0351f. Preparing a British university electronic application.

Tuesday 6 May 2014
by  G. West

[|How to use the British Universities electronic application system|]

Students often are puzzled by certain questions asked on UCAS and the description below is to help you go through the process while making as few mistakes as possible and having to ask your counselor fewer questions. (Don’t HESITATE to ask questions of course, but DO try to read things and act on your own to save the counselors extra work.) All work must be finished and sent before October 15th (if you are applying in Medicine, Veterinary studies or if one of your choices is Oxford or Cambridge), December 15 (our deadline) NOT their deadline (January 15th) !!! After December 15th we accept helping NO students.

A. Choosing courses.

1. Put "ucas.com" in your browser or go to ucas.

2. Click on "search for courses."

3. On UCAS Undergraduate click on "Search undergraduate and conservatoires courses.

4. For where do you normally live, choose "elsewhere in the EU" in the drop down menu.

5. Enter one or more course names (Example: biology and management if you want to study these two subjects in combined honours. ) You can also enter names of universities but it isn’t really useful because the subject choice alone will give you the whole list of universities that offer such courses. Enter the search button and you’ll have a list of courses closely or loosely related to what you’re looking for.

6. If you want to further limit the offers according to type of provider or whether you want full time, placement (traineeship or company experience), or study abroad, you can click on the filters section on the left.

7. Click on the course name at a university you are interested in and read what it tells you.

8. You can get further information about entry requirements, fees and finance and how to apply by clicking on various tabs. Usually, neither the French bac nor French bac with OIB is listed among entry requirements. Bac International or Bac European are NOT French bac qualifications. But we express our references with conversions in to A levels (ABC) which can give you an idea of whether you meet their requirements.

9. You can eliminate universities if they are too expensive (England £9000 a year, while Scotland is about £1820 a year for people living in France) or in an area you dislike for some reason.

10. If you choose a course, you’ll need the institution and course codes as well as campus codes. It is better to pick 4 (medicine and veterinary) or 5 courses which are not all very highly ranked (because this gives you nothing to fall back on if the top universities don’t give you offers). To compare the prestige and the difficulty of getting into universities go to rankings

B. Writing a personal statement

You have 47 lines or about 4000 characters to tell them who you are, what you want to study and why, what you do to further your interest in this subject outside of class, and why you want to study in Britain. On our website you can find examples of personal statements to give you an idea of how this works, but be sure NOT to copy a personal statement. You can send your personal statement to the counselor to get the counselor’s feedback on what you’ve written before putting it on the site. USE no accents or special characters when preparing a personal statement. The British system doesn’t accept them. Be aware that you should do formatting/lay out only on the Ucas site as most lay-out measures you take aren’t allowed on the site.

C. Applying on line: how to begin

1. Go to www.ucas.com/apply

2. Choose undergraduate.

3. Click on Apply for (the next academic year.)

4. Click on Register.

5. Read the screen carefully then click on next.

6. Read and then accept terms and conditions and then click on next again.

7. Enter title, sex, name and date of birth.

8. Enter non-UK/International for postal address.

9. Enter address and click on next.

10. Enter phone and mail address as well as message preferences. Then next.

11. Create password and security questions and answers. Note these carefully. Then next.

12. Note your user name.

13. Log in. (If you do this immediately, you just click. If you come back later, you will need to use your user name and password.)

14. Choose to apply through a school.

15. Enter the buzzword given to you by the counsellor.

16. Approve the school shown (it SHOULD be ours!)

17. Copy down your personal ID number.

18. Verify your E-mail address.

D. Filling in the various sections

1. Personal information

a. Fill in personal details.

b. On fee code choose 02 if you will need a loan.

c. For first date of entry, if not born in Britain, put the first time you went OR a date in September of the year you will start studying.

d. Normally don’t fill out "nominated access " unless a parent went to a British school.

e. Don’t hesitate to leave things blank that don’t apply to you.

2. Choices

a. In the choices section, enter the 4 or 5 institutions you have chosen, complete with institution codes, course codes, campus codes if applicable;

b. Deferred entry exists only for certain courses (check the institution site for that course) Deferred entry means you apply not for the next academic year, but for the academic year AFTER that. The advantage is that this allows you to do something else next year knowing you already have a place for the following year. It is sometimes NECESSARY if you are under age and is sometimes USEFUL if you want to pursue some personal project. It should never be chosen just to have a rest!

