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Higher Education. Getting into competitive Universities and courses. Angela Milln Academic Registrar. Preparing Students for the Most Competitive Universities and Subjects. What do we mean by competitive universities and subjects? Sizing up the competition Application tactics Questions.

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Higher education

Higher Education

Getting into competitive Universities and courses

Angela Milln

Academic Registrar


Preparing students for the most competitive universities and subjects

Preparing Students for the Most Competitive Universities and Subjects

  • What do we mean by competitive universities and subjects?

  • Sizing up the competition

  • Application tactics

  • Questions


Most popular universities 2009 entry

Most Popular Universities 2009 Entry


Most popular subjects 2009 entry

Most Popular Subjects 2009 Entry


Admissions at bristol subject variations

Admissions at Bristol – subject variations


Imagine you re an admissions tutor

Male, aged 18 on entry.

Good profile of GCSEs.

Predicted 3 As at A-level & Extended project.

Head Boy at School

Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold award

Work experience in local GP surgery

Female, aged 19 on entry.

Good profile of GCSEs.

Predicted 36 points in IB

Young Leader with Brownies

Gap year through Operation Raleigh

Work experience in local hospital

Imagine…you’re an admissions tutor


What about

Female, aged 21 on entry.

Lives within 3 miles of the University, with childcare needs.

Good profile of GCSEs.

Recently completed access course with glowing reference from college.

Personal statement full of life experience.

What about…


Selecting for high demand courses taken as read

Selecting for High demand courses - Taken as read!

  • That you will

  • Submit a legible UCAS form

  • Apply by the specified closing date

  • Have an appropriate subject background

  • Have predicted grades matching the stated requirements

  • Provide evidence of appropriate skills &/or relevant work experience

  • Demonstrate a range of extra-curricular interests & responsibilities


Applying for high demand courses going the extra mile

Applying for High Demand courses - Going the extra mile…

  • Qualifications

    • Can you add value e.g through the extended project?

  • Research

    • The market

    • The course

    • The selection criteria(not just the standard grades

    • Actual grades of successful applicants


Applying for high demand courses going the extra mile1

Applying for High Demand courses - Going the extra mile…

NOT “I am an avid reader”

BUT “I have recently been reading (giveexamples….. which interested me greatly because (give reasons)”NOT “I am really, really enthusiastic about...”

BUT “In May, I attended a conference on....

  • Read around the subject

  • Tailor your application

    • EVIDENCE of close fit with selection criteria

    • Motivation and commitment


Supporting applications to high demand courses

Supporting applications to High Demand courses

  • Personal Statements

  • ARE important

  • Should be the student’s own work!

  • Originality can – but may not – help!

  • References

  • Make sure you are aware of any potential conflicts with the rest of your application!


Supporting applications to high demand courses1

Supporting applications to High Demand courses

  • Be realistic

  • Is your application a non-starter?

  • Do you have a back-up plan in place?

  • Be prepared for disappointment

  • And finally…

Have a go!


Higher education1

Higher Education

Getting into competitive Universities and courses

Angela Milln

Academic Registrar


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