The university option
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The University Option. Dr Tony Barnhill. Why Go to University ?. Many university courses offer vocational degrees that are directly related to particular work areas e.g. accountancy, physiotherapy, social work.

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The University Option

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The university option

The University Option

Dr Tony Barnhill


Why go to university

Why Go to University ?

  • Many university courses offer vocational degrees that are directly related to particular work areas e.g. accountancy, physiotherapy, social work.

  • A higher education qualification is essential for some careers like medicine, chartered engineering and architecture.

  • A degree can improve chances of getting a fulfilling job and achieving financial potential.

  • Universities bring together students from a variety of backgrounds.

  • Higher education develops important transferable skills, which can give your son or daughter an edge in the fast-changing world of employment.

  • Undertaking a higher education course gives applicants time to fully consider their future career.

  • Source: UCAS


Which university

Which university ?

  • Things to consider

  • Your son or daughter should consider two issues when choosing where to go: the institution and its location.

  • Universities and colleges come in different 'styles': some are based at more than one campus, whereas others are on one site; some are formal and academic and others are more modern and relaxed. The location can have a big impact upon their experiences.

  • Attend an open day

  • Open days are one of the best ways to discover the good and bad points of a place - they will give your son or daughter an idea of what is on offer, and a chance to see if they will feel comfortable spending three or four years at the institution.

  • Consider costs

  • Tuition fees vary significantly across the UK and Ireland – NI is

  • currently highly competitive with fees of only £3,465 p.a.

  • Source: UCAS


Which university continued

Which university ? (CONTINUED)

  • Which is the best university or college?

  • Different places suit different people, so it depends what your son or daughter is looking for.

  • The Quality Assurance Agency carries out external reviews

  • The Unistats website contains statistics and reports including the new Key Information Sets (KIS) which allow comparison of courses across institutions

  • The Sunday Times University Guide rates universities against certain criteria – but use league tables with care !

  • The Complete University Guide is an interactive site where applicants can choose their requirements and create their own unique table.

  • Source: UCAS


Which course

WHICH COURSE ?

  • Which is the best course?

  • Search for courses on the UCAS website

  • A list of available courses is available through the Course Search section of the website: your son or daughter can choose to search by subject, qualification, location, institution, course code and other specific options.

  • This search tool provides Entry Profiles for some courses, which include general information about the course and institution, with links to the institution's website.

  • Admissions tests

  • Some subjects require applicants to take an admissions test for particular institutions.

  • Source: UCAS


Which course continued

WHICH COURSE ? (CONTINUED)

  • Subject combinations

  • If your son or daughter wishes to study more than one subject - they may be able to combine the subjects into one qualification - a lot depends on what they choose to study. Examples of combinations :

  • joint: the two subjects are studied equally, 50%/50%major/minor: the time spent is usually 66%/33% or 75%/25%.

  • Sandwich courses

  • Certain vocational courses require the student to spend a year in industry, working that year as part of the course. This will usually be for the third year of a degree course and, depending on the employer, may be full-time paid employment.

  • The purpose of this is to introduce students to the world of work, whilst gaining valuable experience in a profession.

  • Source: UCAS


The ucas process

THE UCAS PROCESS

  • All applications for entry to full-time undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the UK must be made through UCAS - the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

  • The UCAS process:

  • APPLYING

  • Applicant makes up 5 course choices (at same university or at different universities) + Personal Statement - using online UCAS Apply system

  • Normal cost for 2013 entry is £23 (if only 1 course choice - £12)

  • School or college adds Referenceand application is transmitted to UCAS

  • UCAS sends acknowledgement to applicant for checking

  • UCAS sends copies of application to all universities chosen

  • Each university makes decision on application(s)


The ucas process continued

THE UCAS PROCESS (CONTINUED)

  • DECISIONS BY UNIVERSITIES

  • Unconditional offer – where entry conditions have already been met (most often where examinations have been completed in a previous year)

  • Conditional offer – where entry conditions still have to be met (this being by far the most common offer made i.e. where examinations have yet to be taken)

  • Unsuccessful – where the university is unable to make any offer

  • ACTIONS BY APPLICANT

  • After decisions are received from all universities, applicant decides which TWO to keep – any other offers are declined. Applicant replies online via “UCAS Track”.

