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Undergraduate

Applying to university:
your complete guide

Get the help you need,
whatever stage you’re at

Just starting to think about going to university? Need advice on choosing the right course? Or just want a hand with your application? You’re in the right place.

Wherever you’re at now, we’ll help you get to where you need to be. Let’s get started…  

Student in the library

The complete step-by-step guide to applying to university

  • #1: Finding the right university and course
  • #2 Attending Open Days
  • #3: Completing your application
  • #4: Receiving offers
  • #5: Offer Holder Days
  • #6: Applying for Student Finance
  • #7: Responding to offers
  • #8: Booking accommodation
  • #9: Results Day
  • #10: Preparing for university
  • Yes, it is a big decision. But if you follow these tips and do a little research, you’ll soon get an idea of what and where you’d like to study. Try this for starters…

    First, think about what’s important to you – not anyone else. Next, ask yourself the questions below. Then have a quick search for courses to get an idea of what’s available and where:

    • Which subject/s do you love and want to study to a higher level?
    • Do you want a course with a placement year or a year abroad so you can get some real-world experience before you graduate?
    • Do you want to study at a local university close to home or move away?
    • Would you prefer a campus university like Hull, or a city university that’s spread out across a city centre?
  • Most universities will offer Open Days. These are big events where you can:

    ✓ Tour the campus, facilities and accommodation

    ✓ Attend subject talks to get a feel for your subject

    ✓ Chat to lecturers and students about what it’s like to live and study there

    ✓ Get answers to your student finance and support questions

    ✓ Explore the local area and city while you’re there

    Remember, these days are all about helping you choose what and where to study. So make the most of it by asking lots of questions and spending as much time as you can exploring. 

     
    Watch: Open Days at Hull

  • Most students apply to university through the UCAS website. As part of your application, you’ll:

    ✓ Choose up to five universities/courses (It costs £22 for one choice, and £26.50 for more than one)

    ✓ Fill in a few basic details about yourself, plus information about your previous education

    ✓ Write a personal statement: an important part of your application

    Your personal statement is your chance to stand out from the crowd. This is where you can show the university why you would be a great student there, why you have a passion for the subject, and any relevant experience you have. 

     

    Watch: Top tips for personal statements

  • After UCAS receives your application, your universities will review it. They’ll reply by either making you an offer or not. Offers can be either conditional or unconditional:

    Conditional offer
    This means you still need to meet the requirements to have your place confirmed – usually exam results.

    Unconditional offer
    This means you've got a guaranteed place.

    If you get an offer, you’ll be given a deadline to respond to it. Now’s the time to start thinking about how to narrow down your choices.

    How else can we help you?

  • Got an offer to study at a university? You'll probably be invited to attend an Applicant Day or Offer Holder Day – different universities give them different names.

    How are they different from Open Days?

    As well as a second chance to tour the campus and city, you’ll also get the opportunity to:

    ✓ Attend taster lectures

    ✓ Speak to the course tutors

    ✓ Meet your future classmates

    Like any university event, make the most of the day by asking plenty of questions and spending as much time as you can immersing yourself in the experience.

    Got an offer to study at Hull?

    Look out for an invitation to attend one of our Offer Holder Days.

    Watch: Find out more about our Offer Holder Days

    How else can we help you?

  • Going to university is a huge investment, so how to pay for your studies is a big consideration for most students. And it's fair to say there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

    If you're a UK student studying an undergraduate course, you could be eligible for a tuition fee loan, as well as a maintenance loan and other student finance to help with your living costs.

    Tuition fee loan
    This covers the costs of your course fees. Once you've been approved for this loan, it will be paid directly to your university.

    Maintenance loan
    In terms of your living costs, everyone who is eligible for student finance can get at least some maintenance loan. But depending on your personal circumstances, you may be entitled to extra help.

    Confused? Don't worry. Our video and guides below will help you make sense of it all.

    Watch: A guide to student finance

  • Now that you've got all your offers and attended any Open Days or Offer Holder Days, it's time to respond to your offers.


    Got an unconditional offer?
    You can accept it to confirm your place.

    Are your offers conditional?
    You can pick two so you have one as a backup.


    How to make your choices
    There are two types of reply: firm acceptance (your first choice) and insurance acceptance (your backup choice). Once you've chosen these, you need to decline any other offers.


    Similar to making your first five choices, there are lots of things to think about when narrowing down your final two. Here are a few of the key things, but there may be many others depending on your circumstances:

    • Entry requirements: it's usually a good idea to pick an insurance choice with lower entry requirements
    • Is it close or far enough away from home?
    • Do you like the sound of the modules you'll be studying?
    • Can you study abroad or go on a placement?
    • Can you afford to live in the local area?

    How else can we help you?

