If your son or daughter is applying for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine/science, or to the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge, remember their application must be received at UCAS by midnight (UK time) on 15 October 2011.

UCAS adviser John Madden said: “With the 15 October deadline drawing closer, it’s important to make sure you’re clear on what’s required before the big day whether you’re a student, adviser or parent.”

For those applying through a school or college, he explained: “Remember they need to have received the application before 15 October in order for them to have time to write the reference and check it all over before sending it on to UCAS.”

But they don’t need to make all their choices by 15 October.

Mr Madden added: “You could submit the application with the choices that do need to meet the deadline and then add further choices at a later date by logging onto Track [on the UCAS website].”

This means there is no need for them to rush their other choices if they’re not sure who else they want to apply to yet.

The application deadline for other courses and universities is 15 January 2012, although some art and design courses ask for applications to be in by 24 March.

Applications received by these deadlines are guaranteed to be considered.

An application received after this date (and before 30 June 2012) will still be sent to the universities and colleges. But they will only consider it if there are vacancies.

To make sure you stay up-to-date with the entire application process, sign up to the UCAS newsletter (www.ucas.com/parents/register) aimed specifically at parents and guardians.

Personal Statement

A key part of your son or daughter’s application to these early-deadline courses is their personal statement. These are highly competitive subjects and universities, so applicants are strongly encouraged to make sure this has been done to the best of their ability.

Parents or guardians can play a vital role in checking over a personal statement to ensure it is error-free. You can also help your son or daughter by finding out the kinds of things universities are looking for

Karen Martin, from the Admissions & Student Recruitment department at the University of Dundee, points out that the personal statement should highlight transferable skills learned from outside activities.

Ms Martin said: “For example, playing a musical instrument shows sustained commitment and/or the ability to manage your time effectively between juggling school study and music study.

Admissions selectors assess an applicant’s ability to write an essay to university standard – that includes spelling, paragraph and sentence structure.

Ms Martin added: “Applicants must show a strong knowledge of the role of a professional in that career and explain why they have the skills required to be successful in that role. Examples of relevant work experience, work shadowing or voluntary work should also be included.”

Her advice to prospective students is: “Talk about why you are applying for that subject and what you have done in the recent past that has increased your interest in that subject. Relate everything back to either the course or your aptitude for university study.”

UCAS is on hand to help applicants every step of the way

John Madden said: “If you have anything you want to ask about making the application or what will happen after it has been sent, you can find lots of valuable advice online at http://www.ucasconnect.com. From here you can post a question to our dedicated social media advisers on Facebook and Twitter.

“You can also see 30-second clips of our customer service advisers answering popular questions and in-depth video guides on UCAStv

(www.ucas.tv) covering a range of issues such as entering qualifications, making sense of offers and using Track.”

You can also contact our Customer Service Unit on 0871 468 0 468 (or 0044 871 468 0 468 from outside the UK).
Opening hours are being extended in preparation for 15 October deadline: Our Customer Service Unit will be open from 08:30 until 19:00 (UK time) on Friday 14 October and 09:00 – 17:00 (UK time) on Saturday 15 October.

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