Now you have submitted your UCAS application, you might have started to receive offers back from your choices. If you receive an offer then it will be conditional or unconditional. Conditional usually means that your offer is dependent on you achieving certain exam results. Unconditional means you have already met the entry requirements, though you might still need to provide further information – check with the institution you have applied to if you are unsure.
So, what happens next?
Well, firstly you’ve got to make that all-important decision about which university and course to put down as your firm and insurance choices – this can be one of the trickiest stages of the whole application process as it means narrowing up to five choices down to two.
Your firm choice should be the course you most want to do at the university you most want to go to but make sure the offer is achievable. If you meet the conditions of your firm offer, then the place is yours.
Your insurance choice should act as your ‘back-up’ option with lower offer conditions than your firm choice, that way if you do not get the grades you were expecting you might still meet the conditions of your insurance, however only put down an insurance choice if you are happy to go there.
It is important not to rush your decision. Remember, you will have until the beginning of May to research institutions further.
A great way of doing this research is to visit the university in person. You will get a ‘feel’ for whether you can see yourself living and studying there for the next few years. If you have applied to Manchester Metropolitan University you will be invited to attend an Applicant Visit Day or depending on your course, an interview/audition day, between February and April
You should also take some time to re-familiarise yourself with the course. Will you be happy studying this course for the next three years? Does the style of teaching and assessment suit you? Do you have the opportunity to complete a sandwich (work) placement? Will this course provide you with the qualifications you need for your future career? These are all examples of questions you may want to ask before making a decision.
Once you receive your last decision back from the universities you’ve applied to, you’ll typically have a few weeks before you need to reply to your offers (check UCAS Track for your deadline – it will depend on when you submitted your application). Wednesday 4th May 2016 is the deadline for accepting your place (if you applied by the 15th January and received all your decisions from universities by 31st March).
Then, if you are holding a conditional offer, it is a waiting game until you receive your results. … However, don’t worry, there are other things to think about in the meantime, such as Student Finance and choosing where you are going to live whilst you are studying. Applications for Student Finance are due to open soon and you can register your interest for our halls of residence from the 5th April 2016.
Once you get your results, if you meet the conditions of your firm offer, your university will confirm that your place is now unconditional via UCAS Track and send you further information about how to enrol as a student. This usually happens in July/August depending on when your results are published.
If you do not meet the conditions of your firm offer, but you meet the conditions of your insurance then your place will be confirmed at that university.
Best of luck in making your decisions – think carefully about which course and university is right for you!