Page 1

2011–2012

Let's talk about…

Choices 18+ Advice and information for students in their first year of advanced level courses who are considering higher education

• • • • •

Deciding what and where to study Applying for higher education Student finance Taking a gap year Sources of help

M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com / www.spired.com


Let’s talk about… Welcome to Choices 18+ At this stage there are probably two main choices in front of you – employment or higher education.

Why choose employment? • You may be able to find a job that offers structured training leading to valuable work-related or professional qualifications. In the current economic climate, these opportunities are harder to find but there will still be some out there.

• You get onto the career ladder earlier than those who go into higher education – everyone has to get a job sometime, so why not now?

• You will be earning while you learn and you won’t have to take out a student loan or pay tuition fees.

• You could always enter higher education later either full time or on a part-time basis.

Contents Thinking about higher education?

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What types of courses are there and what qualifications do I need?

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How are the courses structured?

3

Exploring ideas for higher education courses

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Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) 6 Studying abroad

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What do I do if I don’t know what to study?

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Applications calendar

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The application process

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The UCAS Tariff

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Information for students with vocational qualifications

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• It can be an important stepping-stone to a very wide

Information for students with disabilities

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Information for overseas students

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• It can give you the opportunity to study a subject that

Completing your personal statement

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Interviews for higher education

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UCAS Extra, Clearing and Adjustment

17

Student finance

18

Sponsorship

20

Taking a gap year

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The value of work experience

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What next after university?

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Sources of further information

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Useful websites

26

Other sources of help

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If this seems like the route for you, then see Let’s talk about …Jobseeking 2011-2012 at M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on ‘publications’. This gives loads of advice on job hunting, writing letters, CVs and going for interviews.

Why choose higher education? • For some careers e.g. medicine or architecture, higher education is the only entry route. range of careers.

really interests you and fulfil your academic potential.

• It will help you develop both personal and career-related skills.

If this seems like the route for you, then you should find this publication, Let’s talk about…Choices 18+ 2011-2012, helpful. It covers the issues you need to consider and points you towards other key sources of information. If you need further help or advice, talk to your sixth form/college tutor or adviser.

for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com


Thinking about higher education? Choosing which higher education (HE) course to take is a big decision. You are choosing not only a course to study but a way of life for the next three or four years, so take time to research it properly. What is higher education? Higher education means courses taken beyond 18, that lead to a level 4, 5 or 6 qualification.

Which course? Start by thinking about your skills, qualifications and interests: • Are there subjects you enjoy and are good at, which you might want to continue?

• Do you have a career aim? Do you need to

take a specific or related HE course for it? Are there alternative routes of entry into this career e.g. work-based training such as an Apprenticeship, that you might prefer?

• Are there new subjects that interest you? • What are your predicted grades? Will

they be good enough for the courses that interest you? If not, investigate similar ones with lower entry requirements.

• Some courses expect you to have relevant

work experience e.g. medicine, teaching, physiotherapy and some media courses. Make sure you have completed this before applying.

Check out M www.ukcoursefinder.com It’s a useful tool to help you decide which course to take.

Type of course Try to choose a course that will give you the best chance of success. Think about:

• What level of course would be right for you?

• Would you like some work experience or

overseas study to be part of your course?

• Do you want to do a vocational or nonvocational course?

• Are you looking for a full-time course or would you prefer to study part time?

• Courses can be single subject, joint subjects or combined subjects – which would be your choice?

• Would you prefer a general first year

followed by the chance to choose specialist course options, or a course that specialises from the start?

Type of university

Once you’ve applied to university you can join M www.yougo.co.uk, the free UCAS student network. Here you can meet people before going to university and make friends with those who will be doing your course. You can also speak directly to UCAS and the universities via their profile pages and get loads of advice.

Where you study can be as important as what you study when it comes to making a success of your HE. Universities vary enormously in terms of size, location, character and student population. Think about:

• Do you want to be on a campus? • Are first year students guaranteed a place in a hall of residence?

• What other accommodation is available and how much would it cost?

• Do you have particular interests and

hobbies you want to continue at university/ college? Are these available in the area?

• Is big city life for you? • How easy would it be to get home and how much would it cost?

Don’t just read about it – go and have a look around! Most institutions have Open Days where you can visit and get a feel for whether you could settle there. These are publicised in a number of ways:

• University and college prospectuses and websites

• Posters that your school/college may display on notice boards

• Publication called Open Days (UCAS) • M www.opendays.com where you can book a visit online.

For more information and advice on HE, register for your free UCAS Card at M www.ucas.com/ucascard You’ll then receive monthly emails with hints and tips, information from institutions, expert help from UCAS advisers and discounts and offers from many high street stores.

Q Which is the

‘best’ university?

A This is an impossible question to answer. What is best for one student is not necessarily best for another. However, you can obtain some really useful information from the M www. unistats.com website. It enables you to search, review and compare official information about subjects and universities/colleges and includes actual entry qualifications, student feedback on the quality of the courses they did and what jobs they went into. Before you start researching into HE, it’s a good idea to draw up a list of your own criteria for choosing a course and university. This should help you focus on making the right decisions for you. Don’t forget that your sixth form/ college tutor or adviser is there to help you too.

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk

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Let’s talk about… What types of courses are there and what qualifications do I need? Degree

Foundation Degree

• Degrees usually require at least five GCSE • A vocational course combining academic passes at A*– C. Particular subjects such as maths, English language and science are often specified.

• You will also normally need a minimum

of two full A levels/Applied A levels or a Progression/Advanced Diploma or a BTEC National Diploma or the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or Pre-U Diploma or equivalent qualifications.

• A minimum number of advanced level

units are usually required, with a certain number specified at A2. The six unit Applied A level counts as one A level and the 12 unit Applied A level counts as two A levels. Students with an IB need a minimum of 24 points (UCAS Tariff 260 points) with the more competitive courses asking for 35 points (UCAS Tariff 501 points) or more. Use M www.ucas. com entry profiles to check the specific subject and tariff point requirements. Also see page 11.

BTEC Higher National Diploma/ Certificate

• Awarded in vocational subjects (e.g. engineering, business studies).

• Certificates are normally studied on a

part-time basis. Diplomas are studied full time and take two years, or three years if taken as a sandwich course.

• Minimum entry requirements are

usually four GCSEs at A*– C and one A level A*– E, a BTEC National Diploma/ Certificate, an Applied A level (six units) a Progression/Advanced Diploma or NVQ level 3.

• Many further education colleges also offer HNDs, so you can study locally.

• It may be possible to transfer to a degree course at the end of the first year if you do well enough.

• Students successfully completing an HND can do further study to top this up to a degree.

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study with workplace learning.

• Lasts two years full time and can lead to a job or further study.

• Can also be done over three or four

years, where you learn through part-time day, evening or block-release attendance at college or university, distance learning, in the workplace, or via the internet.

• Entry requirements vary. Check with individual institutions.

M www.fdf.ac.uk M www.ucas.com/students/ choosingcourses/choosingcourse/ foundationdegree

Specialist and diploma courses

• Entry requirements for these types of courses vary.

Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)

• A DipHE award is the equivalent of

two years of degree study. Some are in academic subjects, others are vocational e.g. Diploma in Nursing, which unusually is a three year course.

• Students are often encouraged to

complete an extra year to gain degree level status.

• Entry requirements are similar to degrees.

International Foundation Courses

• These are designed for overseas

students, providing a combination of English language and a vocational area of study, prior to starting a degree course.

• Most art and design degrees require

A level students to have completed a Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) course (see page 6).

• Private dance and drama schools offer

courses in acting, dance, ballet and technical theatre. Places at some of these are funded through Dance and Drama Awards. For more information visit M www.direct.gov.uk/ danceanddrama M www.drama.ac.uk M www.ncdt.co.uk M www.cdet.org.uk

• A number of non-degree courses provide entry into specific careers e.g. Pre-entry Journalism. Visit M www.nctj.com Some may require previous work experience. These cannot be funded through the Student Loans system.

• Access courses are a route into HE for

those who left school/college without A levels or equivalent qualifications. They are offered by most local colleges but are not necessarily accepted by all HE institutions so you need to research this carefully.

Top Tip! • Seek advice if you are unsure about

the status of a college, acceptability of a qualification or level of fees charged.

• Always check the actual subjects/

grades/points required for specific courses. These are often higher than the minimum requirements.

• If in doubt, check with the

admissions and departmental tutors who will be pleased to answer your queries. You may be able to contact them by email.

• If you have non-standard entry

requirements you should consult prospectuses and admissions tutors, who may be more flexible than you might expect.

for careers info go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on eCLIPS


How are the courses structured? Single subject Study is concentrated on one main subject. There is often the chance to study other areas, particularly in the first year, but not to any depth.

Joint subjects Two subjects are studied in roughly equal proportions. These subjects may be from different faculties. In general, if two subjects are joined by ‘and’ (e.g. psychology and sociology) they are likely to be offered as a joint degree on a 50:50 basis.

Combined subjects Two or more subjects are taken in varying proportions, (e.g. law with French), they are likely to be offered on a major:minor basis.

Modular Students choose from a wide range of different modules, building up credits towards a final degree. Depending on the modules taken, a student can achieve a single, joint or combined degree.

Interdisciplinary A number of subjects are studied, all related to a particular theme or discipline.

Sandwich Courses combining study with paid work placements. These can either be a ‘thick’ sandwich (a block placement of one year) or a ‘thin’ sandwich (several shorter placements spread out during the course). Sandwich courses are usually offered in vocational subjects, such as engineering.

Extended year/ Year zero/ Foundation year Some courses, notably engineering, medicine and science, offer an additional first year to enable students who do not hold the required entry qualifications to study for them and then enter these specialist courses. These preparatory courses may have different titles in different institutions and should not be confused with the Foundation Degree.

Top Tip! • There are many different types of courses so read through

prospectuses and course leaflets very carefully. Don’t be misled by course titles – it is the content and structure that are important.

Jargon Buster BA BDS

Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Dental Surgery

BEd

Bachelor of Education

BMus

Bachelor of Music

BNurs

Bachelor of Nursing

BSc

Bachelor of Science

BTEC HNC

Higher National Certificate

BTEC HND

Higher National Diploma

BVMBVS

Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Bachelor of Veterinary Surgery

DipHE

Diploma of Higher Education

FdA, FdSc, FdEng

Foundation Degree

Honours

To graduate with ‘Honours’ describes the class (i.e. grade) of degree you have. Classes of ‘Honours’ are, in descending order, a 1st, a 2:1, a 2:2 and 3rd. Next grade down is an Ordinary or Pass degree without the ‘Honours’.

