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Career Management

UCAS Applications - Some Guidelines

Each year UCAS, the University College Admission Service, processes thousands of applications from students who wish to study at university. So what happens once you have made your application and how do you go about completing the form properly? We asked UCAS for some tips to give you a head start and to help you on your way towards a successful application.

Q Where do I obtain a UCAS application form?

A. If you are at school or college you should firstly ask there as UCAS send forms to direct to schools and colleges. If you have any problems you can get a form direct from UCAS by ordering from our website You can also write requesting a form to; UCAS, Application Requests, Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, GL52 3LZ or fax on 01242 544960.

Q. How many application forms can I send to UCAS?

A. You may only submit one application form but the form does allow you up to 6 choices of course and institution.

Q. What happens once I have sent through the application form?

A. UCAS will acknowledge your application and then send you a letter called an AS2. This will list your choices and also give you your application number. The letter will also tell you your password for the Online Applicant Enquiry Service which enables you to look at your own record through the UCAS website. At the same time UCAS will send a copy of your application to each of your institution choices. When institutions make decisions on your application they will send them to UCAS who will write to you with the details.

Q. What are the most common mistakes made by applicants?

A. Mistakes can be avoided by reading the ‘How to Apply’ booklet that comes with the application form. The most common mistakes are:

  • Incorrect date of birth;
  • Untidy writing;
  • Completing the form in coloured ink (black should always be used);
  • Making an error in completing the university and course codes;
  • Forgetting to get the reference completed (preferably by one of your teachers);
  • Forgetting to sign the form;
  • Not completing the criminal convictions question;
  • Forgetting to enclose the application fee and/or acknowledgement card with the form;
  • Sending other information such as examination certificates etc with the form

Q. What should a student focus on when completing their personal statement?

A. Advice on this is given in the ‘How to Apply’ booklet. In general the personal statement should focus upon why you have chosen the courses you have listed and what interests you about the subjects chosen. You should give details of any work experience that is relevant and of any particular activities that are related to the subjects. It is also useful to try to give some details about your plans for when you have graduated. Any sports, social or leisure pursuits will also be of interest.

Q. Who would be the most suitable person to offer as a referee?

A. You need one referee to complete the reference page of the UCAS form. The best person to write your reference is one of your teachers or tutors. If you are a mature student at work you could ask your employer or training officer to do it. Don’t just write the name and address of the referee.

Q. If I need to send some additional information what should I do?

A. Send the information to each of the universities and colleges you have chosen. Do not send it to UCAS. The UCAS form is designed to give all the information necessary. However if you feel that additional information is required you should wait until you have your UCAS application number and then send to each of your choices.

Q. What should I do if I make a mistake on the form?

A. You should practise first on a photocopy of the form and then get someone to check it for you. This will avoid most mistakes. If you do make a mistake cross through it and write it again neatly. Do not use correction fluid.

Q. Are there clear instructions and whom would I contact to gain extra advice?

A. UCAS supplies a ‘How to Apply’ booklet with the form which gives full instructions and guidance. Many applicants are able to get extra help from staff at their schools or colleges.

For more information Contact UCAS : UCAS, Application Requests, Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, GL52 3LZ or fax on 01242 544960. Or log onto their website:







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