UCAS (University College Admissions Service) is the place you go if you want to apply for a university place in the UK. I am applying for September and think the idea of UCAS is brilliant and made applying for me much more efficient and easy.
I started my application a few months back and applied through my college. If you apply through college you need to ask you college for their buzz word because you can't sign up applying through college before you get that. You can also apply independently where you won't need a buzz word. I liked applying through college because I was able to send my whole application to my tutor and he checked it and sent it back if I had any mistakes. I had it sent back to me three times but it was for the best because now I have got a much stronger application.
Once you have registered you will need to keep you log in details safe including your I'd number because you will need it to log in every time. I did forget mine initially as I registered but didn't start filling in my application till a month later. All you have to do to fix it is press forgot details and they send you three emails containing your id in one, password in one and username in the other. It's pretty much instant that they email you the details so no need to worry if you forget.
Once you are all registered you can start your application and come back it is whenever you want so there's not hurry to finishing it all in one which I thought was great. To me right up till New Year to finish mine because of constant changes to my personal statement.
It's best to send it to your application off as soon as possible so that your reference has time to write you a good reference. I have heard stories of people waiting as long as two months for their reference to be added. Imagine if you missed the deadline because of your reference is what you should always have in the back of your mind when applying. Although you can get offers if you apply after the January 15th deadline but universities don't have to consider you equally so on popular courses you may be disadvantaged.
The Personal Statement is the hardest part of the application for most. It's hard enough trying to sell yourself but when you only get 47 lines or 4000 characters to do it in it makes it even harder. My personal statement took me three months to get it to a state that I was satisfied with. I wrote mine on word first then copied it over into the box for you personal statement on UCAS. On UCAS personal statement box you only get 35 minutes to write you statement before it times out so it's wise to write it in word first and copy it over when you are done to save it getting lost in the middle of writing it.
the personal statement for me could have been better because although you are writing one to sell yourself the box doesn't allow you to structure it to show you academic skills fully. Whilst you have all you punctuation and grammar all in order it doesn't allow you to use paragraphs where I think it should. You can leave a line for a paragraph but it takes one of you lines so if you was to write 4 paragraphs you would be short of 4 lines which is a lot to dismiss when you only have 47 in total to show yourself off.
There are a lot of guidelines on the UCAS website that helps you with what to put in you personal statement and you can contact them about it if you are stuck. My advice is to show you are passionate about the course you are applying to that is what I did and it worked so far got 3/5 offers.
-------------Sending It Off-----------
Once you have finished you application you just have to pay and send. Currently it is £12 for a single application and £23 to send your application to more than one university. I personally just paid the £23 because I didn't see any point in only applying for one university because I wanted back up just in case I didn't get in to my favourite choice.
Once your application has been processed you will receive a welcome letter . My welcome letter took two weeks to come for some unknown reason. Before I even got the welcome letter I logged into track with my apply login and it worked. i do think UCAS can be a little slow with updating track with your offers. I received and offer from a uni by email and it took them over a week to update my track. I got another offer from a different uni via email and UCAS updated it within hours so I assume that it depends on how busy they are. Track is good overall because you don't have to be waiting around for an acceptance letter to come in the post which could get lost you can just check online.
UCAS I personally think is a brilliant idea to help students easily apply for university. It saves the hassle of having loads of different deadlines and having to go through a different application process for each application you send and just having one. I like that all you have to do is complete all the details of your application and then send it to UCAS and then sit back and wait because they do all or most of the communication between you and the university for you.
If you are an international student you can apply to study in the UK through there also which is also convenient for people who don't live in the UK.
If you a little unsure of where does your course using course search can show you all the courses and where they are. You have the option to search by course or search by area. I found this helpful because when I applied I was adamant that I wanted to go in London so was easily able to search all the universities in London.
UCAS is so helpful I liked their page on Facebook and have asked so many questions threw Facebook regarding my application and they are so helpful. The frequently asked questions is booming with questions and they have nearly everything you could possibly want to know about your application on the website. The have external links on how to apply for student finance also which I found useful they also have some breakdown of what you could potentionally get from student finance England.
There is not much more a student could ask of UCAS everything has run smoothly with them for me and think that this is good. I felt like UCAS website provided with me with very important knowledge for university and without it I don't think I would be half as prepared. There speciality may be just to get your application done but they do that and a little more. Thumbs up for this site from me 100%
UCAS stands for University & Colleges Admissions Service. I had some experience with this site when the online apply system was first launched back in 2004. I was working in Student services at a college at the time and had to upload tutor references for students on to the site. This past year I have experienced using UCAS as a student myself.
