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I wonder if anyone could help me with basic questions - UCAS, nursing (especially Edinburgh), I'm in Ireland where we don't know anything

(12 Posts)
Maryz Sun 08-Sep-13 21:45:53

dd has set her heart on nursing - and I believe would make a great nurse. Unfortunately the Irish system is straightforward and simple - get good results in six subjects in the Leaving cert. Full Stop. They take no account of suitability or aptitude.

So she has decided to try the UCAS system as a back up, concentrating on Scottish universities (as they are cheaper) and possibly NI or Wales as a back up.

Coming from Ireland, we have no idea what should be in her personal statement. Her school will write a reference, but I don't know how good it will be as this isn't usual for them.

She has a lot of experience with voluntary work, especially with children with SN (which would be her real interest) but has only managed a couple of days shadowing a nurse and has no "nursing" experience. She has a job waitressing, which I suppose would prove she can work hard and do unpleasant work.

I don't really know where to start. And I don't really know what I'm asking confused

Johnny5needsinput Sun 08-Sep-13 21:50:30

Is this any use?

Maryz Sun 08-Sep-13 21:55:44

I will get dd to look at the personal statements on that, Johnny, thanks. Her problem is that her school don't really know anything about the UCAS system.

Johnny5needsinput Sun 08-Sep-13 21:59:15

Have om'd you

SlowlorisIncognito Sun 08-Sep-13 22:44:32

Is she applying this year? Is she applying for child nursing specifically?

Has she already directed her school to this page?

They will also want predicted grades for her subjects listed in the reference. These should be realistic, compared to the grades she has already achieved. The reference is also the place to mention any extenuating circumstances she may have, these don't go in the personal statement. Any prizes for her work/scolarships/etc should also really be mentioned here and not the personal statement.

The personal statement is mostly about why she wants to study the course she does, and relevant experience should be included in it. She should reflect on the experience and what she learnt from it, rather than just stating "I did this/that". If she has read any books relating to nursing, she could also comment on these in her personal statement. Up to 30% of her personal statement can be used for other extra curriculars and any other work experience.

The student room is a great resource for writing a personal statement, and should be able to give her nursing specific advice. She can also get one copy of the statement reviewed on there, if she doesn't think her school will know what universities are looking for.

However, whilst the personal statement is a factor in university acceptance in the UK, grade/predicted grades are still the first filter she will have to get past.

It is also likely she may have to go to interview, and the universities may expect her to travel from Ireland, unfortunately.

Maryz Sun 08-Sep-13 22:52:44

That's very useful, Slowlor. I will get her to have a look at the student room.

She would be great with children, especially with children with SN (my older son has Asperger's so her attitude to SN is very different from most kids), and she has volunteered a lot with them. I presume she could mention her brother in her personal statement - or should she encourage her teacher to mention it? Grades are difficult because of the huge discrepancy between A-levels and Irish Leaving Cert - it's hard to know what they would expect.

dd isn't a genius, but is a very hard worker. Sadly doesn't get school prizes - they are reserved for the very intelligent or the very sporty. She as a middle-of-the-road grafter gets overlooked a lot.

sashh Mon 09-Sep-13 11:31:41

Nursing is not like other subjects, the NHS pays for the training and I don't think (ready to be corrected) student nurses pay fees.

On the UCAS web page you will find a list of other qualifications, including the Leaving Certificate so you should both get an idea of what she needs.

NothingsLeft Mon 09-Sep-13 11:48:19

I'm a nurse smile

Nursing is funded and you get a bursery if a uk resident, so she may probably wont qualify but the course should be paid for.

Definitely include any SN at home, any experience of caring for anyone should go in. Include volunteering experience and say why you want to go into this challenging but rewarding career.

They are looking for empathetic, non-discriminatory and committed individuals. Time management skills are essential, as are providing dignity a respect, so you could include a bit about that. Have a look at the Nursing and midwifery code of conduct for ideas if you get stuck.

Happy to help more if you need it.

Maryz Mon 09-Sep-13 13:13:16

It never occurred to me that she might get funding. That might widen her options, as it would be hard for us to find living expenses and the massive English fees. I'm also confused as to whether she could access a student loan, as they don't exist here.

Ill get her to sit down this weekend and start on a personal statement and see where to go from there.

The difficulty with LCD vs A levels is that you can get a rough equivalent online but it doesn't give much of a clue about how many subjects you can count. Dd is doing 8 subjects shock. Six count for points here, I don't know how the UK system counts them

I can see I'm going to have to do a lot of googling - the school don't seem to know anything about anything.

SlowlorisIncognito Mon 09-Sep-13 16:11:33

Maryz Once she has some universities in mind, she could ring or email the admissions departments and ask what sort of grades they are looking for from an Irish applicant. Some may put this online, if they get a lot of Irish applicants. Edinburgh doesn't seem that clear online though. I don't know if any of this is any help to you?

This link may be useful for any universities that make offers in UCAS points form

EU students can get a tuition fee loan, on the same terms as a UK student, but not normally a maintenence loan unless they've lived and worked in the UK for three years before your course starts. More info here.

If she went to a welsh university, she would have to apply through student finance wales instead, but she could also get her fees paid.

Hopefully this means she will be a bit less limited in where she can apply. She may also be able to get bursaries that are offered by universities to their students on the basis of family income, but this will vary from university to university.

dufflefluffle Mon 09-Sep-13 16:24:12

Mary - I did my leaving in 1990 and our school helped and encouraged UCAS as well as CAO filling. I'm really disappointed that 24 shockshockshock years later a school in RoI is not opening all options to students: shame on her careers advisor (would it be possible to see if any other schools in the area do UCAS forms that could help you?). Anyway I went to college in London and Southwark Council paid my fees (no maintenance grant but college hours allowed decent working hours alongside). If I recall correctly my college sorted everything out for me. My application included an interview and they started sorting it out at that point. Good luck to your DD - for me going to college in the UK was the best part of my youth and I stayed on and worked there (and hopefully paid back my fees in taxes) for ten very happy years.

Maryz Tue 10-Sep-13 12:38:21

Thanks everyone.

Having had (yet) another chat with dd, I have come to the conclusion that the school probably know more and are more willing to help than she is admitting to, so I'm going to contact them directly and make sure she is on the right track. I suspect she is doing the slightly hysterical teenage "no-one is helping me - but I'm too embarrassed to actually ask any questions" drama.

I'm going to sit with her this weekend and come up with a short-list of universities she would be interested in, and get her to email each of them about fees/grants/living expenses/rought idea of grades etc. That will give a good idea where to go next.

Johnny, thanks for the pm's - She has looked at the links and is in the process of working out whether they are in general looking for higher marks than the Irish universities, as I think if they are all looking for higher academic results then there may be little point in going the UK route. It will obviously be much cheaper for us if she stays in Ireland, whether she likes it or not grin

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