• Applying to University

  • Applying to University

    You are here: Sixth Form » Applying to University

    University should be one of the most exciting times of your life. Unfortunately, before you get there, you have to do quite a lot of work! Not only do you have to ensure that you get the best possible grades in your A levels and BTEC courses, but you also need to do some research before applying.

     Types of Study

    • Undergraduate degrees: this is when you study for your first level of Higher Education after finishing Sixth Form or College. Undergraduate study usually lasts for 3 or 4 years, depending on the type of course you choose, and is also known as a bachelor’s degree. If you decide to study at University after Brigshaw, you will be applying for Undergraduate study.
    • Foundation degrees: these are two year full-time employment related qualifications.
    • Postgraduate degrees: after graduating from your undergraduate degree, you may choose to complete a postgraduate course in order to study the same subject as your degree, or a new one, or earn a professional qualification. Options include a master’s course, postgraduate certificate (PGCert) or diploma (PGDip). Postgraduate study does not necessarily need to be completed immediately after your undergraduate study. These courses can often be studied full-time for 1 year, with many also offering part-time options. Postgraduate study also includes PhD/Doctorates, which are independent research projects leading to highly impressive qualifications that you could use to become an academic or industry researcher. 

    Types of Course

    There are basically 7 different types of course:
    Single Honours: study of one main subject
    Joint Honours: study 2 subjects equally which may or may not be related
    Combined Honours: study of several subjects, which may or may not be related, often narrowing to the study of 1 or 2 courses by the end of the degree
    Interdisciplinary courses: study of a number of courses all related to a particular theme e.g. American Studies
    Sandwich Courses: alternating periods of study with work placements
    Modular Courses: student selects from a range of modules to create his/her own programme.
    Part-time: with the increase in tuition fees, you may want to consider working and doing your degree part time. This takes longer but allows you to earn at the same time. You may also want to consider studying with the Open University, which is a form of distance learning, allowing you to take modules as part of a flexible programme of study. For more details see: http://www.open.ac.uk

    Always look carefully at the prospectus of the university you are interested in; English at Bristol may be completely different from English at Sheffield! Many universities also offer a year abroad now as part of the course – details will be given in the prospectus.

    Choice of Course

    There are over 500 different subjects to pick from. You might wish to do:
    • a subject you like at A level
    • a subject that leads to a specific job e.g. dentistry, architecture, education
    • a totally new subject that sounds interesting

    In your UCAS application, you can apply for up to 5 courses or universities.

    Types of Qualification

    The qualification you will leave your undergraduate study with depends on what course you take. Most universities award a class of degree based on the average mark of the assessed work the candidate has completed:
    First-Class Honours (first, 70% and above)
    Upper Second-Class Honours (2.1, 60 – 70%)
    Lower Second-Class Honours (2.2, 50 – 60%)
    Third Class Honours (3rd 40 – 50%)
    • Ordinary degree (pass)
    • Fail (no degree awarded)
    • Unclassified (some degrees aren’t classified in this way, such as medicine).

    Which University?

    You may want to consider the following when considering your choice:
    • Size and facilities: night life? Sports facilities?
    • Location: there are lots of things to consider when thinking about which university you would like to choose.

    • Some universities are spread across a range of different building in a city centre (e.g. Leeds, Newcastle).
    • Some universities are based on one location. These are called campus universities and are often located on the edge of a town (e.g. Reading, Exeter, Lancaster).
    • Some universities use ancient buildings for the majority of their facilities. These are often located in a small city (e.g. Durham, St. Andrews).
    • Some universities run a collegiate system. This is when you are a member of the university, but you are also a member of a smaller college within a university. Different subjects then link in with colleges. Colleges usually run all kinds of social, sporting inter-college competitions. A university with a collegiate system might be an option if you are worried about feeling “lost” in a university with thousands of students. (e.g. Durham, Lancaster, Oxford, Cambridge).
    • Several universities enjoy rural locations (e.g. East Anglia)
    • Remember to also consider distance from home and the cost of travel when you make your choice.

    • Accommodation: will you stay in Halls of residence (most 1st year undergraduates do opt for this), flats, location in relation to university facilities, cost, can the university guarantee a place for all first-year students?
    • What grades/points the university requires for entry?
    • Assessment: by exam or coursework? Or a combination? Will you work in small groups as part of your assessment? Or will it all be individual work?

