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UCAS: Applying for college in the UK

By Sophie McDermott , Tuesday 29th January, 12:36
If you’re filling out your CAO, you might be one of those Leaving Certers who want to get out of old Ireland onto pastures anew, such as the United Kingdom.

And at what better time than to live in completely new surroundings, with new accents and new experiences. If you’re one of these people, you may be confused about how exactly the UCAS process works. Here are some pointers on what to consider when you're considering the UCAS application.

The main reason people hop on a plane to the UK for college is because there is a wider range of courses available over there. Also, these courses may require lesser points than here in Ireland. Although, the downside of going to the UK for higher education is that fees are about €6,000 more, but you're also entitled to a bursary in UK universities.

UCAS is the organisation responsible for managing all applications for higher education in the UK. They are similar to the CAO here in Ireland and provide advisory services to students that are unsure of what college or course they wish to go to.

Before you decide to go about applying with UCAS, it is vital that you research everything from living costs and fees to the campus and the structure of your intended course. The UK currently have a system where students can take out a loan to pay their fees and only begin to pay it back when they start earning in their chosen career after college.

It is important to take note of the application deadlines. For medicine, dentistry, veterinary courses and courses in Oxford and Cambridge, the deadline is October 15th. For all other courses, the deadline is January 15th and for art and design courses, the deadline is March 24th.

It is also important to mention that unlike the CAO, UCAS requires applicants to include a personal statement in which the student is given the opportunity to outline why they would be an ideal candidate to receive a place on the course, and to show their enthusiasm for the area they are looking to get educated in.

The following is a list of important websites that will give you further information on the UCAS system and how to go about applying for higher education in England:

http://www.educationuk.org/pls/hot_bc/page_pls_all_homepage

http://www.ucas.com/students/

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/education/third_level_education/studying_abroad/studying_in_the_uk_including_northern_ireland.html

 

 

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