Tag Archives: courses

Clearing 2010: top tips to guide you through it

Here at Choices we’ve helped thousands of students to explore their options and make the right decision about higher education. We work alongside clearing helpline staff and admissions tutors to help students find their way through the Clearing process and secure a place at university.

Here are our top ten tips for surviving Clearing and finding the course that’s right for you.

1 Don’t Panic!
If your exam results are not quite as good as you expected remember to keep calm; the right course for you may still be out there. There’s a good chance that you will be able to secure a place at university through Clearing. Many students find university places through Clearing! You are certainly not alone and you have some excellent options awaiting you.

If you narrowly miss the grades you require you should check the status of your application on UCAS track before you start ringing universities to enquire about places on alternative courses through Clearing. In some cases if you are only a few UCAS tariff points short of the required grades the university may still be able to confirm your place, but this will be at the discretion of the admissions tutor. Continue reading Clearing 2010: top tips to guide you through it

Clearing 2010: make sure you’re ready

Here at Birmingham City University’s course guidance centre, we’re already receiving a fair number of enquiries from prospective students asking about applying to the University for full-time undergraduate courses through UCAS Clearing! Demand for places in Clearing this year is likely to be fiercer than ever as a large number of unplaced applicants compete for places at institutions across the country.

Many prospective students who may be trying to gain places have already applied through the UCAS system, so should be ready with the necessary information they’ll need to approach institutions through Clearing from mid-July onwards. However, there are many prospective students who have not yet applied through UCAS but can do so now so that their application will automatically be held for Clearing, meaning that they will then also have the right information to approach institutions with.

Why do I need to apply to enter Clearing?

You need to apply through UCAS to enter Clearing if you have not aleady done so, as your Clearing Number helps to demonstrate to institutions you wish to consider you that you are not already holding an offer of a place elsewhere – and that you’re free to be considered by them.

How do I apply now that the late application deadline has passed?

You apply in the normal manner by submitting an online application via UCAS. You can apply online at www.ucas.ac.uk/students/apply.

When can I approach institutions through Clearing?

Clearing starts from mid-July. You can approach universities and colleges once you have your exam results to see if they can consider you for any available places through Clearing. If you do not have your exam results, you should wait until you have them before approaching any universities or colleges.

What is the Clearing process itself?

See the Clearing section of the UCAS website for more details about the process of applying through Clearing.

Will all universities and colleges know if they have places now or will I have to wait?

Once universities have received exam results for applicants who are holding conditional offers of places they will then be in a position to determine whether enough applicants have achieved the grades they needed to confirm a place on their courses.  If not enough applicants have met the conditions of their offers then places can become available and that is when these places can be offered to others through the Clearing process. As exam results are received throughout the summer, not all universities and colleges will know whether places are available in Clearing until they have received A-level and/ or GCSE results in August. Find out which courses have vacancies by viewing the vacancy lists published on the UCAS website.

Additional Student Places Available on Selected Art and Design Courses

As a result of our ongoing commitment to excellence in the arts and successful employer/industry engagement, the government has recently awarded Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) additional student course places for full and part-time undergraduate study commencing September 2010.

For further details please contact BIAD on 0121 551 5800 or email biadadmissions@bcu.ac.uk.

Mathematics and English requirements for Higher Education courses

University course entry requirements often stipulate that prospective students will need to have suitable qualifications and grades in mathematics and English in addition to other entry requirements for their courses. In UK institutions, GCSEs may be specified as the minimum required level although certain university courses may require a higher level qualification for entry onto particular courses.

Alternative qualifications, such as Key Skills qualifications, can sometimes be considered in lieu of GCSEs but this is very much dependent upon the university and course, so prospective students should endeavour to check individual entry requirements before considering undertaking any alternative qualifications. For example, teacher training courses have requirements for English and mathematics (and for Primary Education and Early Years courses Science) which are very specific. Key Skills qualifications are not appropriate in this instance, so it’s essential that those wishing to apply for a teacher training course have appropriate qualifications in these areas.

Prospective students whose first language isn’t English often have to demonstrate other appropriate English language qualifications or achieve specific scores or grades in tests such as IELTS or TOEFL. There are potentially a wide range of qualifications that could be considered in this instance, but it’s important that clarification is sought with individual institutions as to their policies on this.  

