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Writing your UCAS Application

If you're applying to study a full-time BA (Hons) or Extended BA degree at Arts University Plymouth, you will need to submit your application through UCAS. Read our step-by-step to complete your personal statement, references and education history.

Applying to study at university can be intimidating, but we’re here to reassure you that with a little preparation you can breathe easy knowing your application is well underway.

<p dir="ltr">Before we get started, make sure to read through each section of the <strong><a href="https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/filling-your-ucas-undergraduate-application" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">UCAS guidance</a></strong> carefully. Afterwards, follow our top tips for each stage of the undergraduate application process for full-time applicants below.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you have any questions along the way or can’t find the help you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Admissions team. Email <a href="mailto:admissions@aup.ac.uk">admissions@aup.ac.uk</a> or call <strong>01752 203 400 </strong>for advice on your application, personal statement, references and more.<br /></p>
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<ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Add your <strong>personal details, choose a username, create a password </strong>and set up some <strong>security questions </strong>to protect your account. Remember to enter your first name and middle name(s) exactly as they're stated on official documents, such as your passport, birth certificate, or driving licence.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"> If you are applying through a school, college or centre you will have also been given a <strong>buzzword</strong> to enter. If you are applying independently you will need to answer a few more questions.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">You can only <strong>apply once in a cycle</strong> and if you’ve applied in previous cycles you will still have to submit a new application. </p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">If you decided to apply in 2023 for <strong>deferred entry</strong> and were successful or you're holding a delayed confirmation decision (DCF) for your 2023 choice, you can still reapply in 2024 without withdrawing your deferred place. If you choose to do this, UCAS will be in touch directly to check which application you would like to continue with.</p></li></ul>
<p>If you don't have access to the internet or your connection is weak, download and print a <strong><a href="https://www.ucas.com/file/131431/download?token=LLf-qD0M" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">PDF guide to UCAS</a></strong> instead (you will still need to complete your application online as UCAS do not accept paper submissions).</p>
<p dir="ltr">UCAS will request to <strong>verify your email address</strong> so that you can sign in and check on your application online. Remember to notify UCAS if any of your contact details change (e.g phone number, home address, email) as you could miss out on updates and even offers of a place to study with us. We suggest monitoring your inbox regularly for updates and marking Arts University Plymouth emails “safe” to avoid any vital updates going into your junk folder.</p> <p dir="ltr">Once signed in, it's time to <strong>complete the sections on funding and sponsorship, residential status, any special needs or impairments, and any criminal convictions</strong>. If you need clarification of your residential status, visit the <strong><a href="https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">UKCISA website</a></strong>.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you are a UK applicant the form will also request details of your <strong>ethnicity, religious beliefs, background, sexuality and gender identity</strong>. Not all of these questions are mandatory and the statistics are simply used for monitoring purposes. Your answers will not influence any decision regarding your application and the information is not shared with us until the end of the application cycle (to ensure any necessary support is in place).</p>
<p dir="ltr">Did you know you can grant a parent, guardian, or adviser permission to speak with UCAS on your behalf? Look out for a section titled ‘<a href="https://www.ucas.com/sites/default/files/ucas-parent-comms-application-toolkit.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><strong>nominated access</strong>’.</a> <br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">Applications for a loan to cover <strong>tuition fees</strong> (paid directly to the university) and <strong>maintenance costs </strong>(paid directly to you at the start of term) will open in early 2024. This option is available wherever you choose to study in the UK and is repayable. </p> <p dir="ltr">If you are an applicant from England you don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at university or college to begin the online application. For more details please visit the <a href="https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance">Student Finance England website</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you are an international applicant please refer to our website’s <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/international/finance" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><strong>International pages</strong> </a>for guidance on EU and non-EU fees, visas and language support.</p>
<p dir="ltr">You can choose up to five courses with no order of preference. There’s no need to rush as you can return to your selection and add more courses in a separate UCAS session. We won’t see where else you’ve applied to until after you reply to any offers you receive.</p> <p dir="ltr">To view our full range of courses please <strong><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/courses" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">click here</a></strong>.<strong> </strong>For more information, we recommend attending an upcoming <strong><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/open-days" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Open Day</a></strong> or booking a <strong><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/visit/book-a-tour" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Campus Tour</a> </strong>(both online and in-person options are available). </p> <p dir="ltr">You can also <strong><a href="https://www.plymouthart.ac.uk/ask-a-student">live chat with our current students on</a> <a href="https://www.plymouthart.ac.uk/ask-a-student" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Unibuddy</a></strong>. Start a conversation with a student who has been in your shoes recently or contact <a href="mailto:hello@aup.ac.uk"><strong>hello@aup.ac.uk</strong></a> for more information on course content.<br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">Next, it’s time to <strong>enter your education and employment history, including all your qualifications </strong>from secondary education onwards (even results that are yet to be confirmed or ungraded). List your subjects with their full titles, for example, if you're taking English Literature, note the full title and not just “English”. A full list of <a href="https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/results-confirmation-and-clearing/sending-exam-results">exam results that UCAS can process is available here. </a>If you can’t find the qualification you are looking for, please still note it on your application but remember to send the results to <a href="mailto:admissions@aup.ac.uk">admissions@aup.ac.uk</a> when they become available.<br /></p> <p dir="ltr">If you studied at a university or college in the past but didn't complete your studies, you should note the start and finish date and state that you didn't receive a final qualification. If you are still studying towards a qualification or awaiting results, your referee will need to add <strong>predicted grades</strong> to your application. </p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Now enter up to five <strong>examples of paid full-time or part-time employment</strong>. You’ll need to include company names, addresses, job descriptions and start/finish dates. We suggest saving any unpaid or voluntary work experience in your personal statement instead. <br /></p>
