Apply to study in UK by yourself

Applying to universities in the UK can initially seem overwhelming, especially as an international student if you’re unfamiliar with the application process. This article explains every step of your application from the start to the end. 

You must go through these five steps in the admission process for the UK.

1- Applying for the UK universities on the UCAS system

2- Information you need to provide on UCAS

3- How does the referral system work

4- Getting an offer or a conditional offer 

5- Final decision from universities

 In short, I’ll cover everything you need to know to successfully submit your application to UK universities on your own without an agent. 

1- Applying for the UK universities on the UCAS system

Create an account in the UCAS system. UCAS is a central application system in the UK. It’s a website where you can create an account and enter all your details, and then this form is forwarded to all universities to which you want to apply. 

2- Information you need to provide on UCAS

Once you create your account, what information do you need to provide on UCAS?

While creating your account, you need to provide the following information 

  1. Your personal information
  2. You academics details 

There are two essential things that I want to call out here. 

If you apply from another country, translate the subject name into English. However, enter the grades precisely as it appears on your transcript. Do not try to translate your grade into the English system; enter it as it appears on your transcript. The second thing students generally misunderstand is students think that they need to upload all documents, including transcripts and other documents, which is incorrect. You do not need to upload any documents. You need to enter all the information they ask you to join manually. Later in the process, you will ask to send every relevant document.

You can enter up to five universities in a new case. The next thing you need to do is provide a personal statement which you can do by using the video format or traditional format of one page. Please keep enough time to prepare this, the most important document you must submit; if English is not your first language, you will take longer to prepare for it.

3- How does the referral system work

The next thing you need to do is provide references; this means that a teacher, employer, or somebody familiar with your work writes a reference for you and provides this reference to UCAS. So how does this work? You need to go to UCAS and enter your referee’s contact details, and then your referee will receive an email from UCAS. There will be a link where they need to submit their reference for you. Once your referee has submitted the reference, UCAS will notify you by email. By this point, your UCAS system will be complete, and now you’re ready to submit your application, but before you can offer, there’s one last step you need to pay a fee for having your application. The fee was 20 pounds for one course and 26 pounds if you apply for several courses, but for 2022, you will have to pay 22 pounds for a single choice and 26.5 for multiple. 

Before I move to step four, let’s talk about deadlines. The universities have different deadlines, so be punctual because if you submit after the deadline, it will not be valid.

4- Getting an offer or a conditional offer

You may or may not have to take a test to complete your application. For example, for the law, you need to take a test which can be done online or at a local test center in your country next step after online tests, some universities do interviews, for example, Oxford and Cambridge. If you apply to such a university after submitting your application, you will receive an email whether or not you have been invited for an interview. Due to COVID, all interviews are conducted online, but I’m sure this will not change for some time.

5- Final decision from universities

You will get a decision from the universities you apply to and receive these decisions on your UCAS track.

What is the UCAS track? 

UCAS Track is the platform where you can track your applications. You will see every university you apply to also the course. You will see whether these universities have already decided if they will offer you a place or not. When you get a decision, UCAS will notify you by email, which means you can log into the UCAS track and see which university has made a decision. You also see what a decision is like that implies the outcome of your applications.

There are three ways.

  • You get an offer. The university offers you a place to study there. If you accept this offer, the place is yours.
  •  You also get a conditional offer. A conditional offer means that the university offers you a place to study, but whether you get the place or not still depends on a condition. This condition can be that you achieve a particular grade in your studies or a minimum grade in a language certificate. For instance, if you get a conditional offer, you must provide a language certificate with a minimum grade. If you give this evidence, your place may be confirmed. If you have received an offer or a conditional offer from a university, you need to take action, and there will be a deadline until which you have to decide whether you accept the place you are offered. Once you have made your final decision, the universities you choose will contact you via email, and you will get any further information required from the universities. For example, they will email you information about which course or documents you must submit. 
  • The third thing you can get is rejection. If you’re rejected from a university, the university does not offer you a place to study there. Of course, in the beginning, you will be sad about it; however, remember that you can pick up to five choices on your UCAS application. I encourage you to do that because if you’re rejected from one of your choices, you still have four options left where you may get a place. 

Now time for my recommendation on what to do if you receive several offers. You can first pick the university where you have received the offer, not a conditional one, as you need to lock that confirmed seat for yourself. If you receive a conditional offer from your favorite university, you can take a risk and submit the evidence of conditions placed for you and try your luck. If you’re happy to take this risk, you can go for it.

In a nutshell, the application process is much easier than you thought. You don’t need an agent to fill out your form since the whole process is online. You can save money and do it by yourself. Make sure that your application is complete and that you stick to the deadlines, and if you do that, you will be fine. I hope this process was informative for you.

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