LLB

Bachelor of Laws

MA

Master of Arts

MBA

Master of Business Administration

MB BS

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

MBioc

Master of Biochemistry

MEng

Master of Engineering

MPharm

Master of Pharmacy

MSc

Master of Science

NVQ

National Vocational Qualification

PGCE

Post Graduate Certificate of Education

QTS

Qualified Teacher Status

for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com

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Let’s talk about… Exploring ideas for higher education courses There are a huge number of courses available in HE, some you will have heard of but some perhaps not. The headings below are the main subject areas covered by A levels, Applied A levels, Progression/Advanced Diplomas, BTEC Nationals and the International Baccalaureate. For ideas about what to study at HE level, find the subjects you are taking now and then look at just some of the range of possible related HE courses. ART, DESIGN and CREATIVE SUBJECTS

• 3D Design • Architecture • Art with History of Art • Arts Management • Computer Aided

• Graphics Packaging Design • Illustration • Interior Design • Jewellery • Media & Cultural Studies

• Computer Animation • Design Technology • Fashion Design • Furniture Crafts • Film and TV Production • Fine Art and Business • Graphic Design

• Modelmaking • Photography • Special Effects • Textile Design • Theatre Design • Virtual Reality Design

Product Design

with Dance

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES and CHEMISTRY

• Agriculture • Applied Chemistry • Biochemistry • Bioinformatics • Chemistry with Nanotechnology

• Dentistry • Environmental Science • Equine Science • Food Technology • Forensic Science • Genetics • Land Management • Marine Biology

• Materials Science • Medical Engineering • Medicine • Microbiology • Neuroscience • Nursing • Optometry • Palaeobiology and Evolution • Pharmacology • Physiotherapy • Podiatry • Sport and Exercise Science • Veterinary Science • Wildlife Conservation

BUSINESS STUDIES, ACCOUNTING and ECONOMICS

• Accountancy with

Management • Advertising • Banking and Finance • Business with American Studies • Business Economics • Business with Geography • Business Information Technology • Business Law

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• Hospitality and Event

Management • Financial Services • Human Resource Management • Leisure Management • Logistics • Marketing • Public Relations • Retail Management • Tourism Management

COMPUTER STUDIES/SCIENCE

• Applied Information

Technology • Business Computing • Computer Aided Design • Computer Animation • Computer Science • Computing and Sport & Exercise Psychology • Computer Systems Engineering • Cybernetics • Digital Media • E-Commerce

• Ethical Hacking • Financial Computing • Forensic Computing • Games Computing • Intelligent Systems • Interactive Multimedia • Internet Engineering • Mobile Computing • Network Systems Management

• Software Development • Web Development

ENGLISH and MEDIA STUDIES

• Advertising • American Studies • Broadcast Media and Media Writing

• Business Studies • Classical Studies • Combined Studies • Contemporary European Studies

• Creative Writing • Cultural Studies • Drama • English Language • English Literature • Film Studies

• Hispanic Studies • History • Information Management • Journalism • Law • Marketing • Modern Literature • Politics • Primary Teaching with English

• Publishing • Social Sciences • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

• Theatre Studies

GEOGRAPHY

• Adventure Tourism • Applied Geology • Archaeology • Business with Geography • Climate Change • Ecology and Conservation • Economics • Geographic Information Science • Geography with Transport Planning

• Housing Studies • Human Geography • Landscape and Garden Design

• Oceanography • Physical Geography • Planning and Property Development

• Surveying • Sustainable Development • Third World Development

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk


HISTORY

• American Studies • Ancient History • Archaeology • Classical Civilisation • East Mediterranean History • Economic and Social History • Egyptology • European Studies and History • Heritage Studies • History of Art • History of Ideas and

• Journalism • Law • Medieval Studies • Modern Greek Studies • Modern World History • Museum and Gallery Studies • Politics • Social and Cultural History • Social Sciences • South Asian Studies

Philosophy

LANGUAGES

• Accountancy and Finance with European Study • African Studies • Arabic • Asia Pacific Studies • Business with Japanese • Central and East European Studies • Chinese and Philosophy • Classics – Greek and Latin • European Languages • European Marketing

PHYSICS, ENGINEERING and TECHNOLOGY

• European Studies • French with Banking • Hispanic Studies • Journalism • Linguistics • Mechanical Engineering with French

• Modern Languages • Public Relations and French • Russian • Serbian and Croatian Studies

MATHEMATICS

• Accountancy • Actuarial Science • Applied Statistics • Architecture • Artificial Intelligence • Astronomy • Computer Science • Decision Science

and Music

• Folk and Traditional Music • Jazz and Popular Music • Musical Composition • Musical Instruments • Musical Theatre

Design • Computer Science • Electronics • Geophysics • Mechanical Engineering

• Medical & Surgical Engineering

• Meteorology • Petroleum Engineering • Optometry • Physics with Particle Physics and Cosmology

• Robotics • Structural Engineering • Sustainable Technology • Systems Engineering

SOCIOLOGY, PSYCHOLOGY and POLITICS

• Electronics • Investment Analysis and Insurance

• Mathematics with Finance • Mechanical Engineering • Operational Research • Surveying • Systems Engineering

MUSIC

• Acoustics • Business and Popular Music • Creative Music Technology • Event and Venue Management

• Acoustics • Aerospace Manufacturing • Astrophysics • Building Services Engineering • Chemical Engineering • Civil Engineering • Computer Aided Product

• Anthropology • Applied Social Sciences • Business Management with Psychology

• Childhood, Youth and Education Studies

• Human Rights • International Relations • Marketing • Nursing • Philosophy • Public Services • Sociology and European

• Criminology • Gender Studies Studies • Sociology and Popular Culture • Housing Studies • Human Resource Management • Urban Studies

• Music Industry Management • Music Production • Music Video Production • Performing Arts • Popular Music • Professional Musicianship • Sonic Arts • Sound Engineering & Production

for careers info go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on eCLIPS

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Let’s talk about… Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) A Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design), also known as an Art Foundation course, is an intensive, one year course that aims to broaden students’ experience of art and design before they select the field they want to specialise in at HE level. During the year students prepare a portfolio of work for use when applying for HE courses.

• When choosing an Art Foundation course check out:

• the amount of tutor support • studio space and access times • access to other facilities e.g. computers and library resources • what past students have gone on to do

• Entry requirements are usually three to

five GCSEs at grades A*– C (normally including English language), plus one A level (or equivalent) and a portfolio of art work.

• Applications are made direct to individual colleges.

• A few institutions offer a degree where

the Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) is built in as the first year. Although this sounds attractive, it could prove more expensive as the whole course is treated as an HE course and is therefore subject to HE funding regulations.

• The Art Foundation course is included in the UCAS Tariff. A Distinction is worth 285 points, a Merit 225 points and a Pass 165 points. See page 11 for more information.

• An Art Foundation course

is a further education level course so check with individual colleges/universities about whether you have to pay any fees particularly if you are 19 or over when you start the course. If you are aged between 16 and 19 and face financial hardship while on the course you may be eligible for a bursary from your college but you will not have access to a Student Loan as this is not an HE course.

• the reputation of the course amongst HE tutors.

• Students who have taken an Applied A level (double award) or BTEC National Certificate/Diploma in an art/design subject may not need to take an Art Foundation course before going onto a degree. Check with the institution where you hope to study for a degree.

• A few students with A levels including an art/design subject, are able to progress directly onto a degree/HND if they have a particularly good portfolio. You should always check with the HE institutions you are considering, whether an Art Foundation course is definitely required.

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for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com


Studying abroad Studying or working abroad as part of your course A period abroad as part of a degree is no longer just for language students. There are now hundreds of degree and diploma courses that allow you to complete part of your course, either working or studying, in another country. The following organisations offer a range of study and work experience abroad to students on UK university courses.

• Erasmus This programme offers students the chance to study in a European country for 3 to 12 months. Approximately 10,000 British students take part each year. If you are interested, find out which UK institutions offer an Erasmus option for your chosen course of study. Erasmus study is fully recognised by participating UK institutions as part of the degree. For more details see M www.britishcouncil.org/erasmus

• IAESTE

(International Association for Exchange of Students for Technical Experience)

Science, technology and engineering students can undertake paid, course related work placements abroad. Most placements are between 6 to 12 weeks and take place during the summer vacation. Information on this scheme can be found on M www.iaeste.org.uk

Studying all of your course abroad More students are now considering the possibility of studying for an entire degree overseas. There are lots of issues to consider e.g. funding may be harder to find and you may need a visa or to sit entry tests. If you are considering this, you need to begin researching into the possibilities 12 to 18 months before you plan to start your studies. There are several websites that provide excellent information about studying abroad e.g. M www.ukcisa.org.uk which offers advice and has links to other websites.

For more information

• Exodus online database produced by Careers Europe. Subscription service available through Connexions and some schools/colleges.

• Studying abroad websites see page 26

• For those interested in studying in Australia and New Zealand see M www.studyoptions.com

• Students frequently enquire about

study in the USA. Details are available from The US-UK Fulbright Commission Battersea Power Station 188 Kirtling Street London SW8 5BN

T 090 1488 0162 Monday and Thursday 1.30pm – 5.00pm (calls charged at 15p per minute) Fax: 020 7498 4023 Email: advising@fulbright.co.uk M www.fulbright.co.uk

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk

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Let’s talk about… What do I do if I don’t know what to study? Firstly try not to worry! Choosing what to study at degree level is easier for some people than others.

