What is University?

University is an option which students can take who wish to study for a degree after completing sixth form or foundation degrees. Universities offer subjects for you to gain further knowledge and be able to help you reach new careers. Usually, undergraduate degrees last for either 3 or 4 years depending on which course has been chosen.  However, there are shorter courses which can be taken which include a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) for one year or a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) or Foundation degrees which usually last for 2 years.

stands for the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and is a facility which manages the applications to higher education courses. On their website, they have over 300 institutions to choose from so you can research courses, gain advice on the process and apply for a place at a University or College. 

Why go to University?

University allows you to follow your dreams by gaining further knowledge and developing new skills. It also allows you to have better job prospects and gain a career. University life itself can allow you to be independent in a supportive environment, and can boost your confidence. 

Which Course?

There are many factors to consider when applying to University. It is important for students to carry out research into not only the content of your course and the work involved, but also the academic reputation and facilities available at the institution. Furthermore, it may be important for some students to factor in the location of the University and the extra-curricular activities that they offer. The easiest way to break down the planning stage of the University process is to choose a subject, choose the type of course and then choose where to study.
  1. Subject?
    It is important to choose a subject that you will enjoy and one which will help you reach your long term goals.  

  2. Type of course?
    Degrees are usually based on students completing a set amount of subject modules by attending lectures, seminars and tutorials. Each course varies in learning styles, topics and assessment methods. Some c
    ourses give students the option of completing relevant work experience by having sandwich year (also known as a 'Year in Industry') or going abroad for a year. In addition, certain degrees allow for students to study two subjects (50/50) or a major/minor (25/75) basis. Some students opt to defer their entry to University for a year so they can have a gap year.

  3. Where to study?
    This is highly dependent on whether you have a specific university location in mind, or whether you would like to choose an institution based on the course itself. UCAS has a course search option where you can type in your subject and it will list institutions across the UK which offer the chosen subject. It is important that you choose a institution which has achievable course entry requirements and is one that you have a good chance of getting a place on. There is a full range of prospectus' available in the LRC for you to look at. 

Application Process

Once you have found courses which you would like to apply for, it is a good idea to attend open days at the Universities. After you have chosen up to 5 Universities which you would like to apply to, you will need to make an application on the UCAS website by the following deadlines:
  • 15th October - for any course at Oxford and Cambridge or for most courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science and dentistry
  • 15th January - for the majority of courses
  • 24th March - for some art and design courses

As part of this process, you will need to fill in your details and course choices, write a personal statement (see below) and include references. Once your application has been submitted, you will begin to receive conditional or unconditional offers/rejections from the places that you applied to. Once you have received all decisions, you will then need to make a choice on which university will be your 'Firm' (first place) and your 'Insurance' (second place) and reject the other places. You will then need to wait for your results in August to see whether you are going to your chosen destination. To find out more information about the process, please see the video below.

Personal Statement

You will need to write personal statement in order to apply to UCAS. A personal statement must reflect your reasons for choosing the course, including your knowledge, experience and interest in your chosen courseIt is a good idea to ask your tutor, Miss Hunt or Mr Bishop to check your personal statement before you apply. There are many sources of help available for you including books which can be found in the LRC ( including '60 Successful Personal Statements') and advice can be found online via the UCAS website and other websites.

Student Finance

Student Finance is a way in which students can obtain a loan or grant to fund their university expenses, including tuition fees and costs. There are three types of funding available Tuition Fee Loan, Maintenance Loan and a Maintenance Grant/Special Support Grant. To find out more information about Student Finance, either see the selection of books available in the LRC (including 'Student Finance: The Essential Guide') or visit the Student Finance government website by clicking on the image below.

Helpful information

For more information about University or for a full range of prospectus', please visit the LRC, alternatively, please speak to Mr Bishop or Miss Hunt about the University process.