Applying to university

Applying for university is often a  daunting time  for students,  often students are unsure about what is required of them, let alone where to start. This course will guide you through the application process, from choosing a course, to completing your application.



Choosing a course

Choosing a course

When choosing a course there are a number of things you should think about: 

1. Firstly, think about what kind of course you would like to study.  What are your interests inside and outside of college? Is there a particular part of your course that you find interesting? Are you passionate about social media, horses, psychology ? Whatever it is, there is a course to suit most areas of interest. 

2. Think about your career ambitions. Thinking about what you want to do for the rest of your life can be scary, but having a vague idea of the area you want to go into can help you determine which courses are most suitable for you, and which are going to provide you with the best opportunities once you graduate.

3. Unlike more generic courses, you must 100% sure that you want to study a course  that includes professional accreditation. Courses such as medicine, teaching or nursing  are extremely popular, places are only available to those who seem most passionate about the subject. 

4. Determine where you want to study, the  location, distance from home,  size, and the reputation of the institution. You should also consider the course content, teaching styles, and  assessment types employed by the different institutions. 

5. Look at  the entry requirements of courses at numerous institutions, see if  and where these match up with the grades that you are predicted to achieve. Look at similar courses to what you want to study, these often cover the same material, and can lead to similar professions, but may be less popular and thus easier to get accepted onto. 

Before you apply

Before you start applying

Before you start applying for courses, see if the course and the institution is right for you. 

Check out which provides a comprehensive guide of university open days. Check with the universities you are interested in regarding their open days, as these are more reliable, and in some cases you have to register in order to attend.  

If you have a particular institution  in mind,  visit the university website as there may be other events as well as open days that you may wish to attend. 

Attend university summer schools, these are offered by most universities to allow people to experience what its like to be a student at their institution, as well as providing you with an insight to a particular course.  These are usually free, but some universities charge a small fee. 

Universities also offer frequent taster days or taster sessions which provides you with the experience of studying a specific course. 

Making an application

How to apply

Apply here, with UCAS  

The Furness college Buzzword is:  BSIXFC17

Applications open from the September of the year previous to when you start your course. In order to be considered, you must have sent your application by 18:00 on 15th January

Some Art and Design  courses  have a later deadline of 18:00 on 24th March, check with the universities that you are applying to on the deadline for your course if you are unsure.

5 top tips for applying

1. Use all 5 of your applications in order to help yourself secure a place. 

2. Start your application early, applying for university through the UCAS system  is a long and arduous process, start early in order to prevent yourself from rushing. 

3. Have your previous qualifications to hand, UCAS requires you to input the details of your qualifications, including the grade, date of award, and the examining body

4. Apply for the same, or similar courses rather than a range of subjects. If your personal statement does not match the course that you are applying for admissions tutors will assume that you are not the right fit for the course. 

5. Be realistic. Apply to a range of institutions with a range of entry requirements, but have these  be inline with your predicted grades.

What to include

         Personal details

  • Your name, date of birth, place of birth, address and contact details 
  • Whether you are categorised as having a learning difficulty or disability
  • How you are planning on financing your studies 

Academic achievements 

  • The qualifications that you have completed or are yet to complete 
  • You will be required to provide the level, title/subject, and grade of the qualification, as well as the exam board. e.g. GCSE Maths, Grade C, Edexcel. 
  • Be completely honest about your previous and expected grades, you will be found out if you exaggerate claims.

Personal statement

An academic reference from your tutor(s)

The Personal Statement

Personal Statement

What admissions tutors are looking for: 

  • Motivation, interest, and enjoyment of the subject area. 
  • Understanding of the course content.  It is not  expected that you will know everything - otherwise there would be no reason for further study, but having some knowledge of the area helps to prove your interest and enthusiasm for the course. 
  • Someone who can positively  contribute to the  university community. 

Your UCAS personal statement must be 4,000 characters or under, this equates to around 47 lines of text, or 650 words.

What to include in your personal statement:

How to structure your personal statement:

  1. Introduction
  • Explain why you would want to study the course 

2. Main body of application 

  • Expand on the reasoning of your choice of course 
  • What is it about the subject that you like? 
  • How are your current studies relevant to your chosen subject? 
  • What relevant knowledge skills and qualities do you have? 
  • Do you have any relevant work experience, what skills or knowledge have you obtained or developed from this? 
  • What other activities or hobbies do you take part in? 
  • What are your career plans?
  • If you are deferring your entry, explain why

3. Conclusion 

  • Provide a strong, positive and clear conclusion which ties up everything that you have previously mentioned in your personal statement. 
  • With being at the end of your personal statement, the conclusion will be what sticks in the mind of admissions  tutors, make it memorable! 

Do's and don'ts

Personal Statement do's 

  • Make sure your personal statement is relevant to your choices. 
  • Try not to overuse 'I' at the start of sentences. 
  • Provide examples to back up what you are saying. Focus particularly on demonstrating your teamwork, communication and academic skills. 
  • Start early, this gives you plenty of time for several drafts. 
  • Ask people to read it, and take their advice on board. 
  • Be positive.


Personal Statement don'ts 

  • Try and use fancy language.  
  • Make simple mistakes -  Check your spelling and punctuation! 
  • Make things up or exaggerate to make yourself look better. These could come up in your interview. 
  • Copy someone else's personal statement. UCAS has similarity detection software,  which will catch  anyone who plagiarises.