• You could start by browsing through

a reference book like Careers 2011 (Trotman) or Jobfile 2011-12 (Babcock). This will give you an idea of the range of jobs that exist, and which degree subject(s) would be most relevant. Alternatively, visit M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com. Then click on eCLIPS for access to hundreds of careers information leaflets. • Use careers matching programs like Kudos, Pathfinder Live or Fast Tomato at school/college or through Connexions. These can help you identify broad areas of interest and generate job suggestions. Understanding your interests and looking at job ideas may help you choose a course. • There are also a number of computer programs and online tools which can match your interests with suitable HE subject areas and even individual course titles. Ask your Adviser if these are available in your school/college or through Connexions. - Pathfinder Live M www.pathfinderlive.com - Higher Ideas M www.careersoft.co.uk/ higherideas - Centigrade M www.coa.co.uk/centigrade (you can complete this online and have the results emailed to you for a small fee) - Coursefinder M www.ukcoursefinder.com - Stamford Test M www.ucas.com

• For some careers you need to take

a specific degree and some are very competitive e.g. physiotherapy, veterinary science, medicine. For these work experience prior to application is essential.

• If you decide to study a degree in an

academic subject such as English or history it is important to gain some work experience during your time at university. This will help show potential employers that you have developed useful skills for the workplace. It is also useful to think about your future options during your years as a student. Remember to visit the university careers service and look at the website for undergraduates M www.prospects.ac.uk

• Universities offer a huge range of degree subjects, many of which do not ask for specific level 3 qualifications, so you could consider doing one of these. Visit M www.ucas.com to research what is available.

• If you don’t want to commit yourself

entirely to a new subject, or to just one subject, you could consider a joint or combined degree (see pages 3, 4 and 5). Choosing Your Degree Course & University (Trotman) may also help you to think more about the range of subjects on offer.

• Talking to your tutor, head of sixth form or adviser may help you sort out your ideas.

• Many employers who recruit graduates

do not ask for a degree in a specific subject, so if you don’t have a particular career in mind, then consider studying a subject you enjoy.

• If you really can’t decide what to study

by the time you have to apply, consider taking a gap year to give yourself more time to think about your options and perhaps try some relevant work experience.

What are the advantages of doing a degree?

• Firstly, for some jobs it is essential (e.g. architecture, medicine).

• For other jobs it is preferred or usual (e.g. marketing, human resources, journalism).

• You can develop a range of skills that employers value – research, analysis, team-working – as well as allowing you to fulfil your academic potential.

• For a few years you can experience a lifestyle other than the typical ‘9-5’.

• You may be able to take part in

activities such as rock-climbing, flying or debating, which you might not have access to outside university.

• You can make friends with a wide

range of people from other parts of the UK and overseas.

• It gives you longer to decide on your career options.

• It will probably enhance your job

prospects. Over a career lifetime, on average, graduates earn higher salaries than non-graduates, and are less likely to be unemployed.

However, all this needs to be balanced against:

• The cost of going to university and how much student debt you may accumulate.

• The chances of an HE course leading

to the type of job that you are aiming for.

• Increasing numbers of graduates

(now around 274,000) mean intense competition for some jobs.

Top Tip! • Check out your career or course ideas with your adviser.

• Remember that the main reason

students drop out is because they feel they have chosen the wrong course, so try not to be one of them!

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for careers info go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on eCLIPS


Applications calendar YEAR ONE January to April 2011

✓ c Check subject choice against

any career ideas. Maths and English language GCSEs A*- C grades are required for most careers and courses. Re-sit GCSEs if necessary.

c Arrange work experience to enhance your university application. Some courses require relevant work experience. Work shadowing and talking to a professional in the field is useful too. See page 22.

c Apply for any relevant taster

courses e.g. medicine, law, engineering.

department open days.

c Start preparing your UCAS

c Plan ahead. If you decide you need help, talk to your teachers, tutors or adviser.

application especially your personal statement.

c Begin planning your gap year

c Research HE courses and universities. Use reference books, prospectuses, the internet and attend any local HE events.

if you want to defer entry to HE.

c Review your plans in the light of exam results.

c Look at sponsorship

Top Tip!

information. Contact companies as some may require you to apply to particular institutions.

May to August 2011

✓ c Continue to research courses and/or employers, gain relevant work experience, attend taster courses, HE events and university/

date is 1 October 2011; applications received after this but before 31 August 2012 may be considered but only if there are vacancies.

• Check whether your school/

college has earlier deadlines – remember they need time to write references and check everything is in order.

c CUKAS (Music Conservatoires UK Admissions Service) applications start on 1 July 2011. The initial closing

YEAR TWO September to October 2011

✓ c Finalise your HE choices. c You can submit your UCAS application from mid September 2011 (deadline is 15 January 2012).

c Oxford and Cambridge applications deadline is 15 October 2011.

c Medicine, dentistry and veterinary science/medicine deadline is 15 October 2011 (apply by 15 October 2011 for deferred entry too).

c Apply direct to courses that do not have a central application system e.g. Art Foundation courses.

c Apply as early as possible because popular courses can fill up quickly.

c Check the progress of your applications by using Track on the UCAS or CUKAS websites. M www.ucas.com M www.cukas.ac.uk

November to December 2011

UCAS after 15 January but check with universities and colleges first to make sure they will consider late applications.

✓ c UCAS art and design

applicants should check carefully whether each of your course choices is using the 15 January deadline or the 24 March deadline and make sure you apply by those dates.

c If seeking employment, check out the jobs and Apprenticeships advertised on M www. connexionsoxfordshire. com, click on ‘search opportunities’. Also look for vacancies on M www. apprenticeships.org.uk, recruitment and company websites and in local and national newspapers.

c If you are also going to apply for jobs as well as HE, now is a good time to start preparing your CV. January to February 2012

✓ c By 5 January 2012 on-time

CUKAS applicants should have received decisions from conservatoires and must reply by the date specified.

c UCAS application deadline is 15 January 2012 except for applications to Oxford and Cambridge, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science/ medicine, and certain art and design courses. The application deadline for nursing diplomas is also 15 January 2012.

or have declined all offers. It enables them to make further applications (one at a time) without having to wait for Clearing.

c It is possible to apply through

Contact employers you are interested in by sending your CV and covering letter. For advice on job hunting see ‘Let’s talk about … Jobseeking’ at M www. connexionsoxfordshire. com, click on ‘publications’.

c From 24 February until the end of June UCAS Extra operates. This is for applicants who have used up all five UCAS choices but have not received any offers

If universities and colleges still have vacancies, they list them on the course search section of the UCAS website M www.ucas.com marked with an X.

March to June 2012

✓ c Some art and design courses

have an application deadline of 24 March 2012. If you are applying for any of these, make sure you do so in good time.

July to August 2012

✓ c Exam results are published and UCAS Clearing and Adjustment start.

c HE vacancies are published in the Telegraph newspaper and on the UCAS website M www.ucas.com

c Help with Clearing and Adjustment is available at your school/college.

for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com

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Let’s talk about… The application process UCAS is the central organisation that processes applications for full-time degrees, Foundation Degrees, nursing diplomas, Dip HE and HND courses at UK universities and colleges.

• Through UCAS you apply for up to five

courses between mid September and 15 January. There are some exceptions to this – see below.

• Universities and colleges do not initially

see the other institutions that you have selected, but bear in mind that they will all read your personal statement which includes your reasons for wishing to study a particular subject.

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary science/medicine and Oxford and Cambridge

• The deadline to apply for all these is 15 October.

• The summer before applying through

UCAS you may need to take an admissions test e.g. the UKCAT test for medicine or dentistry – see M www.ukcat.ac.uk; the BMAT test for medicine or veterinary courses – see M www.bmat.org.uk (There is also the LNAT for law – see M www.lnat.ac.uk). For more information about these and any other admissions tests you may be required to take, visit the UCAS website.

• When you apply for medicine, dentistry

and veterinary science/medicine you are limited to a maximum of four choices in any one of these subjects. You can then use the remaining choice for an alternative subject or leave the space blank.

• You are limited to one course choice at

either Oxford or Cambridge University and cannot apply to both. For more information see M www.ox.ac.uk/ admissions/undergraduate_courses and M www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/ undergraduate

10

Art and design

• Through UCAS you can apply for up to five art and design courses.

• For some courses you must apply

between mid September and 15 January, while for others you can apply between mid September and 24 March.

• Courses which use the later deadline are indicated on the UCAS website. These allow you more time to choose courses and prepare a portfolio.

• You can submit an application by 15

January and then add more course choices (which have the 24 March deadline) later on. However the total number applied for must not exceed five.

• Your course choices are considered

simultaneously (not sequentially) by institutions.

Apply

• The UCAS application procedure is an

on-line system called Apply accessed via M www.ucas.com • If you are in full-time education your school or college will give you more information about Apply. It enables you to make changes to your application at any time before you send it either to a co-ordinator in your school or college, or directly to UCAS (in the case of applicants who are no longer in full-time education who are not using their old school/college to write their reference). • If you have questions about Apply and are not in full-time education, the UCAS website has a Frequently Asked Questions section, helpful videos and a helpline.

The ‘offers’ process

• Through the UCAS system you will

receive offers or rejections from institutions. You can follow your progress on-line via Track on the UCAS website.

• Maximise your chances of receiving offers by researching your course selections very carefully.

• Offers are usually ‘conditional’ which

means the institution is offering you a place if you achieve certain grades or points. There are also ‘unconditional’

offers for students who already have the required grades/points.

• No matter how many conditional offers

you receive, eventually you can hold only two of them; one ‘firm’ offer which should be the course that most interests you and an ‘insurance’ offer which is intended as a back-up if you don’t achieve the grades/points for your ‘firm’ offer. If you don’t get the results needed for your firm offer but do get enough for your insurance offer, then you are committed to taking up the insurance offer, so choose it carefully. • A system called Extra is available for applicants who have applied to five choices and been unsuccessful or declined all offers. For more details see page 17.

For more information

• UCAS

Rosehill New Barn Lane Cheltenham GL52 3LZ T 0871 468 0468 (applicant enquiries) Monday to Friday 8.30am - 6.00pm M www.ucas.com

Music conservatoires

• The Conservatoires UK Admissions

Service (CUKAS) handles applications for practice-based courses at seven music colleges in the UK and operates in a broadly similar way to UCAS.

• The closing date for on-time applications is 1 October and auditions begin in mid October.

For more information

• T 0871 468 0470

(applicant enquiries) Monday to Friday 8.30am - 6.00pm M www.cukas.ac.uk We are grateful to UCAS for their help in checking and updating this information.

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk


for careers info go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on eCLIPS

11

AB

BB

BC

CC

220

200

180

160

EE

E

D

C

you can accumulate but you cannot count the same or similar qualifications twice e.g. if you have an AS and an A level in the same subject, you can only count the points from your A level.

