Create an account with UCAS, you may be offered support to do this in school.
Input your personal details and qualifications to date.
Think about your skills and experiences to date for writing a personal statement.
Have a look at prospective university and courses by browsing the UCAS website and university prospectuses.
There is no overall best university to go to, this is subjective. Different universities will have different faculties, courses, and specialties.
For example, the university with the highest rated business school may not offer any medical courses.
Similarly, each university will have its own culture for staff and students. One that may be the best choice for someone else may not be the best fit for you.
There are official university rankings published they will not necessarily reflect these subtle and subjective factors.
Exploring your options by visiting university campuses through open days can help you decide upon the best university for you.
Don’t panic, this is not the end of the road – you have several options, including alternative pathways into Higher Education:
College – You could apply to a study at HNC or HND level at college, the work in these courses is equivalent to early years university work and can allow you to study at university in future.
Articulation – This can provide a direct pathway from college to university, moving directly from studying an HNC or HND into studying your degree, progressing directly into second or third year of your degree.
Clearing – Many university courses may have places which have not yet been filled. You can apply for these courses through UCAS. This year Clearing is open from 5 July to 17 October 2023.
It could be good to start thinking about your statement at the end of S4 or S5 and think about what experience you have already had or where you could gain some more experience to be able to demonstrate the key skills needed for your course. You don’t need to start writing your personal statement until the year you are applying, but we would recommend you start planning it in September and start to write a draft before the Christmas holidays if you course deadline is in January, but remember if your deadline is earlier in October we would recommend you starting a draft in September so you can get it checked before your submission.
No, many people will go to college or university without a clear long-time path and complete their studies successfully.
It does help to have a vision for the future, particularly within vocational or high demand courses, but you do not have to have worked out the next 10 years of your life in detail when you apply.
Studying your chosen subject at college or university can often be the perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge of career prospects and work out your long-term plan.