Peter Dolan Liverpool John Moores University Which course? Which University? • There are 325 HEIs to apply to • And over 50, 000 courses to choose from 5 COURSES at 5 DIFFERENT UNIVERSITIES 5 COURSES at 1 UNIVERSITY NB: ONE APPLICATION FORM Where To Find Information • Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) – www.ucas.com • University prospectus, websites and course leaflets • Independent Guide, e.g. What University? • Careers Advisors • Visit universities /towns or cities Application Process UCAS – Universities and Colleges Admissions Service June Can start on-line application process 1 September First date for receipt of applications by UCAS 15 January Closing date for most applications. Forms received after this date are stamped "late" and considered only at the discretion of the institutions. Respect the internal deadline set by your College - normally November. • Personal Statement and Reference very important Filling in the form • Check deadlines • UCAS deadline is around 15th January, but your College will set their own deadline. • Be prepared to answer questions about: You, Employment, Education • Most important Sections are: Personal Statement and Reference • Sell yourself - this is your chance to shine! • Print off a copy your application Is the Personal Statement that important? • Along with your Tutor’s reference, it forms the basis for……. – making you an offer – being selected for interview – asking questions at the interview – borderline cases Structure • Introduction - course choice and motivation • Main body of text: – – – – Work Experience (paid or voluntary) School Experience Hobbies and Interests outside School Career Aspirations – Conclusion Introduction • Why have you chosen a particular degree subject ? • If you like particular aspects of a subject, say why and which ones. • Describe which aspects you may wish to study in greater depth. Example Having thoroughly enjoyed the academic study of ‘A’ Level Economics and Maths, I have chosen a degree that will enable me to pursue my interest in economics in even greater depth. Attending a specialist Economics conference in London broadened my knowledge of the subject and it should prove useful during an Economics degree. I particularly want to analyse the UK economy, in its UK and international context. Important Skills to Include • • • • • • Communication - oral and written Listening Team work Working independently Computer literacy Trustworthy Work Experience • Think about how your work experience has helped you to be a more suitable candidate for your chosen course. • Practical experience which may have confirmed your interest in a particular subject. • What type of skills did you gain, i.e. team work, computer literacy, communication skills. • I gained valuable knowledge and experience of the legal process whilst shadowing a solicitor, during the Year 11 summer holidays. I learnt the importance of diplomacy, organisational skills, working to deadlines and being part of a team. School Experience • • • • • Young Enterprise Scheme Duke of Edinburgh Award Drama production Library assistant Geography/Biology Field Trips • What have you learnt from them ? (communication skills, independence, trust) School Experience • • • • Head boy/girl/Prefect Events organiser Charity work Sporting achievements (essential for sports courses) • Musical instrument • What have you learnt from them ? (communication skills, independence, trust) School Experience: Examples • Being nominated as a tutor group representative in the Sixth Form provided me with the opportunity to represent others in a responsible and fair manner. I had to extend my communication skills by speaking and listening in a large group. This experience should enable me to communicate effectively in an academic environment whilst at university. Hobbies and Interests outside School • Tutors now want more than academic ability. • Want to know what makes you tick Examples • • • • • • • • • • Sport Reading Holiday Theatre Dancing Music Films Martial Arts Cycling Painting • I represent my school playing various sports, including captaining the football team. This has helped develop my ability to work as part of team, organising players and motivating others when required. This resulted in winning the North West Trophy last year. Career Aspirations • When you have completed your degree, what do you want to do as a career ? • Where do you want to work ? • Don’t worry if you don’t yet know, but if you do, write it down. Concluding Statement • Sum up your key points in the last paragraph • Bring the tutor back to why you chose that particular degree • Build on the experiences previously mentioned to comment on your course /suitability. • I am looking forward to building on my existing experiences of studying A Level English, and the chance to further my knowledge at university. My work experience in Blackwell's and wider reading have reinforced my decision to study English, and particular creative writing, in greater depth. The Do's... • • • • • • Have a plan of action Stick to deadlines Do your research Give plenty of examples Expect to write several drafts Approach it as like writing an essay The Don’ts... Avoid "bland" statements "I like reading…" doesn't really tell us much • What do you like reading ? • Why do you like reading ? • What do you gain from reading ? Examples of ‘Poor’ Personal Statements • Telling your life story • Information irrelevant to chosen programme • No mention of why you have chosen your programme • Statements with no examples or evidence • Poor layout • Use of jokes • Obviously not proof read • Where would one be without maths? There would be no shops as they use Maths and of course humankind would be in a state of disarray. • I love children but I also love maths and so would love to be part of your course. • I think university will be a step into the ‘real world’, scary but exciting. A dark shadow with a light at the end of the tunnel. • For the past three years I have participated in dingy boat sailing. I sail the boat with my father, we participate in races. Sailing the boat takes some practice, you must be able to foresee changes in wind direction and compensate for changes by distributing your weight around the boat stabilising it whilst at the same time trying to control its direction. There is always something to think about in the boat especially in strong winds. We have our own boat which is at present kept on the east coast. • I also intend to take up windsurfing. My father’s friend has windsurfed for years and has told us he is prepared to sell me one of his older boards so that I might learn. • I recently obtained possession of a guitar which my uncle said he would teach me to play Tutor’s Reference • Do not underestimate the importance of the Reference • Tutors consider this, alongside the Personal Statement, before making a decision on your application. Your Reference will include the following: • • • • Your predicted grades Attendance If you submit essays on time Interested in the subject/participate in class Make sure you are nice to your tutor! JMU Tutors want students who … • Focused on the subject • Enthusiastic and motivated • Offer relevant work experience JMU Tutors want students who … • Have wider interests and hobbies • Always punctual and have strong attendance record • Expected to achieve Good predicted grades Subject Specific Hints Business • Evidence of team work • Varied Interests, i.e. Reading, Duke of Edinburgh scheme • Young Enterprise Scheme Languages • Spent time abroad • Maybe speak a foreign language with family members • Interest in different Culture, History or Politics Media, Journalism or Drama • Interview required for Drama and TV courses • Written assessments required for Journalism courses • Experience of TV studio, School Magazine, Theatre or Drama Group, Hospital radio • Very competitive! English • Include more than a list of your favourite books! • Comment and explanation of why a particular work is appealing Psychology • Evidence of wider reading in Psychology, outside those used as core textbooks • Discussion of Psychological theories • Experience of working at O.A.P. residential home, voluntary work in hospitals, or being involved in schools iniatives to rid schools of bullying. Geography • Geography is a sociable subject • Good team working skills are important • Tell us more about your Field Trips Sports • Evidence of coaching • Athlete: commitment to Sports Activities • Sporting Honours • Understanding it is not a degree about playing football! Teaching Interview required • Primary Education • Minimum of 2 weeks experience required in a primary school • Secondary Education • Experience in a school, ideally in the area you want to teach, i.e. P.E. department if want to be P.E. teacher Law • Evidence of Youth or Charity work • Barrister • Member of a Drama group • Solicitor • Organisational skills and working to deadlines Any Questions ?