UCAS Extra: A quick refresh
We covered UCAS Extra wayyyy back in week 25. So, for a more in-depth look at what UCAS Extra is, head back there! But we’re also more than happy to give a quick refresh on what UCAS Extra is and does.
UCAS Extra is a service run by UCAS that will give you another choice for university. So if you've not received an offer, changed your mind or declined all your offers, you can make an additional choice with UCAS Extra.
UCAS Extra will close on 4 July, so you'll need to make your choice by then!
Making a choice
So, seeing as how we’ve pretty much covered everything about how to use UCAS Extra in week 25, we’re going to help you with making a choice. As there is just over a week left until UCAS Extra closes, you'll need to start deciding on where and what you want to study and make a final decision.
Choosing a university can be a tough decision; you want to make sure it has the right course, location, campus and has the right feel. Below are some useful tips for helping you make your decision about which university to choose.
Speak to current students
With university forums like Student Crowd, The Student Room and Whatuni you can speak to current students, read reviews about your chosen university or chat to students who are also applying.
Speaking to current students on these forums will give you an idea of what university life is really like, and normally it's very unfiltered and honest. But one thing to remember: you’ll always hear more about the negatives than the positives, so don’t let it deter you too much if there are very few positive comments about your chosen university and course.
If you’re a glass half full kinda person and you only want to hear the positives, a lot of universities will have testimonials from students about the courses they’ve studied. We have our Solent Stories, so why not check out what our graduates and students have to say?
So make sure you read around what students say about the university. After all, you'll be in their shoes in a couple of months!
Visit an open day
We covered what to do at on open day in week 7. But we can’t stress enough the importance of popping over to your university and experiencing an open day.
You’ll know pretty much as soon as you step on campus how you feel about it and whether you can see yourself there or not. You'll also be able to get a feel for the course as well as the accommodation, which could help inform your decision.
If there are no open days left, you may be able to book individual visits. Check out the university's open day website to see all the options available.
Chat to the lecturers
Your lecturers will be the ones who will be giving you all the skills and knowledge that you need to succeed in your professional careers. So, it’s always worth checking out their backgrounds and speaking to them!
A lot of lecturers will have staff profiles on the websites, giving you the chance to ping over a quick email outlining any concerns you have. Or you can email your university’s contact team and they can pass you on if you’re not comfortable sending a direct email (ours is firstname.lastname@example.org).
Some Previous weeks to check out
If you’re still struggling with what you’re going to do, here are some useful weeks to help you! Our 52 Things To Do is a guide to get you ready for university. It's meant to be an hour a week for 52 weeks, but you can probably cram these in one...
Week 2: Choosing a career – Let’s talk lifestyle
In this week we looked at choosing a career that will give you the life you want. Would you like to be a freelancer or would you rather have a comfortable 9-5 job?
Week 3: Is university right for you?
There are also some alternatives to going to university. So if you're thinking that maybe university isn't the right choice, we have some information that might help!
Week 4: What are the different types of degree?
Choosing what you want to study is already confusing enough. The fact that there about 10 different types of higher education qualifications doesn't help. This week we've made it a bit easier to understand!
Week 7: 11 ways to get the most out of an open day
If you’re able to attend an open day before UCAS Extra fully closes, we've got the best guide for making the most out of your visit. This will help you choose whether the university is right for you.
Week 8: Choosing the right course
You may have chosen where you want to study, but not what. Our week 8 should help with that!
Go with your gut
There are lots of ways to help you make a choice. Some people flip a coin, others will make a pros and cons list and weigh up each list and make a decision based on that.
Ultimately, deep down you know what you want to do, so it’s about listening to your instincts. Gut feelings are there for a reason; they help you make informed decisions on what you need to do. How many times have you had a bad feeling about something and it's turned out to be right?
BBC Futures have a really good article on going with your gut instinct, which is worth a read:
Should you trust your gut feeling? - BBC Futures
And if all else fails… join us next week for Clearing!
Clearing opens next week. If you're adamant on going to university this September you might be able to find your university place through clearing!
We'll cover it all for you over the next couple of weeks, so make sure you stop back here for all the clearing info you need.
Tasks for this week
- Have a big in-depth research on the universities and courses you're considering.
- Speak to current students and lecturers.
- Book onto an open day or try to arrange a visit if you haven't been on the campus of a uni you're interested in.