If you’re thinking about applying to university in the next academic year, we have compiled some tips and advice for things that you can start to think about now. With university applications it is best to think ahead and be prepared. Whilst it can seem like an overwhelming decision, if you are prepared and assess all your options the decision will be a lot easier.  


  1. Do your research 

If you are currently unsure of what to study at university or where to study then the best thing to do is to do your research! The easiest way of doing this is to look at different universities websites to see what courses they offer. You could also use the UCAS Course Search website to see what courses are available in the UK and what universities offer them.  

Another common way of researching universities and university courses is to go to open days. Open days are free events that universities run throughout the year that allow you to get a taste of what studying at that university would be like. These days might involve academic taster sessions, campus tours and student life sessions. These are great ways of seeing first-hand what certain courses are like. They also offer an opportunity of seeing what the university and surrounding areas are like. Lots of places might also offer virtual sessions if you aren’t able to go and visit in person. Check out the events page on our website to see what open days our partners are offering.  


  1. Start thinking about your personal statement 

The deadline for submitting UCAS applications is usually in the middle of January (it is earlier for Oxbridge applications or applications to study Medicine). Although this means you have time in the Autumn term it is important to consider what things you might want to write about in your personal statement and any experience you want to get to enhance your personal statement.  For example, you might want to arrange for some work experience or voluntary work over the summer in the sector relevant to the course you want to study.  

One easy way of making your personal statement stand out is to do some extra reading about the course you are thinking of applying for. When I was thinking about applying to university I went to open days and spoke to the lecturers on the Criminology course. I asked them for reading recommendations about the subject and discussed what I could do to prepare to study the course. I then went away and read some of the texts that had been recommended to me. This is an easy way of demonstrating that you are interested in a certain course. If you aren’t able to visit the university in person you could see if there are any suggestions of things to read in preparation on the university’s website.  


  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice 

Whilst it can seem like a big and stressful decision there is lots of support available to you throughout the process. Whilst you have time, start to explore what support is available to you regarding university applications. This might be at your school/college or beyond. You could ask for mock interviews or ask around to see who would be able to read over your personal statement. Also explore the advice online. For example, the UCAS website has lots of great resources. Similarly, the Hello Future website has lots of information about university events, blogs and case studies about people’s progression into higher education.  


If you would like any further information about university or higher education or have any questions about the university application process, you can contact us