    Many university websites and prospectuses will include this type of information.

    You may also wish to look at www.unifrog.org or https://unistats.direct.gov.uk which include impartial advice and information.

    Points/grades

    A university prospectus will give you some idea of exam results they are likely to require for you to get on the course. Some express this in terms of grades e.g. BBC and some in terms of points. This is what the points mean:

     A Level and EPQ qualifications

    EPQ

     

    Tariff Points

    A Level

    Tariff points

    A*

    28

    A*

    56

    A

    24

    A

    48

    B

    20

    B

    40

    C

    16

    C

    32

    D

    12

    D

    24

    E

    8

    E

    16

     

    To get an A* at A level you need to get an A overall in your qualification and 90% of the UMS marks in the A2 units.

     

    BTEC Qualifications (QCF) and Cambridge Technicals

     

    Diploma

    (= equiv 2 A levels)

    Subsidiary Diploma/Introductory Diploma

    (= equiv 1 A level)

    Certificate

    (= equiv 1 AS level)

    Tariff Points

    D*D*

     

     

    112

    D*D

     

     

    104

    DD

     

     

    96

    DM

     

     

    88

    MM

     

     

    80

     

    D*

     

    56

    MP

    D

     

    48

    PP

    M

     

    32

     

     

    D*

    28

     

     

    D

    24

     

    P

    M

    16

     

     

    P

    8

     

    It is also worth looking to see if the Extended Project can be included as part of an offer.

     

    Music Examinations

    If you have taken any music examinations at Grade 6 or above, these are also eligible towards UCAS points.

     

    UCAS Tariff points

    Grades

    Practical

    Theory

    Grade 8

    Grade 7

    Grade 6

    Grade 8

    Grade 7

    Grade 6

    Distinction
    Merit
    Pass

    75
    70
    55

    60
    55
    40

    45
    40
    25

    30
    25
    20

    20
    15
    10

    15
    10
    5

     

     

     

      

     

     

    Taking a Gap Year

    This is another important decision. You can still apply to university even if you intend on taking a gap year first, but put on your form that you want to defer your entry by a year. That means you get accepted for a place provided you obtain the correct results, but actually go to university the following year. 

    Study Abroad 

    With the increase in tuition fees, you may want to consider studying at a foreign university. For instance, there are Dutch universities which are currently offering cheaper courses than their British counterparts and the courses are taught in English! If you are interested in studying at a foreign university you will need to consult their websites and apply as directed. There is no reason why you cannot apply to a foreign university and to five British universities through UCAS.

    Applying for Law, Dentistry or Medicine

    There are some universities where you have to take an extra exam if you want to study Law, Dentistry or Medicine.

    The following, mainly medical courses, require you to take the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT): Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge; Medicine, BioMedical Science at Imperial College London; Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Oxford; Veterinary Medicine and the Combined Degree Programme at the Royal Veterinary College; Medicine at University College London. In 2012, you would also need to take this test for veterinary Science at Bristol University; however, this will have no bearing on the offer you receive. They are using this information for research purposes only. If you need to take this exam you should see Mrs Jones, the exams officer. The exam will take place on 6th November 2018. 

    If you want to study Medicine or Dentistry at Aberdeen, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Cardiff, King’s College London, Dundee, Durham, East Anglia, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull York Medical School, Imperial College London,  Keele, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Belfast, St. George’s London, Sheffield, Southampton and St. Andrew’s you will need to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT). The last date to sit the test is October 4th 2018. Look at www.ukcat.ac.uk

    If you want to study Law at Birmingham, Bristol, Durham, Exeter, Glasgow, King’s College London, Leeds, Nottingham, Oxford Plymouth, Queen Mary, London and University College London, you need to take the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT). You can register for this from September onwards. Go to www.lnat.ac.uk

    If you want to go to Oxford or Cambridge, you may need to take a test or the STEP examination. For details consult either website below:

    www.admissions.ox.ac.uk/courses/subreq

    www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/apply/

    Applying for Art and Design

    The rules for those students applying to Art and Design courses are slightly different from the rest of UCAS applicants. 

    Like all other applicants art and design students are able to make 5 choices. However, there are two deadlines: 15th January or 24th March. The deadline depends upon the institution offering the course. The application deadline date will be displayed in Course Search.

    Applying to UCAS on-line 

    Apply Early

    The sooner you get your application in the better chance you have of getting a place. This is perhaps one of the best pieces of advice with UCAS applications – so follow it! 

