Applying to study in the UK with the UCAS

UCAS (University and Colleges Admission Service) is the online system that all students use to make their dream of studying at university in the UK a reality. Follow the step below to complete your application.


You first task is to register with UCAS. You will need to fill in personal details, as well as additional information: your education so far, any past employment and any work experience related to your choice of degree.

Remember to make sure you have completed each section –the on-screen registration will prompt you to do this. You will also be given your own personal ID Number (a long ten-digit number that is unique to you). Keep this safe as if you have any problems or enquiries, you will need to quote this to UCAS.

Your Course Choices

You can choose five courses. You are not required to indicate a preference yet. If applying to medicine, dentistry or veterinary courses you will be allowed four choices, and if applying to and art and/or design course through Route B, you will be allowed three.

Some courses and universities will ask you to take an admissions test – it depends on the competiveness of the course you’re applying to.

Personal Statement

The Personal Statement is the part that takes the most work. Admissions tutors will read it in detail – it is the most important part of your application.

It is your chance to say something about yourself, and convince the admission tutors of your love for your subject. Pointing out why you have chosen it, what enthuses you and what you have done so far in relation to the subject would be wise.

Be yourself and write about your interests, but make sure you have someone that you can check it over with. Avoid being too chatty or informal; make sure everything you say is concise – you only have 4000 characters. Try to get a college tutor to help you ensure that you have presented yourself in the best light.

Try and include relevant experiences (including any work or non-school activities) and tell the truth - you don’t want to get caught out in an interview. Also, don’t be shy in describing your personal traits - your ambitions, what you are good at, what you enjoy.

Course tutors are trying to judge whether your personality is right for their course, not just whether you have the academic requirements. Try and relax – admissions tutors often choose those who are interested over supposedly cleverer applicants who might not have passion for the subject.


You will need a ‘referee’, which your school or college will normally arrange for you. Schools normally choose your referee as someone who has had a good amount of contact with you in the past.

Schools will give you as good a reference as they possibly can - they obviously want you to succeed so that they look good too. If you are applying independently, you need to find a referee who will be able to supply the required information.

Your referee will tell admissions tutors what your academic performance is likely to achieve (predicted grades), their opinion of your enthusiasm for your chosen subject, and any relevant details that may affect your performance.

It is important that your school, college or independent referee also knows about any other relevant details such as any illnesses, bereavements, parental separation or divorce. Your referee should be familiar with your circumstances.
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