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Pro Tips for the UCAS helpline callers
Undergraduate learning education is one of the fastest growing tertiary courses available in the UK and is fast being recognised as the stepping stone to a great career.
UCAS will assist you in finding the right course for you, whether you are just thinking about going to university, know what you want to study, keeping your option open for distant learning, seeking alternatives to higher education, want to check out some open days before you make a commitment or you’re an international student and want to explore your opportunities here in the UK.
If you are not from the UK, you will need a Student visa – Tier 4. Unless you are an EEA or a Swiss citizen.
When applying through Visas and Immigration, you will need to prove a proficiency in speaking and understanding the English language.
Frequently asked questions by the callers of the UCAS telephone number
How do I get started with finding out more about UCAS?
The best route to take when you start out is to sign up for the monthly newsletter.
From the website you’ll be able to navigate to the “how-to” videos and head to the student bloggers section to get a different perspective. You can also download the UCAS app – available for iPhone and Android.
Also, check UCAS out on social media for updates, news and advice or call UCAS directly.
What are my next steps if I am seriously considering going to university?
Research research research! Those are the main goals you should have in mind now.
Here are some steps to consider:
- Get information on open days and any events that universities might be having
- Find out about course entry requirements and learn your limitations
- Find out when your application need to be done by
- Find out about what you will need to study on the different courses
When do I need to apply by?
There are some courses that start up to a year in advance, so beginning the academic start early is essential in some situations.
What are the advantages of distance learning?
Over the years this type of learning has become popular as lives have become busier and more and more people understand that education should be open to everyone and not just certain people at certain times of their lives.
There are full-time, part-time and work combinations for you to think about and research, it’s mostly about finding what’s right for you and sticking to it.
You can also tailor make courses for fit in with tough schedules and responsibilities.
Higher education through distance learning is a great way for mature students to get into a better career or even gain points to study somewhere else.
Can I get financial support for studying with UCAS?
Yes, you can apply for a student loan. This is a big commitment, so you’ll need to be sure about your choices.
Four main points to consider are:
- Will you be able to repay the loan after you’ve completed the studies?
- What are the actual costs and the cost of living involved with being a new student?
- Can you apply for extra funding such as bursaries, scholarships, etc..
- What are the actual costs and the cost of living involved with being a new student?
If you have additional queries call the UCAS contact number on this page and speak with a helpline advisor.
How do I apply for a degree on UCAS?
The first thing that you will be required to do is register for the UCAS service online. After that you must complete your application or applications if you’re applying for more than one education programme.
You must ensure that you do this according to the deadlines for your chosen institution, as many different institutions have different deadlines for their courses.
How much does it cost to apply for an undergraduate programme?
It costs thirteen pounds to apply for a single course, although if you elect to apply for five courses then you will only be liable to pay a flat rate of twenty four pounds.
What are entry requirements?
These are the things that you have to be able to achieve to enter into the educational course you are choosing.
While they vary from institution to institution and course to course, usually they will be for a minimum grade in a qualification like A levels, the International Baccalaureate, or another equivalent domestic or international qualification.
They can also look for other things like work experience, internships, or a personal statement and/or interview.
What are UCAS points?
UCAS points are based on a tariff that UCAS has devised to standardise qualifications. Different grades in qualifications ilke A levels attract different numbers.
The highest grades get the most points, the lowest grades get the least points.
It’s worth noting that while your qualifications may not attract UCAS points, they may still be applicable or accepted by the institution you’re applying for. Call the UCAS number with additional queries.
What happens once I’ve completed my application and registered?
After you’ve done this and filled out your application you will get a confirmation email from UCAS detailing the actions you’ve taken and your account details.
You will then need to wait until your application has been processed and a decision has been made by the university or college on whether your application is accepted or not.
You may be notified of the decision by email or may have to log in to your account to track your progress. If you believe there is an issue causing a delay contact UCAS customer service for additional help.
What is a personal statement that I have to provide for UCAS?
Some courses will require that you provide a personal statement, and you may have to write a separate one or a general one depending on what courses you apply to.
If you’re applying for a similar course (e.g. Media Studies) at several universities then you may wish to use a fairly similar personal statement with just a few details changed.
A personal statement goes along with your grades and other academic information to help the university, school or college make a decision about whether or not to admit you for your chosen programme.
Normally the personal statement includes some information about yourself, including why you wish to study the subject you’ve chosen and also perhaps some reflections or information on what you know about the subject already.
It’s good to mention things like motivation, eventual career plans, and why you’re interested in the subject you’ve chosen, as this can increase the likelihood of your application being accepted.
How long is my personal statement for UCAS?
UCAS do not set a strict word limit, however, there is a limit on the amount of lines.
This is 47 lines which you have to type your personal statement. In practice, this works out to approximately four thousand characters.
Do I need to talk about my grades in my personal statement?
No, it is not necessary to talk about your academic qualifications or the grades you have obtained or are planning to obtain in your personal statement, as this is contained within a separate section of your UCAS profile and the university or college will receive this information anyway.
If you have additional academic information that you’d like the admissions tutor to see then you may consider asking one of your referees to include it in their reference for you.
What is clearing?
If you do not receive conditional or unconditional offers from any of your chosen universities then it is always possible for you to obtain a place through a process known as clearing.
Clearing is the way in which colleges and universities fill empty places on their courses by offering them up to those who wish to take them.
This is a win-win situation as it encourages people to find a place at university and universities with open course places are able to fill them.
If you apply after 30 June, or applied earlier but did not receive any offers you wanted, or received no offers at all, then you may be able to secure a place at a university to study a course you’d like to study based on clearing.
This also applied if you didn’t meet the conditions of your offers, in the case that your grades were below what was required and your university will not accept you anyway.
You will need to access the UCAS search tool, and then update regularly to see what clearing places arise.
When you find one that you’d like to apply to, follow the guidance on screen. It is also possible you will need to talk to a UCAS customer services representative over the phone at a point during this process.
You may wish to consider taking a different subject or course, and being flexible in where you go to study. If you are able to do this, then you stand a much greater chance of getting a place to study at a university through clearing.
What is the difference between a conditional and unconditional offer?
When you apply to a university, you may receive one of two kinds of offer, or your application may be rejected. If you receive a conditional offer, it means that the university is offering you a place provided that you meet some criteria – normally this means provided that you get the grades that you are predicted to get by your school or college.
If you receive an unconditional offer, it means that you are being accepted without any conditions, based on what you have got in terms of qualifications already. Usually this applies to those who are applying after taking a gap year and already know for sure what their grades are, as they did the exams the previous year.
You can accept or decline a conditional and an unconditional offer. Speak with a representative at the UCAS phone number above if you have other queries.
What is a firm choice and what is an insurance choice?
If you’ve been accepted or have received offers from two universities or more then you may need to make a decision about which one you are prioritising.
This is where the ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ choices come into play. Your first choice should be your firm choice, meaning that provided you meet the criteria that you need to meet, this is definitely the university that you want to go to.
Your insurance choice is essentially your second choice, that you will go to should you not be able to go to your firm choice. It’s worth taking time to think about these before you select which is firm and which is insurance.