    Important UCAS Dates

    Below are important dates in your UCAS application. Remember these dates are set by UCAS and so are final deadlines. Use the search tool on the UCAS website to check the exact deadline for your courses if you are at all unsure. 

    15th October 2017

    If you are applying for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, veterinary science courses, and all courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, you must have submitted your application by the 15th October 2017.

    15th January 2018

    Deadline for the receipt at UCAS of applications for all courses except those listed above and Art & Design courses with a 24th March deadline. 

    Early 2018

    Apply for student finance. 

    25 February 2018

    UCAS Extra starts for eligible applicants. 

    24 March 2018

    Deadline for the receipt at UCAS of applications for art & design courses except those listed with a 15 January deadline.

    30 June 2018

    Applications received at UCAS by this date will be sent to the applicant’s chosen universities and colleges. Applications received after this date will be entered into Clearing.

    14 August 2018

    GCE A level, AS and Advanced Diploma results published and full Clearing vacancy information service starts.

    31 August 2018

    Adjustment closes.

    Late September 2018

    Final date to submit 2018 applications.

    All UCAS applications are made on line. The advantages of this system for you are:

    • if you make a mistake it can be more easily corrected
    • the finished form looks more professional
    • you can complete your form at home if you have a PC with internet access
    • your teachers can track the progress of your application and can nag you if you are not getting it done!
    • many students prefer word-processing to handwriting
    • your application can’t get lost in the post!

     1. Registration

    Use the web address (www.ucas.com) to access the apply web page and select register. Type in the ‘Buzzword’ (Brigshaw2018) and enter your details as requested. You will then be prompted to enter a password and a memorable word or phrase of your choice. Please make note of these both here and in your planner. By clicking on send the first part of registration is completed and a username is created for you. Please make a note of this too as you will need these details to log on to apply.

    Buzzword

    Brigshaw2018

    Username

     

    Password

     

    ID Number

     

     

    If you forget these, you will need to get a member of the Sixth Form Team to unlock your account. This is to be avoided as they will give you a really hard time about it!!!

    2. Logging on

    You can log on to apply anywhere you have access to the web so this means you can also work on your UCAS application at home if you have a PC with the internet. From the apply web page enter your username, password and memorable phrase you have created. If you have attempted to log on unsuccessfully several times, your account will be locked. One of the sixth form team can unlock your account for you, or you can try to log in again the next day. If you have accidentally shut down the browser rather than using log out, your account will be locked. If you attempt to log back in again, you will be presented with the following messages, ‘You are already logged in. Please ensure this is your only active session.’ Click log in if you wish to proceed.By clicking on log in, this will automatically allow you back intoyour account.After an hour of inactivity, apply will time out for security reasons.

    3. Completing your application

    To access any section click on the section name in the header of the apply main screen and follow the on screen instructions. It is possible to leave a section partially completed and return to it later. The status of sections is shown in the main screen as not started, in progress or complete. After completing a section you will need to tick section finished  to change the status of the section to completed. Any inaccurate or compulsory data left out will be highlighted in red to indicate it needs completing.

     So now do it!

    Personal Details

    • Name, address, phone number(s), email address
    • Preferred given name (this is the name you are usually known by if it is different from your official name e.g. Eleanor/Ellie, Benjamin/Ben).
    • Date of Birth (don’t put down today’s date)

          Fee Code (02 SLC, SAAS, NIBd, EU, IoM – unless you are applying for nursing or a para-medical course such as Physiotherapy or Radiography) then the area you live (your postcode will tell you this)

    • Special Needs Information
    • Entering an e-mail address – make sure this is one that does not cause offence!
    • Nominated Access (this is a person, or two, who could act on your behalf, if for instance you are on holiday when results come out and decisions have to be made. You may want to put down one of your parents. However, you don’t have to put anyone here if you don’t want to.).
    • Criminal Convictions (hopefully none!)
    • Registration with the ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority) will be compulsory for students who, in the course of their studies, will have contact with children or vulnerable adults. Applicants who have already registered can enter their registration number in the personal details section.

     Additional Information

    • You need to enter your ethnic origin and national identity.
    • Activities in preparation for higher education (you can enter details of two activities such as summer schools or taster courses. Sutton Trust summer schools or WAMS courses or Aimhigher preparation for Oxbridge applications would all qualify here).
    • Highest Level of Qualifications Held. For this select Below honours degree level qualifications.

