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Application Procedure for Undergraduate Programmes

Application Procedure for Undergraduate Programmes

This section explains the process of applying to universities in England and Scotland for Undergraduate (Bachelor Degree) courses.

Application Forms
Applications are made through a computerized national system known as Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS). Students must complete a single UCAS form which allows them a choice of six universities and courses so that they don't have to make costly and time consuming multiple applications.

When to Apply?
UCAS forms should be ideally submitted before 15th January of the preceding year. Students can start applying even if they have received their final results. However, even after 15th January, applications can still be processed in the normal way until 30th June. After that, applications will be handled through "Clearing Process".
Note : For Oxford and Cambridge
- Students must apply before 15th October of the year preceding their year of proposed entry.
- There are specific forms to be filled and sent to the universities.
- You cannot apply to both the colleges in the same academic year.

Application Requirements

Academic Records
Full details of your education including your course subjects and grades are required in the applications. Transcripts or official records of your previous academic qualifications are crucial for your application.

Students are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects, credits involved and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the transcript to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one transcript but most require only one.

If the originals are not in English, copies and a good English translation must be enclosed.

Standardised Tests
IELTS : For most courses and universities, International students are required to take IELTS (International English Language Test System) which is regularly administered by the British Council. Some universities may accept TOEFL as an alternative.

Note: Some Universities may waive IELTS if you have been studying in full-time English courses and they are convinced that you are proficient in English.

Letter of Recommendation
Letters of reference or recommendation letters play a very important part in your admission especially in courses that earn you a master's or doctoral degree. A recommendation letter is a signed statement from a person who knows you well professionally or has taught you in a subject that is related to the course you are applying to. It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and other such information.

The author or teacher must indicate his position, how long he/she has known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes to undertake. Authors are usually asked to rank applicants in their letters of recommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret the academic credentials of foreign students. Students should obtain letters of recommendation (often on the prescribed forms sent by the institutions) from teachers who know them as a person as well as a student. You may like to request your author to give concrete examples that may show your qualities and help your case.

Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate's chances of selection.

Note: Even if not mentioned, it is advisable to include at least two letters of recommendation in your applications as they increase your chances of getting admissions.

Statement of Purpose
The personal essays, and/or statement of purpose, play a very important role in the process of evaluating your application for both admission as well as financial aid because it gives the faculty assessing your application their most significant impression of you as an individual. This section is the key to distinguish your application from other suitable candidates and a chance to market yourself.

A personal statement should include your reasons for choosing a particular course, the suitability of your education and experience for the chosen course, your personal interests and career goals.

Degree classification

A degree may be awarded with or without honours, with the class of an honours degree based on the average mark of the assessed work a candidate has completed. Below is a list of the possible classifications with common abbreviations.

First-class Honours (1st)
Second-class Honours, upper division (2:1)
Second-class Honours, lower division (2:2)
Third-class Honours (3rd)
Ordinary-Degree (Pass)

At most institutions the system allows a small amount of discretion and candidates may be elevated to the next degree class if their average mark is close to, or the median of their weighted marks achieves the higher class and they have submitted many pieces of work worthy of the higher class. However they may be demoted a class if they fail to pass all parts of the course even if they have a high average.

International comparisons

British Class American GPA Secured Marks Level
First 3.67-4.00 70+
Upper Second (2.1) 3.33-3.67 60-69
Lower Second (2.2) 3.00 50-59
Third 2.30 40-49
Ordinary Pass 2.00 35-40