Deadline looms for university applications

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Christmas may be the perfect time for Banbury students thinking about a university place to sit down, research course options and apply as the deadline is just weeks away.

Applying to university can be daunting but students that have been crippled by procrastination will have to get their skates-on, as the deadline for applications is January 15.

So while students enjoy the Christmas break here are a few things they can be doing before applying.

• Research your subject. Who provides the course that will best suit you? For example, there is a difference between Film Studies and a Film Production.

League tables give some idea, but also look at uni websites. Most courses give a module overview to give a sense of what topics you’ll cover across the degree. Are there similarities or differences in the courses you like?

• Research your university. Just because a university offers your degree subject and ranks well doesn’t mean it’s a ‘shoo in’.

Reach out to current students via social media and forums and ask them about their experience at the university.

TheStudentRoom.com, Facebook groups are good places to start. Also check-out the university’s Instagram account to get a feel for what people are responding to.

• If you haven’t already, as soon as you can book on an Open Day. You’re probably going to have to apply whether you’ve visited the uni or not at this late stage, but before you accept an offer, try to get to the campus. You will spend three or four years there, and may have to move from home, so you want to make sure you feel comfortable in both the university and the town or city it is located in.

Whilst visiting checkout what the student union is like, clubs and societies on offer, transportation availability and costs and the location of the campus.

• Think about your future self; the decisions you make about where and what to study are only part of the story.

Find out: If you get to do work experience, are there sandwich course options with a year in industry.

Also look at employability rates for the university as a whole and your field of study.

• Know the process: Universities know how scary the UCAS application process can be and often assign a dedicated admissions manager who will help students with the process, from researching a course, to personal statements and student finance.

Even if you aren’t currently studying a “relevant” subject, don’t discount applying to a course that really interests you. Universities consider all applications where students have demonstrated a passion for the industry/subject.

To help you learn more about the course that you’re interested in, make sure you call the university as soon as you can after the Christmas break have a list of questions at hand and make sure you know about any open days, workshops and / or applicant visits before you accept an offer.