Applying for University
We believe that every student should have the opportunity to go to university if they wish. We recognise it is not for everyone, but we encourage every W6 student to spend some time exploring university subjects and courses that they might be interested in. This will allow for a fully informed decision to be made.
All the resources and details of how to apply are shared with students on Canvas, our Learning Management System, under the Enrichment course.
The University Application Process
At the beginning of every year, we give students the tools to find out about university courses. This includes using the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website. Every university and every course in the UK is listed on the UCAS site.
It will give information about the course and its content, the university, entry requirements, information about student ratings and direct links to the universities.
The UCAS site allows students to filter interests and locations to find a course that they might be interested in. We also have numerous university prospectuses available from all across the country that students can browse as part of the process.
It is worth also finding out when universities hold Open Days so that you can visit - parents and students - to see if it is the sort of place and city you would want to spend three or four years of your life.
We also take students on a visit to The University of Sussex, and there are often events held by universities throughout the year that students can attend. Each year, we also take students to the UCAS Fair at The Brighton Centre, where almost every university in the UK sets up a stall so that students can meet with them and find out about their offering.
Once a student has an idea of the kind of course they want to study, they complete a personal statement. This is a one page document in which students outline their interest in a particular subject, why they're suitable for the course and any skills, attributes and extra-curricular activities and learning they may have completed that has prepared them for the course.
The sixth form will set an October deadline for students in year 13 to complete their personal statement. We always ask for a first draft to be completed by July in year 12. Every student will get help and support from their tutor, the sixth form team and often university induction tutors.
Deadlines are strictly adhered to, and where a student misses the deadline for their personal statement, they risk the rest of their application being delayed.
Students need to sign up to UCAS and use a buzzword we give them so that they application can be linked to us.
A student will fill in an online profile with personal details such as address, as well as education history.
This is also where they will indicate what they are studying now, and choose up to FIVE COURSES they would be interested in.
We always encourage students to choose some ambition options, some safe options, and some middling options so that they have all bases covered when it comes to receiving offers.
A student should always check the entry requirements carefully as there might be information about the subjects you need to be studying, the grades required and in some cases previous work experience or particular GCSE grades.
Once the student has completed their application, they submit it with their personal statement and pay the application fee of £24.
Oxbridge or Medical, Veterinary, Dentistry, Engineering or Maths Applications
Oxbridge and Medical/Veterinary/Dental courses have an earlier deadline of October 15th. If a student wishes to apply to one of these courses, they will need to commence their application while in year 12.
For some courses there are also tests that a student may need to sit before a university will consider an application. Details of tests are communicated in the course information.
Students should check carefully on the university course site as well as UCAS to ensure they have all the correct information about any tests.
We then process the application, check all the details, ensure current courses are entered correctly and gather information about predicted grades from their teachers. A wide range of data is used to calculate the predicted grades, and this is why doing well in mock exams and other assessments throughout sixth form is crucial. It's an indicator of how well you will do in the real thing.
The sixth form team gather comments from the students' teachers and tutors and write a reference document to support the application. This may provide further detail about a student as an individual, and perhaps any context for their performance.
What happens next?
Once the final application is submitted, students often begin receiving offers. The final UCAS deadline is always 15th January, but we have an internal deadline of much earlier to ensure all steps are completed in time.
We have found that the earlier a student applies, the earlier they will receive offers.
There are key dates by which universities must respond. Students will receive either conditional or unconditional offers - these will outline the grades required on results day. In some instances, a university will change a conditional offer to unconditional if a student makes it their firm choice.
We also ask students to think carefully about unconditional offers and the fact they may not do as well in exams as a result. Remember, these are results for life and are also preparing them for the next stage in their lives.
Students on the Realising Opportunities programme will receive a reduced entry tariff to a selection of top UK universities.
A student must choose two of their courses, one firm and one insurance choice. In some cases, a student may be turned down for a course either due to grades or other reasons. A university will usually communicate the reasons why.
Some offers may be withdrawn due to results. Where a student has no offers remaining, they go into Clearing, which is where universities then have spare places available and students will check the UCAS site for live information about course availability.
Student finance and accommodation
Once students have accepted offers throughout the year, universities will start sending information to students about Student Finance and Accommodation. Everyone is in the same boat, so don't worry if it feels very late in the day. A lot of this can't be sorted out until late in the academic year.
For more information on student finance, you can visit this website.
We share a wide range of information about the application process in the Enrichment sections on our learning management system, Canvas.
You can also find out more on the UCAS website.
Below is the UCAS and university applications presentation from our induction evening.