• There is no limit on the number of points

for entry to HE. It establishes agreed equivalences between different types of qualifications.

• The UCAS Tariff is a points system used

E

B

50

20

DD

A

60

C

CD

70

D

CC

80

30

BC

90

40

BB

100

DE

AB

110

EE

DE

A

120

B

CD

DD

A*

AA

140

150

AA

240

250

A*A

260

P

M

D

AWARD

PP

MP

MM

DM

DD

CERTIFICATE

BTEC NATIONALS

is likely to be, make a list of all your subjects and the grades you realistically expect to gain. Now use the table on this page to add up your Tariff score.

• To work out what your Tariff score

PPP

MPP

MMP

MMM

DMM

DDM

DDD

DIPLOMA

having completed only the first year of an advanced course (e.g. AS levels).

E

D

C

B

A

A*

PROGRESSION DIPLOMA1

• You cannot normally start an HE course

GCE AS GCE GCE / AVCE DOUBLE AWARD A LEVEL / AVCE DOUBLE AWARD

A*A*

GCE AS / AS VCE

GCE / VCE QUALIFICATIONS

280

300

320

350

360

POINTS

The UCAS Tariff

P3

P2

P1

M3

M2

D2 / M1

D1

of flexibility – you can offset weaker subjects against stronger ones to make up the requirements – but you need to check your offers carefully as some universities also ask for specific grades or points in certain subjects. Check in prospectuses or on the M www.ucas.com website.

P3

P2

M2 / P1

M1

D

DIPLOMA

EXTENDED DIPLOMA

E

D

C

B

A

M

D

ADVANCED EXTENSION AWARDS 2

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

348 326 304 282 260

27 26 25 24

370

392

413

435

457

28

29

30

31

32

33

140

160

479

523

36

501

545

37

34

567

38

35

589

611

632

654

676

698

720

POINTS

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

International Baccalaureate Diploma

150

180

200

220

240

250

260

280

300

320

350

360

POINTS

2 Points for Advanced Extension Awards are over and above those gained from the A level grade.

1 Advanced Diploma =Progression Diploma plus Additional & Specialist Learning (ASL). See appropriate qualification to calculate the ASL score. ASL has a maximum Tariff of 140.

ucas_tariff and includes many more qualifications than can be shown here.

M www.ucas.com/students/

• The complete Tariff can be found at

CACHE LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA IN CHILD CARE & EDUCATION

• Points score offers have the advantage

P

M

D

CERTIFICATE

OCR NATIONALS


Let’s talk about… Information for students with vocational qualifications Applied A levels, BTEC National Awards/ Certificates/Diplomas and OCR National Certificates/ Diplomas/Extended Diplomas are recognised entry requirements for most HE courses, as are A level qualifications. Relevance of current studies Vocational courses will tend to lead to an HE course in a related subject area e.g. a National Diploma in media would usually lead to a Foundation Degree, HND or degree in a media related subject. However, you may be able to apply for HE courses that are not related to your vocational course if:

• you apply for an HE course that does not require specific subjects for entry

Entry criteria

• Does the HE course you are considering require high grades?

• Does it require GCSE maths and

English language at grade C or above? If you don’t have these, check to see if the institution will accept key skills in the courses you have studied instead e.g. application of number and communication.

Styles and assessment

• You may be used to the continuous

assessment approach but some HE courses may be assessed by unseen exams and essay writing.

• Decide which method of assessment would suit you best and use HE prospectuses and websites to check which they use.

• Some courses require that a traditional

A level in a specific subject has been studied alongside your vocational course especially where in-depth knowledge is needed.

• Use M www.ucas.com to check the requirements.

• If in any doubt, contact the university/

college admissions tutor for any courses you are considering to check the acceptability of your qualifications.

• you have out of school/college

experience in other work or subject areas

• you have studied A levels or other

subjects alongside your vocational course

• you have studied units as part of your

course that relate to an HE course e.g. IT, communication, business.

If you have chosen to study an HE course that is not directly linked to your current course, you should check that your qualifications are acceptable. (This is also true for A level students.) It is also advisable to provide evidence in your UCAS personal statement about how your qualifications and experience are relevant to your choice of course.

12

for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com


Information for students with disabilities Applications to HE

• If you have a disability, you should ask all

the usual questions when applying for HE courses but you also need to research into the additional help available to you.

• Some disabilities have little impact on

studying but sometimes there can be difficulties with personal care, special equipment, work load, accommodation, teaching styles, tutors’ attitudes or students’ attitudes.

• Remember that you have the right not to

be discriminated against in education and reasonable adjustments must be made to support you in your studies.

Support

• Every university and college has a Disability

Coordinator or Adviser. You should contact this person early on in your research to talk about the support available. They, and experts such as occupational therapists, can help you work out what help you might need.

• Support can include a support worker; a

mentor; flexible deadlines; IT; specialist tuition support to organise your work; or advance warning of changes in routine.

• Give them as much information as you

Finance

• If you face extra costs because you have

For more information

special needs, you may be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances. These are paid on top of the standard student finance package, are not affected by your household income and you don’t have to pay them back. You may receive:

• SKILL

- a non-medical helper’s allowance (up to £20,520 per year)

- a specialist equipment allowance (up to £5,161 for the entire course) - a general allowance (up to £1,724 per year) - ‘reasonable spending’ on extra travel costs. (2011/2012 figures which may change for 2012/2013).

• If you are eligible for DSA your support needs will be assessed by a trained assessor at a centre near your home or university.

• You may also be able to apply for, or

continue receiving, benefits such as Disability Living Allowance, Housing Benefit and Employment & Support Allowance. Contact Jobcentre plus for advice.

(The National Bureau for Students with Disabilities)

The SKILL helpline has closed but you can still obtain information from their website.

M www.skill.org.uk

• M www.direct.gov.uk/en/

disabledpeople/educationandtraining/ highereducation

• Into Higher Education (SKILL – The National Bureau for Students with Disabilities)

• Bridging the Gap: a guide to the

Disabled Students’ Allowances in higher education. (Student Finance England) Can be viewed/downloaded at M www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance If you need a Braille, large print or audio version, these can be ordered by phoning T 0141 243 3686.

can so that all the help you need can be put in place. You might find it helpful to contact specialist organisations e.g. RNIB, for advice. If you find the support arrangements are not meeting your needs, they can always be changed.

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk

13


Let’s talk about… Information for overseas students EU students

Refugee students

Many EU nationals or children of EU nationals are entitled to take out a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees. How much you get is not affected by your household income. If you have lived in the UK for three years prior to the start of your course, you may also be eligible to use the student loan system to help with your living costs.

If the Home Office has granted you full refugee status, you will be treated as a ‘home student’ immediately and are eligible to use the student loan system.

Other assistance may be available from your home education authority, so contact them direct to find out.

For more information

• M www.direct.gov.uk/ studentfinance

• EU Customer Services Team, Student Loans Company T 0141 243 3570 Email: EU_Team@slc.co.uk M www.direct.gov.uk/ studentfinance-EU

• Student Finance England T 0845 300 5090

• M www.ukcisa.org.uk Overseas students If you have entered the UK on a student visa you will be classed as an overseas student. This means that you will not be entitled to financial assistance and must be able to pay your own fees and living expenses. Fees for overseas students are usually higher than for home students. Students from other countries should apply for university places through the UCAS system (see page 10).

Humanitarian Protection If you applied for asylum and have been granted Humanitarian Protection, you will also be treated as a ‘home student’. However, you will need to have lived in the UK as an ‘ordinary resident’ for three years prior to the start of your course before you become eligible to use the student loan system. This is usually three years from when you came to the UK and not from when you got your status. For example, to qualify for financial assistance for September 2012, your residency must have started before September 2009.

Discretionary Leave If you applied for asylum and have been granted Discretionary Leave, you are not eligible for home fees and student support for an HE course in England. This change came into force on 9/02/11 for England, but doesn’t apply if you are studying in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland or you apply for student support in one of those countries. Whatever your status, if you intend to study full time, you should first check how this may impact on benefits as you may lose some of your entitlements. N.B. This information is intended only as a guideline. If you have any questions or concerns relating to your eligibility to study in the UK, or applying for financial support to study, please contact the student adviser/student counsellor at your school/ college or the organisations listed on this page.

For more information

• Studying in the UK –

a Guide for International Students (Trotman) • UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) 9-17 St Albans Place London N1 0NX

T 020 7107 9922 Monday to Friday 1.00pm – 4.00pm

M www.ukcisa.org.uk

Advice for international students

• The British Council

Information Centre Bridgewater House 58 Whitworth Street Manchester M1 6BB

T 0161 957 7755 Email: general.enquiries@ britishcouncil.org

M www.britishcouncil.org Contact for general information on studying in Britain

• Refugee Council

240-250 Ferndale Road Brixton London SW9 8BB

T 020 7346 6700

M www.refugeecouncil.org.uk Support for refugees and asylum seekers.

14

for careers info go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on eCLIPS


Completing your personal statement This is one of the most important sections of the UCAS application form. It’s where you have the opportunity to impress admissions tutors. Points to cover in your personal statement

• Why you have chosen this course. Mention any particular topics that interest you.

• If you are hoping to take a gap year, say what you plan to do during it.

• Outline your plans after completing your chosen course. Do you have a specific career in mind?

• Include any background or experience you

have e.g. work experience, voluntary work or involvement with activities such as sport, performing arts or travel. If these relate to your chosen course, so much the better. For some courses relevant work experience is essential.

• Describe your interests and achievements

e.g. sport and music. Are you involved in clubs and societies? Did you get any certificates or awards for achievements or activities in sixth form/college? Have you taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, cadets or Young Enterprise?

Some key principles

• Make sure your statement is relevant to

all the courses you have applied for. If you find this impossible to do, you may need to rethink your choice of courses.

• Draft your personal statement and show

it to family and friends for their opinion. Your tutor will want to see a draft of your statement too.

• Don’t be tempted to copy anyone else’s personal statement because UCAS runs them through plagiarism software and if similarities are detected, you, and the institutions you are applying to, will be notified.

• When you have completed your statement, think about the overall impression it gives – you should be as positive and truthful as possible.

• Make sure you check for spelling mistakes

and grammatical errors – get someone else to read it through for you.