What They Do
UCAS is a central admissions system for All Higher education institutions in the UK. They are not affiliated with any institution. They managed applications to HE courses by processing the applications and helping students make informed choices.
The site contains information for students, their parents, advisors and HE Staff.
The site has a Where To Study section. Using this section it is possible to search for institutions by alphabetical order, my region or even by clicking on a map to find institutions in that area. There is also useful info on how to chose the right course. It then goes on to explain the whole process.
Appying through UCAS is a bit of drawn out process. Firstly after conducting your research into course and instutions you need to go to the apply section of the site. when I worked in Student Services the majority of applications were still paper based but now all applications are electronic.
The first steps are pretty basic, filling out your personal details. After this your asked to fill in more technical questions about where you study, professional memberships, courses you've studied, fee codes, disabilities, criminal convictions, etc. It can take a while but you can save your progress at any time and sign back in with your login and password to complete it later.
Your then asked to give your choices of University and course of study, this process is much quicker if you have made a note of the correct course codes from your previous research. You are allowed to make between one and five choices.
Your then asked to fill in your employment history and them make a personal statement to support your application.
Your personal statement can be copy and pasted into the box provided or typed in it can be no longer then 4000 characters.
This is the hardest part of the form, you need to big yourself up, include relevant transferable skills, show a keen interest in what you want to study and why. It may sound easy to some but it's no mean feat especially when you consider that they use similarity detection software to stamp out plagiarism, if any personal statement is found to have 10% of text in common with another the application is rejected. Most application are rejected or accepted depending on what someone write in their personal statement.
Apart from payment this is the student's application complete. After this the tutor receives a notification that the student now needs a reference. The tutor uploads this but the student will not see it on their application.
Once completed the student logs in and clicks on pay and send. You can pay by card but you can also pay through your current institution's cash office.
To apply for on course it is £11 but to apply for more than one it is £21 so it is worth while taking up all five choices.UCAS issues each applicant with an individual tracking number. As your application has been sent you've now finished with UCAS apply and will log into UCAS Track instead.
The wait between applying and hearing anything back is agonizing.
it is possible to check your applications progress by logging into Track Progress. To this you need to enter your tracking number, user name and password. If you application changes or is updated you receive and email which tell you your application has changed.
Here you may get bad news of being rejected, or good news of being accepted or invited for interview. decision letters are available to view and print off.
Once you have heard off all your choices it is possible to decline them, accept a firm offer and accept and insurance offer.
If all your choices are unsuccessful or you decline them all it is also possible to apply for UCAS Extra through track. This is where you can make another choice at no extra cost.
If not there is always clearing but for this you have to wait.
I am a 34 single mother of 3, unsatisfied with my lot in life I've spent the last two years in full time study. I first studied a Level 2 Access Course then progressed to Level 3 Pathway to Social Work (which I have passed with Distinction). This year on the level 3 one of my first tasks was to start y research and application to uni using UCAS.
Most of the form I found was pretty easy especially as you could save your progress at any moment and continue later.
I made 5 choices all for the BA (HONS) Social Work at UCLAN, Liverpool John Moores, Huddersfield, Salford and Machester Metropolitan.
I found the hardest part the personal statement. As quite a laid back modest person Im not used to 'bigging myself up', the UCAs site provided advice on do's and don'ts but I still struggled. I wrote four drafts before I was satisfied.
Everything else was very straightforward although I did find it unfair that I could see what my tutor had written in my reference.
I sent my application off on 10th December 2010, the deadline of 15th January 2011 came and went. Although i was aware UCAS emailed you when your application changed I was very impatient and kept logging in to check my progress anyway.
eventually towards the end of January I began to get replies, Liverpool John Moores was the first, they rejected me because my personal statement did not demonstrate I was concerned with poverty, child abuse or elderly abuse.
My second change was off Salford offering me a place on Social Policy rather than Social Work, My third was from UCLAN inviting me to an interview and test (which I passed and got a place), my 4th was from Man Met offering me Social Change and finally Huddersfield offered me Health and Social Care.
I accepted UCLAN as my firm and Man Net as my insurance. After this UCAS directed me towards Student Finace UK.
So from September Im hauling my cookies from Bury to Preston everyday, I really must learn to drive.
