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Entry Requirements

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UK University Entry Requirements

The UK universities are highly selective and free to set their own requirements to choose the best candidates. Usually, the acceptance rate of establishments is rather low and thousands of applicants are left without a place. So, to get the best chances for enrollment, young people have to gather all possible papers and fit strict requirements. 

Speaking of the university entry requirements, it is hard to fit them all in multiple establishments. They not only have unique demands for all applicants but often set individual requirements for each course as well. Right before the application period starts, it is advised to compile a list of all requirements of the expected establishments and check which of them are achievable. 

To apply for a university, a student has to gather a set of mandatory documents such as ID, academic record from the previous educational courses, a criminal record DBS check or an equivalent, certificate of English proficiency (especially for foreign students), and a personal statement. Academic records may include transcripts, a graduation certificate, a reference letter. Some universities ask for a CV in addition to a personal statement as well. English proficiency is a standard requirement for all establishments that domestic students have nothing to worry about; the demand is made mostly for international applicants who have to prove the ability to function in the English-speaking surrounding and excel in studies. 

To apply to a university in 2019, applicants have to check the requirements once more as some of them may change for the upcoming year. Regular changes are common for course requirements the most. 

Currently, to apply for a full degree, a student is required to take at least two subjects at A level. Academic requirements vary from place to place. The Extended Project is also welcomed but not mandatory. 

How to apply for a university 

To apply to a university, a student has to fill in the UCAS application. The Universities and Colleges Application Service is the universal program that is responsible for most higher education applications. It offers an online form with the basic questions that will be sent to the list of chosen establishments. 

Initially, a person is required to register at the official UCAS website. Then, the most important choice comes – it is time to select a course that will be your future for the following years. After that, an applicant looks through the list of universities offered in the UCAS database. All courses and universities have unique codes that should be written down somewhere for the following application form. After that, the only task left to do is fill in the application form and send it. 

How to apply for a university for international students? Applicants from the EU can also use the UCAS service just the same as the domestic. The only difference is the set deadline of January 15 at most. Some universities set even earlier dates. Non-EU international students have different requirements. They can send an application at any time from September 1 until June 30, though they are advised to submit an application earlier to qualify for available places. 

University admissions

In addition to the general requirements students get before the application, most universities make applicants go through additional local admission tests to have a better understanding of a person’s skills. Though all applicants have to provide their academic transcripts that, ideally, should show the level of knowledge in certain areas, additional tests are meant to find out deeper knowledge and skills. In addition, such tests are incredibly useful for assessing foreign students who have different programs at home and their grades have to be compared to the UK system of grading and curriculum. 

Course-related admissions test are most common for such fields as law, mathematics, medicine, and languages. 

Oxford university entry requirements also contain additional tests. One of them is thinking skills assessment and it  is mandatory for all applicants. As the place is highly selective, there is a number of other courses that require testing either before the interview stage or during it. All those tests have their own deadlines and additional applications. All dates have to be checked separately. Most courses set their own deadlines. 

Cambridge university entry requirements also have additional tests planned for applicants. One of the main of them is also thinking skills assessment that Oxford has. Almost all courses add admissions test to their requirements as well. To sit an exam, a person needs to submit an additional application. Cambridge also requires one more Questionnaire form from all applicants. Foreign applicants from outside of EU also have to submit a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application.

How many universities can you apply for?

When applying through the UCAS system, you get only 5 options. They may either be 5 different courses within one university or 5 different universities for one course. Though, the downside of choosing various courses lies in a personal statement. They are usually rather specific for a course and the service has room only for one statement. Thus, the better option would be to add the most number of universities. 

So, how many universities can you apply for? Only 5. How many courses can you apply for? The same number. However, those options cannot overlap. 

Can I apply to a university without UCAS?

Can I apply to a university without UCAS? Yes. Though UCAS is the standard application service that most students use, there are still establishments that allow direct application. These options can be a great Plan B if you are not sure in the UCAS universities or they have too strong competition. Thus, it is always advised to apply directly to as many places as you can and leave UCAS only for those unique places that work exclusively with the service. 

As the result, the overall number of universities increases significantly.

Additional Thoughts

There are many additional requirements that establishments are free to set on their own in order to assess the skills that they value and look for. 

Being a standard demand for all places but somewhat unique for each university is following deadlines. The uniqueness lies in the individual dates set by every establishment and, sometimes, a department. Do not be too late to apply for a university or wait till the last moment. Some applications will be regarded as late applications and people may still have a slim chance of enrollment. Though most popular courses are already full at this point. 

Can I still apply for a university when the deadline is over? It depends on a university and its rules. Some  courses may be left short of students and the committee will search the late arrivals, in other places – they are not even saved to the database. 

How many universities can you apply for in the UK without going through admissions tests? Probably, only a few. Yet again, depending on the chosen course, those exams may not be required in most places. However, when applying for medicine, for example, be ready for some extra tests in every establishment. International students cannot avoid this step as well and are often judged even more strictly than the local applicants.