          Care, parental and occupational background (what the main wage earner does; in the drop down menu you can select ‘I prefer not to say’ if you want but do not leave this section blank!)

    Student Finance

    If you are applying to student finance for help with tuition fees and living costs, you can allow UCAS to share your details with the Students Loans Company. We advise you to do this as it saves you from filling in the same details twice on two different forms. You can also request a reminder to apply for finance when the application process opens. We advise you to do this too.

    Courses

    • Select courses by either institution code and course code, or by institution
    • name and course name and choose:
    • Point of entry (this will not apply to you – leave it blank)
    • Defer Entry?
    • Live at home?

     Occasionally the prospectus will tell you to add something else in here e.g. which campus you are studying at.

    If you are applying for medicine or dentistry, you can only enter 4 choices for these subjects. You have to use your fifth choice for a different course.

    If you are applying for Oxford or Cambridge, you can only apply for one course at Oxford or one course at Cambridge, not a course at both.

    Education

    Enter school details. The School’s exam number is: 37701

     Enter qualifications

    You should enter all your GCSE grades at June 2016, using the sheet provided by Mr Rimington to ensure the correct exam boards are entered.

    You should enter your A Level/BTEC/Cambridge Tech as June 2018 with a grade of Pending, you will have a sheet stating all the correct qualifications and exam boards.

     

    Employment

    Enter details of any paid employment past or present 

    Completing your personal statement

    Prepare your personal statement in word and give it to your tutor on disk or paper to check. Make the changes that he/she suggests and then ask them to check it again. When you have the go-ahead from your tutor, copy your personal statement and paste it into the personal statement box on the UCAS apply form. Do not type straight on to the apply form – it is much easier to change your statement if you prepare it in word and then drop it into your form. 

    To save what you have pasted on to your apply form, click save .To check the length of what you have typed so far, click preview.  The maximum number of lines is 50 lines, 80 characters per line. Click section finished? 

    There is lots of advice about how to write a good personal statement in this booklet and there are also a couple of examples of very good statements. The personal statement is very important: it is the part which tells the admissions tutor at the university what you are really like. 

    4. Checking the status of your application

    At any stage you can view all of your application to date in a user-friendly format. All uncompleted sections will be highlighted in red. Once you have completed and sent your application to the staff section, you can still view all, even though no changes can be made.

    5. Sending your application to your referee

    Once all sections are complete you can select send to referee. This will normally be your tutor unless you are told differently (Mr Rimington will do some of the references to help out your poor over-loaded tutors!)

    Each applicant needs to agree to the UCAS declaration when sending his/her application to their referee. 

    6. Cost

    You need to pay £24 to make your application. You do this on line using a credit or debit card. If you decide only to apply for one course then the fee is £12. 

    7. Once your application is at your centre

    Once you have sent your application to your referee, he/she will complete the application by checking your details and adding a reference. In the Sixth Form we have a policy of showing you your reference as we believe that you need to know what your strong and weak points are. 

    Please note: Once you have sent your form to your referee, expect that we will send it if we find no errors in it. If we find mistakes we will return it to you. If you do not think it is finished, do not send it to us! 

    8. Once the form is at UCAS

    Once your application has been sent to UCAS, it will be processed overnight and normally an application number will be issued within one working day. This will be visible in the staff and applicant area of apply, indicating that the application is at UCAS and is being processed. You can use the Track system to find out what decisions universities or colleges have made about your application. This is very useful as you often find out on the web if you have received an offer before you actually receive the letter from the university. 

    Remember: the sooner you get your UCAS form completed then the sooner you start to receive offers.

    9. Cooling off period

    You have seven days in which you can withdraw your application and still get a refund on your application fee. You also have seven days in which to change your choice of institution or course.

    10. What happens next?

    Hopefully you should start to receive offers from universities OR they will ask you to attend an interview. Quite often they make you an offer and invite you to an Open Day for you to see what the department and university you are applying to are like. 

    Normally around March, when all your universities have either made you an offer or rejected you, you will receive a Statement of Decisions. You will be asked to nominate a firm choice and an insurance choice (the place you would go to if you don’t get the grades for your first choice). Make sure that your insurance offer is somewhere you would be prepared to go if you don’t get into your firm choice university. It is a good idea to pick as your insurance offer somewhere that is offering you lower grades than your firm choice, or somewhere that is offering you the same grades but might be prepared to lower them on Results’ Day. If in doubt about this seek advice from a member of the Sixth Form staff. 