UCAS is an essential service for students and institutions. It would be impossible for staff in a uni to deal with the amount of applications they receive every year. The site offers great advice and enables students to research courses and institutions which enables them to make infomed choices.
Apart from the Personal Statment, applying is easy but time consuming and Track is so simple an idiot couldn't go wrong.
The worst part is the waiting inbetween applying and hearing anything back.
i know some of my fellow students found the application quite daunting but as long you read all advice and guides that are available through the site you can't go wrong.
I recently applied to university for the second time, and again used the UCAS service to do so. It stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and is the organisation that handles all prospective students applications for undergraduate courses in the UK. That's no small task when you think about how many people that includes!
ucas.com consists of a main site full of information about the application process, with lots of hints and tips and useful guidance. It also has several 'spin off' sites such as 'Apply' and 'Track'.
I applied as an independent applicant rather than through a school or college, so this review will reflect that. The process is slightly different for school pupils, although most of it is very similar.
The 'Apply' service has definitely got a lot slicker since the first time I used it. You can now complete the whole process online. You start by setting up an account with a password and then go on to fill in all the details of your application, from your personal and address details, to your university choices, to your personal statement. The application is divided into sections, and you can save each section to return to it later, or mark it as 'complete' if you've entered everything you need to. You will need to have some information to hand before you start, such as the exam boards of your GCSEs, and the specific details of the courses you're applying to.
As an independent applicant, you can request a reference from any suitable person, and there are guidelines on the site as to who is suitable. You enter the e-mail address of your referee and UCAS will contact them to ask for the reference. You will receive an e-mail updating you when it has been completed. Make sure you ask your referee first!
The personal statement is widely recognised to be the hardest part of the application process. The form on the Apply website times out after a while so you are advised to complete your statement in another word processing programme and paste it in. The site will test if your statement is within the character limit before allowing you to mark the section as 'complete'. You get 40 lines, which isn't all that much once you get started!
Once you have completed and submitted your application you can leave 'Apply' behind and join the wonderful world of 'Track'. This is a feature that allows you to follow the status of your application just like you would a parcel from Amazon! You use your ID and password and can see updates when your form has reached the universities you've applied to, when you've been invited to interviews, when you've received offers and the conditions of those offers, and when you've been rejected and the reasons why. You WILL become obsessed with Track, there's no way to avoid it I'm afraid. You can sign up for e-mail updates so that if something changes on your application you'll get a message to let you know. I'm afraid this won't stop you logging in and checking about 20 times a day whether you've received the e-mail or not! There's also an iphone app for track, so you can take your obsession out and about with you.
The UCAS websites are all well designed, simple and clear, so it easy to access and understand the information you want. I've never known it to crash or slow down, even in the final days before the application deadline when it gets a lot of traffic. In my opinion, this site makes the process of applying to university easy and clear. Any question or concern you might have will be answered somewhere on the site. Whether you're a 17 year old computer genius or a more, erm, mature student who might not be as au fait with the internet, this site caters for everybody.
UCAS (aka universities and college admissions service) is an online application for those who are wishing to either go onto college or university in September.
UCAS may look complicated at first but you will eventually get the hang of it, and you will learn more about this in your final year of A-levels or final year of your BTEC National Diploma, you will start to learn this around September/October time. As you can start applying for UCAS as of mid-September.
You can choose up to five universities, but if you are studying a subject like medicine you can choose up to four.
The deadline for applications is mid January (around 14th-15th) however the date may be earlier or extended as this year's applications were extended to 22nd January.
But those who are applying to Oxford or Cambridge your deadline is mid October (around 15th-16th) and for those who are doing art the deadline is the end of March (around 24th-25th)
But your school/college may set a deadline for when they want your UCAS applications - but it's only for them to give you out the message of them needing your applications.
When filling your application you need to require your personal details, school details, college details, any qualifications you have done and any qualifications you are studying at the moment. Also you need to write a personal statement - this is your chance to advertise yourself. How if any of your personal statement is copied from another applicant or source they may reject your application and they will also let your chosen universities/colleges know.
Once you've filled your applicant and sent it off. fingers crossed and good luck.
If you get offered at place at a university/college you will get three opitions.
Conditional : you have been offered a place, but you must have the right exam grades in win your place
unconditional : you have been offered a place, you already have the right exam grades and this is the university/college you'll be going to in September
unsuccessful : you have not been offered a place at your chosen university/college
withdrawn : you applicant has been withdrawn and unsuccessful. However, if you do change your mind, you can withdrawn your applicant from this university/college.
