UCAS application. What to expect from student life, study and revision tips. You will also be sent monthly e-bulletins to help with your HE application and studies. • Check the ‘Big Guide for 2010 entry’ – The official Universities and Colleges Entrance Guide. We have a copy in the Sixth Form Office • Go to Open Days and use your summer holiday to visit some of the towns and cities that are home to the institutions you are considering applying to. For a calendar of University & College Open Days visit www.opendays.com/calendar • Attend all the Schools Events that have been organised in the summer and autumn terms. • Check academic standards at institutions and what students think about the course and institution. www.tqi.ac.uk www.sparqs.org.uk (Scottish Universities) www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) www.thestudentsurvey.com • Get the facts about life in Higher Education from current students: www.Yougofurther.co.uk • Tips for university applicants: http://www.undergraduate.bham.ac.uk/apply/tips.shtml#personal • Student finance information: www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance 3
  • 4. University websites If you are interested in studying at a specific institution then you should visit the relevant website as soon as possible. You will be able to find the websites using a google search but some examples are listed here: University of Sheffield: www.sheffield.ac.uk Sheffield Hallam University: www.shu.ac.uk Birmingham University: www.bham.ac.uk University of Manchester: www.manchester.ac.uk University of Nottingham: www.nottingham.ac.uk University of Oxford: www.ox.ac.uk University of Cambridge: www.cam.ac.uk Other Publications that may be useful Some but not all these of these are available as reference copies in the library. Our collection does get updated so there may be other publications now. The Virgin 2009 Alternative Guide to British Universities (Published by Virgin) “Progression” series (published by UCAS and GTI): Art and Design Engineering and Mathematics Economics, Finance and Accounting Law Media and Performing Arts Psychology Sports Science and Physiotherapy Medicine, Dentistry and Optometry Health and Social Care Teaching and Education “Getting into” guide books (Published by Trotman): Business, Economics and Management Law Dental School US & Canadian Universities Art and Design Oxford and Cambridge Medical school Physiotherapy Course Psychology Courses Veterinary school The UK’s best universities and courses Have a look at www.ucasbooks.com for these publications and many more or from UCAS Publication Services (01242 544610). 4
  • 5. B The Application Process 1. All applications are dealt with by the sixth form office. 2. Try to decide where you wish to apply and for which course as soon as possible. By September 2009 you should have narrowed down your choice to 5 institutions/courses. 3. Check entry requirements; how realistic is this in the light of your AS exam results and the grades or tariff points you are likely to be asked for? Starting your online application – Apply www.ucas.com/apply Buzzword: teamstorrs3 UCAS enquiries: 01242 22 24 44 1. Log on to www.ucas.com and click on ‘Apply’. 2. Click on ‘Register / Log in to use Apply 2010’. 3. Click on ‘Register’ Navigate through the subsequent pages, follow instructions & then click on ‘Next’. 4. Read and agree the terms and conditions by clicking on the empty box. 5. Follow the instructions & input your personal details and click ‘next’ after completing each page. 6. Choose a password and enter security questions and your answers. 7. Click ‘send’ to create the account and UCAS will issue a username for you. 8. When you first log-in you should select the box that states that you are registering ‘Through my school/college’ 9. Type in the Buzzword ‘teamstorrs3’. 11. Make a note of your username and password which you will need to start your application and every time you login. You can start your application from the beginning of July 2009. You will be able to submit the final version in September. Note: UCAS is now on Twitter, so you can get news updates this way if you prefer. Navigation Use the links at the top of the page to navigate from section to section. Each section’s state of progress will be shown underneath the link. The status will be indicated as ‘Not Started’, ‘In Progress’ or ‘Complete’. When in the section, navigate through the ‘ucasapply’ screens using the ‘next’ and ‘previous’ buttons. 5
  • 6. Completing your application Common mistakes on UCAS applications • Fee code: Make sure you have selected ‘02’ and ‘Sheffield LEA’ for Support arrangements. • Your forename and surname should have capital letters at the start. • Don’t write everything in capital letters. • Your contact details must be correct. Use a sensible email address! • School subjects: Subjects you are taking for A2 should be entered as ‘Advanced level’. Those subjects you only did up to AS level are ‘Advanced subsidiary’. Do not include a subject in both sections. • If you are going to retake exams then the date must be set to Jun 2010 and the result should be left as “Pending” (overall & for the specific modules you will be taking exams in). • You do not have to include your results for individual modules but if you do it for some subjects you should really do it for all of them. Otherwise it will look a little odd; why didn’t you put them all in? The application can be completed in any order. At any stage you can ‘view all’, ‘preview’ or ‘print’ a copy of your application to date. This is in a user-friendly format. All incomplete sections will be highlighted in red and marked by a red exclamation mark. Once you have completed and sent your application, you can still ‘view all’, even though no changes can be made. This application facility is designed for applicants who already know which course(s) they wish to apply for. If you wish to carry out further research, please use ‘ucascourse’ on the UCAS website www.ucas.com. Should you require guidance when using ‘ucasapply’, help text can be accessed by selecting ‘help’ from any screen in ‘ucasapply’. The help text displayed will relate directly to the task you are completing at the time. If you wish to view other help topics, click ‘index’ at the bottom of the help text page. Other information asked for on the forms: Fee Code, select “02” (for most people – check if unsure) Student Support Arrangements “Sheffield LEA” Area of permanent residence – “Sheffield” Applications are in ALPHABETICAL order You must put an “x” in the box if you have a criminal conviction. Section 7 Qualifications • You must list your GCSE grades A-G for all subjects. • You must list the grades for any AS results that you have decided to cash in. 6
