Monthly Archives: October 2008

Access to Higher Education courses

If you’re thinking about studying for a degree but have been out of education for some time then it can be difficult to know where to start and who to turn to for advice. You may be worried that you don’t yet have the right qualifications to gain a place at university. Our advisers here at Choices can provide information on a wide range of routes into Higher Education. One of the routes most commonly recommended for mature students is an Access to Higher Education course.

Access courses are specifically designed for mature students. As well as offering an introduction to the subjects which can be studied at degree level, an Access course will introduce you to the study skills you’ll need at university, such as taking notes, writing essays and researching topics in the library or on the internet.

By the end of the course you’ll have gained all the knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed in Higher Education as well as a recognised qualification equivalent to A level standard. Continue reading Access to Higher Education courses

Applying for a Professionally-Focused Course: Researching Subject Areas

When prospective students are applying for courses which offer a particular professional focus, it’s often important to ensure that the application demonstrates clear justification as to why an applicant thinks they are suitable for the given subject. Supporting knowledge and practical skills may be things that university admissions tutors look for when considering applications. As a general rule, it’s advisable for prospective students to check with individual institutions to find out what constitutes a good personal statement in relation to the subject they’re applying for.

The following weblinks are useful sources of information for prospective students considering applying for specific professionally-orientated subject areas offered at Birmingham City University. Whilst not an exhaustive list by any means, it may be helpful in terms of providing a starting point to research particular professions or to refer to when considering relevant personal skills and/or experiences that might be discussed within a personal statement. Continue reading Applying for a Professionally-Focused Course: Researching Subject Areas

Teaching Maths – it adds up to a rewarding career

 

In the current climate of economic uncertaintly teaching is becoming an increasingly popular career choice for all kinds of people.  Many people come to teaching later in life looking for a more satisfying career, whether it be in primary or secondary schools, or in colleges of further education.  Teaching maths in secondary schools is a particularly important and challenging role and it is a subject area that attracts career changers from a number of different professions.  At Birmingham City University we have trained former accountants, financial advisors, banking clerks and engineers to become successfully qualified maths teachers. Continue reading Teaching Maths – it adds up to a rewarding career

Application methods for part-time and postgraduate courses

Applications for part-time and postgraduate courses are usually made directly to the university. In some instances, applications may need to be made through another agency. For example, Birmingham City University’s full-time Graduate Diploma in Law course fields applications through the Central Applications Board, whilst the part-time version requires applicants to complete a university application form. Information about the method of application for individual courses can usually be found in the university’s prospectus or on their website, but if you’re unsure, contact the university for confirmation.

Deadlines for applications made directly to universities can vary widely, so it’s advisable to check with the individual universities to clarify whether or not a deadline applies to the course you’re applying for.

Access to Higher Education Fair

The Open College Network West Midlands Region will be holding an Access to Higher Education fair at Birmingham City University on Monday 13th October.  The event is aimed at adult learners who are thinking about entering Higher Education. 

This is your chance to collect information and prospectuses from HE institutions, talk to course tutors, ask questions about courses and services and find out about how to apply to university.  There’ll also be the opportunity to obtain information about fees and finance and the support offered to learners.

The event is free but visitors will need to book through the OCN West Midlands Region office.  For further information contact John Wilkins, the Access to HE Development Adviser, on (01902) 824212 or e-mail wolverhampton@ocnwmr.org.uk

Tips for Writing your Personal Statement

When applying to university, a good personal statement can really help to differentiate your application from the potentially hundreds of others you’re competing with. It’s your opportunity to sell yourself to university admissions tutors and demonstrate to them that you’re focused and committed to the subject you’re applying for. 

Many applications are let down by poorly considered personal statements so it’s well worth spending some time carefully contemplating the impact of your statement in order to maximise your chances of making a successful application. Writing one can seem like a daunting task but with a little preparation and planning it need not be. Choices shares some tips to consider when compiling yours.

Have a plan

Before you begin, jot down some key points that need to be included in your personal statement.  These could include your motivation for choosing the subject, your career aspirations, details of relevant work experience (paid or voluntary), placements, evidence of your strengths and details of your personal qualities or skills. Continue reading Tips for Writing your Personal Statement

Applying for a full-time undergraduate course starting in 2009

If you’re now entering the final year of your course at college or already have completed qualifications and are planning to apply for full-time undergraduate Higher Education courses commencing in September 2009, applications can now be submitted through UCAS. Applications should be made online at www.ucas.ac.uk.  

Remember, that in order to guarantee that your chosen universities will look at your application form, you must apply by UCAS’ early application deadline of 15th January 2009. Applications received at UCAS after this date will only be considered if there are remaining vacancies on the course you’ve applied for after ‘early’ applicants have been considered.

If you’re applying through a college:

Your college should guide you through the application process. When completing the application form through a college, you’ll need to obtain their UCAS ‘buzzword’ in order to use the system. Check with your college for more information.

If you’re applying independently:

You can apply online to UCAS independently. Access the UCAS website and click ‘Apply’. You’ll be asked to register your details before an account is created for you. Once your account has been confirmed and you have a username and password, you can then log in and complete the online application form.

If you experience any technical difficulties in using the application system, UCAS have a dedicated Technical Support team to provide support for users. There are useful FAQs and known issues which you can find on their website. If these don’t resolve the problem you can contact the UCAS webmaster.

Updated: 18.10.08 The Guardian’s ‘Road to University’ has a great feature about completing the UCAS online application that’s worth a look.

Applying to Birmingham City University?

Some of you may be aware that we changed our name from UCE Birmingham to Birmingham City University back in autumn 2007. For those applying to the university through UCAS, please ensure you make a note of our new institution code:

B25 Birmingham City University

Good luck to those of you applying for courses starting in 2009!