If you are unsuccessful and not have been given a place at your chosen places then you may go through 'clearing' which then sends your applicant to other universities, and fingers crossed again. But you can only go through clearing if you not had any offers or you have unsuccessful exam grades. But if you chose 4 instead of five (not medicine applicants as you would have chosen 3) you may chose another university/college.
hope this helps how the UCAS applications go and I wish you all the best of luck!
UCAS was somewhat of a mystery to me for a while. How the system opperated, what you did on it, everything really. I just didn't get it. But that was before I went on the site.
Basically, UCAS is the Brittish system for applying to Uni. You fill in your choices, grades, work experiance and various other information (where you live, your nationality (ie/ Brittish Citizen or not), your phone number, email, ect.). You also have to do a personal statement, which is an absolute pain. Not that it's UCAS's fault or anything, I just always found writing about myself quite hard and annoying.
Then, you send away your UCAS form, which my teacher had to approve (not sure how mature students or other schools did it). The teacher then sends it to UCAS who then send it to the various Universities that you have applied for.
When you get your replies (conditional, unconditional, rejection), they also come through UCAS, though some Unis do send away their own emails or letters. I am a little confused about this part to be honest though. I got an email from Cambridge inviting me to an interview, but UCAS was not alerted. Also, I got a letter of rejection from Glasgow, but again, it came from the University, not UCAS.
You then reply to the University (accepting or denying their offer) via UCAS also. I'm not entirely sure how this works though, as I have yet to reply to any of my offers.
Basically, UCAS is your link to the Unis. You send to them, they send to your University of choice.
In truth, there is no point reviewing UCAS because it's the only way you can apply to Uni here. I think there are some other sites or companies that also act as UCAS act, but none are as accepted and widely used as UCAS.
If you want to apply abroad though, you need to find some other method. UCAS is for Universities in the UK only. Also some courses at some places have a different system. One of my friends wants to go to Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and they don't do UCAS.
Also some other advice. Depending on what subjects you do, there are different number of choices and deadlines, along with exams and tests that you may have to sit. For example, I am doing medicine, which only allows four choices to medical schools and has a much earlier deadline, in October instead of January for all the others.
Medicine also requires entry exams of UKCATs for most Universities and BMATs for Oxbridge, Imperial and UCL. Law requires LNATs and various other subjects need additional exams too.
Those wanting to apply to Oxbridge also need to abide by this deadline. Furthermore, you can only apply for one of the two. So no Oxford applicants to Cambridge and vice versa. You would also have to fill out an extra form for these two Universities.
Some Art Colleges have a different system too, but I don't know too much about these and it's best to look them up if you want to study at these facilities.
I do realise that alot of this review isn't directly related to UCAS, but I'm hoping most people looking this up would find at least some of the information I've given helpful.
UCAS is the UKs method of applying to university. Basically, you give your personal and education details, and write 4000 characters about yourself. You then pick 5 courses you would like to study, and this is sent off to the universities. If they want you, you get an offer back from them, this can be "conditional" providing you get good A2 grades or "unconditional" if you already meet requirements.
You then pick 2 of your offers, 1 as your favourite and 1 as a backup, usually of lower requirements. After your A2 exams, you go to which ever of your 2 choices you made the requirements for. If you failed to meet either, you go into clearing, which means phoning round universities asking if they have spare places.
I have found UCAS to be brilliant for applying, but terribly inaccurate for the research of unis in the first place, with entrance grades being quoted wrongly.
*** UCAS ***
Well i guess anyone that reads this, will be reading it because they are either currently using the UCAS system or will be in the next few years...With this in mind I am writing my review. Its very basic as I dont feel i need to write an essay on this one...but If you do have any questions I am very prepared to answer them but please rate my review 1st :)
*** USES ***
Its basically for applying to uni's. You can look at what courses are offered at what uni's and you can then use their 'UCAS Apply' tool to actually apply to the uni. For this reason UCAS is a mustt!!
*** ADVANTAGES ***
Obviously if you know exactly what course you would like to do the searcher is great. And also free. Superb. Also UCAS makes it nice and easy to apply to the uni's which is also fabulous :) haha! They offer help tools and talk you through all steps. They even have videos you can watch to show you what to do...!