    If you get rejected by all your five university choices before you even get your results, then you can apply to UCAS Extra. This is when you can you can apply for any course with vacancies. Extra is open between the end of February until early July. Please see a member of the sixth form team if you end up in this position.

    If you get rejected by your firm and insurance offer universities once you have your results, then you can apply to University through Clearing. There are details about this in this booklet.

    If your results are much better than expected, you can go through a process called Adjustment. There are details about this in this booklet.

     

    The Most Common Mistakes

    Now check your form. Below is a checklist to help you.

    •  Make sure you have put your date of birth and not today’s date, or your birthday but with the current year.
    • Your fee code, unless you are doing any health course, should be 02. Your student support arrangements will be the city to which your parents pay Council Tax. For most people, this is Leeds.
    • Make sure there is some way in which UCAS can contact you, either by text, post or e-mail. If your e-mail address is rude or stupid, don’t use it.
    • Check you have put the correct dates for all your exams. GCSEs should be June 2016 and A Level exams should be June 2018.
    • Not filling in anything under Occupational Background. This just makes you look slack! Put ‘I prefer not to say’ if you don’t want to give this information.

    Writing Your Personal Statement 

    “A good personal statement is important – it could help to persuade an admissions officer to offer the student a place” – UCAS

    • A good personal statement must be well written, in both style and accuracy, lively and genuinely enthusiastic in the chosen field of study.

    E.g. “The challenge of engineering and the opportunity to use leading edge technology are the motivating factors for me to read engineering. I am interested in the methods by which objects and machines are designed, manufactured and interface with commercial reality”.

    •  In it, you must back up any statements you make with evidence or say what skills you have gained from a particular experience.

     E.g. “I am involved in various types of sport. I have played county rugby from the age of 13 and last year reached the Eastern Counties team”.

     “During this time I had a great deal of patient contact and I learnt how important it was to communicate well with patients to make them feel more at ease.”

    Structure of the Statement

    Try to structure your statement in the following way:

     Paragraph 1

    Give your reasons for your choice of course; say what aspects of the course interest you; mention what you might like to do in the future as a result of following this course; sound really enthusiastic; try to sound like an interesting person!

    Paragraph 2

    Relate your academic experience; try to link this to the things you said in paragraph 1; emphasise how your experience is relevant to your chosen course; focus on the skills you have developed during your studies e.g. ability to think analytically, reflect, argue coherently, work independently; mention lecture trips or wider reading you have undertaken; include work experience if it was relevant to the area of study. If you intend to study something which you already do at A level, be very specific about the areas of your present course which have interested you and say why.

    Paragraphs 3 & 4

    Talk about your broader school and community experience. Remember to say what these experiences have taught you e.g. management, responsibility, initiative, communication, diplomacy, teamwork, leadership, self-awareness.

    Paragraph 5

    This should sum up the statement but try to add something new as a final selling point.

    E.g. “My desire to make constant improvements is illustrated by the fact that I recently achieved a personal best time in a 100m race. It is this outlook which I would bring to my degree studies.”

    When you have written your statement, look at it and think about the following…

    • Am I rambling and just trying to fill up space? It is better to be succinct and clear and leave space at the end than fill the form up with rubbish.
    • You need to sell yourself but make sure you have also been honest, specific and convey what sort of person you are.
    • Have you related the statement to the course you have applied for?
    • Does the application sound as though you have carefully considered what you want to do?
    • Have you managed to convey your personal qualities / skills / experience / competencies?

    Now let a friend read it and ask them to tell you what they think.

    Sample Personal Statements

    Statement 1

    Ever since I began informing my friends of the probability of having the Four of Clubs in a simple game of Snap, or insisting that no matter how hard my mother tried she wouldn’t be able to cut a cake into 3 halves, I have enjoyed, and had an aptitude for, Mathematics.  For this reason I have chosen to follow a degree course in the subject.  I found the GCSE course extremely satisfying and this showed in my grades at the end of the year.  I then chose to take Maths further and study it as an A level.  I am finding it enjoyable challenging.  I found the Pure and Statistics elements of the course rewarding as they allowed me to expand on my previous knowledge, especially in areas such as Calculus and Geometry.  I enjoy these two areas as their potential capacity is endless.  I love knowing there is more to learn and Pure especially provides this excitement.  The Decision component of the course was interesting as I was able to see how Maths is used to solve many every-day problems, such as Scheduling and Gantt Charts – something that I am very keen on investigating.