<p>If you can't find your school exam certificates, you should contact the school, local authority or exam board in the first instance. Don’t panic if you have no luck, email <a href="mailto:admissions@aup.ac.uk">admissions@aup.ac.uk</a> to discuss your options further.</p>
<p dir="ltr">This is your chance to demonstrate why you want to study a course at Arts University Plymouth and why you’re a good fit for the subject specialism. It might take a few rewrites before you are happy with your statement, but with the support of teachers, careers advisers, friends and family, you can gain useful feedback on your strengths and skill set. </p> <p dir="ltr">Follow our <strong>Do’s &amp; Don’ts</strong> list below and you’ll be sure to do yourself justice in writing. For more Personal Statement support please visit <a href="https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/how-write-ucas-undergraduate-personal-statement">UCAS</a>.</p>
<ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do give yourself plenty of time </strong>and find a quiet place to focus</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do work in a separate document (</strong>e.g Microsoft Word, Google Sheet, Notes app) as UCAS lets you copy and paste from another source</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do start with a plan</strong> - Interview yourself with mock questions and use the answers as a starting point for your personal statement</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do display your passion and commitment</strong> for your subject area, ask yourself “Why do I want to study this programme?” and “Why does the subject matter interest me?”</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do express yourself </strong>by including your motivations, skills, and any experiences that have led you to pursue creative study</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do use real-world examples</strong> to evidence your suitability for the course</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do demonstrate a good attitude </strong>towards learning and problem-solving. It’s okay to not be the “perfect student”, but in the past how have you picked yourself back up and overcome any hurdles to success?</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do answer specific questions</strong> in your writing. By asking yourself typical questions such as “What personal qualities make me suitable to study this course?” or “What long-term ambitions do I have in this field?” you can make sure your statement ticks the right boxes for our Admissions team</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do keep within the word count </strong>– you only have approx 450 words (45 lines, 4,000 characters max) in which to articulate yourself, so try to be clear and concise</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do let us know if English isn’t your first language</strong>, and include any opportunities you’ve had to speak English, such as English-speaking schools, employment or travel</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do mention any plans to defer or take a gap year</strong> and how the experience will support your personal development</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Do get feedback on your first draft - </strong>Ask a friend or family member to read your first draft, as fresh eyes always spot mistakes you may have missed.</p></li></ul>
<ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don’t plagiarise </strong>or be tempted to take shortcuts as UCAS uses detection software on all applications. If any evidence is found that your application isn’t your own original work, we will be informed and your offer(s) may be withdrawn.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don’t send additional papers to UCAS </strong>as any further documents should be sent directly to our Admissions team. If you would like to share something in support of your application please email <a href="mailto:admissions@aup.ac.uk">admissions@aup.ac.uk</a> along with your name and UCAS application number.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don’t mention topics you wouldn’t be comfortable discussing later</strong>, as your Personal Statement may be referred to in your interview or future communications. If something is particularly sensitive, confusing or humorous, it might be a good idea to edit it out to avoid embarrassment.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don’t worry! </strong>At Arts University Plymouth, we know there is much more to every applicant than what can be captured in a Personal Statement. If your application is successful, we will arrange an interview to really get to know you and your creative practice.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Don’t be afraid to ask for help. </strong>Submitting an application is a daunting task and talking about yourself can be stressful, so if you need any help with your personal statement and references please contact <a href="mailto:admissions@aup.ac.uk">admissions@aup.ac.uk</a></p></li></ul>
<p dir="ltr">Now take your time reading over your application from top to bottom and make any necessary edits. Once you think you’re at a final draft we suggest following the checklist below before marking your application complete and hitting the save button.</p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Proof your writing </strong>for grammar and punctuation mistakes. </p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Ask someone else to check too</strong> as a pair of fresh eyes may spot some subtle errors (e.g typos)</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr"><strong>Print out a copy and arrange for your referee to add their reference</strong>. A reference is a written recommendation from a teacher, adviser or professional who knows you academically. Unless our Admissions team advises that referencing can happen later, you must attach a completed reference to your application before it is sent.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Follow the UCAS instructions on how to<strong> pay for your application fee </strong>(£27.50 for 1-5 choices). If you are applying through a school or college they might advise you to pay through their system instead before sending your application to us on your behalf. </p></li></ul>
<p dir="ltr">Once you’ve marked all sections complete and hit save, you’ll be prompted to <strong>accept a declaration </strong>that allows UCAS to process your information and send it to us. </p> <p dir="ltr">Great job! You’re now a step closer to your future on a creative degree at Arts University Plymouth. Sit back and relax, we’ll be in touch soon to arrange a discussion and offer advice on your next steps.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the meantime, please <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/apply">visit our How to Apply</a> page or <strong><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/contact" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">contact us</a></strong> for more advice on your application. <br /></p>