Throughout the students’ time in Sixth Form we aim to provide our them with the necessary information and advice on how to plan for their future. Some students may already know what they want to do or some may need a little help in understanding the different options open to them. We have a team of experienced tutors to provide individual advice through the PSHE scheme and academic monitoring, as well as a number of external presenters from the Step Up Programme to help give you specific and up to date information.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) in the UK coordinates and supports the process of applying for undergraduate degree courses. Each year over 75% of our students apply to University through UCAS. Time is spent in school developing both students’ and parents’ understanding of the process. This begins with a UCAS Launch Evening at the end of April and continues through the Summer Term and into the Autumn Term of Year 13.
A copy of the information provided for Parents and Students for 2017 can be downloaded here:
Life after Sixth Form: Options, Choices and where to find out more
Each student will be provided with their own log in to the UCAS website that links their application with the School. More information about UCAS is available on their website www.ucas.com
There are many websites that offer good advice on applying to University, including Russell Group and other universities. A good example of this is www.russellgroup.org/InformedChoices-latest.pdf. It details subject combinations that are needed or useful for particular areas of study. This site will also advise students on what ‘other tests’ may need to be taken to support an application, for example the UKCAT (UK Clinical Attitude Test) for medical biosciences, the LNAT (law), the MAT (maths), the CAT (Classics) and the TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment).
If interested in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary science – pay particular attention to the individual requirements of the universities – tests that may be needed to have been completed, and note the application deadline dates.
Part of the research when applying to any university should be to read the league tables - as well as looking at the position overall, also look at the position of the subject that is being applied for. Look at teacher/student ratio, employment rates, student satisfaction rates etc. A useful website for this is www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/universities/choosing-the-right-university/
Personal Statement Writing
When applying though UCAS, every student is expected to write a Personal Statement. Along with the student’s AS Grades, this document is used by the Universities to make decisions on whether they make an offer. This word document will include the student’s passion for studying the subject, experience they have in the field and any other skills/qualities they possess that will support their application for the course. The same personal statement will be send to each University applied to and guidance for this process will be supported through PSHE and tutorials. UCAS have advice on their website: www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-track/writing-personal-statement as well as individual subject advice on http://university.which.co.uk/advice/personal-statement-subject-guides-admission-tutor-tips
Clearing is the process UCAS uses if a student has applied after 30 June, they didn't receive any offers (or none they wanted to accept) or they didn't meet the conditions of the offers. Clearing can be used from July if a student has only just applied or they didn’t receive any offers/didn’t accept any offers. If they didn’t meet the conditions of the offers they will need to use Clearing after receiving their results. More information can be found here: www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/results/no-offers-use-clearing
Oxford and Cambridge Universities both seek to attract the best and brightest students regardless of background. They both have highly rigorous and fair application procedures designed to allow the best candidates to shine and they are both situated in diverse and vibrant places.
The collegiate system
Both Oxford and Cambridge universities are made up of individual colleges, as well as different subject departments. A college will be a student’s home and their central focus of teaching for much of their time at university. Each college will have a diverse range of students — usually including both undergraduate and graduate students — studying across a range of subject areas.
The college system offers the benefits of belonging to a large internationally renowned institution, and also to a smaller, interdisciplinary academic college community. Students’ will have access to their college’s facilities, such as an extensive library and IT provision, as well as the resources of the wider university.
Each college offers the same excellent standard of teaching and has the same very high academic standards. Both universities work hard to ensure that the best students are successful in gaining a place, whichever college they’ve applied to. This means that students may be interviewed by more than one college and they may receive an offer from any of them. If a student would prefer not to choose a specific college they can make an open application.
Teaching methods are very similar at both universities as students will attend lectures, classes and laboratory work as appropriate for their course. Unlike at many other universities, students at Oxford and Cambridge also benefit from highly personalised teaching time with experts in their field. The only difference is in the name: Oxford refers to these sessions as ‘tutorials’ while Cambridge calls them ‘supervisions’.
Students are required to prepare an essay or other piece of work in advance for these sessions and then meet with their tutor to discuss the work, perhaps with one or two other students. Tutors are often world experts in their field so this time is extremely valuable to students in developing their understanding of the subject.
Check the course details
Oxford and Cambridge universities agree that the most important decision a prospective applicant has to make is the degree they wish to study, not which university they want to apply to. So it is important to read the course details carefully for any subject a student is interested in. Study takes several years, so it’s important to choose something that a student is really passionate about.
Oxford and Cambridge courses tend to be traditional academic courses, with a strong emphasis on personalised teaching and formal assessment is often 100% based on examinations.