  • Choosing where to live will have a huge impact on your budget. And there are so many options to choose from: halls, rented houses, en-suite rooms, shared bathrooms…

    Do your research into the different types of accommodation your chosen university has to offer. Even if you choose to live in halls, there are usually different room types available, which can vary in price, so make sure you pick accommodation that fits into your budget.

    University-owned accommodation
    Most first-year students go straight into university owned, managed or directed accommodation or 'halls', which definitely has some advantages:

    ✓ A great way to meet new people and make friends outside of your course

    ✓ Bills are normally included in the price

    ✓ Often they come with 24-hour security for that extra peace of mind

    ✓ Conveniently located either on-campus or nearby

     

    Watch: Accommodation at Hull

  • After all your hard work and the planning you've put into choosing a university, Results Day can be a stressful time. But whatever happens, you still have options.

    Did you get the results you need? Are you still happy with your first choice of university? Congratulations! You'll have your offer confirmed, ready for you to accept your place.

    Are your results better or worse than expected? Have your circumstances changed? Or have you just changed your mind about what you want to do? Clearing is your opportunity to get a place at university.


    What is Clearing?

    During Clearing, universities advertise spaces that are left on their courses, and every year thousands of students get a place through Clearing and go on to flourish in their degrees. Clearing gives you the freedom to switch to a course – and a place – that's right for you.

    How else can we help you?

  • Once you've accepted your offer, it's time to prepare for university. And in between all the celebrating, there's some less exciting stuff that needs doing…

    Money

    Make sure you've sorted your student finance to cover your fees and living costs. Work out a budget and try to stick to it. Our Money Doctors Budget Calculator does all the adding up for you. If you want to top your income in your spare time, you might want to think about looking for part-time work to fit alongside your studies. 


    Watch: How to manage your finances at university

    Enrolling
    Look out for emails with info on how to enrol, as you'll need to do this before you start your course. If you have it before teaching starts, take a look at your reading list and pick up copies of the books in advance.


    Living away from home
    For many people, university's the first time they'll be living away from home. If that's you, it might be handy to get a crash course in living independently:

    • Learn some basic recipes
    • Figure out how the washing machine works
    • Get a TV license
    • Sort out some insurance (all university accommodation at Hull comes with basic personal possessions insurance, but make sure you check what's covered and if it meets your needs)
  • #1: Finding the right university and course

    Yes, it is a big decision. But if you follow these tips and do a little research, you’ll soon get an idea of what and where you’d like to study. Try this for starters…

    First, think about what’s important to you – not anyone else. Next, ask yourself the questions below. Then have a quick search for courses to get an idea of what’s available and where:

    • Which subject/s do you love and want to study to a higher level?
    • Do you want a course with a placement year or a year abroad so you can get some real-world experience before you graduate?
    • Do you want to study at a local university close to home or move away?
    • Would you prefer a campus university like Hull, or a city university that’s spread out across a city centre?
  • #2 Attending Open Days

    Most universities will offer Open Days. These are big events where you can:

    ✓ Tour the campus, facilities and accommodation

    ✓ Attend subject talks to get a feel for your subject

    ✓ Chat to lecturers and students about what it’s like to live and study there

    ✓ Get answers to your student finance and support questions

    ✓ Explore the local area and city while you’re there

    Remember, these days are all about helping you choose what and where to study. So make the most of it by asking lots of questions and spending as much time as you can exploring. 

     
    Watch: Open Days at Hull

  • #3: Completing your application

    Most students apply to university through the UCAS website. As part of your application, you’ll:

    ✓ Choose up to five universities/courses (It costs £22 for one choice, and £26.50 for more than one)

    ✓ Fill in a few basic details about yourself, plus information about your previous education

    ✓ Write a personal statement: an important part of your application

    Your personal statement is your chance to stand out from the crowd. This is where you can show the university why you would be a great student there, why you have a passion for the subject, and any relevant experience you have. 

     

    Watch: Top tips for personal statements

  • #4: Receiving offers

    After UCAS receives your application, your universities will review it. They’ll reply by either making you an offer or not. Offers can be either conditional or unconditional:

    Conditional offer
    This means you still need to meet the requirements to have your place confirmed – usually exam results.

    Unconditional offer
    This means you've got a guaranteed place.

    If you get an offer, you’ll be given a deadline to respond to it. Now’s the time to start thinking about how to narrow down your choices.

    How else can we help you?

  • #5: Offer Holder Days

    Got an offer to study at a university? You'll probably be invited to attend an Applicant Day or Offer Holder Day – different universities give them different names.

    How are they different from Open Days?

    As well as a second chance to tour the campus and city, you’ll also get the opportunity to:

    ✓ Attend taster lectures

    ✓ Speak to the course tutors

    ✓ Meet your future classmates

    Like any university event, make the most of the day by asking plenty of questions and spending as much time as you can immersing yourself in the experience.

    Got an offer to study at Hull?

