Category Archives: UCAS

Accepting offers through UCAS: firm and insurance acceptances

If you’ve applied for an undergraduate course through UCAS and have received offers from institutions you’ve applied to, it’s important to carefully consider your decision about which offers to accept.  Once you’ve made your decision about accepting offers as a firm or insurance choices, you cannot change this.

Firm acceptances

When you accept an offer as your firm choice, this is your preferred choice of course and University.  Accepting an unconditional offer as your firm choice then binds you to going to that university only for the course you have been offered a place on.

Accepting a conditional offer as your firm choice enables you to state your preference of the University and course you want to go to out of any offers you may have received.

Insurance acceptances

If you are made a conditional offer, you can also accept a second offer as an insurance choice. You’re not obliged to accept an offer as an insurance choice, but doing so provides you with the opportunity to have a back-up in case you don’t meet the conditions of offer for your firm choice.  

Some points to consider when accepting a conditional offer as an insurance choice

  • If you are choosing a conditional offer as an insurance choice, you could think about selecting an offer with lower entry conditions than your firm choice. For example, if your firm choice offer asks for 280 points, you might consider accepting an offer of 260 points or below as your insurance choice. Whilst it is possible to select an insurance choice offer which is the same as, or higher than, your firm choice offer, where will this leave you if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice offer? You could potentially end up without anything to fall back on as you won’t have met the conditions for your insurance choice either!
  • You could think about selecting an unconditional offer (if you have one) as your insurance choice. That way, if you don’t meet the conditions of your firm choice, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you have met the conditions for your insurance choice.
  • Whatever choice you make, you need to be realistic about the course and university you are accepting as an insurance choice – if you don’t meet the conditions of offer for your firm choice and meet the conditions of offer for your insurance choice, you are bound to go to that university. Make sure you’ve visited the university and found out as much information as possible before making your decision. Remember, you could potentially end up studying there if you don’t get into your first choice university.
  • You don’t have to accept a second offer as an insurance choice if you don’t wish to. You can just choose one offer as your firm choice. However, a carefully chosen insurance place can provide some flexibility in the event that you don’t meet the conditions of offer set by your firm choice.

Important dates for replying to offers in 2011

If UCAS has received all decisions from your university or college choices by 31st March, you’ll need to reply to any offers by 5th May 2011 (unless you live outside the EU or you are applying through Extra). If UCAS don’t receive your replies, they will decline your offers on your behalf.

If UCAS has received all decisions from your university or college choices by 6th May, you’ll need to reply to any offers by 7th June 2011 (unless you are applying through Extra). If UCAS don’t receive your replies, they will decline your offers on your behalf.

Why Birmingham City University Should Be Your First Choice

If you haven’t yet made your mind up about your university choices for a full-time undergraduate course commencing in September 2011, you’ve only a few weeks to submit your UCAS application by the on-time deadline, which is 15 January 2011 for the majority of courses.  As a university, we’re currently seeing a 40% increase in UCAS applications compared to the same time last year so, with increasing competition for places on university courses commencing next Autumn, it’s important to act now.

Why Choose Birmingham City University?

We’re one of the most increasingly popular universities in the UK, having seen our applications rise by a phenomenal 78% since 2008. With a real commitment to providing courses that are relevant and robust and a reputation for being a university that listens to its students, it’s not difficult to see why we are frequently becoming the first choice for many prospective students.

Find out more about our fantastic range of courses by visiting the courses section on our website and, if you have any questions, why not get in touch with one of our course advisers?

The exam results are out! Guide to confirmation and clearing 2010

It’s A-level results day and you finally found out what grades you’ve achieved! You’ll probably be eager to find out if you’ve got into your chosen university course. If you have access to the internet, you’ll be able to check your applicant status from today (19th August) via UCAS Track. Alternatively, you can telephone the university directly.

If you’ve met the conditions of your offer – great! If not, don’t panic, as in some circumstances the admissions tutor may still decide to confirm your offer if you have only narrowly missed the conditions of your offer. If you haven’t met the conditions and find that you are no longer holding an offer, be prepared to contact universities to find out about vacancies through clearing.

What if you haven’t got the grades you were hoping for? Here we look at potential scenarios for applicants who may not have met the conditions of their offers and explore what action they could consider taking.

Contact the University

First of all, try not to stress. If you have narrowly missed the conditions of your offer, the university may still be able to offer you a place if the Admissions Tutor agrees to this. The Tutor’s final decision may be dependent upon how many other applicants holding conditional offers have met their conditions and whether any vacancies remain on the course.

If you’ve missed the conditions of your offer by a larger margin, there may still be a possibility of being accepted onto your chosen course or you may be offered an alternative course by the university. This is very much at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor and you should understand that there’s no guarantee that if you’ve not met the conditions of your offer that the university will still be able to accept you.

In either instance, once you know your results you can contact the university to discuss them. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner you can find out what’s happening with your place. Continue reading The exam results are out! Guide to confirmation and clearing 2010

New Era for Nurse Training Courses

BCU000000-572Back in September 2008, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) ratified proposals to make nursing an all-graduate profession. As a result of their decision, universities who offer qualifications at diploma level will be phasing out these courses over the next couple of years. All nurse training courses will be offered at degree level from September 2013.