• Don’t repeat things that are written elsewhere on the form.

• Keep a copy of your statement – you

may want to refer to it when you go for interviews, as some of the questions you are asked are likely to be based on the information you have given.

Not sure where to start?

• Begin with a blank sheet of paper! Write

down all the things you could include – your career plans, study interests, work experience, voluntary work, your interests out of sixth form/college, words to sum up you as a person. Perhaps ask others how they would describe you. Then organise the material. Start with a paragraph on why your intended course of study interests you, followed by relevant experience and activities, your future plans and then a little about you as a person.

Top Tip! • Admissions tutors are looking for

a high level of motivation. Try to put across your enthusiasm for the subject you want to study.

• For advice on what admission tutors are looking for in your personal statement see

M www.ucas.com How to Write a Winning UCAS Personal Statement (Trotman) Creating Your UCAS Personal Statement (Trotman) 60 Successful Personal Statements: For UCAS Application (Cambridge Occupational Analysts) How to Write a Successful University Personal Statement Application (Apply2Uni) Writing a UCAS Personal Statement in Seven Easy Steps (How to Books) Heap 2012: University Degree Course Offers (Trotman)

for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com

15


Let’s talk about… Interviews for higher education Institutions and departments vary in their policies over whether they interview or not. Some: • do not interview at all • see the majority of applicants

• Interviews are two-way – it’s also an opportunity for you to find out if the course and institution meet your needs.

• Interviewers appreciate that you may be nervous. Don’t be

scared to ask them to repeat a question or re-phrase it if you don’t understand.

• ask you to attend for interview when competition for places is high

• Avoid one-word responses. Try to give constructive answers but

• interview to make sure you are the right type of person, e.g. for medicine or teaching

• You may be asked why you have chosen your course. Prepare an

• interview when all applicants are predicted to have similar high grades, so the interview will be the deciding factor in who is offered a place.

• Be prepared to talk about the things you have included in your

At some institutions interviews are part of the open day. You need to be aware that there are two types of university open day; open days available to anyone, and open days specifically for those students who have been, or are likely to be, offered a conditional place. Attending the latter type of open day is important – it gives you the opportunity to view facilities and find out about all aspects of the course from tutors and existing students. Institutions generally have more than one open day, so if you miss one, there may be another you can attend.

Preparation

• It’s a good idea to keep up-to-date with topical issues in your

subject area, e.g. keep articles from quality newspapers and reread them before an interview. Items relating to medical ethics, politics, education, social and legal issues regularly appear in the press. Also look at some professional journals that cover your study area or intended profession. Local public libraries may keep a selection of these.

• Read through the prospectus thoroughly. Check if there is a

departmental prospectus. Research additional information on the university website.

• Make sure you read through a copy of your UCAS application – in particular, your personal statement.

• Prepare anything you need to take with you e.g. art portfolio, coursework or essays.

• Plan your journey – allow plenty of time to get there. • Decide what you are going to wear – you need to be smart and presentable, but also comfortable.

The interview

be careful not to waffle.

answer for this prior to the interview. personal statement.

• Some interviewers will ask you about your interests and activities outside of sixth form/college.

Questions you may be asked…

• Why have you chosen this subject? • Why do you want to come to this university/college? • What are your views on…(a topical or controversial issue related to your chosen subject)?

• Have you any experience to back up your subject choice? For some courses work experience may be essential – check this when you apply.

• What do you hope to do at the end of the course? You might like to ask…

• How is the course assessed – course work, continuous assessment, exams?

• How is the course taught – how many lectures, seminars and/or tutorials?

• What industry links does the department have? • What have previous graduates of this course gone on to do? But remember – don’t ask questions about things that have been well covered in the prospectus or in a talk given during the open day – otherwise it will give the impression that you haven’t read the information or didn’t listen.

Top Tip!

• Interviews can last from five minutes to over an hour. You may

• Talk to friends and other students who have already had

• The interview may also include a group exercise or discussion.

• Get a teacher, relative or adviser to give you a mock interview. • See Heap 2012: University Degree Course Offers (Trotman)

be interviewed by just one person, or a panel of perhaps two or three people. Alternatively you may be asked to complete a practical test, exam or submit pieces of writing. You will be told in advance what format your interview will take. For example, if you apply for a journalism course you may have to take a general knowledge test or write a short essay.

16

Remember

university interviews.

for ideas about the types of questions you might be asked.

• Also see University Interviews Guide book and CDROM (JFS School) which may be available in your school or college.

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk


UCAS Extra, Clearing and Adjustment Extra This operates from 24 February to the end of June. If by this stage you aren’t holding any offers from your chosen universities and have no outstanding decisions, then Extra enables you to make further applications (one at a time) so you don’t have to wait until Clearing to find a place. You can find out where there are still vacancies by visiting the Course Search section of the UCAS website. If you are eligible to participate in Extra, a special button will appear on your Track screen. You apply for vacancies through Track but talking to universities and colleges direct to check they can consider you is always a good idea before applying.

Clearing If, after you have received your results in August, you are without a place, you can apply for any remaining vacancies through Clearing. If you are already in the UCAS system you will be notified automatically about Clearing.

Maximising your chances of success through Clearing

• You will need to make some important

decisions very quickly so make use of the advice available at your school or college.

• Most vacancies are filled within the first few days so don’t delay!

• You will need to be calm and methodical

despite it being a stressful time. Lots of people will be trying to contact universities and colleges so be persistent and patient.

• Don’t rush into a decision without carefully researching the course and the location. If possible, go along and have a look around before making a final decision.

• Telephone the course admissions tutor and be ready to talk about your application. Remember to have your UCAS personal ID number with you.

• Show your interest and enthusiasm for the course.

Adjustment If, when the exam results are announced, you find you have met and exceeded the conditional firm offer you are holding, Adjustment gives you the opportunity, if you wish, to make a new application while at the same time protecting the original firm choice offer.

• Once the firm choice institution confirms

your offer as unconditional, you have up to five calendar days to secure an Adjustment place.

• You need to contact institutions direct

to check if they have vacancies and also register for Adjustment with UCAS Track.

• If you don’t find an alternative place then your original firm choice will stand.

• If you obtain an alternative place, you will

become ‘unconditional firm’ with the new institution. The new institution is responsible for confirming that you have met and exceeded your conditional firm offer and are eligible for Adjustment.

• Applicants with insurance or original

unconditional offers are not eligible to participate in the Adjustment process.

• You can contact lots of institutions to look

for vacancies but you are allowed to make only one formal Adjustment transaction.

Top Tip! • Course vacancies are advertised in many places. The best ones to check are the UCAS website M www.ucas.com and the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

• Universities and colleges advertise new and under-subscribed courses on their websites and in newspapers.

• Make sure you are around at results time and for a couple of weeks afterwards in case you need to go through Clearing or Adjustment.

for careers info go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on eCLIPS

17


Let’s talk about… Student finance Becoming a student may be the first time you have had to take full responsibility for your own finances. It’s really important to keep control of your money by budgeting as your expenses will probably include not only accommodation, food, books and transport but insurance, mobile phone bills, TV licence, clothes and social life. Managing your money It’s a good idea to open a bank or building society account if you don’t already have one, and there are loads of books on sources of funding, work opportunities, budgeting and financial survival. There are also websites that can help you calculate realistic budgets for student life – see page 27. If you feel you are getting into financial difficulties, act fast and talk to your family, student debt counsellor and your bank or building society.

Sources of funding

Government funding for HE students has been changing over the past few years. There are two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. Below is the latest information available for students starting their courses in 2012 but check M www. direct.gov.uk/studentfinance regularly for updates. A student loan is money lent to you to help with your tuition fees and living costs while you study, which you will have to pay back. You don’t have to pay back any grants, bursaries or scholarships you receive.

• Tuition Fee Loan

From September 2012, universities and colleges in England can charge new, full-time students tuition fees of up to £9,000 and new part-time students up to £6,750 a year. (There are no restrictions on how much private universities and colleges can charge). These fees don’t have to be paid up-

18

front; instead you can pay them by taking out a Tuition Fee Loan. How much loan you receive isn’t affected by your household income. New full-time students (including fulltime distance learning students) can get a loan of up to £9,000. New full-time students on an approved course at a private university or college can get up to £6,000. If you are on a part-time course (which is at least 25% of a full-time course in each academic year) you can get up to £4,500. The Tuition Fee Loan is paid direct to your university or college.

• Maintenance Loan for Living Costs

Full-time students including those on approved private courses (but not distance learning or part-time students) can also take out a student loan to help cover living costs. The loan is paid into your bank account at the start of each term. The amount you get depends on where you live and study, and your household income. The maximum Maintenance Loan for students starting in 2012/13 is: - £4,375 if you live at home - £5,500 if you live away from home and study at a university/college outside London - £7,675 if you live away from home and study in London.

• Repayment of Student Loans

After completing their courses, fulltime and part-time students start repaying their student loans once they are earning over £21,000. (If you earn less than £21,000 you don’t make any repayments). You repay your loans back at a rate of 9% of your income over £21,000. This is taken direct from your salary along with tax and National Insurance. Interest is charged on your loan at the rate of inflation plus a percentage relating to how much you earn. See M www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk

• Maintenance Grant for Living Costs

Full-time (but not part-time) students can apply for a Maintenance Grant to help with living costs. This doesn’t have to be paid back. If your household income is £25,000 or under, you can get a full grant of £3,250. If it’s between £25,000 and £42,600 you can get a partial grant.

• Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards

From 2012 there will be a £150 million National Scholarship Programme to help students from families with a household income of less than £25,000 a year. Each university/college will decide what support they are offering so check on their websites for details.

• Childcare Grant, Parents’ Learning

Allowance and Adult Dependants’ Grant Students with a dependent adult or children can apply for a range of allowances and grants. These don’t have to be repaid.

Q I am not sure about going to university – it seems such a big step to take and I might end up with loads of debts. Am I right to be worrying about it so much?