    After completing this degree I am committed to continuing the subject into a professional field.  I enjoy the idea of teaching the subject at secondary level and this is something I am seriously considering.

    My studies as an A Level student have, I believe, prepared me for studying at university.  Maths and Further Maths (AS) have provided me with a passion for the subject – urging me to study it as far as possible.  English Literature has allowed me to develop a strong analytical ability and skills in arguing my opinions.  The coursework also forced me to expand my talents in independent studies – something that is vital for university survival!  Geography has taught me key organisational skills as its structure meant that work had to be sensibly arranged and classified.

    In school I have be part of a variety of extra-curricular activities, which range from being elected Chairman of the Sixth-Form to being a Bully Buddy.  Being Chairman of the Sixth-Form, and therefore overseeing relevant committee meetings, resulted in the ability to listen and often bring reason to rather chaotic debates and discussions.  It has forced me to pay attention to other people’s views and, as a result, I have organised events such as the Sixth-Form Ball, Christmas evens, the creation of Brigshaw’s first ever Leavers Yearbook and the decoration and upkeep of the Common Room.  Being a Bully Buddy and also a Pared-Reader allowed me to give something back to the school by helping those who require it – I thoroughly enjoyed these activities as they allowed me to feel as if I was making a difference to somebody.  I feel that these roles, although small, have already given me some of the bare requirements needed to pursue a career in teaching.  I have developed listening skills and the ability to act on other people’s requests and opinions.  My training as a Bully Buddy has taught me skills in communication and an understanding of the problems younger, less able children have, and more importantly, the ability to help them through their difficulties.

    To be the first Sullivan ever to reach University is going to be my proudest achievement yet and I hope to hear from you again soon.

    Statement 2

    To my embarrassment, I have to admit that my naïve perception of literature was completely shattered after analysing the nursery rhyme ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in high school.  In my youthful innocence, I had thought that it was simply the happy tale of a sweet young girl who loved her grandmother.  From knowing now, how could my loving parents have willingly exposed me to such violence, sex and vice at the impressionable age of four.  It is because of this desire to delve beneath the surface of literature that I have opted to study it and I believe the closer analysis of literature that is required at degree level will only develop and enrich my enjoyment of the subject.  My love of reading has always been clear, from early books at primary school through to analytical study of classical literature at A-level, Marlowe and Webster are authors I have particularly enjoyed studying as core texts.  One of my particular interests in literature is looking at social and historical influences in novels, for example, the influence of morality in Dr Faustus.  My love of reading all forms of literature is not to detract from the natural interest I have in the English language itself, and I believe my studies in literature and language complement each other well.  I believe the studies I have already done at A-level have prepared me well for a degree in English  work in English literature and English language has enabled me to develop my critical analysis of different texts, and despite subtle difference, my A-level in French has benefitted my appreciate of language structure.  Also my work for A-level General Studies has developed my ability to argue contrasting viewpoints.

    In my time at secondary school I have made the most of extra-curricular activities available to me, as well as a number of activities to improve others’ school lives these include ‘Bully Buddy’ and ‘Paired Reading’ schemes working with Year 7 children.  My studies have allowed me to take a number of trips to Europe, including Paris in 2000 with the French department, and social trips to Italy and Austria.  I feel each excursion has benefited me in different ways, whether it is in my use of a foreign language, confidence when meeting new people, often from different cultures, and simply my interaction with others.  I have also worked for a school newspaper.

    Outside of my school community, I enjoy a rich social life, with friends from different cultures and backgrounds.  Within the past two years, I have captained the local cricket team I have played for since I was ten.  Through this I have developed personal skills such as leadership, co-operation and effective communication.  I regularly go to the cinema with friends, and I take particular interest in film adaptations of books I have read and enjoyed, examples of this are Romeo and Juliet and Lord of the Rings.  I have extended my interest in was literature initiated through class work by reading and enjoying novels such as ‘Regeneration’ by Pat Barker and ‘Empire of the Sun’ by JG Ballard.  As well as enjoying the critical side of literature, reading books is also a form of relaxation for me, and I particularly enjoy the fantasy genre, JRR Tolkien being my particular vice.

