UCAS and University Application Process
UCAS and University Application Process 2013 entry
Frequently Asked Questions
When does the process begin?
Students will begin to complete their UCAS form towards the end of Year 12 and during Term 1 of Year 13.
When is the deadline for submission to UCAS?
- 15 October 2012 - application deadline for the receipt at UCAS of applications for all professional medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and veterinary science courses, and for all courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
- 15 January 2013 - application deadline for the receipt at UCAS of applications for all courses except those listed above with a 15 October deadline, and art and design courses with a 24 March deadline.
- 24 March 2013 - application deadline for the receipt at UCAS of applications for art and design courses except those listed with a 15 January deadline.
What help does my son/daughter receive in completing the UCAS form?
All applicants are assigned a reference writer who will act as a point of contact. Guidance presentations and notes on how to complete the form are issued at the beginning of Year 13. These instructions are permanently available via the VLE. The UCAS website contains guidance on how to fill in the form.
Do GCSE results matter to universities?
Yes. Universities use GCSE results, which must be declared on the UCAS form, as an indicator of academic performance and potential. Universities which receive a large number of applicants from highly able students with AAA predictions may use GCSE results as a way of selecting the most gifted.
Do AS results matter? Do AS grades have to be declared on the UCAS form?
Yes. AS results are now ‘cashed-in’ or certified. You can tell this because the results slip shows an overall grade as well as individual unit grades and scores. This means that the information is provided to UCAS by the awarding bodies. UCAS will cross-check (‘reconcile’) the information they receive from awarding bodies with that declared on the UCAS form.
This extract from a university prospectus is typical of the guidance issued by universities:
‘The rules about what you should include on the Application Form are clearly set out in the UCAS guide. You must tell us about your results in any qualification for which you have been awarded a certificate, even if you are taking the qualification again with the hope of improving your results. You may think that poor results make your application look bad, but it looks much worse if we subsequently find out that you have hidden them’.
All universities will see AS grades and take them into account.
If you're re-sitting an AS qualification you need to enter it twice on the UCAS form: once as a completed qualification with the grade achieved and once as a qualification with the result 'Pending'.
UCAS need to know about AS level re-sits for matching purposes to enable them to pass on the potentially new AS grade to the chosen universities and colleges.
It doesn’t seem fair that universities see AS grades that aren’t final. Surely my son/daughter should be able to keep the AS results to themselves until they get the final A level grade on which their university offer is based?
Because AS grades are certified or ‘cashed-in’, universities will see them via UCAS. Each time a unit is re-taken (in order to improve the AS grade), the new AS grade will be issued and that information made known to UCAS.
The certification of AS grades is linked to the removal of the ‘declining’ rule after the January 2008 exam session. Before then, if a student wished to improve AS performance, he/she was required to decline the grade and re-sit a unit. Improving performance after certification (i.e forgetting to decline or deciding later to improve performance) meant the whole qualification had to be re-taken.
Now, candidates are no longer able to ‘decline’ grades as the declining rule has been removed. This means that after certification, candidates will not have to retake the whole qualification (AS or A level) to improve performance but may do so through re-sitting individual units.
My son/daughter gained a U in an AS level. What should they do?
As a rule, students in this school are not permitted to continue the study of a course into Year 13 (A2 level) with a U at AS. Therefore, the subject should be dropped.
The AS grade is certified so will be recorded by UCAS and universities informed. One or two AS units should be re-taken in Year 13 to improve the grade. A new certificate will be awarded and information provided to UCAS and universities will be updated.
If no units are re-taken, the U grade will remain as a certified AS level course grade.
How is UCAS paid for?
Payment is made via the UCAS application itself via a debit/credit card online payment. No money is taken by the school. In 2012/13 the cost is £23.
What happens once my son/daughter has completed the UCAS application
On completion the application is sent only as far as the applicants’ reference writer – the member of staff at school assigned to assist them and who writes their reference. The ‘checking process’ then begins. Every application is checked by at least 3 members of staff to ensure accuracy and that the content maximises the potential of a successful application. Students have been advised that this process can take up to 5 working days, so if they have a time frame in mind by when they would like to send their application, they should submit it completed five days before this.
Please contact Mr Bailey at email@example.com if you have any further questions.