A Have you thought about going to a local university? An increasing number of young people are living at home while studying for their degree. You’ll probably save on rent, washing and food and you’d also be in familiar surroundings. Remember, however, that part of the HE experience is the opportunity to be independent and have total responsibility for your own day-to-day life. Living at home would clearly change this experience for you but for some students staying at home would reduce their worries about moving to a new place with new people around them.

for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com


• NHS Student Bursaries

Applying for student finance

Many healthcare diploma or degree courses attract this type of funding – nursing, midwifery, operating department practitioners, audiology, chiropody/podiatry, dietetics, dental hygiene/therapy, occupational therapy, orthoptics, physiotherapy, prosthetics & orthotics, radiography/radiotherapy, and speech & language therapy. Those studying medicine or dentistry may be eligible for this type of funding from year 5 of their course onwards.

For more information visit T 0845 358 6655

M www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/students or

• Social Work Bursaries

These are available for degree courses in social work. For further information see M www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/students or T 0845 610 1122

• Charities and Educational Trusts

Students who meet specific criteria may be able to obtain small amounts of funding from charities and educational trusts. See useful resources and websites on pages 24-27.

Also contact the Educational Grants Advisory Service via M www.family-action.org.uk or T 020 7241 7459 Tuesday to Thursday 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Applications for student finance are dealt with centrally by Student Finance England. You can apply online at the same time as you are applying for courses through M www.ucas.com, or via the M www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance website. This includes a student finance calculator, so you can work out how much you are likely to receive. It’s best to apply as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait until you have a confirmed HE place, just complete the application using your first choice course and then change the details later if necessary. If you have a disability or learning difficulty, you may be able to get extra funding to help with expenses incurred as a result of your additional needs – see page 13. Students considering applying for places at dance, drama and music colleges should contact the colleges individually for advice about the type of funding available. Most of their HE courses entitle students to receive student finance under the national scheme, although fee arrangements vary between courses – see page 2.

• Part-time work

During term time many students take part-time jobs to earn extra cash. This doesn’t affect your entitlement to student finance. Universities often have their own student employment agency advertising jobs around the campus and the university’s careers service may have details of local part-time work. Many courses now include a sandwich year that will give you the opportunity not only of gaining valuable work experience but a good salary too.

For more information

• A range of guides, fact sheets and forms can be viewed/ downloaded at M www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance

-

including: A guide to financial support for new full-time higher education students

Top Tip!

- -

Student Loans: a guide to terms and conditions

• Get a travel discount card. • Use the union facilities, as these

-

Bridging the gap: a guide to the disabled students’ allowances (DSAs) in higher education

• Buy second hand textbooks or use

You can get Braille, large print and audio versions of the guides, fact sheets and forms by phoning T 0141 243 3686 or emailing M brailleandlargefonts@slc.co.uk

• Eat in rather than out. The cheapest way is to pool

• Student Finance England

may be cheaper. the library.

resources with your housemates and shop together.

• Go supermarket shopping late in the day when

fresh food is often reduced in price. Look out for special offers.

• Cinemas and clubs often have cheap student nights. • Get a part-time job and work during your holidays. • Don’t forget the benefits of your NUS card – lots of

Higher education student finance: how you are assessed and paid

PO Box 210 Darlington DL1 9HJ

T 0845 300 5090 T 0845 604 4434 textphone Monday to Friday 8.00am – 8.00pm Saturday and Sunday 9.00am – 5.30pm

shops offer discounts.

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk

19


Let’s talk about… Sponsorship Sponsorship is a way of receiving financial help during your HE course, often in exchange for periods of employment with a sponsor; this takes the form of a contract between you and the sponsor.

Advantages include:

Ways in which sponsorship may be offered:

Disadvantages include:

• an annual salary for the duration of your course

• a salary for a specific year e.g. gap year, sandwich work placement or final year

• a bursary payment during term time plus a salary for vacation work.

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• extra money • potential paid work during the holidays • work experience and training • gaining experience of business culture • gaining confidence in the working world • the possibility of a job at the end of your studies.

• making an initial career decision at 17 • finding yourself on a course you wouldn’t have otherwise chosen

• going to an institution not chosen by you • sponsorship may affect your entitlement to a student loan, depending on how much you earn

Employers may expect you to join the company after your course and some insist you work for a minimum period once you finish training. However, sponsorships do not necessarily guarantee you a job.

• having to work during the long summer

Who might offer sponsorship?

What do I need?

Sponsorship is offered by a range of organisations including public and private companies, professional bodies, government departments, local authorities and the armed services. The main subject areas attracting sponsorship are engineering, pure and applied science, accountancy, economics and computer science. It is also possible to find some in retailing, finance and business. Some companies require you to attend a specific course or institution, whereas others are more flexible. It is possible to be sponsored on both full-time and sandwich courses. The latter are often more likely to attract sponsorship, as you can gain a year’s work experience alongside your academic studies.

Entry requirements vary but in general sponsors may specify:

vacation

• being committed to working for the

company for a specified period of time.

• certain advanced level subjects • number of UCAS points • relevant work experience • personal qualities e.g. an inquiring mind,

When should I apply? The best time to apply varies between companies but you should start researching the opportunities during the first year of your advanced level studies. You apply for the course in the normal way but if the sponsor wishes you to complete a year in employment first, you may need to defer your university course for a year.

Scholarships Scholarships are another source of finance. These may be offered by charitable trusts, a university department or a company, however these would not normally include the offer of employment.

For more information

• M marketing@imeche.org.uk

and request a copy of Engineering Opportunities

• M www.scholarship-search.org.uk • Check out company, professional body and university websites as these can be a valuable source of sponsorship and scholarship information.

• Guide to Student Money 2011 (Trotman)

creativity, ambition, enthusiasm

• skills including teamwork and communication.

for careers info go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on eCLIPS


Taking a gap year More young people than ever are choosing to take a year out before moving on to HE or employment. Most university tutors look favourably on students doing this and the benefits to you might be life changing! Start researching your plans early in the first year of advanced level studies as some opportunities have application closing dates or an age limit. Some activities such as expeditions are expensive; check out the costs so you know how much you need to earn from part-time work or fund raising. When planning your year, think about: • what you want to do • why you want to do it • what you are hoping to gain from it.

What could I do in my gap year? During the year you may have the chance to do more than one thing. You could:

• Travel

• Work – paid work, work experience

and voluntary work A gap year is a great opportunity to get work experience (paid or unpaid) or voluntary work related to your course choice or career aims. It can be in the UK or abroad and will give you the chance to: • become more independent and self- confident • develop your skills • gain experience • make contacts • possibly gain some work-related qualifications • earn and save money ready for going on to HE.

• If you have already decided which

course you want to do Apply in Year 13 (or the second year of your advanced level studies) for deferred entry by the normal deadline – see page 9. Before applying, check that your chosen universities or colleges will accept a deferred application and make your deferral very clear on your application. Make sure you are at home when the exam results are announced and Clearing and Adjustment are underway so that the whole application process is complete before you go off on your gap year.

• Take a course

You could take a course to gain qualifications or improve your skills, e.g. in languages, cooking or computing. Courses are offered in the UK or abroad. It may be possible to obtain a scholarship to fund one of these courses but otherwise you will need to find the finance yourself.

• If you are not certain which course you want to do after your gap year Apply a year later or when you come back, making sure you are available at the correct time to complete your application and attend interviews.

Returning to study

Most students don’t have any problems returning to study after their gap year as it has given them a break and they look forward to returning to learning. However, • where do you want to visit and why? your experiences during a year out may • how much will it all cost – travel, influence your plans for the future and accommodation, food, health and travel prompt you to rethink your aims. insurance etc? This could be independently or as part of an organised project. Make sure you research and plan carefully:

Applying to university

• UCAS personal statement

Write this carefully, explaining your reasons for deferred entry and your plans for your year out. If you are applying during your gap year, write about what you are doing.

• how will you finance it? • will you need visas, work permits and vaccinations?

For more information

• Useful resources and websites are listed on pages 24–27.

for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com

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Let’s talk about… The value of work experience Universities and employers value students who have practical experience and an understanding of the world of work.

• During your first year in the sixth form or

at college you may be able to do some work experience or work shadowing. This could help you: • collect information for a particular project you are working on • find out more about a career area you are interested in • gain experience you can use to support your application for a job or HE course. • Your school or college may have staff who organise placements – find out who they are. They can guide you through the process of choosing a placement and how best to prepare for and get the most out of it.

• As well as work placements, you can

gain valuable insights and experiences through voluntary work and part-time jobs. Work-related experience doesn’t have to be done as a block placement e.g. an aspiring teacher could arrange to spend one afternoon a week in a local school or an evening a week helping at a local youth club.

• The V Award is the national youth

• Planning, arranging and completing

work experience, part-time or voluntary work shows your interest, commitment and level of motivation – qualities which employers and HE admissions tutors are looking for. They are always interested in applicants’ experiences of the world of work – from their point of view these are often as important as your academic achievements.

volunteering scheme for 16-25 year olds and is another good way to get work experience related to your career aims. Volunteers can work towards nationally recognised certificates and take part in a wide range of activities including sport, media, social work, web design, music festivals etc.

• Some HE courses include periods of

For more information go to

• If you aren’t on a sandwich course you

M www.vinspired.com T 0800 089 9000

work experience e.g. business studies or engineering sandwich courses. Although this makes your course longer there are advantages in terms of pay, skill development, improved employment prospects – it may even lead to a job offer. could still arrange to do some work experience during the holidays and gain valuable experience from joining clubs, societies and community action groups in term time.

Ideas for work experience/work shadowing Agriculture/ Forestry/Horticulture

Organise a year’s work experience on a farm, do work experience with a forestry company, garden centre or local authority parks department.

Archaeology

Go on archaeological digs, visit museums or sites.

Architecture

Get work experience with a firm of architects, a construction company or local authority architects’ department.

Business Studies

Engineering

Attend an engineering “taster” course at a university, shadow a professional engineer.

Environmental Science

Do some voluntary work e.g. with BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) and attend field courses.

Occupational Therapy/ Orthoptics/Physiotherapy/ Radiography/Speech Therapy

It is essential to visit a hospital department and shadow a professional before applying for any of these courses.

Pharmacy

History

Shadow a hospital or industrial pharmacist, get work experience as a sales assistant in a chemist’s shop.

Law

Do voluntary work or work experience in a primary school, help at a Summer Play Scheme or Youth Club.

Join a local historical society, get work experience or voluntary work with the National Trust or local museum. Shadow a solicitor or barrister, visit courts, do voluntary work with offenders.