     I will be the first of my family to go to university, and look forward to making the most of new opportunities.  I am really looking forward to university life, meeting new friends, studying the subject I am passionate about and even finding myself!

    Statement 3

    I remember the day I first wanted to become a Primary School Teacher. I was in Year 3 and was overwhelmed at my teacher who wore flowered flip-flops, even in the middle of winter.  More important than her fashion sense was the way she made learning fun and cared deeply about each individual child in the class.  This is what I seek to emulate when embarking on my teacher-training course.  My studies have enabled me to gain invaluable communication skills which would be useful when dealing with young children. Advanced Health and Social Care has particularly reinforced the importance of communication to me, mainly with the Units 'Child Development' and 'Communicating in Health and Social Care'.  In Psychology I enjoyed learning the theories of child development, with particular reference to Freud and Piaget.  English Literature has enabled me to develop a strong analytical ability, and also prepared me for the extent of wider reading which I will need for university.  I have realised the 'power' books have on a child's development and how they evoke their imagination.  I enjoy English Literature and I am looking forward to specialising in it, through my four-year course.  In my studies I have had to complete in-depth portfolios, which forced me into more confident, independent studies and which had a time frame.  I believe this would help me greatly to success at university with regards to a Primary Education degree.

    I have tried to concentrate my work experience around my chosen degree and gather a range of knowledge working with younger children through the Special Needs Department; this mainly involved helping children in lessons.  I found this work very rewarding and I felt I had given something back to a pupil who needed it. The commitment I make every week during the 'paired- reading' scheme makes it clearer to me how each child is unique and has different requirements.

    In Brigshaw there is a number of disabled children.  I assisted in a Physio session with a less able child and it made me aware of the treatments which are available.  During this experience I realised how group skills and teamwork are essential in order to work successfully with the children.  I have also involved myself within the school, being a 'Bully Buddy'.  This involves writing letters to year 6, attending open evenings and meeting the children.  This training has developed my listening skills and the need to empathise with vulnerable children.  To gain more experience outside of school, I went to Clarendon Staff Nursery and worked with a variety of children aged 0-5 years.  I developed my knowledge of differing cultural backgrounds through the children's beliefs and requirements.  I was shown The Foundation Stage and The National Curriculum guidebook to enable me to work effectively with the children.  I gained an understanding of the importance of safety and studied The Children's Act.  Throughout this year I will be going into a local Primary school, not only to gather more knowledge of a working school environment, but also for my own personal enjoyment.  I felt the need to help children on a larger scale; therefore I participate on two large events, which are two dinners, to raise money for disadvantaged children.  I believe this shows my commitment towards children and the responsibility I have.  The success my actions bring, gives me an enormous sense of achievement and self-awareness.  I would bring this outlook to my degree studies and my work as a teacher.

    Results Day & Clearing

    Your results will be available in school from 10am on 2nd Thursday in August.

    Scenario 1: You are successful!

    What will you do?

    • Ring your parents/girlfriend/boyfriend/Great Auntie Nora
    • Hug your friends/cry/laugh
    • Thank your dear teachers for all their help and guidance…without them it just would not have been possible…
    • Head to the nearest pub.

     Scenario 2: You have not got the grades you need for either your firm choice (CF) or for your insurance choice (CI).

     What will you do?

    • Ring your parents/girlfriend/boyfriend/Great Auntie Nora
    • Hug your friends/cry/laugh
    • Head to the nearest pub….NO!!! READ ON…..

     Mr Brass and Mr Rimington download the results the day before and will have checked your actual grades against what you have been offered by your chosen universities. Therefore she will know before you come in if you need help because you have not met the required grades.

    Step 1: See Mr Rimington or a designated member of staff. Consult Track to see if any information is posted there. If not, you can ring the university of your choice to see if they are still prepared to accept you even though you haven’t met their criteria. Sometimes they say yes, sometimes no, or sometimes they offer you a similar but alternative course.

     Step 2: If neither of your choices is prepared to offer you a place, then you can enter Clearing.

     If you are eligible for clearing (i.e. you have no offers) you will automatically be sent a Clearing Entry Form (CEF) and an instructions booklet.

    Your results will be printed on this form. If by any chance they are wrong, or some are missing, make the amendments and add a photocopy of your results slip as proof of your grades.

