UCAS (PowerPoint)

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					Getting into HE: The Applicant Journey
 HE provision in the UK
 UCAS is the central organisation through which
  applications are processed for entry to full-time higher
  education courses in England, Wales, Scotland and
  Northern Ireland.
       Undergraduate degrees
       Foundation degrees
       HNC / HND
       Certificate / Diploma of higher education

    305 +      Universities/Colleges
  40,000 + Courses
2010 was a record breaking year for UCAS

474,746 Applicants accepted onto a course

  Roughly equivalent to the whole city of
End of cycle figures (16 November 2010)

            Total applicants:

             Total accepted
           applicants: 477,277

           Acceptance rate:

          Placed via Clearing:   Placed via Clearing:
                47,188                 46,248
Acceptances in the UK from ROI in 2010 (2009)

   NI 517                    Scotland
   (447)                     665 (781)

    Wales                        (1377)
The UCAS journey
 1    ▪   Potential applicant researches and finds a course
 2    ▪   Registers online with UCAS Apply
 3    ▪   Completes form and processes payment
 4    ▪   Academic reference added by school / college
 5    ▪   School / college sends form electronically to UCAS
 6    ▪   UCAS processes form and forwards to chosen HEIs
 7    ▪   HEIs submit decisions (offer or unsuccessful)
 8    ▪   Applicant views decisions on Track
 9    ▪   Applicant replies to offers on Track (Firm / Insurance)
 10   ▪   HEIs confirm places when results are released

1. Course search        - summer

2. Personal statement   - summer

3. Apply                - Sept/Oct
         Key features of admissions scheme

 Maximum of 5 choices
 Some choice restrictions:
      Medicine, Veterinary, Dentistry – max 4 choices
      Oxford or Cambridge
 Simultaneous consideration
 ‘Invisibility’
 Application fee for 2011 - £21 or £11 for single choice
       Important dates

 15 October:
      Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary and Oxbridge

 15 January:
      Deadline for all courses except those with 15 October
       and 24 March deadline

 24 March:
      Deadline for some art and design courses

  However a school may give earlier deadlines
Experiential research

 Obtain a real „feel‟ for the institution, subject, course, career:

                                         HE Conventions
                                         Institution Open Days
                                         Taster Courses
                                         Subject specific events
                                              Compose your Future

                                              Design your Future

                                              Examine your Future

                                         Career Fairs
Paper based research

                 Big Map
                 Big Guide
          UCAS progression guides
Post-it is…or Post-it isn‟t
Possible Chemistry HE courses

     Medicinal Chemistry
     Chemical Physics
     Environmental Chemistry
     Chemical Engineering
     Biochemistry
     Chemistry with Patent Law
     Chemistry with Nanotechnology
     Chemistry with Oceanography
     Chemistry for Forensic Science
     Chemistry for Drug Discovery
Course research →           “Course search”



  •single subject

  •entry requirements

  •other tariff – Leaving Cert.

  •college website
Keep it
Universities – a good starting point
                                     Personal Statement STATS
                                      1 Spellingalways . . . .
                                           I have
                                    Maximum characters 4000
                                    Maximum lines           47
                                      2 Grammar in . . . .
                                            My interest
55very common phrases used .        No bold, italics or underlined
   most common mistakes . .
in opening sentence …
    . . .definitely avoid these
             …try and avoid them        3 Naming one to study .
                                    Apply times out afterUniversity . . .
                                              I would like 35 minutes
                                    of inactivity

                                       spelling listing activities.
                                    No 4 Just or grammar.check
                                             I have chosen . .

                                   Only 1 PS for every subject
                                            My attempt to . . . version
                                       5 First decisionis final .
Personal Statement - its all about you

 Your opportunity to tell the institutions about you:
       What are your academic achievements – talk about a
        piece of work you are particularly proud of
       How do your current academic achievements link to
        your chosen subject?

 What interests you about your chosen subject area:
       Why does it interest you?
       What do you already know about it?
       What elements of the subject do you particularly enjoy
        and why?
       Life after university – where will it take you?
Where to start?

        What makes you unique?
   It doesn‟t matter what you‟ve done
 provided it reflects the skills and attributes
   that the institution have expressed are
 Here are some example questions that
           you could use to help…
  What will the reader be looking for?
interest, enthusiasm

Numeracy, literacy                    study skills
and essay writing
                                         Relevant work
   Research skills

                                    Extra curricular
 = relevant (and transferable)         activities
       skills and abilities
What will make the reader pleased?

              Understanding of the course
                      applied for

                   Analytical and reflective, not
                       merely descriptive

                    Confirmation of chosen subject
                             and course
Avoid writing lists
  I play hockey for the school, I sing in the choir, I belong to a
  drama society, I am taking part in the Gaisce Award, I work in
  Tesco on Saturdays and I shop for my granny on Mondays
  after school.
Expand on your activities
  I have been an active member of the School Musical Society
  for the last three years. This has been exciting as I have had
  the opportunity to work collaboratively in a creative context with
  other students, to design sets and costumes for „Grease‟ and
  „Footloose‟. I am sure this experience will prove to be valuable
  as I study costume design.
Concluding Personal Statements

End personal statement on a positive note, use opportunity to impress

    “I am looking forward to becoming a psychologist”


    “I am passionate about working with young children in the future
    and therefore am highly determined to make the most of my
    degree and achieve my ambition to become a developmental
Personal statement      ABC RULE

   Good              What you‟ve done        Activity

   Better     What skills it has given you   Benefit

   Best                                     Course
            How these relate to your course Course
Keep it honest…

  … and when I’m not working towards World

  Peace, I enjoy learning languages from scratch,

  writing symphonies and playing a standard of

  golf that Tiger Woods can only dream about.
Similarity Detection Service

 Personal Statements are checked against a library of
  those already in the system, and from a variety of
  websites and paper publications
 Each new statement is added to the library after
Fees 2012?
   England
       £6,000 - £9,000
       If over £6,000 – show how some of the additional income is used in
        making progress in WP
      HEIs have not declared their fees to date
   Wales
      Basic tuition fees £6,000 - £9000 per annum
      The assembly government will meet the cost of extra fees for
         students from Wales attending any UK university.
   NI – will possibly follow England (has said cannot follow Wales)
   Scotland
        No decision expected until after elections in May
UCAS Tariff – Irish Leaving Certificate
     Grade Tariff               Ordinary
       A1    90
       A2    77              Grade   Tariff
       B1    71               A1      39
       B2    64               A2      26
                              B1      20
       B3    58
                              B2      14
       C1    52
                              B3       7
       C2    45
       C3    39
       D1    33
       D2    26
       D3    20
      Not a good idea

                                                          Go thesaurus mad
 To be intellectually pretentious
      e.g. „ranting about a political situation‟
                                                    Refer admissions tutors to your
   Use misdirected humour                             website instead of writing a
                   e.g. Sarcasm
                                                           personal statement

      Commit GBH on the
                                                    Forget to explain how you know
       English/Irish language
                                                     it is the right course/vocation for
          e.g. „To be sure, so I will‟
 Have spelling or grammar errors
                 e.g. Recieve                           Copy, „borrow‟ or pay

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