*** DISADVANTAGES ***
UCAS Apply costs. I think its only around £20 but still thats a lot. I personally think it should be government funded as it is a crucial tool to all perspective uni students.
The search also brings up too many baffling results and you cannot search by area (eg. all unis in london). You also have to be VERY course specific!
Also I am classed as a disabled person. I personally did not think UCAS helped me much there with filling in my application...it gave me a small box to write about it in but didnt tell me i could actually send a seperate letter and didnt offer any help with what should go in that boxx!
UCAS is the means by which prospective students apply to their University's for their entry into higher education. It works by you creating an online profile, including a personal statement and all of your relative information and them sending it on to the establishments you wish to attend.
They then negotiate with the Uni and inform you if you have received an offer; and if you have let you know what you need to gain entry, or if you have been refused, and you need to change your options.
After you receive your results, you simply check UCAS track, and it lets you know whether you have been accepted into your firm or insurance university.
I used UCAS 2 years ago now when i was filling out my application to attend Leeds University. I therefore feel i have a fair grasp on its success as a company and whether they can really be trusted to sort out one of the most important moves of your life.
I was, on the whole, very impressed by the service which i received. To begin with, the data entry section is very simple, giving you checkboxes so you know when you have completed a section, and i had no trouble in filling in my details and getting it sent off.
Within 3 weeks i had heard back from my University's with their offers, to which i quickly accepted and rejected those i did or did not want. UCAS informed the Uni quickly and i was left knowing exactly what i needed come results day.
Upon receiving my results i went straight to UCAS, who had already updated my profile with the information:
"Congratulations, your application to Leeds University has been accepted".
and that was that, i did nothing else but wait for my info pack from Leeds and from there the responsibility is passed on to the University.
Therefore, i was largely very impressed with the service I received from the site. I always felt that i was in safe hands and my application was being dealt with in the most reliable and effective way.
One downside is the cost issue; charging £15 to offer this service is a little bit cheeky, as its everyones right to attend University; however, my argument here is with the government, as it is natural for UCAS to want to make profit and therefore this charge should exist. As should a subsidy to pay it from the government be available.
I have pretty much finished using the UCAS website for my university application procedure, so I feel I can give an accurate view of how useful it was to me. If you are applying to university in the UK, whether you are living in the UK, Europe or Internationally, you must use the UCAS site to apply.
As part of the application procedure, you will need to sign up - maybe through your school as you have a referee too. I had to use a password to sign up through the school network so my referee could check my application and post the reference. You aren't meant to see their reference or the grades they predict you for your A levels, but you are most likely to find out anyway.
You need to give some details such as your name, address, education and qualifications, any work you have done along with the all-important personal statement, which is unique to every candidate and must be within certain limits. Applications must be in by October 15th for courses such as Medicine, Vetinary Sciences and Dentistry. All other courses have a deadline of January 20th I think.
Once your application is in, the universities receive them and will read your personal statement whilst considering everything else on it such as grades. They may invite you for interview for certain courses or universities, which will be through phone or email or post. They will then contact you otherwise to tell you if you have been successful and they will give you an offer or rejection. The offer may be conditional on certain grades obtained through exams or it may even be unconditional if you already have the grades or otherwise.
On results day, you will find out if you have been accepted for sure depending on your grades if you have a conditional offer. UCAS also helps you with the 'Clearing' option where you can find free university places for certain courses that haven't been taken. You can search courses and click to see the universities, which hold such causes before applying. The website has loads of useful information for students too and I had no problems using it.
Thanks for reading,
I used UCAS when I was applying to universitys, and it was the best step I ever made, it is such an easy website to use and universitys regularly use it to let students know whether they have been accepted or rejected to a course, so basically it opens the channel of communication to you formally to a university that you may be considering studying at.
To start with UCAS stands for Universities & Colleges Admissions Service and is a clearing house for students who are considering studying to degree level. The site has been around since 1993, and although they have had privacy problems in the past, they are not 100% secure to hold details on.
Users pay a fee of around £15-20, I am not sure the exact fee as I used it last year and the price has probably gone up, and they then enter their personal and accademic details and also a carefully writen personal statement into the system, references from your school or college can also upload their reccomendations for you onto the system, though this is kept private to you.
Users then have the choice to enter to up to 5 courses at various universitys all throughout the UK, the site is simple to use, and appling is easy. Then you wait for universitys to respond to your application, either rejecting you or giving you an offer, either conditional depending on grade or unconditional, to come and study with them. The track progress section is the part where this information is held.