    Step 3: You will now need to contact universities directly to request a place. You will find details of which universities have vacancies and on what course by looking at:

    • newspapers e.g. The Independent, The Guardian
    • the internet (e.g. the UCAS website)
    • mail shots which will be sent to the school

     You can contact any university for any course you are interested in. You do not have to approach the same universities that you put on your form or apply for the same courses.

    Step 4: Offers are usually made and accepted over the telephone. You can approach as many universities as you like but you can only specify one choice on your clearing form and this should be for a university and a course for which you have received a verbal offer over the telephone. If you have received an offer which you decide you are not interested in, you should ring the university back to let them know. Remember, that place could then be offered to another student who is in the same position as you are. 

    Before you receive your results

    Hopefully you will get what you need. However, it is useful to have a back-up plan. Make a list of other options you will consider and put them in order of preference. 

    When going through clearing you will need to be…

    • Available. Results day and immediately afterwards are not the best time to be on holiday in Magaluf with your boyfriend/girlfriend.
    • Patient. You may have to ring a lot of universities. The phones may be engaged to begin with as this is a very busy time. Keep trying!
    • Sure. If you have not yet been rejected from your cf or ci then you are not eligible for clearing.
    • Organised. Staff at Brigshaw will help but it is up to you to find a course, make the phone calls and then send off your completed cef.
    • Sensible. Don’t necessarily jump at the first offer you are made. Read a bit more about it in the prospectuses available. Remember, you can verbally accept more than one offer so long as you then ring the university back to decline the offer.
    • Definite. Only send off your cef when you have a verbal offer and you are sure you want to accept it.

    Adjustment

    A scenario: you applied to Leeds Met to study Business and got an offer of 220 points (CCD). In fact, when you got your results, you got 300 points (BBB). You are wondering now if there is another course at a more prestigious university which you could have gone to.

    There is a new scheme called Adjustment. It is for students who:

    •  are holding a conditional firm offer (CF)
    • meet and exceed the conditions of that offer.

    How does Adjustment work?

    • Once your firm choice uni confirms your offer, you have 5 days to find and secure an adjustment place.
    • To do this YOU will need to register on UCAS Track.
    • You should contact admissions officers and seek out vacancies (like Clearing).
    • If you don’t get an offer in the timeframe, your original offer stands.

    The small print

    • Adjustment isn’t compulsory and not everyone will want to pursue an alternative.
    • There is no guarantee that specific universities/courses will have vacancies.
    • The vacancy picture could fluctuate. Courses without vacancies may develop them as firm candidates move elsewhere.
    • Students need to self-nominate.
    • Make it clear to admissions tutors whether you are going through Clearing or Adjustment.

    Tuition fees

    Tuition fees are the yearly amount universities will charge you to study. They vary by university and also by course. From September 2012 universities in England can charge new full-time students up to £9,000 a year.

    Universities that want to charge more than £6,000 have to make sure that students from all income groups have access to their courses. A National Scholarship Programme will also be available to help students from lower income households with tuition fees and living costs.

    Before applying for a full-time course you should check how much your tuition will cost with the university or college you're interested in.

    Scholarships, bursaries and awards

    Many universities and colleges offer extra funding that you don’t have to pay back. This includes scholarships and bursaries which are available if you meet the conditions set by your university or college. Some charities and educational trusts also offer grants and awards. 

    During 2012, a £150m National Scholarship Programme to help students from lower income families was set up. This may include reduced tuition fees or a free year on some courses. Each university will decide what support they’ll offer so you’ll need to check to see what your chosen university is offering and whether you’re eligible. The details of this programme will be available on university and college websites. 

    Extra financial help

    If you’re disabled or have dependants you may be able to get extra financial help. 

    When repayments start

    Full-time students begin repaying student loans in the April after finishing their course, if they earn over £21,000. From 2017 you will be able to earn more than £21,000 before you begin repaying your loan. 

    What you’ll pay back

    If you’re starting a course in 2013/14 you only start paying back your loan when you earn over £21,000. This is subject to approval by Parliament. If you earn less than £21,000 you don’t make any repayments.

    Once you earn over £21,000 you pay nine per cent of your income above £21,000. So if your salary is £25,000, you pay nine per cent of £4,000 which is £30 a month. 

    How long it takes you to repay the loan depends on the size of your loan and how much you earn. If you haven’t paid the loan off after 30 years you won’t need to make any further repayments.

    For more information consult the website at: www.studentfinance.direct.gov.uk