  • 7. • If you ARE CONTINUING TO A2 with a subject, you should not list this as an AS grade. • You should enter your unit grades for CERTIFIED QUALIFICATIONS ONLY (i.e. AS results that have been cashed in). • For subjects you are continuing into A2, you should declare the grades you have achieved in the AS units. If you are retaking a unit then select ‘Pending’. • If you intend to retake AS modules (so haven’t cashed in the subject) you should enter it in the ‘results pending’ section. • Give details of all exams to be taken, including General Studies AS/A2 levels/ Critical Thinking AS/A2, repeat GCSEs and Skills (if appropriate). • Don’t forget to include other qualifications, such as Dance, Music or awards Check www.ucas.com/students/ucas_tariff/tarifftables/ to find out how many UCAS points you could collect by the end of Y13. Personal Statement Think carefully about what you will put in your Personal Statement. Use the ‘personal statement’ guidelines distributed to you by your form tutor. This is your chance to sell yourself. Admission Tutors want to know in what way you are different from the other thousand applicants and whether you have the energy to cope with Higher Education. Be specific about your interests and write in complete sentences. Omit phrases which duplicate information already provided or do not add anything. KEEP A COPY! Your personal statement must be written by you and not copied from another source! If asked to give your reasons for choosing a course give positive ones, not negative ones. Some courses are by their nature vocational but if you have a career in mind or are applying for a sponsorship include this. Spell accurately and be honest. Print out your first draft and have it checked by your form tutor. Do not send it to school electronically until you have had it checked by your form tutor and then Mrs Bonner or Mr Byers. Interviews and Open Days If you are invited for interview, or open day, this tells you that you are being seriously considered. Look as though you are glad to be there, behave as though you want to secure a place. It is not necessary to wear formal clothes, but make sure you are clean and tidy. It will be good for your morale to receive an offer even if you decide to decline it later on. If you are going for an interview you may find it useful to discuss your application with sixth form staff beforehand. Please inform teaching staff of open days you are attending. If you have several choices you might expect to hear from 2/3 institutions inviting you to visit on a formal or informal basis. This could involve as much as 6 days (!) out of your course time; time that has to be made up. 7
  • 8. Key dates If you are applying for Oxbridge you must see Mrs Bonner IMMEDIATELY. You may have additional forms to fill in and you must have completed and handed them in by Monday, 14th SEPTEMBER 2009 at the latest and preferably earlier. If you are applying for Oxbridge, Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry you must have completed the forms by Monday, 14th September 2009. If you are not applying to the above courses you must have completed your UCAS forms by Friday, 6th November 2009. If you are definitely wishing to defer your entry to September 2010 you must complete forms by Friday, 6th November 2009. Be prompt Applications will be accepted after the 1st September 2009. The earlier you apply the very much better your chances are of being made an achievable offer at the institution in which you wish to go. Applications for Law: LNAT (Law National Admissions Test) www.Inat.ac.uk If you are applying for this subject, check carefully whether you need to take an additional test. Check web sites for dates and more details. The LNAT test for Law is required by a number of Universities. In 2009 this included Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter, Glasgow, Kings College London, Manchester Metropolitan, Oxford and University College, London. However, this may change so check. You can book your test from 1st August and tests begin early in September 2009. They cannot usually be taken after the beginning of November. You may have to include your LNAT registration number in your UCAS application. The test should cost about £40. The UKCAT Test for Medicine and Dentistry (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) You can register now to take this test; it must be taken before 9th October 2009. A significant number of medical schools and other related courses require you to take this test. Check the website www.ukcat.ac.uk for details. The test costs about £60 before 31st August and about £75 afterwards. 8
  • 9. The BMAT Test for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and Science (BioMedical Admissions Test) This is required by Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, Royal Veterinary College, University College London. Entry closing date is 30th September 2009, testing is Weds. 4th November 2009. Check the website carefully www.bmat.org.uk Online confidence-based practice is available at www.ucl.ac.uk/lapt/bmat. The official test costs £32.10. Check where and how you take these tests. Get your application in early. Other courses may also require a test. Check this as early as possible. Compact and Progression agreements These exist with Sheffield, Hallam and Leeds Universities. They are for students who need to study at local universities for a variety of circumstances. These include cultural, family, financial and health. You apply through UCAS but the school will provide an additional supporting letter. Students may be given a slightly lower offer and/or additional support for their HE route. You must talk to Miss Rashid if you think you will qualify for these agreements. OTHER COURSES Art and Design courses will be part of the main UCAS form for the first time this year. Depending on the institution you’re applying for the deadline for these courses will either be 15th Jan. or 24th Mar 2010. Check prospectuses or use Course Search 2010 on the UCAS website for specific information about a particular course and institution. Check deadlines; apply in good time. If you have any queries go to the Sixth Form office. WARNING Failure to hand in your form by the appropriate deadline, Monday 6th November, means that the School may NOT be able to process your application in time for it to meet the UCAS deadline. This means your application may not even be considered by institutions until they have decided on all those candidates who applied before the deadline. This could mean your application is not even considered before March 2010. 9
