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UCAS

UCAS are the body who control University Applications across the United Kingdom. You can access their informative website on www.ucas.ac.uk/

UCAS Application Form – Step By Step Guide

Go to www.ucas.ac.uk

Click on Apply on the left hand side. See below:

UCAS screen print

You need to register with UCAS to allow you to begin your application. Click the register link for the correct year of entry to university. You only need to register the first time you start a UCAS application.

This will open a new window. Click register if you are a new user.

Follow the instructions to register and it will give you your username. You should take a note of this as you need it to log-in to your form again.  See below for an example:

UCAS screen print

You can choose to log in now or go back to the UCAS homepage.

It will now supply you with your Personal ID. You should keep a note of this in case you need to contact UCAS before you have finished the form.

This is the front screen of the application:

UCAS screen print

Now click on the boxes on the left hand side to begin your form. The first boxes are what the universities wish to know about you: Personal Details, Additional Information, Choices, Education, Employment and Statement need to be finished before you are allowed to Pay/Send. The Key list on lower left of screen tells you the symbols which will go against each Section, and show you what you still have to do.

Reference

It is your responsibility to ask your lead lecturer, if he/she will provide you with a reference.

Please note a change - Your form cannot be Sent until the Reference is completed, so do this right after you have Registered and Logged in to the form. Enter the contact details he/she has given you, then Save, then go back to the bottom of the Reference section and click to Send Reference request. Please let us know if you need any help by:-

  • e-mail on CareersServices@abcol.ac.uk
  • attend a drop-in session (details on StudentNet Calendar)
  • calling in at SG7
  • telephoning us on 01224 612271 or 01224612228, if you require assistance

UCAS screen print

Remember the red save button at the end of the section.

Personal Details

This is a straightforward section. You need to input your address and contact details, as well as any criminal sentences or disabilities you may have.

Your email address needs to be verified before you send your application to UCAS. The e-mail may not arrive from UCAS for around 2 hours at peak times, but please remember it is essential to do this.

It will also ask you about your nationality. You need to confirm whether the United Kingdom is your permanent home. It also will ask if you have dual nationality – unless you have two passports you will not have dual nationality; it is not a section in which to write you are Scottish.

If you are unsure about what a question means you can click on the question mark box next to each question for help.

If you are being funded through SAAS you need to choose 02 in the Funding Section.  In the second box you need to use the Drop down Menu and choose Student AA Scotland option as shown:-

UCAS screen print

Remember to save each section as you complete it - there is a red save button at the end of each section (you may need to scroll down on each page).

As soon as you finish this section, another section for Additional Information appears below it.

Additional information

Activities in preparation for higher education: Only complete this section if you came through the North Forum or Summer School. Otherwise leave it blank.

Parental education is asking if a parent has been to university before or not.  Please ensure you complete this section.

Choices

This is where you need to enter what courses you are applying for. You can apply for up to five (5) different courses and universities.

Click on Add a Choice and this opens a new window.

UCAS screen print

Click on the 'See List' boxes next to each question to help you find the right course and university.

The Start Date will be September 2012 unless you intend to take a gap year.

The Point of Entry is what year you intend to enter into.  If you have completed an HND and you know you can progress directly into third year of the university course you enter a 3.

If you have completed an HND/HNC and you can access into second year you enter a 2: details are in the back of the paper prospectus.

Remember to save each section as you complete it - there is a red save button at the end of each section. (you may need to scroll down on each page).

Education

This is where you enter your qualifications you have already, and the ones you are currently studying for at Aberdeen College.

Click on Add a New School/College. This will open a new window.

UCAS screen print

Use the 'find' button to help you find the college. You should put your most recent first – so your course at Aberdeen College should be entered first.

Once you have added this you can add what qualifications you are doing now. Click on Add Qualifications. Choose what you have got – HND/HNC/Highers/Other.

If you are entering your HND details you need to add the title and course code of your HND and also of EACH unit in the whole course. You can get a list of all your unit titles and codes from your Guidance Tutor.

Please be sure if they ask for unit number before the title that you enter it that way!

You can click on the box 'add another module' to add all your modules.

If you have not yet finished a unit you can leave the result box blank.

You need to save what you have done and save again at the end of the education section or you can lose all the modules you have just entered!
If you have completed a Non Advanced course at Aberdeen College you can also add that qualification. Go into add qualifications and then choose Other Courses (Scottish) under qualifications, and add all your modules.

When you put the results in from school, and then add a new school/college (as above) and go through the same process for each school/college/course you have done.

