Top ten tips

Learn how you can help your student with their application.

Top ten tips

Here are our top tips to help an applicant to choose the right course at the right university, and to make their application a strong one.

1. Start early

Encourage applicants to start their search for a course early. They will need to read around their subject, they may need to organise work experience, and they need to be aware of deadlines set by UCAS - UCAS Key Dates. Schools and colleges often set earlier deadlines than UCAS in order to check details and add a reference. Setting a schedule may be useful!


2. Choosing a course and university

Students should consider subjects they enjoy and excel at, and to think about their career aspirations. Some careers may have prescriptive qualification requirements, but many will be quite flexible. Employers will value the transferable skills that a university degree will develop.

Each university creates their own degree programmes, so the content, teaching style, assessment, study and work opportunities, and admissions requirements will be unique. Official university websites are a good starting point. Further details about all of our University of Liverpool courses are online and regularly updated.


3. Research, research, research

There are a lot of options out there so you can help your student to find the right course and university for them. The UCAS website has a wealth of resources for students to use. There is even a UCAS parents and advisers section and you can sign up to receive UCAS email updates.

The Russell Group’s Informed Choices website provides advice about choosing a course, and WhatUni, helps applicants to research universities.


4. Learn about funding

Funding for UK students is, in part, based on household information for the previous tax year, so you may need to help complete the application form for each year of their studies. Check the official Student Finance England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales websites for further details.

As well as government funding, students may be eligible for a university scholarship or bursary. Check our Fees and Finance section for more information about financial support.

You can find financial information for International students here.


5. Attend education conventions

University staff attend education conventions across the UK. These are a great opportunity for students, and their supporters, to speak to representatives from a wide range of universities, all under one roof. You can find a list of upcoming events on our website: Undergraduate recruitment events plus some tips to make the most of the experience Top tips for attending education conventions.


6. Visit universities

Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for applicants and their supporters to find out more about subjects of interest, to meet tutors, and speak to current students about their experiences. Attending an Open Day will allow everyone to get a feel for the university, and to help the applicant decide whether the place is the right one for them.  Find out when university open days are being held and try to visit two or more locations.


7. Develop transferrable skills and knowledge

In their UCAS application students will need to prove that they have an active interest in the subject they are applying to, and they have the attributes necessary to succeed at university. This can be gained from doing extracurricular reading, work experience, visiting relevant places etc. Do you have any contacts? Remember that work experience forms part of the essential entry criteria for courses such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science.


8. The personal statement

Part of the UCAS application consists of a personal statement. This must address why the applicant wants to study the subject, and highlight their skills and suitability for the course. A brilliant personal statement is of considerable value, but takes time to write and edit. Look at our top tips for producing an excellent personal statement.


9. Continued Support

Most universities will have a wealth of support services ranging from academic to pastoral to financial. Please encourage your applicant to make contact with university Student Support and Careers services to find out what is available so that their time at university will be happy and successful, and will set them up for their dream career.


10. Ready for results day?

Although universities will often accept a wide variety of qualifications for most courses, the application cycle still culminates in August on A-level Results day. It is vital that applicants are available at this time in case they need to contact UCAS or universities to discuss their options, so please do not book a holiday somewhere remote without internet or telephone access! Universities and UCAS are limited to what they can discuss with non-applicants, due to data protection, so they need to be contactable.

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