Everyone wishes the best for themselves. However, the desire we have may divert our attention away and makes it possible for us to suffer from mistakes. That’s where we need guidance.
Thousands of students have only one question in mind: “how does one get into a top university?”. There are several answers to that, but what we do know is how complicated this can be.
The university application is a process that demands patience and focus. Here, we present a checklist that presents a step-by-step guide to university applications for the year 2021, specially written for students who want to be accepted by universities in the UK.
As is known, universities in the UK are the dream of many students. The leading rationale behind this choice may be the UK and USA are home to many of the world’s top universities. According to the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings, there are 18 universities from the UK, and the number for the USA is 27.
University Application Requirements in the UK
The statistics show that universities’ acceptance rates are very low in the UK. For example, getting an undergraduate place at Cambridge University is very competitive since the acceptance rate is less than 25 %. Moreover, many of the postgraduate courses at the London School of Economics (LSE), such as in those in economics, management and law, have an acceptance rate of less than 7 %.
It is hard to determine one general list for this purpose since UK university entry requirements vary across different universities. For example, each university may require various documents depending on the course you want to study or your nationality
In the end, admissions officers aim to accept only the best students for the available spaces.
Valid Identification Document
First thing’s first.
You must include a valid identification document to your university application documents. Do not forget to take a copy of your ID document or the first page of your passport before submitting your university application form.
Moreover, to study in the UK, you will probably need a visa to enter the United Kingdom. Before submitting your university application, you need to be sure that you are eligible to obtain a UK visa..
This situation mostly applies to the international students who apply from outside of the European Union and European Economic Area (EEA).
Grades and Qualifications
It is just that simple, success leads to success.
Your academic qualifications and grades from your previous education play a vital role in your university application. Depending on your academic and extracurricular background, university application boards will assess your competence for the course for which you apply.
Proof of English Language Proficiency
This topic is irrelevant to native speakers of English; however, international students (whose mother-tongue is not English) need to include an English language proficiency certificate to their university application documents.
As the courses will be carried out in English, international students need to have a good command of the language. Throughout their academic career in the UK, students will be asked to take exams, deliver papers and actively participate in discussions in English.
In this sense, students must be able to learn how to use English for educational purposes. It is important to note that not all universities accept the same certificate. Therefore, students need to get their English certificate from well-known, reputable organizations.
The most common English proficiency exam in the UK is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) by the British Council. Moreover, you can also take other exams such as TOEFL and C1 Advanced. Lastly, you must aim to get the best possible result to make your university application stand out more. Normally, it is required that students have at least a C1 level of proficiency before getting accepted to a UK university.
Before admission, you will likely be asked to take an entrance exam by a university assessment board. In this way, the universities will get the chance to evaluate students’ competencies for the course they’ve applied for.
The rationale behind these exams is the assessment of the suitability of a foreign student who is raised within a different education system. In general, students are asked to provide decent answers to the questions that are aimed at understanding students’ competencies in the core subjects of each specific field.
Without compromising competitiveness, each student must achieve a good result in these exams to reach the final stage of the university application.
Reference Letters for University Applications
From time to time, what others say about us may be more important than what we say about ourselves. Your university application is one of the situations where this is more than valid.
A reference letter written and signed by your previous employer or professor will give great value to your university application in the UK.
Empower the foundation of your application with a proof of experience in the relevant field.
Motivation Letters or Personal Statements
As a potential university student, it is very natural that you are expected to clarify your arguments, thoughts on the future, the core subjects of the programme you’ve applied for, etc.
Before you dive deeper on this topic, you need to be aware of the distinction between a motivation letter and a personal statement.
When writing a motivation letter, students generally try to promote themselves and argue why they are the right people for a specific programme. However, a personal statement is a kind of document in which you talk more about your plans and how the programme will help you to achieve your personal and professional goals. Interviews
Sometimes, British universities may prefer to conduct an online interview with applicants via Skype or Zoom. Top universities like Oxford and Cambridge require it.
Making it to the interview stage may indicate that you are one of the remaining students for the available places.
During the interviews, the commission would want to know more about your plans. Moreover, they will also likely assess your desire and interest in the course you have applied for.
From time to time, commissions may find it hard to eliminate some of the applicants if they receive many valuable applications with few remaining available places. Therefore, universities may run a series of interviews to choose the most suitable students for the programmes.
How to Apply for University in the UK in 2021
Students can apply to universities in the UK via an online system called “Universities and Colleges Admission Service” or in short, “UCAS”. On every UCAS form, students are allowed to apply to 5 courses at only one university, or a different course at five different universities.
Before submitting your application, do not forget to include your academic transcript, latest certificate of graduation and next to documents we mentioned above. For updates about supporting documents, regularly check the official site of UCAS.
The application fee is £20 for a single course or £26 for multiple courses and late applications. Moreover, you can track your university application via UCAS Track once you complete your application.
Generally, students should receive an offer or an invitation to interview within 2 to 3 weeks.
University Application Deadlines in the UK in 2021
According to the announcement by UCAS, all students who want to apply for undergraduate courses should deliver their documents by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2021 (except those with a 15 October deadline). On the list below you’ll see deadlines for students who want to apply for universities in the UK starting from September 2021.
A general outline of the application dates:
- 15 October 2020: Deadline for all courses at Cambridge and Oxford, and most medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry courses offered by other universities.
- 15 January 2021: All other undergraduate courses for EU Students.
- 30 June 2021: All other undergraduate courses for international students.
- 4 July 2021: The last date to apply via UCAS extra for September 2021 entry.
- 5 July 2021: UCAS Clearing opens / International Baccalaureate results published.
- 19 August 2021: A-Level results day.
- 21 September 2021: Final deadline for 2021 entry applications.
As we mentioned before, the university application process in the UK demands patience and focus. In this sense, every student must be very aware of what they are doing in every step.
Before deciding anything, be sure that you feel informed about every option you have and do comprehensive research for the courses and universities.Be realistic and rationale on the courses you want to apply for.
More importantly, do not be shy about receiving professional support for your university application in the UK. It is OK to be inexperienced on a topic like this.
At Eurospeak, we harmonise our 30 years of experience with your passion.
Our group of experts have designed a university preparation programme to take your university application from basic to the gold standard.
Moreover, we organise IELTS preparation courses for international students who want to be eligible to apply to universities in the UK.