WHAT IS UCAS?
UCAS is the central organisation through which most university applications are made.
As a student, you apply to UCAS and they forward your application on to your chosen universities. The benefit for students is that you only make one application which can be sent to up to 5 different universities.
The fee for this is paid direct to UCAS and is £22.50 if you are making an application to 1 university or £27 if you applying to more than one university. AOLL does not cover the cost of your UCAS application.
Some universities will require you to make a direct application, bypassing UCAS. If this is the case, this information will be provided on the university's web page.
- 25 January 2023 - UCAS deadline for applications
- 30 June 2023 - UCAS deadline for late applications with course choices
- Applications after 30 June will be entered into clearing
As part of your course fees AOLL will provide full support through one application cycle. This includes:
- Checking of UCAS form
- Proof-reading of personal statement
Should you require support from AOLL for additional application cycles, an additional basic admin fee will apply, so consider carefully when you apply.
You are only advised to apply for 2023 entry once you have achieved a minimum of 15 credits.
Statistics show that students who apply with fewer than 15 achieved credits are less likely to complete for June moderation deadlines and are then unable to meet the conditions of offers and lose their university place.
HOW TO FILL IN THE FORM
It's really important that your form is filled in with accuracy. Failure to list the right qualifications, for example, could jeopardize your chance of being invited for interview. Smaller mistakes such as spelling and grammatical errors can give a bad first impression.
AOLL will provide you with a comprehensive guide which will take you through each stage of the application step-by-step to ensure it's filled in with accuracy.
Your personal statement is the most important aspect of your application. It's your chance to demonstrate your knowledge, commitment and suitability for your chosen course.
It may take many weeks, or even months, for you to perfect your statement so start as early as possible.
AOLL provide support with your statement through the Researching and Understanding Opportunities in Higher Education unit and we also have dedicated personnel to provide additional support.
Each university will have different requirements, even for the same courses, so you must check with each individual university what their requirements are.
You can work out how many Pass, Merit and Distinction grades you need to meet the amount of UCAS points your chosen universities require here.
You will also need to ensure that your study plan has the correct subjects on - your personal tutor can help ensure this after your enrolment.
As well as having entry requirements for the access course, there will also be additional requirements relating to:
- Work Experience
- Personal Qualities
- Special access requirements (for example, some Welsh universities require the access course to have a two hour supervised exam - if this is applicable to you, please ensure you let your tutor know at the start of your course so that it can be arranged).
LITERACY AND NUMERACY TEST
You may be required to sit a literacy and numeracy test as part of the selection process. There are many practice tests available online to help you revise and prepare.
Interviews, along with your personal statement, form a huge part of the selection process. If you are invited for an interview make sure to respond appropriately if they ask to confirm your attendance by a certain date, failure to do so could result in the invitation being withdrawn. AOLL have a dedicated area on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which will provide some support and guidance to help you prepare for university interviews.
Q. How much does it cost to apply via UCAS?
A. £22.40 to apply to one university and £27 to apply to more than one (to a maximum of 5).
Q. Can you apply to different courses?
A. You can, but it makes writing your personal statement difficult. It's hard to show commitment if you're undecided over which career path to follow. Although different universities won't know where else you have applied, if you apply for two courses at the same university it could be the same admissions tutor looking at both applications.
Q. What's the difference between applying via AOLL and applying independently?
A. If you apply via AOLL you have the benefit of your form being checked prior to being sent and will also receive an academic reference.
Q. What is an academic reference?
A. In simple terms, a reference from your AOLL tutor which will pass on information regarding your academic performance. Some students prefer to use an employer reference and if this is the case, you'll need to apply independently in order to be able to add your own referee details.
Q. What are UCAS Tariff Points
A. This is a score calculated from the grades you achieve in your Access to HE Units. If you obtain distinctions in all graded units you will have 144 tariff points. To see some examples of how tariff points are calculated see our:
Access to HE UCAS Tariff Points Calculator
Q. When should I apply?
A. This largely depends on when you want to start university. The cycles open in September each year and carry on accepting applications through to June, although anything submitted after the deadline in January is classed as a late application. If you are unsure when is best to apply, call up prospective universities to see what they prefer.
View here to see the universities that have a January intake
Listen to our students' experience about how they applied to university with AOLL and their fantastic achievements: