The UCAS application can be a daunting moment, especially for students still studying for their A-Levels. After all, you’re expected to say what you want to do for the foreseeable future.
For me personally, I hardly knew where to start. I knew I wanted to study Architecture, but there are no A-Levels in the subject, so I really had to consider my most relevant experiences and how the qualities of my character could make me the ideal candidate.
Here I will offer some tips on the two areas I found tricky, along with my own experience of the application process.
Here, research is key! Though you may already know, you will find variations of your subject depending on the University. For example, in my field I had the choice to study either Architectural Design, Urban Planning or Interior Architecture.
There are several factors to consider here. First, look at the entry requirements. While everyone should aspire to their first choice, remember to be realistic and always have a backup plan. Secondly, read up on those different subjects. Find out their module outlines, student satisfaction and the employment rates of the degree program so you make the right choice for yourself.
Finally, ask a personal tutor or look into alternative entry requirements. Depending on several factors, you may be eligible for a lower offer through schemes such as Newcastle’s own PARTNERS.
For me, writing my personal statement was by far the hardest step! Trying to explain why you want to pursue the course in a limited word count is no mean feat, but it’s a lot easier if you keep a few points in mind.
First, remember the reason you want to study that particular subject. Think back to why you chose your A-Levels, or how your current work relates to that field. Since I was studying graphic design, I could talk about how similar the process was to working on an architectural project.
The next thing to consider is formatting. Creative writers will find this part easy! However, you can make your life much easier by opening a word processor and planning your paragraphs based on what you want to discuss. Be selective with your character count, leaving more room to describe what you feel is most important.
Try to sell yourself, but remember honesty is the best policy. Keep in mind that the statement may be the deciding factor of getting you an interview, so the worst you can do is create an image of yourself that you don’t live up to in person. In all my interviews, my interviewers had a copy of my application, so it’s best to assume you will be questioned on anything you put in your personal statement!