We won’t accept an application unless a reference is in place, so this part is absolutely critical. Your referee needs to be someone who can comment on your ability to succeed on the course. Naturally, the people in the best position to comment are your teachers or tutors. If you haven’t been in education in the last few years, choose someone who can talk professionally about your application and potential, such as an employer or training officer. You can’t choose a family member or friend as your referee. For undergraduate applications we need an academic reference from your school or college. For postgraduate applications, we’d expect to see an academic reference if you’ve been in education within the last five years.
Whenever we review an application, there are three main elements we consider: first, your predicted and achieved grades at level two and three, or, if you’re a postgraduate, the predicted classification of your degree. Where appropriate, we like to see an indication of you having extended your studies in appropriate areas. Second, we pay close attention to the content of your personal statement. And finally, we consider your reference in detail.
Here’s your chance to shine - so make it count! You’ve got 4000 characters (including spaces) to sell yourself, so organise it cleanly in a word-processing programme such as Microsoft Word. You can make use of its bold, italic and underline functions to highlight pertinent points, and then copy and paste into the electronic form when you’ve finished. But again, make sure you proof carefully by eye, run a spellcheck, confirm the word count and ask someone to take a final look for you. To help you shape your personal statement, have a look at your course’s entry profile to see what admissions tutors are looking for. And remember: UCAS has sophisticated plagiarism software, so make sure your content is 100% unique. In terms of content, we like to see the reasons behind your course choice, why you think your qualifications stand you in good stead for the course, and evidence of motivation to learn at a higher level. We also want to know about any relevant work experience, what your career goals are, details of any accreditations or achievements you have under your belt and any plans you have for a gap year (if relevant). Finally, talk about your extracurricular activities, hobbies and interests. We want to know what makes you tick, and which skills you’ve picked up along the way. Finally, if you’re applying for a teaching training course, we need to hear all about your classroom experience (this is vital to the application).
When you receive an offer from the University, it’ll be either conditional (C) or unconditional (U). If it’s unconditional, it’s a done deal in terms of entry requirements. However, the offer may specify certain extras like DBS checks, or financial and medical conditions. If your offer is conditional, it’s likely that you’ll need to achieve certain grades or qualifications, or provide proof of existing qualifications. You may be asked to complete specific grades to boost your UCAS points. When it comes to replying to our offer, you can either offer a firm acceptance (F) which commits you to the course, an insurance choice (I) which makes us your backup choice, or you can decline (D) to let us know you no longer require this choice. Once your results are through and everything is ticked off, we’ll confirm your place with UCAS and they’ll send you an official confirmation letter.