    Look out for an invitation to attend one of our Offer Holder Days.

    Watch: Find out more about our Offer Holder Days

    How else can we help you?

  • #6: Applying for Student Finance

    Going to university is a huge investment, so how to pay for your studies is a big consideration for most students. And it's fair to say there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

    If you're a UK student studying an undergraduate course, you could be eligible for a tuition fee loan, as well as a maintenance loan and other student finance to help with your living costs.

    Tuition fee loan
    This covers the costs of your course fees. Once you've been approved for this loan, it will be paid directly to your university.

    Maintenance loan
    In terms of your living costs, everyone who is eligible for student finance can get at least some maintenance loan. But depending on your personal circumstances, you may be entitled to extra help.

    Confused? Don't worry. Our video and guides below will help you make sense of it all.

    Watch: A guide to student finance

  • #7: Responding to offers

    Now that you've got all your offers and attended any Open Days or Offer Holder Days, it's time to respond to your offers.


    Got an unconditional offer?
    You can accept it to confirm your place.

    Are your offers conditional?
    You can pick two so you have one as a backup.


    How to make your choices
    There are two types of reply: firm acceptance (your first choice) and insurance acceptance (your backup choice). Once you've chosen these, you need to decline any other offers.


    Similar to making your first five choices, there are lots of things to think about when narrowing down your final two. Here are a few of the key things, but there may be many others depending on your circumstances:

    • Entry requirements: it's usually a good idea to pick an insurance choice with lower entry requirements
    • Is it close or far enough away from home?
    • Do you like the sound of the modules you'll be studying?
    • Can you study abroad or go on a placement?
    • Can you afford to live in the local area?

    How else can we help you?

  • #8: Booking accommodation

    Choosing where to live will have a huge impact on your budget. And there are so many options to choose from: halls, rented houses, en-suite rooms, shared bathrooms…

    Do your research into the different types of accommodation your chosen university has to offer. Even if you choose to live in halls, there are usually different room types available, which can vary in price, so make sure you pick accommodation that fits into your budget.

    University-owned accommodation
    Most first-year students go straight into university owned, managed or directed accommodation or 'halls', which definitely has some advantages:

    ✓ A great way to meet new people and make friends outside of your course

    ✓ Bills are normally included in the price

    ✓ Often they come with 24-hour security for that extra peace of mind

    ✓ Conveniently located either on-campus or nearby

     

    Watch: Accommodation at Hull

  • #9: Results Day

    After all your hard work and the planning you've put into choosing a university, Results Day can be a stressful time. But whatever happens, you still have options.

    Did you get the results you need? Are you still happy with your first choice of university? Congratulations! You'll have your offer confirmed, ready for you to accept your place.

    Are your results better or worse than expected? Have your circumstances changed? Or have you just changed your mind about what you want to do? Clearing is your opportunity to get a place at university.


    What is Clearing?

    During Clearing, universities advertise spaces that are left on their courses, and every year thousands of students get a place through Clearing and go on to flourish in their degrees. Clearing gives you the freedom to switch to a course – and a place – that's right for you.

    How else can we help you?

  • #10: Preparing for university

    Once you've accepted your offer, it's time to prepare for university. And in between all the celebrating, there's some less exciting stuff that needs doing…

    Money

    Make sure you've sorted your student finance to cover your fees and living costs. Work out a budget and try to stick to it. Our Money Doctors Budget Calculator does all the adding up for you. If you want to top your income in your spare time, you might want to think about looking for part-time work to fit alongside your studies. 


    Watch: How to manage your finances at university

    Enrolling
    Look out for emails with info on how to enrol, as you'll need to do this before you start your course. If you have it before teaching starts, take a look at your reading list and pick up copies of the books in advance.


    Living away from home
    For many people, university's the first time they'll be living away from home. If that's you, it might be handy to get a crash course in living independently:

    • Learn some basic recipes
    • Figure out how the washing machine works
    • Get a TV license
    • Sort out some insurance (all university accommodation at Hull comes with basic personal possessions insurance, but make sure you check what's covered and if it meets your needs)

Looking for the right course?

Parents: what can you do to help?

The big one is being there for them over Results Day and Clearing, whatever happens. (You’ll find tips for the big day here.) But there’s lots more you can help them with before and after.

Research into extra financial help, look at what student support is available, see what the accommodation is like at their chosen universities … All these things and more can help lift some of the weight off their shoulders. Find out other ways you can help here:

parent-talking-to-ambassador Hull University Open Day - Saturday 5th October 2019-279 - parents chatting
open-day-3rd-november-2018-235

Join us at an Open Day

There’s no better way to find out if we’re right for you than by coming to one of our Open Days. You’ll be able to talk to our student ambassadors and quiz our academics, as well as get a feel for our beautiful campus and our fantastic facilities. 

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