James Watt College
Student Guide to
What is UCAS 3
UCAS Apply Webpages 4-10
Before you Apply 11-13
Application Flowcharts 16-18
What is UCAS……..?
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) acts
on behalf of UK universities and higher education institutions.
For entry in 2010, you must apply online, using the online
UCAS service Apply. You can access this secure application
system through the UCAS website www.ucas.com
If you want to apply for more than one course in 2009, the
application fee is £19. You can apply for up to five courses.
You can list the courses in any order as Apply will put them in
alphabetical order. If you intend to apply for one course only,
the fee is £9.
Applications for 2010 entry should reach UCAS between mid
September 2009 and 15 January 2010, with some earlier
deadlines, for example, applications for medicine, dentistry and
veterinary courses and also for art and design courses through
Route B (see the UCAS directory for more advice)
See the UCAS Directory for other exceptions such as RSAMD
UCAS should be used for ordinary degrees and DipHE courses
in nursing instead of CATCH from 1st September 2009. More
information at www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/nursing/recruitment/catch/
Apply Home Page
This is the home page of UCAS Apply
Clicking on >Apply will take you to the Register/Log in page
Register here for Apply 2010
Register and Log in
Remember to keep a note of your username and password
and keep them in a safe place. Apply is case sensitive so
please write the details exactly as they are shown on the
Apply through College
Select the ‘Through my school/college’ option.
The buzzword links your application to your centre
so that your referee can write and attach your
reference. Insert the James Watt College buzzword
Select the appropriate school eg Business and
Computing, Creative Industries etc
You will be asked to quote your Personal ID
if you contact UCAS Customer Service
Before you apply……
Before making any decisions it is wise to do some research.
Self reflection – Are you committed, motivated and ready for
Establish your career goal – In your chosen career what
experience, academic and/or professional qualifications do you
Institution research – Who offers the course you need? What
support and facilities can they offer you?
Course Research – What are the entry requirements? What is
the course content, structure, duration and campus location?
Where can I get more information?
Websites – www.ucas.com
and individual university and college websites
JWC Student Services/Careers Adviser
Guidebooks and publications
Summer Taster courses
Starting your application…….
It is important that you give prior notice to your nominated
referee that you will be making a UCAS application
The website address is www.ucas.com
Select the ‘Through my school/college’ option
Use the buzzword JWCTOUNI10 and then select the
appropriate tutor group
Use the HELP screens on each page by clicking on the
question mark next to each field
Your application does not need to be completed all at once
Completing your application……
Personal details – check that your information is correct,
particularly your contact details – no offensive email addresses!
Criminal Convictions – you will be asked to tick a box if you
have a relevant criminal conviction
Support needs – provide an outline of any disabilities you may
Choices – you can choose up to 5 courses, which Apply will
arrange in alphabetical order
Completing the education section
You need to fill in all details of your schools and colleges,
and then list your qualifications, one by one.
Provide details of all qualifications for which you have
accepted certification from an awarding body
Provide details of all qualifications for which you are
currently studying or for which you are awaiting results
All units and codes must be completed in a group award
such as SVQ or HNC/D
Completing your personal statement
This is your opportunity to tell the universities why they
should choose you
In many cases, applicants are not interviewed, so this may
be your only chance to make the case for you to be offered a
4000 characters or 47 lines of text, prepare offline using a
word document and spell checker, then copy and paste into
The UCAS booklet ‘Applying Online’ suggests that you
include some or all of these points:
o why you have chosen the course
o why you are interested in the subject
o what career plans you have
o any job/work experience, placement or voluntary work you
o other achievements such as DoE
o your plans for the future
o your social, sporting and leisure interests
o Make sure the personal statement is your own work, do not
copy another person’s application materials or download a
personal statement off the web
o UCAS subject all applications to similarity detection tests
(plagiarism software), designed to identify work copied from
When you have finished……
Mark every section as complete by ticking the ‘section
completed’ box at the bottom of each page and click ‘save’
The Pay/Send link will be available once your application is
You will need a credit/debit card to process your payment
You must tell your nominated referee that you have completed
your application and that it is ready to have the reference
attached to it
Important! Your referee will then check your application,
complete the reference and forward the application to UCAS
Frequently asked questions……
Q. What are Scottish Candidate Numbers/SCNs and BTEC
A. You will find these on the certificates issued by the relevant
Q. What is my Unique Learner Number?
A. Don’t worry – if you don’t have one this is not mandatory for
Q. Do I need a National Record of Achievement or Progress
File to apply?
Q. How do I apply for Nursing Diploma courses?
A. From the 1st of September 2009 all nursing courses from
Diploma upwards will be processed through UCAS.
3-year Diploma/Degree Courses in nursing - adult nursing;
mental health nursing, learning disability nursing or
3-year Diploma/Degree Programmes in midwifery
Q. What can I do if I don’t have a Debit/Credit card?
A. You may have to borrow one from a family member or a friend
and reimburse them.
Q. How long will it take to hear back from the universities?
A. Each university has its own way of working, so you can expect
to hear from them at different times: you may be contacted
within a very short period of time or it may be some months
before you hear anything.
Q. What is the difference between a Conditional and an
A. A Conditional Offer means that the university will accept you as
long as you meet certain conditions, such as specific grades or
An Unconditional Offer means that you have met all the entry
requirements and the university is happy to accept you.
Q. What is Extra?
A. If you have had no offers or if you have declined the offers
made to you, you can still apply though Extra from late
February until 30 June 2010.
Q. I have heard of people going through Clearing – what is
A. If you have not applied through UCAS before 30 June or you
have not obtained the conditions of your offer, you may apply
through Clearing. Check newspapers, radio or websites and
contact universities direct for course availability – UCAS
provides detailed information on how Clearing operates and
how to proceed.