UCAS give you a UCAS card for using their system, which allows you to gain a student discount in some shops, for example superdrug, this is a helpful perk for using the system.
I reccomend using UCAS to students who wish to go on to universitys, and havent yet made their mind up completely on which one, it is a great communicational tool, that really helped me when I was appling into universitys.
UCAS stands for Universities & Colleges Admissions Service.
The whole idea behind UCAS is to help student find a college, institution or university for them to further their study. This can be for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as full time, part time and sandwich year courses.
The layout of the site itself is very simple to use. There are mainly three main sections that are needed to be used by students.
There is Course Search, which is used to, as the name states, search for a course, an area of study or a university for the student to look into.
Next theres Apply for the student to enter an online application to apply for their choices.
Finally theres Track Progress. This is used once applications have been sent for students to see where abouts the application has got so far and any responses from their chosen univerisities.
The database for the website has possibly every single univeristy in the UK and is the one resource mainly needed to search for a subject of study. Courses can be searched by course code (a code given to a certain area) or by subject. Most people find it generally easier and get better results searching by subject.
When searching by subject there is an alphabet at the top which links to all of the courses in alphabetical order, making it easy to search for what you wish for. For example, if you wish to look for a course in Music, simply click on M to go to all course starting with M, then scroll down and click on music. Within these catorgorys are also sub-cats. This means you can then define what style of course, in this case what area of music you wish to study, be it performance, production or even music journalism.
Applying through UCAS is very simple. You simply go through a basic application, with the personal statement being the most important part. After paying a small fee for applying via UCAS, you then send it off and sit back and wait.
If you get any responses from any of your choices you will recieve an email as well as a letter through the post. You can then log on with your details and check what the response is, whether you're wanted foran interview, an open day, or maybe you have even received an offer. Its all as simple as checking online.
This is the one main downfall of the site however. Due to the amount of students applying each year, there can be times where the website may be down or slow due to a high number of visitors. The best approach if this happens however is to sit back, maybe wait an hour and check once more.
If your looking to study, UCAS is a MUST.
ucas.co.uk is used by 6th formers to apply for university. Its a simple used to prevent students filling out the same form over and over, and an easy way for the university to keep in contact of the student.
You pay a small fee and have the ability to apply 4 5 universitys. I believe this is essential as people never know what they really want to do. Keeping more than one option helps the student out and keeps track of how their application is doing.
One problem ucas does have is on results day. The system seems to get overun by students checking if they have been accepted to any universities. this often causes frustration and tears on results day as everything is up in the air.
I had problems on results day. When i checked my status per university, all rejected me even though i had the correct grades. After ringing around the universitys, there seemed to be a communication error between ucas, the exam boards and the universitys, claiming i never had certain grades when other say i had. eventually everything was resolved and i had the happiness of knowing that i was going to university, albeit 2 weeks later!
Given that I have used the service twice I thought I would write a review about this service.. A service that is key to getting into University, or we are lead to believe that at school anyway. I personally am not sure if there are any other ways of getting into university. This one does seem like the easiest way without having to contact the universities directly and being bounced from person to person over the phone.
~*~ So what is UCAS? ~*~
I'm sure if you are in Year 13 in sixth form or in College you will have heard more than enough about UCAS, I know I had done when I first applied so I apologise now for explaining to process that you probably know inside out! UCAS actually stands for 'University and Colleges Admissions Services.' It is your gateway, to university, and college - pretty self-explanatory really, thank fully this service as I have said cuts out of the mess of contacting each individual university.. You basically have a middle man to do all the running for you - given you have exams and course work to focus on, it's not a bad thing..
Not only do they give you the means to apply for university, they also help you out, with making the decisions that could affect the rest of your life.. Including financial help and the mess that goes with leaving home and going away to university. Including accommodation and support when you get your results especially if you haven't got the grades you expected.. Overall for some students a big help!
~*~ How do I find my course? ~*~
By going directly to http://www.ucas.ac.uk you can begin your lengthy process of getting on with it! On the main site there are a number of options for you, the first being a 'Course Search' which is incredibly beneficial if you are not so sure what kind of course is for you..
In a little more detail this section, when clicked on the link you can select the search option, which brings up the two options, to search via course code - for those of you who know what course you want to do, but just want to look at which universities offer this course.. Or search by subject - for students that have a vague idea about which area they are looking to study but want to see which kind of course are available to them..