These core requirements depend on the university’s individual entry requirement policies, so the golden rule is that you should always check with the institutions you’re thinking about applying to in order to find out exactly what qualifications you will need to offer in advance of signing up for them.

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

Creative Self Development Courses in Art & Design – Semester 2 Enrolment

At Birmingham City University’s Bournville Centre for Visual Arts, a range of shorter creative courses are on offer commencing in Semester 2. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try watercolour painting or to take a course in photography. Maybe you’re a keen artist who would like to further develop your practice with input and guidance from a tutor or simply wish to explore a new medium. Our suite of Creative Self Development courses provide a means to study further without the pressure of working for a formal academic award and are available to students of all abilities and levels.

Courses on offer are:

* please note that students on this course are required to have completed an art foundation course before being able to access this course

Courses are offered on a part-time basis during either the daytime or evening, depending upon the actual course being studied.

If you’re interested in reserving a place on one of these courses, please contact Bournville Centre for Visual Arts on 0121 331 5775 or email us.

New Year, New Opportunities?

With the advent of a New Year, people often take time to reflect and start thinking about future aspirations. Maybe:

  • There’s something you’ve always been interested in – like learning a new skill or hobby, for example.
  • You’re considering a change of direction in terms of your career or professional development.
  • You want to do something to because you’re motivated by improving your knowledge in a particular area.

There are a whole host of ways you could go about making these changes – there may be local workshops, adult education classes or short courses provided by education providers in the area. For more significant changes, you could be looking at retraining through a degree or professional qualification.

Careers advice:

If you’d like to explore avenues for developing yourself or doing something different but you’re unsure about what you’d like to do, perhaps talking to a careers advisor could help. Visit http://careersadvice.direct.gov.uk/  for more information about contacting a qualified careers advisor.

Study options:

If you do decide to take up study; it doesn’t have to mean studying on a full-time course; there are a multitude of part-time or short course options that might be appropriate, depending on the subject you’re interested in. But, if you do want to consider more substantive study options, it’s important to be fully clued up on what’s available and what you’ll need to do. You’ll need to research courses, study commitment and costs for starters.

Finding a course to suit you:

Tools such as www.hotcourses.com can help you to find everything from short courses to postgraduate study in your area or further afield. Postgraduate study options can be researched at www.prospects.ac.uk. The UCAS website has a great course search function, allowing you to explore available full-time undergraduate courses. And, of course, university and college websites will tell you more about what’s on offer at particular institutions.

Money matters:

How much will the course you’re looking at cost? Is there any financial support available? Here are a few starting points you can use to find out more about possible sources of funding:

  • Information about financial help for adult learners can be found here
  • Want information about student financial support for University and Higher Education courses? Look here for more details.
  • Postgraduate funding is different to undergraduate funding and there is, generally, no financial support available through the government. However, there are exceptions to this, such as certain NHS-funded courses, Social Work courses and PGCE qualifications. Prospective postgraduate students often need to be resourceful in seeking out funding opportunities. If your proposed study is related to your current job role, is it feasible to talk to your employer about support for the course – either as study leave or in terms of paying for the course? Are there any relevant scholarships or bursaries available? The Prospects website has links to resources which can help you find any such schemes.

First steps:

Whatever spurs you on, you can start taking steps towards your goals and exploring options open to you. If you’d like to chat to a course adviser about any courses offered at Birmingham City University, please contact Choices on 0121 331 5595 or email us.

Forthcoming Subject Specific Open Days – January and February 2009

If you missed the chance to visit Birmingham City University at one of our main open days, a number of our faculties will be holding subject specific open days throughout the academic year. Information about confirmed dates is updated periodically on our website at http://www.bcu.ac.uk/opendays/faculty/.

Many courses also offer the opportunity for prospective students to attend a visit day once they have applied to us. Subjects such as Media and Communication and undergraduate Education courses don’t have specific subject open days but can offer these opportunities for applicants to visit at an appropriate point in the admissions process. Continue reading Forthcoming Subject Specific Open Days – January and February 2009

Still time to apply for a course beginning in January 2009

If you’re looking for a higher education course which starts before next September, there’s still a chance to apply for available courses commencing in January at Birmingham City University. With a range of courses on offer, from Business to IT-related subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, you could be on your way to achieving a qualification in the new year. To find out more click here.

If you wish to be considered for one of these courses, you need to complete and submit an application form as soon as possible. Please see the individual course pages on the main website for further details.