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Deferred entry UCAS apps.

(22 Posts)
bookgarden Thu 17-Oct-13 06:34:51

Do universities take deferred entries seriously? Would it be better to wait a year? Do schools still help/send off references if you have left and are on a gap year?

UCAS statements: Do you discuss what you want to do in gap year?
Why you want to do course, interesting work undertaken at school, extra curricular/responsibilities.

Clueless really - what makes a personal statement stand out /be accepted/ particularly if you want to defer?

titchy Thu 17-Oct-13 08:05:58

Yes to all of those!!!!

headlesslambrini Thu 17-Oct-13 08:10:50

I would apply this year when they have all the support of school in terms of research and personal statements. Once been offered a place then talk to the uni about taking a gap year, if you have a well thought out plan then it is not normally a problem.

If you do this, then if there are any chances to fees, entry criteria etc then you should be protected (not this is not guaranteed) and the uni will honour their original agreement.

headlesslambrini Thu 17-Oct-13 08:11:38

* changes to fees not chances

Pleaseandthankyou Thu 17-Oct-13 08:23:08

You can apply for a deferred place on the Ucas form. If your dc knows what they want to do then they will have the support of the school when filling in the form. The school will also help them check if the uni takes deferred applications. Most seem to. Some subjects eg Maths may be a problem.
This means that they can get all their interviews out of the way this year, agree their offer and have a gap year free to do whatever they want.
A few words on what they are planning to do in their personal statement could help their application provided it is worthwhile.

petal2008 Thu 17-Oct-13 16:18:13

Why is maths a problem? I only ask because my DS is in a quandry about his future plans-literally no idea what he wants to do. He doesn't want to rush into a uni course for the sake of it only to hate it once started. He is in year 13 but has a summer birthday so if he does decide to go to uni 2015 he would only be a few months older than some of the people on the same course.

He hasn't looked into applying for next year at the moment saying he thinks he has left it too late to make an informed decision and was potentially going to take a gap year and apply next year for a start date in 2015.

Does he need to apply this year and ask for a deferrment or can he just apply next year? This is all new to me.

titchy Thu 17-Oct-13 16:36:18

It's often better to apply a year later when theyve got their results, then admissions tutors know exactly what they have to offer. Maths can be a problem though as universities generally don't like their Maths first years to not have studied maths for 15 months.

Pleaseandthankyou Thu 17-Oct-13 16:51:24

I was told by a very reliable uni source that maths skills are lost very quickly. It will depend on individual universities. We found that ringing the admin departments was very beneficial. They were all happy to talk. If your dc are planning to go away somewhere remote on their gap year then internet access and applying online can be a problem. It can be difficult enough just getting funding applications in. It all depends on what they want to do. If they will be in the uk then no problem. I think gap years are a fantastic idea. 6 months working to fund the other 6 months volunteering can be a life changing experience. it doesn't suit everyone though.

petal2008 Thu 17-Oct-13 16:55:39

Thanks for that.

I think his main problem is the pressure of getting predicted grades saying all the courses he likes are asking for A's which he doesn't think he'll get.

It doesn't help that a lot of his friends seem to know what they want to do and he doesn't. I've told him to just concentrate on his A levels and keep actively looking at courses and apprenticeships so he has some focus. If he does go down the maths route hopefully this won't be too much of a problem.

UptheChimney Thu 17-Oct-13 16:57:14

Wherever I've worked (and I've been an Admissions Tutor in a couple of departments), we don't mind deferred entry at all. You can apply via UCAS for deferred entry.

The only thing that is difficult for the applicant is if s/he doesn't meet the grades of the offer. In a very popular department (my current one is generally oversubscribed) we wouldn't confirm the deferred place, because we know we could do better in that next year.

But if the applicant meets the grades required by the offer, then there's no problem. It means that there's a confirmed and accepted place in the following year's entry, which helps us be surer of our numbers

However, it's better for admitting departments to know sooner, rather than later.

bookgarden Sat 19-Oct-13 23:34:26

Helpful upthechimney.

Wondering what happens when you reapply a 2nd year after re-takes - any prejudice?

creamteas Sun 20-Oct-13 08:34:47

As an Admissions Tutor, I would say that now it is much better to apply post-A level rather than for deferred entry.

Although we don't automatically reject deferred entry, as we can't be certain what the government will do with admissions rules from year to year anymore, so we are a lot more hesitant to make deferred offers now than we used to be.

We accept students that have retaken year 13, although we would expect an account of what happened in the PS.

My experience is that those that have repeated year 13 often make better students than some of those that have sailed through their school years. They know that they need to work hard and focus to succeed and are much less likely to slack off in the first year of university than some of the others grin

UptheChimney Sun 20-Oct-13 08:58:00

Yes, as long as the retakes are successful. If the grades are mediocre two years in a row, then that indicates something.