  • The 1st choice offer is retained as the “Conditional Firm” (or C/F) choice

  • The 2nd choice offer is retained as the “Conditional Insurance” (or C/I) choice

  • The C/I choice should normally have LOWER entry requirements than the C/F


The ucas process continued1

THE UCAS PROCESS (CONTINUED)

  • At all times, applicants can check on the status of their application using UCAS Track

  • UCAS will also back-up important decisions with written confirmation e.g. a summary of all decisions made by universities once these have all been made

  • CONFIRMATION OF PLACES

  • After results are published, universities confirm/do not confirm places

  • If applicant has met or exceeded the conditions of their offer the university MUST confirm the place and accept the applicant

  • If the applicant has NOT met the conditions, the university may not confirm the place, however…………………………………..


The ucas process continued2

THE UCAS PROCESS (CONTINUED)

  • If the applicant narrowly misses the requirements, the university may still confirm the C/F place – but this depends on other factors

  • Alternatively, where possible, a university may make a changed course offerto another similar course with lower entry requirements (applicants are not obliged to accept any changed course offer)

  • If neither of the above, the applicant may have his/her place confirmed on their C/I course if those requirements have been met

  • If this is not possible, then once again, a changed course offer may be made

  • If none of the above, then the applicant may enter CLEARING


The ucas process continued3

THE UCAS PROCESS (CONTINUED)

  • CLEARING

  • Clearing is a sub-system of UCAS which aims to match unplaced applicants with unfilled places

  • Available places are advertised by universities in the media and on the UCAS website (with entry requirements)

  • Applicants who are not holding any offers make direct contact with universities (one at a time) to negotiate a place

  • Fewer places are available in Clearing in recent years


The ucas process continued4

THE UCAS PROCESS (CONTINUED)

  • KEY UCAS DATES (2012/13 admissions cycle)

  • 15 October 2012 – UCAS deadline for applications to Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science/Medicine – and for all courses at Oxford and Cambridge

  • 15 January 2013 - UCAS deadline for all courses (except those with a 15 October deadline and for Art & Design courses with a 24 March deadline)

  • 24 March 2013 - UCAS deadline for some Art & Design courses (except those with a 15 January deadline)

  • 30 June 2013 - Applications received after this date are automatically entered into Clearing.


The cao process

The cao process

  • All applications for entry to full-time undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the Republic of Ireland must be made through CAO - the Central Admissions Office

  • The CAO process is significantly different to that for UCAS and NI pupils may make applications through both in the same year of entry

  • Applicants choose up to 10 degree level (level 8) courses and place these in strict order of preference in their application form (normally online)

  • In addition, applicants can choose up to 10 diploma level (levels 6/7) courses


The cao process continued

The cao process (continued)

  • Normal closing date for submission of applications is 1 February 2013, with a fee of €40

  • Where an earlier online application is submitted by 20 January 2013, there is a discounted fee of €25

  • RoI universities operate rating schemes for applicants (who have met minimum entry requirements) after examination results are known in summer

  • A list of applicants for each course is compiled in order of merit - where the applicant with the highest score appears at the top


The cao process continued1

The cao process (continued)

  • The number of places available on each course will dictate how many applicants are include in the above list

  • Potentially, an applicant with a high score (i.e. good exam grades) could appear within the order of merit listings for a number of their chosen courses within say, their degree choices. However, only one offer will be made – i.e. for their highest preference choice

  • The applicant may also get a second, single offer as a result of their parallel diploma level choices – exactly the same process takes place as with the degree choices

  • In any event, only one offer can be finally accepted by the applicant in summer i.e. either from their degree choices or their diploma choices


The cao process continued2

The cao process (continued)


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