There are 3 documents that all students applying to the UK for undergraduate courses through UCAS will require. Some courses like arts courses will require additional things such as a portfolio. Let’s discuss the three things that all students will require and how to prepare them.
Each student has to write a personal statement as a part of their UCAS application. This personal statement is restricted to 4000 characters (including spaces!) and 47 lines. This is the only place that the admissions officer can get to know you as a person, so use it wisely!
Your personal statement should be focused on you and the course you are applying for. Don’t explain in your statement what the course will cover, they already know that! Rather, discuss what you have recently done that has gotten you interested in this course, gained you some knowledge about this course or helped you develop some skills relevant to this course. If you open up the course page on the university’s website you will find some information about what they are looking for in a personal statement. Incorporate what they are looking for into your personal statement. You are trying to sell yourself for this course to this university, so remember to show all your skills and accomplishments in relation to the course or to the university.
Write your personal statement in a word document, instead of directly typing it in their online submission box because it will close in 35 minutes. However, when you are about to submit your personal statement, do not directly copy and paste it from word. Copy it into text edit or a similar platform and then copy it from there. This is because doing it directly from word will add extra lines and characters that may cause your personal statement to become to long. And it may also cause an error or your browser to crash.
High School Transcripts
For those who take the International Baccalaureate, A-levels, AS-levels, or any similar standardized courses, you will have to apply to the UK based on predicted grades as your results will only come out after decisions are made. For those applying with just the high school diploma, your school will need to send a transcript of your high school courses, grades and an explanation of the grading system/boundaries in English to UCAS.
Before you submit your application, make sure that your grades meet the minimum grade requirements that all UK universities publish on their website for the respective courses. If your grades are below their minimum, you will most likely be rejected from the university.
For those of you applying with predicted grades, your teacher referee will have to upload them onto UCAS before you can submit your application. You will also receive a conditional offer (if any offer) from the university, as opposed to an unconditional offer. Meaning that you will have to achieve a certain grade (set by the university) in your final results for them to take you on.
Your teacher referee is one of the most important parts of your application. Be very careful when deciding which teacher to write your referee. Not every teacher will write you a positive report. What to look for in a teacher referee:
- Someone who teaches a subject similar to the one you are applying for
- Someone who knows you very well
- Someone who knows what you do outside of his/her classroom
- Someone who is fluent in English
Make sure you talk to your referee about the letter and discuss what the universities you are applying to are looking for.