The lists of course subjects you can do is a very long one, once sifted through and having found your chosen subject you can then look into the different courses in that particular subject.. When you have picked that if you select it you can look at each individual universities version of the course, by picking a university at this point you can look at how many points you need for the specific courses.. Of course these vary from course to course and each university will expect different points, so don't be too disheartened if you see Kings College in London wanting in excess of 300 points for a Law course, because there will be another university that has a lower acceptance level!
~*~ Now what? ~*~
Well given that you have picked a course and a University, the painstakingly boring bit comes next.. Selecting the apply button on the home page can bring some questions of its own, when it comes to applying through school, you then need to get your 'Buzzword' from your learning leader (or whatever you call them at your school/college.) This is a necessity else you would be doing it individually, which means you have to provide the extras the school usually does for you..
Once you have registered and got through the lengthy process of creating a username and password, you can then begin filling in all your personal details, you know the usual, name, D.O.B - and in general everything except your shoe, and waist size lol.. Then you must fill in all the bits and bobs to do with your education, all schools you have attended and what level of qualification you received there.. Then you have to list all your education grades.. GCSE's, AS-Levels and A-Levels (if you have them) if not you can put in your predicted grades.. This is what they will base their decision of your entry upon basically..
~*~ What else do I need? ~*~
Well alongside all the guff about your learning you need to input all your university choices, with course codes, where you intend to live (home or away) and the code for your funding, which is something that you will be told in due course from your teachers/tutors. Or if applying individually you can find out from the site, either by e-mailing them or I am sure it says on the site somewhere!!
Everything is self explanatory, which is a benefit, given you do the majority of the filling in by yourself, with the occasional input from the others if you are at school/college.
Then there is the lovely 47 line personal statement, you must write to sell yourself to these universities.. Enough to make them want you at their university.. Trust me it is not as daunting as it sounds, you may think you have no idea what to write, but I found if I started with an opening statement about why I wanted to go to university the rest came quite easily. Of course you need to write why you want to do the specific course, however if you have a few different courses in your list, then you need to be less specific about the course references in the statement.. Everything you say needs then to be more general.. My advice is to get someone to read it before you put it on the site, get as many people as you can because someone may spot something you hadn't seen!
When all that is done, you can think about sending it off, in a school environment your learning leader, will attach their personal reference of you to be sent directly to the universities. However if you are applying individually you will need to get a reference off someone and attach it yourself, you are best getting a reference from someone of a high status such as a teacher, or boss if you are currently working.. Once this is done you are one step away from sending something that really could change your life!
~*~ Last but not least ~*~
The payment! Of course nothing in this world is free - well not any more at least.. So in this case, from when I applied the first time in January of 2008 it was £5 for one university and £15 for 2 or more.. I applied again this year and it cost me £7 for one university or £17 for 2 or more..
This needs to be done from a bank account therefore you need to put in card and account details for the money to be taken from.. Don't worry it's all completely safe!
Done that? Well your application will be sent and you can wait and see what your e-mails bring you!
Now you wait for your letter to come through, this gives you all your information about tracking your progress, which is handy given you need the log in information to be able to select your options and order in which the offers you have been given when the time comes..
~*~ So what happens now? ~*~
You sit and wait!
When you receive an e-mail for an update on your status if you receive anything new from one or more of the universities you have applied to.. It is a nice surprise when you go to your e-mails and see a number of e-mails from UCAS with application updates.. You will be notified when you need to pick your top 3 universities, once that is done, if you haven't done the exams yet. Keep going with your revision and ensure that top university is within your grasp!
~*~ What happens if you don't get the grades? ~*~
Phone the clearing number on the UCAS website on the day results are released and they will go through everything with you, from sorting a place at a different university, getting the accommodation and funding for the place you eventually accept. There is always the option if you are offered a place to defer a year if you want to re-sit and try to get in the original university you wanted.. However before applying again remember to cancel your place else you could be stranded with a place you are not happy to take!
~*~ Gap Years ~*~
If you get the grades you want, you can tell the university you wish to defer your place for a year therefore meaning that in a years time you can resume your place and start your degree, or diploma, which ever you have applied for using UCAS..
~*~ My experience of UCAS ~*~
Well given I have applied through this organisation twice, once through school a year back and once individually, and I find the whole application process fairly painless, just make sure you have your grades, and the exam boards you did them handy.. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to do a fair few drafts off your personal statement because no-one gets it right first time, even since I've done it twice, mine still wasn't perfect but I felt it was good enough to be sent off..
