…and what admissions tutors look for at UCL
What is UCAS?
• UCAS is the Universities and
Colleges Admissions Service
• UCAS was created in 1993 to make applying to
university easier for applicants and students.
• Students interested in several universities only
have to fill in one application form which UCAS
then distributes to the universities of choice.
• UCL requires all students to apply through UCAS.
• UCAS handles around 430,000 applications per
UCAS: what happens to the form?
• Transmitted on line to UCAS
• Reduced in size and printed 5 times
• Sent to universities
• Passed to Admissions Tutors to make decisions
• Interview invitation/conditional offer/ unconditional
• Decisions are posted ‘tracked’ on UCAS.com
• If the student meets these predicted grades at the end
of the year, they are admitted to the course.
YEAR PRIOR TO STUDY APRIL
JUNE Oxbridge, Medicine,
RESEARCH & FINALISE Dentistry, Vet courses –
15th October Deadline
AUG FIVE CHOICES
OCT COMPLETE & SUBMIT
NOV APPLICATION FORM All other
DEC courses –
FEB RECEIVE DECISIONS
YEAR STUDY COMMENCES
DECLARE 1st FIRM CHOICE
KEEP INSURANCE CHOICE
UCAS: general points
• Use all 5 choices
• Don’t apply for widely
• Use the full space
• Don’t apply to the same
• Check the form carefully
institution 5 times
BEFORE you submit it
• Research course choices
• Use the UCAS ‘How to Apply
[use individual web-sites
Guide’ to help you
• Check course entry
• Meet the deadlines
• Make sure the A Levels / IB etc you are taking are
acceptable for the course you want to study.
– Often General Studies is not accepted for example.
• Be realistic – if you’re likely to get 3Bs at A Level,
don’t apply for a programme asking for 3As.
• You have 5 choices – make use of these choices.
You can apply for more than one course at the
same university if you wish.
• Remember the closing dates for applications
(BioMedical Admissions Test)
• If you want to study medicine at UCL you need to
sit an admissions test known as the BMAT
• This is an online test which tests your skills and
aptitudes – you don’t need lots of medical
• Your scores also count for other universities.
(National Admissions Test for Law)
• If you want to study law at UCL you need to sit an
admissions test known as the LNAT
• This is an online test which is formed of a multiple
choice comprehension and an essay.
• A computer scores the results of the
comprehension and the essay is sent to UCL.
• Your scores also count for other universities.
(for Fine Art and Architecture)
• To get into either Art or Architecture, you will need
to show a portfolio of your art work.
• Collect pieces of coursework and
put them together and index them
to make them easy to view.
• You will need to describe it during
an interview/viewing process in
The UCAS Form
• All applications are to be completed online and
can be found at www.ucas.co.uk .
• There are 3 parts to the form:
1. Personal details/course choice
2. Your personal statement
3. Your teacher’s reference
• You can save the form
and return to it at any
time to complete it.
• 5 course choices
(4 for medicine)
• All are equal choices –
you do not need to rank
them in order of
• Get the codes right
• education history
• courses / examinations
taken / to be taken
• employment history if
• personal details
• monitoring information
• special requirements
The Personal Statement
• The most important part of this form is your
• This is your chance to show the admissions tutors
why you want to be on their course.
• They need to be persuaded what makes you the
• They also need to think
that you will succeed at
university and what
motivates you to do well.
Competition for Places
Biological Sciences 12:1
This is why it is so vital
English 20:1 that you provide an
Economics 15:1 excellent personal
History 10:1 differentiate yourself
from the many others
Law 16:1 who will be applying for
Medicine 7:1 your course.
Statistical Science 9:1
• You have 4000 characters or 47 lines of space
(roughly 300-400 words) in section 10 of the form.
• Work on a draft using a word processor – you can
correct it more easily and use a spell checker.
• Spend 75% of the space on COURSE CHOICE.
• Spend 25% on EXTRA-CURRICULAR
ACTIVITIES and how this relates to the academic.
• Finish with a concluding statement.
• What are your motivations towards course choice?
– Why do you want to study that subject?
• Why do you want to be a doctor?
• Why do you want to study Electrical Engineering
with Communications Engineering
– How has your interest developed over time?
• What areas interest you?
• Enthusiasm and curiosity for the subjects
– What have you done to pursue your interest?
• Have you read around the subject? Topical issues?
• Have you visited a museum or industry for example?
• Do you know what the course involves?
– Always be specific – give examples!
• Your understanding of the course:
– Do you understand what is involved with the course?
Read the prospectus/website.
– Does it cover the areas you are interested in?
• Relevance to the institutions you are applying to:
– Don’t talk about an aspect of the course if it is not
offered – be tactful with your application
– But don’t write your statement in favour of one
• What have you got out of your previous study?
– Think about what you have already studied at
– How does this tie-in with the courses you are applying
– Think about skills you may have gained – for example,
• Extra-curricular involvements and activities:
– Are you in any positions of responsibility?
– Are you involved in sports teams?
– Have you run any societies, clubs or events?
– Have you been in the school play?
– Worked in the community?
• Demonstrate your time-management/priority making skills
– Be reflective, talk about how your experiences have developed you
as a person.
• Mention career plans / gap year plans
– What's the long term goal?
• Detail any work experience, especially if it
is relevant to the course.
– Have you got a part time job? What skills have you
gained from this?
– Handled money?
– Supervised other workers?
– Work experience is vital for
medicine and for some other
– Arrange some experience.
UCAS: Personal Statement overview
• Grammar and spelling [no mistakes]
• Use standard English [no txt]
• Keep your personal statement focused
• Mention all subjects applied for
• If you have any specific questions today about
applying to UCL, please visit UCL’s academic
• Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• We’ll be pleased to help!