3. Qualifications

a. Add schools. Click on FIND and enter the name without accents. You should find our school in the drop down list. Don’t put an exam center number. Give start and stop dates, click on full time, and put yes for receiving qualifications while at the school.

b. If you need to add other schools (not primary schools, only secondary schools), click on "Find" and type any one letter… then go to the bottom of the page and it will say "my school is not listed here" Click on this and you’ll be able to enter the name of your other school in the box. Save.

c. Under each school, it has a link called "Add qualifications". You click on this to list qualifications acquired while a student at each school (Brevet for college, and while in high school, GCSE, French Bac with OIB, language exams like Cambridge, etc.) For many qualifications you’ll then need to add modules(see e.)

d. Don’t select the French Bac unless you are NOT doing the OIB. Instead, select France Option Internationale du Bac. Give the overall date for the Bac as the date at which the LAST qualification will be acquired.

e. For each qualification, add modules for each exam taken or to be taken:

* On the Brevet, you’ll have the overall mark as well as marks for each exam (Math, French, History-Geography with separate modules for written in French and oral in English if you had an oral, English if international, and Art History, as well as the average of class marks). It’s important to put your Brevet marks because they are viewed like 5 easy GCSEs and are therefore an indicator of your academic abilities.

* For the France OIB add separate modules for written and oral exams. Put dates and marks for exams already taken but just future date for exams not yet taken. Use the exact title on each module which the counselor used on your reference for these modules (except that you separate written and oral modules ) For example, you DON’T just put English Literature. You put "OIB English Literature British A levels written" and "OIB English Literature British A levels oral." You DON’T just put Mathematics if you’re in S. You put "Mathematics A level equivalent". Find a way to abbreviate especially long titles without losing the meaning. For example, you might put "Economics-Social Sciences A level equiv. (specialty)"

*Remember as well to find in the drop down list IGCSE or GCSE (Edexcel version) "English Language A" if you’ve taken it as this is more convincing for the British than other language qualifications (which you should ALSO put however…)

f. Enter Below honours level qualifications and save the section.

4. Personal Statement

a. Having prepared this in advance, enter your personal statement and save it.

5. Employment

a. If you have had a job, give the name and address of the company.

b. It is good to mention the job in your personal statement if it was pertinent to your course choices.

E. Submitting the application.

When all sections are marked as complete, verify with the counselor that it is all correct and then send and pay with your parents’ credit card. If the counselor sees, after you’ve sent the form, that there is a mistake, he or she will send it back to you with instructions on what to correct and you send it again. Even if it asks you to pay again when you resend, you will NOT be paying twice in reality. The fee was £23 last year.

Our school code is 48017, but this is NOT the exam center code. We don’t have one that applies for Britain.

Meanwhile, the advisor will enter his reference for you. It is essential to go see the References article to download forms to give to ALL 1ère teachers. After teachers give the forms to the advisor, he or she will write a synthesis which he or she will enter as a reference for you. The advisor also needs you to fill out the student dossier (download it from the overview article.)

F. Responding to offers, adjusting if results are better, seeking new offers.

Once an application is marked as sent, this signifies the applicant has completed his or her part of the application and no further changes can be made. The advisor then checks the application and approves it or sends it back to you for corrections (in which case you have to go back to EDIT, correct things, remark them as finished and send it again...) This must all be completed by the advisor’s deadline (December 15th.)

After this you will have to wait for offers and can follow any offers made on "track" with the number they give you.

Once you have all your answers (offers or rejections) you must, before the deadline they give you, answer and keep only two : a. firm acceptance (the place you want to go most whose offer you believe you can meet), and b. insurance (a place where the offer is easier to meet and where you ALSO want to go.) Any other offers must be declined at this point.

If you get NO offers, you can try EXTRA. Before July, if you have no offers or have turned them all down, you can go on UCAS EXTRA and look for available spots one at a time and wait each time for them to answer... obviously aiming for universities with somewhat less demanding requirements.

If you still get no offers or on the bac you don’t meet the requirements asked for in the offers, you can go to Clearing. Due to students accepting at one university and declining other offers, many places become available starting in mid-August after A level results are released and again you apply for one place at a time and wait for an answer (usually it only takes a few days each time...)

Finally, if you do MUCH better on the bac than your predictions, you can try ADJUSTMENT where you apply for more ambitious universities. But don’t let go of your other offers until you have called these universities and checked out how adjustment works.

There are a variety of videos to help explain the various UCAS procedures.

Moreover, if you are an art or design or theater student, there are conservatories you may apply to through CUKAS, but this usually requires submitting a portfolio by CD or USB key or going for an audition.

Finally, please realize that if you miss the deadlines, the advisor will NOT make exceptions for you and you will be out of the process.