 

When is Birmingham City University phasing out its pre-registration nursing diploma?

Birmingham City University is already in the process of phasing out our nursing diploma qualifications. The children’s nursing branch of the diploma course will cease to be offered after April 2010, and the other branches (adult, mental health and learning disabilities nursing) will not be offered again after the final intake in April 2011.

 

Does Birmingham City University offer a pre-registration nursing degree?

Yes. The University already has a well-established nursing degree course  which offers training in all four branch specialisms and this course continues to go from strength to strength, providing students with the knowledge and skills they need in order to succeed in becoming a qualified nurse.

Continue reading New Era for Nurse Training Courses

Links Round-up 16-02-10

A brief round-up of news and events for prospective Higher Education students:

2010 Entry: Applying for Undergraduate Art & Design Courses Through UCAS

Applicants who are opting to apply for full-time undergraduate art and design courses will now be thinking about making their applications through UCAS. There are two application deadlines for art and design courses. Universities decide which deadline to use for each of their courses – these are either 15th January or 24th March.

If you’re unsure as to which application deadline date applies to the university courses you are looking at, the UCAS Course Search facility displays the application deadline.

If you decide to apply for art and design courses with different deadlines, you can submit your application before 15 January for courses with that deadline, then add further course choices before the 24 March deadline using UCAS Track as long as you haven’t used all five choices on your UCAS application form.

Q&A: Applying for a full-time degree through UCAS

A Choices’ course adviser answers some common questions about applying through UCAS.

What happens when I make an application through UCAS?

When you submit an online application to UCAS, UCAS forward a copy of your application to the institution or institutions to whom you have applied. Once your application has been received by an institution they start processing it in accordance with their admissions policies.

For some courses, the institution may make an offer on the basis of the information provided within the application. Other courses may require further selection stages, such as interviews, tests or a portfolio review. Once the appropriate selection process for the course has been completed, the institution will communicate their decision to you. You can check progress of your application through the UCAS Track online system.

I’m no longer taking all of the qualifications I listed on my application form. What should I do?

You should put this in writing to the University as soon as your academic profile has changed. The University needs this information to ensure that any decision made on the application is made using the most accurate information provided by the applicant. Should the university make a decision based on information which subsequently changes, the Admissions Tutor will need to review the application in light of the new information. If the changes to the academic profile mean that the applicant will not be able to meet the minimum entry requirements (or specified academic conditions if an offer has already been made) this will be taken into account when reviewing the application. Continue reading Q&A: Applying for a full-time degree through UCAS

How to… decide which offer to accept

So you’ve received offers on your application choices. For some the decision of which one to accept is easy, but what if you’re still unsure of which one to accept? Is there anything you can do to help you make this important decision?

Have you had the opportunity to visit the universities you’ve applied to yet? If not, then why not contact them to find out if there are open days or visit days that you can attend. These events often provide a useful means of finding out more about the course you’ve applied to and the university environment itself. If the universities you’ve applied to are in other cities to your hometown, it also gives you the chance to have a look round the area and get a feel for whether it is somewhere that you’d like to spend the next three or four years!

Do you have any questions about the course that you feel you really need to ask before making your decision? Admissions Tutors and advice staff within universities are ready to help prospective students who need further information and help and understand the complexities faced when making such an important, and potentially life-changing, decision. Contact them – they’re there to help you and can provide you with additional information that may help you to weigh up your options. Here at Birmingham City University, the Choices team are here to help. Call us on 0121 331 5595 or email choices@bcu.ac.uk.

UCAS Extra

UCAS Extra allows applicants who’ve used up all their choices on the UCAS application form and have not secured an offer of a place with these choices an additional chance to be considered for another course or university before Clearing starts.

It allows eligible applicants to approach individual universities to see if they can be accepted onto a course there.

To be eligible to use Extra you need to have:

• already made five choices;
• received decisions from all these choices; and
• either had no offers or declined all the offers you have received.

UCAS created the Extra scheme to specifically help those who are still seeking places to try and avoid having to go through Clearing if at all possible. Continue reading UCAS Extra

The Application Process: Interviews

As part of the application process, applicants may be required to attend an interview for their chosen course or courses. The following points are intended as general guidelines for interviews. Each university may offer a specific interview format, with some requiring practical assessments and tests or a review of portfolio work where appropriate. You should check with the individual university to clarify their interview or assessment methods for a particular course.

Before the interview:

Research the course

What is it about the course you’ve chosen that made you select it over other subjects? What’s involved in the course you’re applying for? What sort of skills does it involve – practical, analytical, research? What can you draw on from your previous studies or work experience which help to demonstrate your suitability for the course? If the course leads to a professional qualification, what qualities do you have which lend well to that professional area?

Research the university  

Why are you applying to the university? What made you choose it over other universities? Ill-considered responses, such as ‘because my friends are coming here’ or ‘because I don’t have to get out of bed too early to get here’, will not be looked upon well by Admissions Tutors.  Continue reading The Application Process: Interviews