Arrange work experience in any size or kind Media of business, attend Industry Days, or shadow Write for your school or college magazine/ a manager. website or start your own, visit local Computing newspapers, radio and TV stations, or Try to get experience using a wide range of shadow a reporter or producer. computer programs, use the internet, get Medicine some work experience with a computing Shadow a doctor, learn first aid, do company or a firm with a large computing voluntary work in a hospital or residential department. home for the elderly or people with

Teaching

Veterinary Science

Get work experience on a livestock farm, help at a cattery, kennels, stables or animal welfare organisation, shadow a vet.

disabilities.

22

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk


What next after university? The What Do Graduates Do? survey of those completing degrees in 2009, shows that 67.2% entered employment; 15.3% went on to further study or training and 8.9% were unemployed after six months. Of those completing Foundation Degrees, 58.5% entered employment; 32.8% went on to further study (many of those converting to a degree) and 2.7% were unemployed.

• In the current economic climate, new

graduates, like everyone else, are having a tough time finding employment. A survey of graduate employers showed they are expecting about a third of the vacancies they have on offer for 2011 will be filled by undergraduates who have had previous work experience with their organisations such as internships, industrial placements, vacation schemes or sponsorships.

• On the whole more employers are actively seeking to employ graduates. In normal years, major companies take around 20% of each year’s leavers, with the rest being taken on by small and medium sized employers. However, there can be intense competition for some opportunities.

• Although some employers recruit

graduates with specific degree subjects these account for only about half of all graduate opportunities. The rest will consider graduates in any subject, who have the necessary qualities and skills to make a contribution to the organisation.

However, having a degree is no guarantee of a good job – you need evidence of your employability too.

• Research carried out by the Association of Graduate Recruiters identified the following as the skills valued by most employers:

• initiative, motivation and enthusiasm • people skills such as team-working and communication • flexibility and willingness to learn • problem solving and analytical skills • computer literacy • business awareness. • While at university you will develop skills through your studies but you should also look beyond your course for other opportunities. These could include courses run by the university careers service, extra curricular activities which involve taking on new responsibilities, work experience and voluntary work.

• Remember, your degree may be only a

starting point in terms of learning. Many graduates will do further study and training after graduating.

Top Tip!

• Research published by the Higher

Education Statistics Agency showed that just three-and-a-half years after graduating, 81% of graduates were working in occupations classed as ‘graduate occupations’ related to their long term career plans.

• Some graduates choose to delay applying

for graduate jobs until after they have completed their course, preferring to devote their energies to achieving the best results they can, before investigating their job options. Others take non-graduate jobs in order to fund travel plans.

• Some employers, who have found it

hard to attract applicants, offer financial incentives e.g. those planning to teach science, maths and modern languages can apply for training bursaries. These packages may even include paying off the student loan.

• Many graduate recruiters use

assessment centres and competency based recruitment criteria.

• Your key skills will be carefully

assessed, irrespective of what is written on your CV or application form.

• To remain employable you will need to be flexible and learn new skills throughout your working life.

• For further information, including

examples of jobs entered by graduates from most main subject areas, see What Do Graduates Do? (HECSU/AGCAS/UCAS). Also visit M www.prospects.ac.uk/links/ wdgd

• Make use of your university careers

service – there will be a programme of courses and presentations geared towards helping you to develop your skills and make decisions about your future.

for careers info go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on eCLIPS

23


Let’s talk about… Sources of further information Many of the resources listed below will be available in your school, college or public library. It’s very important to use the most up-to-date editions.

Higher education • Applying to University:

The Essential Guide Need2Know (July 2008) Free 2011 ebook update if you buy the 2008 book. • Choosing a Medical School Developmedica (January 2010) • Choosing Your Degree Course and University Trotman (September 2010)

• The Daily Telegraph Guide to UK Universities 2010 Trotman (June 2009)

• Degree Course

Descriptions COA (September 2010, new edition September 2011)

• ‘Getting into’ Course

Guides – Art & Design 2011 entry (June 2010); Business & Economics (February 2011); Dental School (February 2011); Engineering (May 2011); Law (February 2010); Medical School 2012 entry (May 2011); Oxford & Cambridge 2012 entry (April 2011); Physiotherapy (February 2010); Psychology (February 2010); US and Canadian Universities (October 2008); Veterinary School (February 2011) Trotman

• Getting into the UK’s Best Universities & Courses Trotman (June 2011) • The Guardian University Guide 2011 Guardian Books (July 2010)

24

• Heap 2012: University Degree Course Offers Trotman (May 2011)

• Higher Ideas (software)

Database of higher education courses, with various search facilities. Careersoft

• How to Complete Your

UCAS Application 2012 Entry Trotman (May 2011)

• Insider’s Guide to Applying to University Trotman (June 2011)

• Little Guide to Higher Education 2012 UCAS (March 2011)

• Open Days (and taster courses & education conventions) UCAS (January 2011)

• Passing the National

Admissions Test for Law Learning Matters (June 2011)

• Practise and Pass: LNAT Trotman (August 2011)

• Practise and Pass: UKCAT & BMAT Trotman (August 2011)

• ‘Progression Series

2012’ – Art & Design; Economics, Finance & Accountancy; Engineering & Mathematics; Journalism, Broadcasting, Media Production & Performing Arts; Law; Medicine, Dentistry & Optometry; Nursing, Health Care & Social Work; Psychology; Sports Science & Physiotherapy; Teaching & Education. UCAS (June 2011)

• The Times Good University Guide 2012 Harper Collins (June 2011)

• Top Universities Guide

2011 (studying abroad) Quacquerelli Symonds (March 2011) Also available online at M www.topuniversities. com

• The UCAS Guide to

Getting into University & College UCAS (January 2011)

• The Virgin Guide to British Universities 2012 Virgin Books (May 2011)

• Which Uni

Trotman (October 2009)

• Prospectuses and

‘Alternative’ Prospectuses (updated annually) Also available online

• Step Up 2011

Educate (June 2010)

• Passing Oxbridge

Admissions Tests Learning Matters (September 2008)

• Passing the UKCAT and

BMAT Learning Matters (April 2011)

• Pathfinder Live (software) Careers matching program with suggestions for higher education subjects/courses. Babcock Lifeskills

• Practice Tests, Questions and Answers for the UKCAT Learning Matters (February 2010)

for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com


Student finance • The Complete University

• The Essential Guide to

• University Scholarships,

The world of work • Careers 2011

• Jobfile 2011-12

• What Can I Do with an Arts

• TARGET GET Directory

• What Can I Do with No

Guide: Student Finance Right Way (July 2009) • The Daily Telegraph Guide to Student Money 2011 Trotman (July 2010) • Debt Free Uni Trotman (August 2011) • Degrees with Less Debt Lifetime Publishing (June 2011)

Trotman (October 2010, Careers 2012 due October 2011)

• Careers with an Arts or

Humanities Degree Lifetime Publishing (August 2010)

• Careers with a Science

Degree Lifetime Publishing (August 2010)

Paying for University Kogan Page (August 2009) • The Guide to Educational Grants 2011/12 (previously called The Educational Grants Directory) Directory of Social Change (April 2011)

Babcock Lifeskills (March 2011) 2011(Graduate Employment and Training) GTI Media /Target Jobs (2010)

• The Times Top 100 Graduate

Awards and Bursaries Trotman (October 2009)

Degree? Trotman (November 2009) Degree? Trotman (October 2008)

• What Do Graduates Do? HECSU/AGCAS/UCAS (November 2010)

Employers 2010 High Fliers Publications (September 2010)

• The Graduate Jobs Formula Trotman (May 2010)

Gap year • The Gap-Year Guide Book

2011 John Catt Educational (November 2010) • Green Volunteers Universe Publishing (July 2011) • Summer Jobs Worldwide 2011 Crimson Publishing (October 2010)

• Work Your Way Around the

World Crimson Publishing/ Vacation Work (May 2009) • World Volunteers Crimson Publishing/ Vacation Work (February 2008) • Your Gap Year Crimson Publishing (March 2010)

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk

25


Let’s talk about… Useful websites Higher education M www.careercompanion.co.uk Go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire. com and click on the Career Companion Online icon in the right hand menu. Reviews of, and links to, a wide range of websites. M www.direct.gov.uk/en/ EducationAndLearning/ UniversityAndHigherEducation Government website with information on HE and links to many other sites. M www.ucas.com and www.ucas.tv Essential for course information and applying to university. M www.yougo.co.uk To register for information and advice on HE. M www.hotcourses.com UK's largest database of educational courses. M www.ukcoursefinder.com Another good site for locating specific courses. M www.unistats.com Enables you to compare courses and universities. M www.bestcourse4me.com Shows the links between degree subjects and employment prospects. M www.oxbridge-admissions.info Advice from students who have been through the Oxford or Cambridge admissions process. M www.personalstatement.info Helpful for ideas on producing your personal statement, but use with caution! M www.studential.com Advice on writing your personal statement. Again use with caution. M www.open.ac.uk The Open University offers the opportunity to study for HE qualifications by supported distance learning. M www.unofficial-guides.com An alternative site for finding out about university life. M www.whatuni.com Another alternative site for finding out about HE.

26

M www.thecompleteuniversityguide

.co.uk League tables. Use with caution. M www.guardian.co.uk/education League tables produced by the Guardian newspaper. Use with caution. M www.accesstohe.ac.uk For people wanting to go into HE who left education without the usual entry requirements. M www.skill.org.uk Skill is the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities. M www.studylondon.ac.uk Official website for universities and HE colleges in London. M www.push.co.uk Guide to choosing and applying to university and student life. M www.studentuk.com Social networking site for students. M www.thestudentroom.co.uk Student forum. M www.russellgroup.ac.uk/informedchoices Advice on choosing the right A level, or equivalent, subjects for entry to HE. M www.hcstuff.com Aimed at 15-17 year olds planning their futures.