Don't panic if you hear nothing for a while when I first applied last year, to Lincoln university to study law I heard nothing for weeks, then one day I got a little e-mail that told me I had got my conditional place, which means providing I got my grades I was in.. The communication between the universities and UCAS stops after results day once you have your place, anything after this is a bit hit and miss if you contact the university.. However UCAS is a great way through school to get a place at university especially as you get all the support and help from the site whenever you need it!
Second time around I did it on my own, and I have to say doing this without the pressure of the teachers was a lot easier, I got my letter through the post, and as I had applied to the University of Nottingham to be a nurse, everything was taken from there, anything I needed was put through the post to me and, thanks to their communication.. I had my interview on Monday and I will soon be a trainee nurse!!!!!
So if you want to go to university but were a bit worried about the application don't be it is simple, and if you get stuck you can always phone them and they will happily give you pointers in the right direction.. It is a brilliant way to get into higher education even if you are not at school..
Anyone who has applied for university this year through UCAS.. Good Luck!!
What would we do without UCAS?
Having applied to University this year I've been pleasantly surprised at how easy the whole process has been. When you register on UCAS you'll need to input personal information such as your school and general details, you'll be asked for a BUZZWORD - make sure you find this out from your school, and then confirm the e-mail by linking the activation link and hey presto! The registering is done!
After this you can whiz through the application in your own time; you'll need to input your exam results from your GCSE's and AS Level's, you'll have to fill in information about employment, where you plan to live during University (away or at home), what sort of finance you will need etc etc... it's all pretty self explanatory once you see the form.
Next is the personal statement; probably one of the hardest things you will ever write. Trying to detail all those good things about yourself in a maximum 4000 characters/47 lines (which ever is smallest) takes some doing. I remember doing about eight drafts, though I think on average you'll be looking at about four or five if you want a decent personal statement. There's the option to save your personal statement in the application form, though I'd always keep another copy elsewhere. Once this is done, assuming your referee gives you the okay, you're ready to send it to referee, pay the £15 and it's all complete.
Some people complain about the cost of the application, though for £15, a lot of work is done for you. Once you've written your personal statement and filled out the application, of which could take about an hour (application form) you never have to do much else.
Soon your offers will roll in and UCAS will notify you of changes to your account. You'll see status updates like 'Conditional', 'Unconditional' or 'Rejected' all of which will be explained when you apply, or can be found on the UCAS website.
This site is brilliant for what it does, and yes there are things that people get annoyed about, but I haven't really had a problem. One of the main problems for me was waiting for my references to be done, and UCAS isn't involved in that, that is down to my teachers.
As a Year 13 student, I made the decision in 2008 to apply to University. All students who make this choice are required to go through the UCAS website in order to apply. I paid £17.50 to use UCAS and apply to 5 universities, though can apply to just one and pay £8ish
UCAS allows you to browse the full range of courses avaiable in the United Kingdom's universities, including those in Wales, Scotland and England. Once you have decided on your course you are able to indicate 5 universities that you wish to apply to and for which courses. As well as this you are required to write a personal statement of 4000 characters, saying why you want to do a paticular course. Within this personal statement it is important to include why you want to do the course, what you feel you will gain from it, any work experience you've done related to your subject and anything that you feel you've learnt valuable skills that you can apply to learing at university. You need to apply by January 15th in order to have equal consideration with other applicants at the universities you have applied to. If you want to study medicine, veterinary medicine or at Oxbridge you must apply by October 15th.
UCAS will then send your application off to these 5 universities. Some may call you for interview by either calling you, emailing or writing to you. Others may give out straight offers with no interview, whilst you may recieve rejections from others. To find out if you have offers or rejections UCAS offers a further service called UCAS Track. Here there is a table displaying the Universities you have applied to, their start date, the course code and a section where their decision will show up. You may have to wait several months for some decisions, as some universities are notioriously slow. Once all universities have made their decisions you can decide what will be your firm and your insurance offers.
If you get no offers you can apply for one course at one unversity at a time through UCAS Extra. Not all univerisites will be in this, but many will offers a few places to extra students. If you miss your offer on results day in August, you can apply the same way as Extra students but through clearing.
I've found UCAS very simple to use and have found it veryhelpful. You are also given a UCAS card which offers you a discount at several shops, paticularly clothes one.