Higher Education: Understanding the UCAS process

It’s that time of year again when learners apply for undergraduate courses through the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) – the deadline for applications 31st January 2024.

UCAS is an organisation whose main role is to centrally manage the applications to undergraduate courses at UK universities. They support both young people making post-18 course choices, as well as mature learners, by providing information, advice, and guidance to inspire and facilitate educational progression to university, college, or a degree apprenticeship.

This year’s deadline for UCAS applications is in two weeks’ time on Wednesday 31st January. But what does this mean, and what does the process entail?

Last year, UCAS looked after over half a million applications for undergraduate courses from learners wanting to continue onto the next stage of their educational journey following A Levels, BTECs, T-Levels and/or a Level 3 course and international courses.

Over the last year, learners would have been looking at course options at various educational institutions to study at, with advice and guidance on options from careers officers within their current place of study. Learners should have been encouraged to visit potential universities on taster days to get a feel for the place and the course offered.

UCAS also offers the opportunity to choose up to five courses and locations to increase the chance of getting a place.

The key part of the application is the personal statement which learners would have been starting to write in September / October last year. This is the learner’s chance to stand out from the crowd and showcase who they are and what they can bring to the educational institution they are applying to. Learners should include information on themselves and why they want to enrol on a particular course. This should include hobbies, passions, motivations and ambitions along with sharing real life scenarios to demonstrate skills and knowledge they are referring too. The extra-curricular activities they have participated both inside and outside of school are crucial at this stage and will really elevate their application. 

Once the applications are in, universities can then start to make conditional and unconditional offers to learners based on predictions and personal statement and the rest of the information required in the application ready for starting in September!

For more information on completing the UCAS application or any other general information about university admission, visit our page on our University College Rotherham website to find out more.

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