Apr 222015

Applying to the UK next year? UK universities put a lot of emphasis on subjects studied and on the marks you receive. In addition, your application needs to convey the following:

  • That you understand what you want to study, and
  • That you are an intellectually  curious student who goes beyond required assignments.

Once your exams are finished, be sure that your summer plans include preparing to apply to university.

Get an overview of what a successful application needs

Watch this great video. (Phew! Got all that?) Spend some time poking around on the UCAS website.

Investigate courses to understand what they involveuk-higher-education-M11741

Not sure which course is for you? Start with subject guides on the Which? University website.  If a subject sounds like it might be interesting, then continue your investigation into course descriptions for specific universities on both Which?University and UCAS. Be sure to read about interesting courses for more than one university to see how they differ.

Get involved in supercurricular activities related to your subjects

Supercurricular activities take you deeper into an academic subject, and range from outside reading to volunteering on an archaeological dig. Use some of these ideas and resources to decide on one or more projects for this summer. Your goal is to deepen your understanding of your subject, both to confirm your choice and so that you can write a compelling UCAS personal statement.

Understand what makes an effective UCAS personal statement

There are many great resources about writing effective UCAS personal statements but I have found Paul Telfer’s book is extremely practical and has great examples. Start taking notes on ideas for what you will write now and it will speed your process later. (Note that you can download a Kindle reader to almost any computer, smart phone, or tablet so that you won’t have to wait for the book to arrive in the mail.)

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