As A-level students open their results this morning, Lydia McClelland, Head of Marketing, from the University of Ulster offers eight golden rules about what to do next.
‘We understand how stressful a time of year this is and that’s why we will always be here to help” says Lydia. “As much as anything this is a very exciting time as you start a new chapter in your life and choose a university and a course that is right for you”
1. Stay Calm: Advice and guidance is available from many places and in many forms. The University of Ulster is providing face-to-face help on all four campuses at our Advice Day on Friday 17 August and a dedicated telephone help-line for applicants. T: 028 7028 7028
2. Keep yourself informed: The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has an online system which allows you to see whether or not a university has confirmed your place. Track can be found at www.ucas.com/students/track where you enter your personal username and ID, which you should have received already via a letter from UCAS.
3. Don’t Worry: In almost all cases, exam results will already have been communicated electronically by UCAS to universities, so you won’t need to worry about this – unless you have been specifically asked by us to do so.
4. Consider Your Options: If you have met your entry conditions for your preferred course the University will automatically confirm your place through UCAS Track on the day you receive your results. Within a few days you will receive a confirmation letter from UCAS. However, if you narrowly miss achieving the required grades, you may be made a ‘Changed Course Offer’ in a similar subject area or receive an offer for your Conditional Insurance (CI) course. You do not have to accept your ‘Changed Course Offer’ and you can make this known through the Track system, where all your course options and offers will appear.
5. Aim Higher: If you achieve better exam results than you expected (or needed) the UCAS Adjustment process provides you an opportunity for you to reconsider where and what to study. However, be aware that because of the increased pressure on degree places this year, many universities might have limited scope in what places they will have available through Adjustment. Again, the process can be done through Track.
6. Stay Hopeful: As with the Adjustment process, many universities might have very few, if any, places available through Clearing, where unfilled places are matched with applicants. However, universities might have new courses available for a short time through Clearing that were not available when you first applied. Any places available on new courses at Ulster can be viewed at www.ulster.ac.uk/admissions.
7. Take Responsibility: It is important that you are available to make decisions about your choice of course at this time of year – it’s your future, don’t leave it up to your parents. This is particularly important if you do not achieve the necessary grades and your first choice (Conditional Firm – CF choice) is not confirmed.
8. Seek Advice: As you make decisions about your future it is important to consider all alternative options, such as part-time study or Further Education as a future progression route to university. A number of Ulster’s full-time programmes are also available on a part-time basis. Information on part-time courses can be found on our website at www.ulster.ac.uk/prospectus.