Peter Dolan
Liverpool John Moores
Which course?
Which University?
• There are 325 HEIs to apply to
• And over 50, 000 courses to choose from
Where To Find Information
• Universities and Colleges Admissions
Service (UCAS) –
• 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
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
• 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
• Introduction - course choice and motivation
• Main body of text:
Work Experience (paid or voluntary)
School Experience
Hobbies and Interests outside School
Career Aspirations
– Conclusion
• 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.
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
Team work
Working independently
Computer literacy
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
• Musical instrument
• What have you learnt from them ?
(communication skills, independence, trust)
School Experience:
• 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
• Tutors now want more than academic
• Want to know what makes you tick
Martial Arts
• 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
• Bring the tutor back to why you chose that
particular degree
• Build on the experiences previously
mentioned to comment on your course
• 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
• 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
• I recently obtained possession of a guitar
which my uncle said he would teach me to
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
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
Subject Specific
• Evidence of team work
• Varied Interests, i.e. Reading, Duke of
Edinburgh scheme
• Young Enterprise Scheme
• Spent time abroad
• Maybe speak a foreign language with
family members
• Interest in different Culture, History or
Media, Journalism or Drama
• Interview required for Drama and TV courses
• Written assessments required for Journalism
• Experience of TV studio, School Magazine,
Theatre or Drama Group, Hospital radio
• Very competitive!
• Include more than a list of your favourite
• Comment and explanation of why a
particular work is appealing
• 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 is a sociable subject
• Good team working skills are important
• Tell us more about your Field Trips
• Evidence of coaching
• Athlete: commitment to Sports Activities
• Sporting Honours
• Understanding it is not a degree about
playing football!
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
• Evidence of Youth or Charity work
• Barrister
• Member of a Drama group
• Solicitor
• Organisational skills and working to
Any Questions ?

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