  • 10. Sending your application • You can only send your application to your referee when all sections are complete. • You will be asked to indicate how you are paying; cheque or debit card. • You must agree to the UCAS declaration before you send the application to your referee. • Your academic reference will be written and added to the electronic application. • When all details are checked and payment has been made the application is sent to UCAS by the school office. Payment: £19 for 2-5 choices (£9 for a single choice). You can choose to pay electronically using a debit card (this may be the best way as you can be confident that it is completed immediately) or the final UCAS application can be accompanied by a cheque for £19 made payable to High Storrs School. Be sure to write your name and address on the reverse of the cheque and retain the filled in counterfoil. Once the application is at UCAS When you have sent your application, the status of your application will be shown on the main menu, for example, ‘Sent to UCAS’. Once your application has been sent to UCAS, it will continue to be visible in ‘ucasapply’. An ‘AS2 welcome letter’ will be sent to you by post stating your application number and password for the applicant enquiry service (ucastrack) on the UCAS website. You can use ucastrack to find out what decision universities and colleges have made about your application. Once you have received responses from all your courses you must make decisions about which course you want as your first choice and which you will use as your reserve. There will be a deadline for this decision. If you do not make a decision by this deadline then the UCAS computer system will automatically decline your application and you will lose your place. UCAS EXTRA If you do not receive any offers you may be able to access courses through UCAS EXTRA. You will be informed of your eligibility for this by UCAS. Clearing takes place after A-level results for those students who aren’t holding a place. www.ucas.ac.uk/students/afteryouapply/extra 10
  • 11. C AFTER YOU HAVE APPLIED It may be a considerable time before you hear from institutions. This year some candidates had to wait until April before they were informed of decisions. Interviews Interviews are becoming less common for university applications. A new feature for ‘UCAS Apply’ for 2010 entry is an alert that will pop up when you select certain courses: “If you apply for this course you may be invited to attend an interview or audition or provide a portfolio, essay or other piece of work”. When appropriate an institution will send details for one or more of the above, e.g. a sample essay, through the ‘Track’ page of UCASapply, so it is important to keep checking. Each department within any institution will have a different policy on interviews. If you are not interviewed but are offered a visit, accept it. If the institution does not suggest this, write and ask if you may visit the department. You need to know in what surroundings you will spend a minimum of three years! If you go for an interview make sure you are properly prepared for it – put some time into researching course and institution details in readiness for obvious questions. See sixth form staff if you need help. Before replying to offers make sure you consult sixth form staff. If all your institutions reject you, investigate Clearing. Consider alternatives. If necessary, seek advice from sixth form staff or your Careers Advisor. Financial Support You must fill in a form even if the LEA will not be paying all your fees. You will not be able to receive a student loan if you have not filled in a Higher Education Student Support form. Details, including student finance booklets arrive in school during the Spring Term. FINALLY Make sure you are available on the 12th August 2010 when results should be published. You might need to act quickly. Your application is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. 11
  • 12. D Summary timeline When? What? Summer holiday Visit institutions – research – narrow down choices. 2009 Check dates for Medicine, law, dentistry, veterinary, science. Apply to take necessary tests (BMAT/LNAT/UKCAT etc). 1 September 2009 Opening date for online applications Apply for sponsorships if applicable. 14 September 2009 School deadline for applications for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or science (this includes deferred entries). Oxford and Cambridge applications. Friday 6 November School deadline for UCAS forms to be completed. 2009 15 January 2010 Closing date for ‘on-time’ UCAS applications Including some Art and design courses 26 February 2010 Start of Extra. 24 March 2010 Closing date for remaining Art and design courses. 3rd May 2010 Deadline to notify UCAS about your first choice and reserve (provisional) courses now. If you miss this deadline your application will be rejected by default Thu 12th August AS/A2 results. Clearing vacancies published. 2010 (provisional) 20th September Last date for UCAS clearing applications. 2010 (provisional) Other general dates • Interviews/Open Days/offers take place during autumn and spring term. • Dates for final decisions are sent to you by UCAS. Check your application online by logging in and using UCAS Track. • Financial support forms are completed March/April. These are distributed through school after being issued by the appropriate council department at Howden House. Make sure you are available on results day; you may have important decisions to make. J Bonner and J Byers June 2009 12