Remember to save each section as you complete it - there is a red save button at the end of each section (you may need to scroll down on each page).

Employment

This is a straightforward section. Remember to put your work experience in reverse chronological order – your most recent job first and then any previous ones after that. 

If you have had no employers or voluntary work, please tick section completed box.

You can enter up to 5 employers – just click on add an employer. This opens another window:

UCAS screen print

Your Employer Name should be the name of the company you work for i.e. Tesco, not your manager’s name.

The Job Description is asking for your Job Title, not what duties you carry out.

Remember to save each section as you complete it - there is a red save button at the end of each section (you may need to scroll down on each page).

Personal Statement

This is the most important section of the whole form. This is where the universities of your choice get to find out about you and why they should offer you a place on one of their courses.

Please read on to see how to write a winning personal statement.

UCAS screen print

You should write it in a separate word document and use the spell and grammar checker and proof read your work; a badly worded and spelled personal statement could damage your application.  Do this before you cut and paste it to the section on the UCAS form.

The UCAS form can time out and if you have not saved what you have done you will lose it.

Writing a great personal statement

One of the most difficult parts of the UCAS form is writing the personal statement and it can be hard to write about yourself.

As the personal statement is your only chance to sell yourself to the university you need to spend time on this section. You should revise it to get it as good as it can be. It is particularly important for courses which are extremely popular include medicine, law, physiotherapy, social work and teaching to name but a few. The universities rely heavily on the content of the statement and if it is of poor quality you could be rejected at an early stage. Many courses do not interview and you will be selected or rejected purely on the application form.

Why have you chosen this degree?

Why did you enrol on your current course? Did you need more qualifications or did you want to have some experience of a new subject before studying at a higher level?

  • What are you enjoying at College?  How are you coping with e.g. self study, travel and on-going assessments?
  • What is it that interests you about your subject choice and what do you know or have read about it? This is where you can demonstrate that you have knowledge and understanding of the subject chosen.
  • Have you done any further reading or research on the subject?
  • Did you reach your potential in school?  If not, they would like to know. Have you done better since coming to college?
  • Have you made a visit to the university or do you plan to? Showing that you have visited looks good. You can call or email to arrange a visit.
  • What are your career plans after the degree?
  • Skills you have gained from any jobs or work experience – especially if relevant.
  • Any positions of responsibility you have held; such as in school – Buddy schemes, Prefect, or Class Rep; at work or leisure.
  • Why you would be suitable for this degree. You could ask classmates, family and friends.
  • Are there any personal experiences which show aptitude or interest in this subject?
  • Can you prove you are reliable and responsible (evidence of commitment and motivation) e.g. through voluntary work, part-time job or Duke of Edinburgh Award?
  • Do you have transferable skills or interests which could be useful, e.g. speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument or play sports?

Admissions Selectors want your personality to come through as they read it, but it is to be essentially factual, like a mini essay. Admission tutors want students who are enthusiastic and passionate about the subjects they want to study. 

Things that you need to emphasise and give examples of are maturity, ability, commitment and knowledge

Check grammar and spelling for errors as you do not want to appear careless.

Avoid waffle, and keep your sentences short and your meaning clear. Make everything relevant to you application.

They also appreciate a line space between paragraphs as this makes reading easier.

If you need reassurance about the content of your statement, please come along to either a Careers Drop-In clinic (see Student.Net Calendar for details).  or arrange an appointment – contact LearnerServices Reception or ring them on 01224 612284 to confirm times. Bring along what you have written andwe can build on that to help you progress.

Remember to save each section as you complete it - there is a red save button at the end of each section (you may need to scroll down on each page). 

Pay/Send

Once you have completed your whole form, and you are happy with what you have done, you submit it by clicking on Pay/Send. You can only pay once you have completed the whole form, and you only need pay once.

You need to have a debit or credit card to pay for your application.  The cost is £11 for one choice or £22 for 2 to 5 choices.

Please check you have verified your e-mail address.

Frequently Asked Questions

It says I need a buzzword – what’s that?
You do not need a buzzword as you are applying an individual. You will only be asked for a buzzword if you have accidentally inputted you are applying through the college. Amend this and you will not need one.

What’s the BTEC number?
You will not have a BTEC number unless you attended school in England. There is a separate section for Scottish Candidate Numbers.

What’s this bit about nominated access?
You can nominate someone to accept a place if you are going away on a gap year in case you were unable to log in yourself to accept a place.