Making the most of Year 12
Matthew (Education Outreach Officer) from the University of Leeds came in to talk to students about “Making the most of Year 12”.
In Matthew’s presentation he explained to students how important it is to research their chosen universities and courses, as currently there are 40,000 courses on offer in UK Higher Education. Entry requirements will be unique to each university, of which, some will include aptitude tests or interviews, so it is imperative to recognise the competitiveness of the course you are applying to. For example, an English Lit/Lang course at Leeds has 35 places, with 211 applications, so you have a 6:1 chance of gaining entry, however, their Law course has 179 places but 2,366 applicants, meaning a 13:1 chance of gaining entry. Some courses have industry placements which increases a student’s employability so these can also be more competitive. All of this will help you to aim high, but also to be realistic about your choices and whether you can meet their requirements.
It is important to ‘start now’ in terms of ordering literature, looking at websites, booking open day visits or taster sessions, looking at summer school places or attending UCAS Fairs. For certain degrees such as Medicine, mock interview days are also useful to attend.
It is an online application process and students can choose 5 university choices, some courses have earlier deadlines, so research when yours needs to be submitted. The applications will concentrate on your qualifications to date, predicted grades, academic reference and your personal statement. Both your academic reference and personal statement are key as this is where they ‘learn about YOU!’ It is important that your academic experience and passion for your chosen degree course comes across alongside any other influences; link to relevant work experience or extracurricular activities that have enhanced your skill set and shows your hands-on experience.
Matt also suggested some websites that may be useful for students to look at, mooc.org this stands for ‘massive open online course’ these are free courses which students can study to show their ability for independent learning, or for volunteering opportunities students can check out do-it.org or vinspired.com. Alongside this it is useful to attend conferences, educational trips and galleries.
Universities want to see that you can manage your time wisely, you have strong independent study skills, time management and communication. It is important that you can manage and motivate yourself at university as contact study time is less than independent study time on most courses, so they want to see evidence of this in your application. Make sure you read around your subjects and keep up to date with current affairs as this may be extremely useful at interview.