Studying abroad M www.careerseurope.co.uk Their Exodus database provides information on studying, training and working worldwide. Subscription service which may be available at your school, college or through Connexions. M www.braintrack.com International university index including the USA. M www.fulbright.co.uk Essential information on studying in the USA. M www.studyabroad.com Useful research tool written from an American perspective. M www.studiesinaustralia.com Provides a comprehensive picture of the Australian education system. M www.studyoptions.com Essential for anyone wanting to study in Australia or New Zealand. M www.acu.ac.uk Association of Commonwealth Universities website. M www.uknec.org.uk Europass – help for those wanting to study, work or train in Europe. M www.studylink.com Database of courses in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.

for careers info go to M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com, then click on eCLIPS


Student finance M www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance Links to Student Finance England. Will help you work out the financial support you’ll get, apply for finance and keep track of your payments. M www.scholarship-search.org.uk Provides helpful funding and budgeting advice. M www.nus.org.uk Source of information about funding. M www.slc.co.uk Student Loans Company. M www.studentcalculator.org.uk Advice on managing your finances.

Gap year M www.gogapyear.com

The world of work and training M www.prospects.ac.uk

Essential advice for gap year travellers from the government’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office. M www.yearoutgroup.org Advice for young people and their parents/ carers about taking a gap year. M www.yini.org.uk Pre-university and undergraduate work experience. M www.gapyear.com Written by backpackers for backpackers. M www.gapyeardirectory.co.uk Gap year opportunities. M www. gap-year.com M www. greatgapyears.co.uk M www. gapwork.com M www. gapyearjobs.co.uk M www.bunac.org Offers summer camp, work abroad and volunteering programmes worldwide. M www.csv.org.uk Volunteering opportunities. M www.greenvolunteers.com Worldwide volunteering opportunities in nature conservation. M www.lattitude.org.uk Organisation specialising in volunteering opportunities for 17-25 year olds. M www.do-it.org.uk Over one million volunteering opportunities. M www.wwv.org.uk Lists over 2,400 organisations and 1.6 million volunteering opportunities worldwide.

Comprehensive careers and labour market information aimed at university students. M www.targetjobs.co.uk Graduate employment opportunities. M https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk then click on ‘Planning Your Career’, then ‘Job Profiles’, then ‘Job Market Information’. Careers and labour market information produced by the national Sector Skills Councils. M www.e4s.co.uk Student jobs, internships and graduate jobs. M www.careers-gateway.co.uk Portal linking to careers, courses and applying for jobs. M www..careersa-z.co.uk Portal linking to careers, courses and job information. M www.notgoingtouni.co.uk Alternatives to going to university e.g. Apprenticeships and other vocational training. M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com Click on eCLIPS and type in your school, college or home postcode. Extensive range of careers and lifestyle information leaflets.

Top Tip! • Just because a university’s website

is fantastic don’t assume it must be the place for you. Wherever possible follow up your research by visiting see M www.opendays.com

• British citizens planning

to travel or live abroad should check the British Council‘s site at M www.britishcouncil.org

for local info, help and advice, check out M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com

27


Let’s talk about… Other sources of help As well as deciding what to do beyond 18+, there may be other issues facing you that you need help with. See T www.survivalguide.me for details of organisations that can offer information, advice and support – here is a list of some of the main ones: ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE Addaction Oxfordshire, Abingdon Business Centre, 7 Nuffield Way, Abingdon OX14 1RL T 01235 468405 M www.addaction.org.uk (covers whole of Oxfordshire) Brendon Miller, Banbury Detached Youth Team, c/o Bridge Bar, 67 Bridge Street, Banbury OX16 5QF T 07747 765397 (until 31/08/11) Base 33, 33 High Street, Witney T 01993 200682 (postal address – 4 Welch Way, Witney OX28 6JF) Osmond Charles, Blackbird Leys Youth Centre, Blackbird Leys Road, Oxford OX4 6HW T 01865 772886 (until 31/08/11) David Ricketts, Oxford City Detached Youth Team, County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND T 01865 815054 (until 31/08/11) Patsy Walker, The Vibe Youth Centre, Park Road, Didcot OX11 8QX T 01235 812332 (until 31/08/11) Mike How, Eynsham Youth Centre, Back Lane, Eynsham OX29 4QW T 01865 880630 (until 31/08/11) ASYLUM Asylum Welcome, Unit 7, Newtec Place, Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RE T 01865 722082 M www.asylum-welcome.org Bridging Project, Oxford & Cherwell Valley College, Oxpens Road, Oxford OX1 1SA T 01865 551957 or 551584

HOMELESSNESS/HOUSING BYHP (supporting young people in housing need) 2 Chandos Close, Banbury OX16 4TL T 01295 259442 M www.byhp.org.uk Cherwell District Council Housing Services T 01295 221809 Connection Floating Support, The Pathway Building, Dunnock Way, Blackbird Leys, Oxford OX4 7EX T 01865 711267

MENTAL HEALTH Oxfordshire Mental Health Information Line, T 01865 247788 M www.omhi.org.uk Samaritans Banbury T 01295 270000; Oxford T 01865 722122; National T 08457 909090

The Elmore Team, Bullingdon House, 174b Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1UE T 01865 200130 One Foot Forward, 5 Iffley Road, Oxford OX4 1EA T 01865 794410 Oxford City Family Service (housing for young parents) 113-117 Bullingdon Road, Oxford OX4 1QP T 01865 794899 Oxford City Housing Services T 01865 249811(option 5) South Oxfordshire District Council Housing Services T 01491 823325 Stonham Floating Support (tenancy issues) 49a Castle Street, Banbury OX16 5NU T 01295 272536 Stonham Floating Support (tenancy issues) 213 Barns Road, Oxford OX4 3UT T 01865 335334 Stonham Floating Support (tenancy issues) Ground Floor, 14 Church Green, Witney OX28 4AW T 01993 864936 Vale of White Horse District Council T 01235 520202 West Oxfordshire District Council Housing Services T 01993 861010

Children & Families Assessment Team, Knights Court, 21 Between Towns Road, Cowley, Oxford OX4 3LX T 01865 323048 (for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children)

28

got a question? Then email us at M askconnexions@oxfordshire.gov.uk


MONEY 16 – 19 Bursary Fund (help if you are facing financial hardship while on a course or training). Ask your school, college or training provider for more information or M www.direct.gov.uk/moneytolearn Care to Learn Helpline (help to pay for childcare): T 0800 121 8989 or M www.direct.gov.uk/caretolearn Child Benefit Helpline: T 0845 302 1444 or M www.hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefit Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit Helpline: T 0845 300 3900 or M www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits Dance and Drama Awards: T 0800 121 8989 or M www.direct.gov.uk/danceanddrama Jobcentre Plus: for Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, or Employment and Support Allowance contact your local centre who will refer you to Jobcentre Plus. (For Housing Benefit, they will refer you to the local council). M http://jobseekers.direct.gov.uk T 0800 055 6688 (benefits) T 0845 6060 234 (job search) To get in touch with any of the Jobcentre Plus offices listed below T 0845 604 3719 Abingdon –Torus House, 38-44 Stert Street, Abingdon OX14 3QS Banbury – Crown Buildings, Southam Road, Banbury OX16 2EX Didcot – 130a The Broadway, Didcot OX11 8DB Oxford – 7 Worcester Street, Gloucester Green, Oxford OX1 2BX Sharon Telford, Under 18s Benefits Adviser T 01865 445166 Witney – Two Rivers Trading Estate, Station Lane, Witney OX28 4BH

SEXUAL HEALTH Alec Turnbull Centre (contraception and sexual health) Raglan House, 23 Between Towns Road, Cowley, Oxford OX4 3JH T 01865 456666 Banbury GU Medicine (sexual health) Orchard Health Centre, Cope Road, Banbury OX16 2EZ T 01295 819181 Oxford GU Medicine (sexual health) Wellsafe Clinic, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LJ T 01865 231231 M www.wellsafe.org Terrence Higgins Trust (HIV and sexual health) 43 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP T 01865 243389 M www.tht.org.uk

SUPPORT, COUNSELLING and INFORMATION AGENCIES The Abingdon Bridge (can help with a range of issues) 27 Bridge Street, Abingdon OX14 3HN T 01235 522375 Barton Advice Centre, Underhill Circus, Headington, Oxford OX3 9LS T 01865 744152 M www.bartonadvicecentre.org.uk Base 33, 33 High Street, Witney T 01993 200682 (postal address – 4 Welch Way, Witney OX28 6JF) CAB (Citizens Advice Bureaux): M www.advice4me.org.uk Oxfordshire advice line T 08444 111 444 (will put you in touch with your local CAB). Ethnic Minority Business Service, 2nd Floor Tyndale House, 134 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JQ T 01865 794431 and 37 North Bar Street, Banbury OX16 0TH T 01295 269999 Independent Advice Centre, 16 Market Place, Wantage OX12 8AE T 01235 765348 KAs Counselling Service, Centre Site, Portway, Wantage OX12 9BY T 01235 225789 Nomad, 55 Market Place, Henley RG9 2AA T 01491 635737 Oxford Friend (gay, lesbian, bisexual) T 01865 726893 Oxford Young Carers Project, 174a Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1UE T 01865 205192 M www.coolyoungcarerscare.com Rose Hill & Littlemore Children’s Centre, The Oval, Rose Hill, Oxford OX4 4UY T 01865 716739 SeeSaw (bereavement) T 01865 744768 M www.seesaw.org.uk Young People’s Centres and Youth Centres For details and to find out where these are see M www.spired.com VOLUNTEERING Volunteer Centre Oxfordshire T 01865 251946 M vol@ocva.org.uk Volunteer Link Up West Oxfordshire T 01993 776277 M office@vlu.org.uk

for careers info go to M www.connexions-direct.com/jobs4u

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Our Commitment to You We want to make sure that Connexions Oxfordshire meets your needs so if you would like to make a comment, compliment or complaint, please write to: Richard Savage Service Manager – Supporting Choices Integrated Youth Support Service Oxfordshire County Council County Hall New Road Oxford OX1 1ND

T 01865 328908 Fax: 01865 783199 Email: richard.savage@oxfordshire.gov.uk M www.connexionsoxfordshire.com / www.spired.com

Contact Information, Advice and Support for Young People M www.direct.gov.uk/en/youngpeople T 080 800 13 2 19 07766 4 13 2 19 If you need this information in another language, large print, Braille, Easy Read, audiocassette, computer disk or by email, please phone T 01865 328908. Connexions recognises diversity and is committed to equal opportunities. Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. July 2011 We are grateful to UCAS for their help in checking and updating material for this publication.

Oxfordshire

Choices at 18+ 2011-12  

Struggling to think about higher education? Wondering how to choose your courses? This guide from Oxfordshire Connexions steps you through t...