<sigh> general rant although I've spent my whole life working in universities, it's not for everyone, and I think it is a real problem that we have had successive governments who use HE for purposes other than HE. We do need a really educated citizenry, but in a diversity of types of learning and training.

UptheChimney Sun 20-Oct-13 09:09:46

*UCAS statements: Do you discuss what you want to do in gap year?
Why you want to do course, interesting work undertaken at school, extra curricular/responsibilities*

Clueless really - what makes a personal statement stand out /be accepted/ particularly if you want to defer?

However, to try to give you a general answer to these specific questions: the MAIN thing in a PS I look for is an understanding of the subject to be studied, in a scholarly context, so I know that the applicant has some realistic idea of what s/he is applying to read at university.

So if, for example, it's Hamster Studies, where there are different approaches and levels of study, from the zoo keeper/demonstration/hamster training level, to the arcane theory of hamsters through the ages, then I'd not want someone to write: "All I have ever wanted to do is clean out hamster cages." They'd need to show that they understand what it is to study the subject at a high level, including the theory and history of hamster studies.

And IF extra-curricular studies are relevant to this, then mention them. But otherwise, I'm really not that interested, apart from seeing that this is an applicant who can manage to do the DoE Gold Award and get A grades. But if it's a university that's used to dealing with high-achieving young people, then we see that kind of achievement fairly regularly. So it's not going to sway us too much to be honest (well, not me anyway).

Ditto what is to be done in the gap year: we're increasingly aware of ways the socio-economic advantage filters through into gap year opportunities, so there may be issues there. However, if gap year experience is very specific and pertinent to the degree area I teach, I'd ask the applicant about that at interview -- we still interview at my institution ...

But all of this is only a consideration if the grades or predictions, plus GCSE results, are in order. As creamteas says, it may be better to apply post-qualification if you think retakes are going to be necessary. And I'd expect that the school's reference would explain the retakes, as well as the under-performing original results.

bookgarden Sun 20-Oct-13 12:46:16

I'm so grateful to all you mumsnetters who took the time to answer - so informative. thanks

to be honest, we think grades will b okay but he has set his heart on a prestigious course - not oxbridege but a strong dept. in field and that may ( may-cause he's doing well) take a retake and then an additional course to make year worthwhile. School have very supportively said he can do part-time work experience and re-takes at school if needs be in a Yr 14.

Gap year really is to help maturity.

KittiesInsane Sun 20-Oct-13 12:56:44

Watching with interest, as I think DS1 (Asperger's, high intellect, poor self-care skills, prone to panic) will need that year out to help him grow up...

UptheChimney Sun 20-Oct-13 13:38:09

The further thing I'd say is that grades are set partly to ensure that applicants admitted to a degree course are capable of thriving in that course. If getting the required grades needs retakes, then the applicant and his/her teachers really need to think very carefully about whether s/he is going to be OK in the course. Or they may be OK, but not get very high marks -- they need to think about how they'd feel about that. Achieving the required A2 grades is just the beginning, not an end in itself.

bookgarden Sun 20-Oct-13 15:22:54

good point. But school think he will be fine at top uni. course but we will wait and see as another uni is v.good and accepts slightly lower grades he should get fairly comfortably - so we'll watch him develop and see.

creamteas Sun 20-Oct-13 15:46:27

Kitties I have two ASD DC and have taught quite a few, and I would say unless there is a really good reason not to, your DS should take a gap year.

The gap between A level results and starting uni is so short that many non-ASD struggle with the transition. Taking a gap year, allows a decent length of time to plan the transition, and most unis will offer a range of acclimatization activities to help make the change work.

KittiesInsane Sun 20-Oct-13 20:33:22

Thanks, Creamteas, I'm pretty sure you're right.

The reason not to would be that I work at home, so unless he has plenty of good purposeful stuff to occupy him for that year (planned, I would presume, by me until he gets the idea of adult life -- see above), he will be breathing down my neck and nicking my computer at every opportunity.

bookgarden Sat 26-Oct-13 08:01:50

We think a gap year is a good idea but finding purposeful activities is key to making a success of it.

Regarding question: we've decided to get everything ready so school have all in place and then update and apply next year with school referecing him from previous year. Thank you for the posts

mummyofteens Fri 15-Nov-13 11:50:16

My daughter is currently on a gap year, working as an au pair in Paris, and having a wonderful time and experiencing things that I am sure she will remember for a life time smile

She too thought A grades may be beyond her and the courses she liked all had offers that would include at least one A grade. She decided to take a year out, and has now applied for next year's university intake. She has two offers already. She achieved AAB at A level in the end, for which she worked extremely hard, but I do wonder if deciding to take a year out maybe took the pressure off a little bit and allowed her to study and enjoy her last year of school but who knows really smile

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