Can Someone Explain University application process>

(18 Posts)
speakout Sat 28-Apr-18 06:51:17

How does it work in England?
I understand that in England students take their A levels in the last year of secondary school- so will apply for Uni before they have their results,
Does that mean that all University offers in England are conditional?

II am in Scotland- so mostly no A levels, kids do Scottish Highers, but that is one year after the GCSE equivalent, leaving one full year to go at school.
So my DD sat her Highers aged 16./17 and was made unconditional offers on the actual know results of her attainment.
So although still has some exams to go this year ( a couple of ( crash Highers and Advanced Highers) she doesn't need any of those qualifications as she has already secured place at University.

Can someone explain the system in England.

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LIZS Sat 28-Apr-18 07:02:14

Majority will apply during upper 6/y13 and offers are made conditional on certain grades/ucas points. However sometimes unis will make unconditional offers if you make them your firm choice. It can be more straightforward to apply afterwards , with results in hand, and take a year out before uni.

speakout Sat 28-Apr-18 07:05:58

HI, sorry what is "upper6/y13"?

So Unis will make unconditional offers based on what?

I guess what I am asking is - are most Uni offers conditional for kids still at school?

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chocoshopoholic Sat 28-Apr-18 07:10:06

Upper 6/ y13 is the year in which most students apply. Meaning upper sixth form for those attending a sixth form college or y13 of a high school with integrated college.

The reference from school /college gives a predicted grade.

speakout Sat 28-Apr-18 07:15:59

Ok, sorry I often year "year 13" "year 5" etc when discussing ages on Mumsnet.
Scottish children start school at a different age so we don't use that term.

It's just interesting as in Scotland conditional offers are not the basis for Uni applications.

So in England the majority of students won't know if they have actually secured a place until a few weeks before they start University?

How does that effect funding? Are you able to apply for money based on a conditional offer?

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LIZS Sat 28-Apr-18 07:22:20

Y13 is the final year of school/college, with kids turning 18 by August 31st. Conditional offers will specify A level/IB /level 3 (ie.btec) grades or the equivalent UCAS points tariff. Unis offer based on predicted grades and the UCAS application including personal statement and reference. If you apply after results they obviously know what you have achieved.

Results for IB and Btec come out earlier than A levels each summer. There is a system of Clearing for those whose results do not match either of their firm or insurance offers to find appropriate courses or Adjustment for those who did better than predicted and may wish to relook at alternative Unis/courses.

LIZS Sat 28-Apr-18 07:24:06

Yes you can apply for Student Finance once you have made a firm choice, and in some cases accommodation too.


Flangey Sat 28-Apr-18 07:25:21

Yes, nearly all offers are conditional on achieving set grades. However Uni's are now so keen to get bums on seats that unconditional offers are not unusual if you commit to the institution. Sweeteners such as guaranteed accommodation are also offered. If students don't make the grades for a conditional offer they are sometimes offered the place anyway, depends on how easy it is to recruit to that course. There have been calls to sit exams earlier and start Uni terms later so everyone applied with known grades. The current system penalizes students from lower achieving schools as the predictions from high achieving schools are more generous relative to the grades actually gained.

whiteroseredrose Sat 28-Apr-18 07:25:21

Hi. Yes you can apply for funding based on a conditional offer. DS has and has had everything confirmed. All he needs to do now is get the grades!

You have an online account and can make amendments. So that means that you can adjust things like which university at a later date.

Mumteedum Sat 28-Apr-18 07:26:10

I work in HE. Most offers are conditional based on results which means there is a period in August called clearing. At this time, applicants who don't get their required grades will need to contact the uni. Many times they will be accepted anyway on strength of application (and because unis need numbers)

speakout Sat 28-Apr-18 07:36:03

Yes we have clearing here in Scotland too.

This system of mainly conditional offers must make it difficult for Universities and also a bit unfair for students- as you say unfair for kids coming from poorer performing schools and some students can work hard in the few months before exams and bring up their grades.
Being given offers based on predictions rather than real results seems odd.

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speakout Sat 28-Apr-18 07:38:36

Yes, some Unis need numbers. I guess it depends on the course. Some are massively popular and places highly fought over.

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Mumteedum Sat 28-Apr-18 07:58:13

Sorry speakout.. My post sounded a bit patronising when read it back. I actually went to Scottish uni but I had applied directly as it was an independent art school until half way through my degree.

For arts subjects, portfolio probably matters more.

titchy Sat 28-Apr-18 15:20:35

* So in England the majority of students won't know if they have actually secured a place until a few weeks before they start University?*

How does that effect funding? Are you able to apply for money based on a conditional offer

Yes to both.

If your grades are better than expected you can go into adjustment and try for a higher offer place.

speakout Sat 28-Apr-18 17:05:03

Ok thanks for the explanation.

So quite a different system then.

Most students here will accept on an unconditional offer, as they already hold the entrance qualifications.

Also funding different too. No fees, and some courses qualify for a non means tested bursary- which is higher than student loan.
Nursing for instance.

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Xenia Wed 02-May-18 08:54:55

The problem with England is most teenagers are so lazy if they get an unconditional offer they will spend the year going to parties and get low grades which blight their CV for life so i think the keeping them on their toes with conditional offers seems to work quite well.

speakout Wed 02-May-18 09:03:25

The problem with England is most teenagers are so lazy

Unlike where?

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Xenia Wed 02-May-18 10:30:23

May Scottish teenagers? The Scots have always had a good educational system and have done very well in England in terms of positions of power etc - they must be getting something right.

I agree though that unconditional offers are likely to make some students anywhere take their foot off the accerator in terms of getting good grades and working hard.

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