Applying for a course is important, so get organised and start your preparation early. There are deadlines to meet (see the Carmel Application Timetable), which vary depending on your chosen course. Make a note of these and don’t lose out through being late!!
UCAS or no UCAS?
Only full-time HE courses go through UCAS. If you want to apply for a part-time course, or another course (such as the Open University) that doesn’t use UCAS, you’ll need to contact the institution’s admissions tutor directly. Do this as early as possible to avoid missing deadlines.
How to Apply
Before you begin, bear the following points in mind:
• You cannot make more than one application in the same year. However, you can use the UCAS Extra facility if you haven’t accepted any offers.
• Try not to apply to five popular and highly competitive institutions that all demand high grades. It is better to name at least one university or college which is not so popular and that makes offers at a slightly lower level. Aim high BUT be realistic with your choices.
• Once your application reaches UCAS, you cannot change it. However, if you change your address or telephone number, for example, you will need to inform UCAS and they can change these details. Ensure all the information you provide is honest and accurate.
UCAS Extra is another way of applying to college or university. If you have applied through UCAS and are not holding any offers, you may be able to apply through Extra for another course. Extra allows you to apply for courses with vacancies between the end of February and the end of June. In Extra, you apply for one course at a time using the Track system.
To use the Extra service you need to check that you are eligible. To use the service you need to have already made your five choices through UCAS, received decisions from all of these choices and either had no offers or declined all the offers you have received.
If you become eligible for Extra, the Track system will let you know.
If you are made an offer, you can then choose whether or not you are going to accept it. If you do accept it this will mean that you are bound by that place and will not be able to apply anywhere else. If you decline the offer, or the HEI turns you down, you can then apply for a different course through Extra.
If you are still unsuccessful through Extra, there is always Clearing in August.
The first thing you need to do is go through the Registration phase. This is where you will be asked for your details such as your name and address. You will also be asked to create a password to log in to apply with.
Sections to Complete
You will need to enter the following details into the online UCAS form:
In addition to your name, address, date of birth etc you will be asked for some further information such as nationality and any disabilities that you may have. If you were born outside of the United Kingdom but now live here you will need to say so.
If you are living in the UK you will be asked for additional details about any non-course related activities you have undertaken in preparation for your application to higher education. This information is used by the universities, along with other information, to monitor applications and equal opportunities.
You can enter the names of between one and five courses you wish to apply for. You’ll need to include the names and codes of both the courses and the institutions that run them. You will also need to indicate next to each course whether you will be living at home or in student accommodation and if you are applying for deferred entry or through any scheme offered by the University such as “Newcastle and Partners”.
You should enter your three most recent secondary schools, colleges or universities you have attended. You then need to enter the qualifications already obtained and those yet to be taken. You need to include everything, even if not passed. You should also include any summer schools or taster courses you have attended.
If you have international qualifications, input them in the original language and send a copy of proof of these qualifications direct to each university or college, quoting the title and code number of the course and your UCAS application number.
The section that requires you to complete a list of your qualifications and exam results needs particular attention. You must include ALL GSCE and equivalent grades as well as exam board information taken from you certificate. The next section asks you to list AS and A2 level qualifications and modules to be taken. You do not need to include your AS module results here if you do not want to. This is because you only need to include grades from AS subjects that you have received a certificate for. In most cases you will not receive an AS certificate because you are continuing the subject into A2!! All you do is give details of ALL modules for each subject and put a “result pending” in the drop down menu for all modules.
For example: For Biology you will list all 6 modules that you cover over the 2 years but do not include any module grades. Put in the date of exams and put “pending” in the results section.
Your Employment History
It is useful for admissions tutors to know if you have had a job or work experience, particularly if you have worked in an area relevant to your application or chosen career. Only include jobs that you held for a reasonable period of time.
Your Personal Statement
Your personal statement is your chance to tell the universities why you want to apply for their course and why they should accept you as a student. Additional help is available with this, follow the link. There may be many applicants who are likely to get the necessary qualifications; the personal statement can be a deciding factor. A good personal statement, written by you is important. Remember that you only have up to 4,000 characters (this includes spaces) or 47 lines of text (this includes blank lines) to sell yourself to the University!!!
Follow the link to get extra help!! Personal Statement Help
Plagiarism (very important!)
Plagiarism is looked for in every personal statement that goes to UCAS. A number of verification checks are undertaken and if they feel that questions need to be asked, UCAS will inform the HEIs to which you have applied and UCAS will contact you by email. Further information on these checks and the Copycatch system is available at www.ucas.com.
Once you have completed all sections of the application, read the declaration carefully and agree if you are sure that you are happy with its content. You can then move onto the payment section.
As well as the personal statement, the reference is also a very important part of your application as it gives Admissions Tutors a chance to get an idea of you as person from another persons’ point of view. Your Form Tutor will usually write your reference which will be checked by other members of staff. This will be completed and sent without you having access to it.
The reference can be up to 47 lines long (on the Apply system). The referee’s telephone number or email address also needs to be provided.
Remember that you must not complete any part of the reference yourself or change the details.
If you are applying through your school or college, you will not get to this screen as your school/college will have their own system for payment of the application fees. If you are applying independently you pay the online fee using a credit/debit card. Once this section is complete your application will be sent to UCAS or your referee (if applying through school or college). There is an application fee to pay when applying to Higher Education through UCAS. This is currently £24 if you are applying for more than one course or HEI. You make your payment once you have completed your application.
Track is the system on the UCAS website where you can see the progress of your application. You will be asked for your application number which will be given to you by UCAS once you have submitted your application, and your username and password.
Year 13 – Autumn Term: UCAS Carmel Application Timetable
• Review your courses again in the light of your summer exam results.
• Consider whether to have any AS subjects that you are dropping certificated. Get advice if unsure (see your subject teacher first and then Mrs Spraggon the Exam Officer).
• Make sure you arrange to take any admissions tests that will be required for your chosen courses. DO NOT SIT ANY TESTS UNTIL YOU SEE A MEMBER OF STAFF.
• Between 1 September and 15 January: Submit your completed UCAS application.
• Before 15 October: Complete your UCAS application for Oxford and Cambridge. The Oxford or Cambridge application form should also be completed.
• Before 15 October: Submit all UCAS applications for entry to medicine, veterinary science and dentistry.
• October 22nd: 1st Internal Carmel Deadline for completion of Online UCAS form, including a good draft of your Personal Statement. Forward your application to your tutor for comments.
• November 28th: 2nd Internal Carmel Deadline. All UCAS forms must be completed ready for references to be put on by your tutor.
• December 12th: Your UCAS should be complete, reviewed by your tutor and forwarded so that it can be reviewed before sending to UCAS.
• By 15 January: Some art and design course Route A applications need to be submitted to UCAS.
• Complete applications for courses or training schemes at institutions for which direct application is required, for example art foundation.
• Apply for student finance, bursaries, sponsorship or scholarships, as appropriate.
• Prepare for possible interviews.
Year 13 – Spring Term
• Early March: Applications to art and design courses through Route B need to be sent to UCAS as early as possible in March. The closing date is 24th March.
• From Mid-March: If you are not holding an offer from a higher education institution, you can use the UCAS Extra option to apply for another course.
• Keep going to open days at the institutions you have applied to help you make a decision on where you wish to study.
Year 13 – Summer Term
• Until end of June: Further applications can be made using UCAS Extra.
• By late April: Replies should have been received from all HE institutions, and your responses made to any offers of HE places.
• Mid-August: Results time, when you may need additional support through UCAS Clearing to find an alternative HE option, or further help from the careers or Connexions service.