Applying to university
With so many options to choose from, you might be thinking; why go to university? Here’s just a few of the reasons why -
- University enables you to study a subject that you are passionate about
- Higher Education degrees are designed to build on your key transferable skills and give you the opportunity to put theory into practice, appealing to employers and allowing you to gain valuable experience preparing you for your chosen career.
- The overall student experience – you could be living away from home for the first time, based in a new city with new friends; offering lots of opportunities to socialise and make life long memories
- It enables you to progress onto your chosen career path, for example; if you have a particular career/job in mind such as becoming a nurse or lawyer, respectively you will need a specific degree in Nursing or Law.
The university application process will take approximately 18 months from starting your initial research to enrolling on your chosen degree programme. A full comprehensive list of courses offered at DMU can be found here and also on the UCAS university course listings page.
Researching your options - top tips
- Use the UCAS website’s search function to research courses/subject areas you’re interested in
- Read university prospectuses/websites to find out more information
- Visit as many Open Days or ‘Taster days’ as possible to find out what it’s like on campus
Why attend an Open Day?
A university Open Day provides you with the opportunity to discover everything that the university has to offer, including courses, extracurricular activities, work experience, facilities, student support, social, student life, accommodation and the city; you’re going to spend the next 3-4 years there, so make sure it has everything you need. You’ll also have the opportunity to speak to current students studying your course so you can find out what student life is really like!
In addition to Open Days, Subject Taster Workshops enable you to get a feel for not only the university, but also a hands-on experience of a particular subject area and the way in which it is delivered. A DMU taster day will include the opportunity to discover life on the course, facilities and the opportunity to meet potential future lecturers.
What to include in your personal statement
Your UCAS personal statement is the perfect place to sell yourself when applying to university. Explain your choice of course, talk about your skills and achievements and mention your wider interests. Though this obviously includes things like sports teams, hobbies and jobs, it can also include other things you may not have thought of – tell them about a trip you've taken or why you took apart and rebuilt your PC last weekend if it’s relevant to your course! Want some more tips? Download our Applying to University Guide.
For those of you applying through colleges, you will have an internal deadline set by your college to submit your personal statement (usually before Christmas). This is so the college can write and attach a reference and your predicted grades to your application ahead of the Tuesday 15 January UCAS deadline.
If you’re unsure of something, don’t be afraid to get in touch with us. There are no silly questions and we speak to people like you every day – you can call, email, message us on WhatsApp or on social media.
So you’ve submitted your university application - what happens next?
Universities will then receive and consider your application and make you an offer, based on your predicted grades and personal statement. As part of the application process, some courses or universities may invite you to an interview or audition before you are made an offer at the university; this will be updated and reflected in your UCAS track.
Once your application has been reviewed, you may receive an offer from your university choice. This can be one of the following:
- Conditional Offer – provided you meet the conditions of the course (UCAS points + predicted grades), you will be accepted on the course.
- Unconditional Offer – you’ve already met the requirements or your predicted grades exceed what we’re looking for, then we’ll make you an unconditional offer. You’re guaranteed a space with your university if you make us your firm choice.
- Alternative Course ‘Cross-Offer’ – based on your qualifications or personal statement, the university think you’re a better fit for a different, but similar course.
- Unsuccessful – The University has withdrawn or haven’t accepted your application choice. The reason for this will be shown in track.
Once your offers are in, you then have until the Wednesday 1 May (do check your offer letter to confirm your deadline date) to make your final decision on which of your offers is going to be your Firm, your main choice, and your Insurance, your back-up.
Once your application is submitted you may want to start thinking about student finance as applications open around February or March.
Getting your Student Finance sorted as early as possible gives you enough time to submit all the require documentation and deal with any potential issues surrounding it, and guaranteeing you receive your money as soon as you enrol.
Not everything you hear about university is true – here are a few common misconceptions about applying to university:
Myth: Universities don’t actually read the personal statement
Fact: Only a small proportion of universities hold interviews as part of their admissions process, meaning that most universities will take a holistic look at your application. Your personal statement may be your only chance to express why you want to study your chosen course and demonstrate your motivation, suitability and potential to study at university level. The more competitive the course is, the more likely your personal statement could be the deciding factor.
Myth: Students must apply by Tuesday 15 January deadline to apply for a course
Fact: Students can make an application after Tuesday 15 January; however their application may not receive equal consideration to applications that were submitted by the deadline. Students applying after the deadline will need to check whether the university are still accepting applications.
Myth: You have to be wealthy to go to university
Fact: All UK students regardless of family income are entitled to the Tuition Fee Loan to cover the full cost of their tuition fees. All students can also access the Maintenance Loan to cover the cost of living; however the amount provided will depend on several factors, such as household income and whether the student is living away from home.