Many of you will have now got your MUC findings, which should have reduced the somewhat overwhelming amount of choice to a much more manageable size, a more focussed selection of course areas and indeed, institutions to consider. When you have done your initial research using the MUC resources and are ready to focus on more detailed research then you will find a wealth of information on the UCAS website.Our article will try to help you with using the UCAS website.
Believe it or not, the UCAS site (www.ucas.com) used to be a lot different. Now, there is an immense amount of information and functionality on it. This blog will try and help ‘unpick’ some of the wonderfulness of the UCAS site and give you some top tips on how to get the most out of it – or at least feel less overwhelmed with what’s there!
The first factor to be aware of is UCAS are trying to provide information for a huge number of students at different phases of applying to university. So there is information about individual courses (about 35,000 of them) to help the ‘research’ phase during year 12, as well as a student ‘hub’ for when students fill in their online application form. There is also information about things like apprenticeships and applying for postgraduate courses such as teacher training – once you’ve got a degree. Not only are UCAS providing all this but they also know that students need good quality information about the careers that these courses could lead onto. So there is a huge array of wonderful careers information too. UCAS have also produced a very short careers quiz https://www.ucas.com/careers/careers-quiz which might be worth a try. Because it doesn’t take very long or ask many questions it won’t be as comprehensive or in as much depth as the My Future Choice results, but it could give you some ideas. So why have we told you all this? You need to think through what it is you want to get from the site now and in the future. Knowing what you are looking for will help you look for the right information.
The undergraduate section (https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate) is where most of the information you will want is – and there’s a lot! One of the more recent developments here is the Uni Buddies option https://www.ucas.com/chat-to-students . This enables you to talk with a current HE student about their experiences of a subject area, the university they are at and how they are getting on. You can specify subject and university, or either! It should really bring the option to life for you – the students will be able to give you a real flavour of what its actually like too! One of the good things about the UCAS site is that everything is fairly well set out, so in this section you will see what parts are relevant to you now, e.g. the Applying to university part or the Key Dates section.
Whilst most people will assume UCAS is all about applying for a degree, there is actually a wealth of other information here too. So if you are interested in find out more about apprenticeships, what they are, how to apply and to hear more from some real apprentices, do take a look https://www.ucas.com/understanding-apprenticeships.
So, with this all in mind here are some quick fire tips for using the UCAS site,
Write down some questions you want to find the answers to
Have a really good browse around the site – and not just for what you know you want to find out!
Use the site little and often, you will find doing this ensures you find the ‘gems’ of information you need in the haystack of information!
Ask your older siblings how they found using it.
When you do your application, your school or college will help get the application done properly, this will take time to get right!
We hope this quick look at some of the different parts of the site and how to use the UCAS website in particular has been useful. It is very much there to help you with your choices, and can give you ample information. If you get stuck with any of the information you find, do talk to your tutor or careers adviser. It’s their role to help you understand how the information is relevant to your situation and decisions, the UCAS site itself can’t make decisions for you – that’s what My Future Choice and your tutor and careers adviser are for.
Here at My Uni Choices we specialise in helping students, parents & educators make the best uni choices. Review all the Universities & Courses here or discover more About Us & the best uni courses for you, finally if you’re ready let’s take The Test to find out what course or degree you should do.
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