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6th April 2020

If you are thinking of applying to University next year you might be a bit worried about your next steps. We spoke to our Head of Learning Resources & Guidance, Liz Wyman to get her top tips when looking to apply next year.

Hopefully you attended the Next Steps Fayre recently and spoke to some of the university staff there and have started to get some ideas. Don’t worry if you didn’t though, as there’s plenty you can be doing online.

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1. Sign up to the NEW UCAS Hub. A brand new service, there are lots of helpful resources on here and you can make notes and ‘pin’ them so you are creating your own personalised bank of resources. It also creates you a helpful ‘to do’ list. This works very well on a phone so even if you don’t have access to a computer this will be useful. You can also chat safely online to current students about what HE life is really like.

2. Another useful place to look is the main UCAS website UCAS website. Some of this is the same as the information in the Hub but there’s extra resources here too - lots of useful articles about how the whole process works, tips on how to choose what to study, information about finance and student life.

3. The UCAS careers site is another great place to look to help you think about your options after University.

4. Usually, we’d be encouraging you to get out and visit universities to get a feel for them, and hopefully there’ll still be plenty of time for that. However, lots of universities have virtual tours and many of them are doing virtual open days – check their individual websites for details but for example, here’s one from Staffordshire University.

5. You’ll need to know exactly what subjects you’re applying for to write it properly but start thinking about your personal statement. You’ll get more guidance on this from your tutors, but you need use this part of the form to let universities know why they should offer you a place out of all the students who apply. There are some helpful tips here. Think about any part time jobs you have had, any volunteering, placements, sports teams or other responsibilities you have had. Gather all the information together. Start making drafts. Your tutors will help, and lots of universities offer personal statement checking services online, even if you don’t necessarily want to go to that university.

Finally, don’t get too overwhelmed. Keep up with your college work and keep in touch with your tutor. Remember that they will be writing your reference! Keep researching – BUT under no circumstances apply anywhere until you’ve had further information from us about college processes. Time is very much on your side.

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