Choosing a Course Choosing a University Using UCAS Apply How

Higher Education & Progression Evening
Progression Evening
Higher Education
Choosing a Course
Choosing a University
How universities choose
What happens after the application
is sent in
How BHASVIC helps
Common mistakes
Recent changes
BHASVIC Students
Current Issues
• Although numbers have dropped in recent years
(2012 being the biggest fall) they are on the rise
again. 35% of 18 year olds make a UCAS
• The number of BHASVIC applications roughly
mirrors this but we didn’t drop so far and have
recovered more quickly.
• Big gender gap – over 87 000 more women than
men have applied (out of 580 000 applications)
Current issues
• The abolition of the student cap v demographics
– a changing ‘market’
• Unconditional offers – helpful or bribery?
• The Russell Group effect
Choosing a course
Where do you get information from…
Lots of websites but some key ones are:
Complete University Guide (general information about
Unistats (comparing Universities):
UCAS (excellent information about the application process
Which? University
Complete University guide
Which? University
• Interest and enjoyment
• Professional; academic
• Employment
• Single or joint
• Content and Structure
• Assessment
Entrance Requirements
• Required subjects
• Grades in specific subjects or
overall points score
• Entrance test
• Non academic requirements, e.g.
work experience
“Acceptable” A Levels
• Generally speaking all A levels are acceptable for
University entry but it can depend on the course
or individual university.
• A ‘spread’ of courses is fine e.g. Biology, Maths,
Drama would be fine as 2 courses are regarded
as being strong academically.
• But Drama, Music and Film Studies would be
excellent for any performance related degree
• Also a pass in Drama will be worth more than a
fail in Maths!
“Acceptable” A Levels
• There is much talk of so-called ‘facilitating
subjects’ and it is true that some, ‘high tariff’
universities prefer candidates to have at least
two of these.
• The key thing to ask is “do your A levels
demonstrate the skills you will need at degree
level in a subject?”
Points or Grades?
• Some universities ask for grades, including ‘*’ e.g.
Chemistry (as part of Natural Sciences) at Cambridge
requires A*A*A
• Most do not ask for A* grades e.g. Brighton requires BBC
• Some ask for points e.g. Chemistry at Nottingham Trent
requires 260 points
• Points are calculated using the UCAS Tariff
• The UCAS Tariff also gives details of the points allocated
to L3 BTEC qualifications.
A2 (A
BTEC Qualifications
• BTEC qualifications have their own UCAS points
attached to them.
• For example, the Sports Science course at
BHASVIC is a double course and so a double
Distinction would be 240 points (2 A equivalent),
a double Merit would be 160 points (2 C
Choosing a university
• The right course, quality of facilities,
• Type and size, quality of accommodation
• Distance from home
• Reputation
league tables, employer
links, word of mouth
• Scholarships and bursaries
• Learning Support
• Student mix
state school/private/mature
students/ international
Studying abroad
• Some degrees at UK universities will offer a year
abroad, typically languages or American (or
other cultural) Studies.
• A student could think about studying their entire
degree abroad and this now has greater
relevance given the recent rise in tuition fees.
• This year BHASVIC students have applied to U.S,
Holland and Australia and we are building up a
comprehensive guide for students thinking of
this route, as well as offering direct support.
Using UCAS Apply
Once student has decided on potential courses and
universities, they apply to them using ucas.apply
UCAS: universities central admissions system, not a
decision making body.
Handles applications for all full time first degree higher
education courses.
After Application
• Sep – Dec 2014: nearly all applications will be in
(final deadline Jan 15th)
• Oct 2014 – March 31st 2015: Students get Offers
• February to May – students make their choice of
two offers to be their ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’
• Results –August
• Clearing
How BHASVIC can help
Tutors begin discussing next year’s options
with their Tutor Groups.
March 20th
and 25th
Parents Information Evening
April 24th -25th
UCAS Convention, Sussex
June 9th
Progression Event
Writing Personal Statements
Personal Finance
Using ucas apply
• June onwards: BHASVIC gives students support in
using ucas apply and writing personal statements
• Students can apply for five courses (unless applying
for medicine/veterinary science)
• Applications begin in September
• Deadline for Oxbridge, Medicine, Veterinary Science
and Dentistry - 15 OCTOBER
• Students who have not made 5 choices can, if they
wish, add a further choice before the January 15th
• Deadline for all other students - 15 JANUARY
• Internal deadlines are earlier
How do universities choose
1. A student will have to have the grades – AS
Grades are crucial as these will be what an
Admissions officer will regard as an accurate
prediction of A level grades or BTEC levels of
2. The student’s personal statement
Student’s enthusiasm and motivation for course. Why they want
to do it?
Student’s understanding of the course
What students have gained from their current courses (specific
interests, skills)?
Additional reading
Evidence of special commitment, work experience, attendance at
lectures, organising clubs
3. Reference – written in collaboration between all
teachers and Tutor
4. Tests (BMAT, LNAT, HAT) where appropriate
5. Interview (where invited)
6. Widening Participation and the Office for Fair
Common mistakes
• Lack of research - Applying for courses without the
right qualifications/subjects
• Applying to courses whose entry requirements are
higher than AS grades
• Applying for extremely diverse courses
• Leaving writing a Personal Statement/applying until
the last minute
• Applying to universities or courses they do not want
to go to
• Not having a proper insurance offer
Where do BHASVIC students
• Top ten universities BHASVIC students end up at (2013):
University of Sussex
University of Brighton
University of Bristol
University of Southampton
University of Surrey
University of Portsmouth
The University of Nottingham
University of Bath
The University of Kent
Kingston University
University of Leeds
The University of Manchester
What do they study?
• Top ten individual subjects studied by BHASVIC students (2013):
Humanities/Social Studies
Computer Science
Why not follow us on twitter?
• [email protected] is the HE Twitter Feed which gets upto-date information regarding:
• University Open Days and other events
• UCAS tips, advice and deadlines
• BHASVIC support, internal deadlines and other information

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