University preparation in London: deadlines and requirements

University preparation in London: deadlines and requirements

Postgraduate preparatory courses

In the UK, there are two types of matriculation programs: matriculation programs organized and conducted by universities themselves and matriculation programs arranged by universities in conjunction with national educational centers for foreign applicants. To enter a pre-university program, a General Certificate of Complete Education and successful passing of a language test are required.

If you have already decided on your future educational institution, then the University Foundation Certificate (UFC) will be the best choice. Usually, successful completion of the program guarantees the applicant admission to the desired university (except Oxford and Cambridge). Usually, the foundation is held on the basis of a university, teaching is carried out by professors from the same educational institution, the student lives in a student residence, uses the entire infrastructure of the university and can join various communities and clubs - that is, he is fully integrated into his future university life. In addition, the program can be conducted in private schools and colleges that specialize in the preparation of foreign applicants for university. Most of these schools and colleges reserve places for students at British universities in advance they study in a responsible manner, achieve high marks in the subjects they study and successfully pass English exams to guarantee admission. This 1-year program enables students to improve their knowledge of English and gain the academic preparation they need for university admission.

Another effective and attractive pre-university program is the Certificate of Higher Education (CHE). This is a new program that combines a matriculation program with a year of bachelor's degree study. The program lasts 46 weeks, and students who successfully complete the program can immediately enter their second year of college.

The most ambitious, and those who decide to conquer Cambridge and Oxford, will be suited to the British National A-level course. It is organized on the basis of private language schools and colleges and lasts 2 years. Before the education begins, the applicant chooses the subjects he will study from a list of 5-7 subjects and takes exams at the end of the course. The results of these exams will be the basis for admission to university. Today, the A-level is the most valid and reliable way to enter a British university (in addition, some universities only recognize this qualification).

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is another well-known undergraduate program. Although it was developed outside the UK, today the IB is widely available in the UK and is even accepted by some universities. Another advantage of the program is that it is recognized in 100 countries and its successful completion is a real guarantee of admission to most universities in the world. The IB programme lasts for 2 years, during which students study 6 subjects - 3 in-depth subjects and 3 standard levels.

Advantages of the Pre-University Programme in the UK.

  • Meet the entry requirements of UK universities

  • English at a level that can cope with university workload

  • Choose a future career

  • Personal development

How to choose the right pre-university program in the UK and the UK?

In order to make the right choice of a matriculation program in the UK and the educational institution you will attend before entering university, you need to address the following issues.

Select a few institutions that teach the specialization you need, have the required academic profile - and choose a few options to maximize your enrollment in the desired year

Browse national and global rankings of educational institutions: pay special attention to Times Subject Tables and The Complete University Guide, with data from the UK National Office

Choose the most convenient location for you: regions (counties), cities, even urban areas and quarters

Check the physical and technical base of your chosen institution, how strong the faculty is

Check the loyalty of the chosen institution to foreign students: whether it offers additional language courses, adaptation programs, scholarships and bursaries, whether it guarantees accommodation

Find out the cost of education and living conditions.

Accommodation options for basic courses

Staying in a university or college residence: The most economical and comfortable accommodation option for foreign applicants is usually a room with all amenities, a fully equipped kitchen and even a lounge area. Many residences have their own laundry, small stores, gym and library. Often, a variety of dining venues are located close to the hostel - restaurants, student cafes and supermarkets. You can enjoy all the student benefits, from free use of the local library to classes at the sports and fitness center. Another important benefit is the opportunity to eat in the student cafeteria.

Staying with a host family is a great opportunity to get to know the culture of the country and the lifestyle of the local people. Basic Program participants are offered single or double rooms, full or partial board. Staying in a double room with another foreign student will allow you to practice the language you are studying.

Stay in a hotel or private apartment. The program coordinator will select the best accommodation to meet the student's preferences.

Submission deadlines

For example, at UK universities, the application deadline is September 2021 to January 15, 2021. There is also an earlier deadline - October 15. It applies to those applying to Oxford or Cambridge, as well as those applying for medical referrals to become veterinarians, dentists, etc. Applications start at the beginning of September, which means that the 2021 application cycle has not yet started, but is scheduled to begin normally, as there is still plenty of time until this date.

It is important to understand here that in order to apply and have more opportunities, the application must be strong. In order to make the application strong, in addition to being a strong candidate, you need to present this application in the best possible way and be prepared. 

How far in advance need to submit my college application?

At least one year, but if two years is better. This will give us enough time to select everything correctly, prepare, and strengthen the candidate's image so that he is ready for admission and can appear in front of the admissions committee in the best possible way.

University Admissions Process - UCAS

UCAS is an online system that exists for students to apply to university. Almost all UK universities are represented on UCAS. There are a few universities to which you can apply directly. These are usually private universities. UCAS allows you to apply to up to five universities. You can apply to one, you can apply to two, but there should be a maximum of five. Naturally, it is best to take advantage of all the opportunities available.

It is important to understand that the same applications will be sent to all five universities. Universities do not see where you have submitted your application. They only receive the emails sent to them. For example, you cannot apply to engineering, physics, business and some other disciplines. For example, you can apply to business, economics, business management or business economics. That said, you can write an essay, which is one of the key elements of the application, in a way that is appropriate for these related disciplines. But writing an essay that is appropriate for a completely different discipline is not possible.

UK university application structure

First of all, it is the questionnaire itself and cannot be wrong. It contains information such as name, passport number, address, school attended, grades, internship information, and only shows paid work.

One of the key elements of the application is the personal statement. The personal essay allows candidates to learn more about themselves. It is the tool that makes you stand out from other applicants. One more element is the recommendation. It is prepared by the school teacher. Again, it is very important that it is good because it can influence one way or the other.

Usually, most universities do not require an interview to get a BA degree, unless it is Oxford or Cambridge and it is not a creative major. Sometimes Imperial College does have an interview element, for example if you are applying for computer engineering. However, in most cases, an interview is not part of the admissions process.

In addition, universities usually conduct their own additional tests. For example, the aforementioned Imperial College conducts a critical thinking test. Oxford and Cambridge administer their own logic and critical thinking tests. They also use additional math tests in many areas. For all of these tests, you will need additional preparation. That is, even if you are studying under the British school curriculum, then many of the tests such as STEP 1 and STEP 2 that are required by strong universities are different from the A-Level curriculum. Therefore, high results need to be prepared in advance. Again, this takes time, so it is best to start early.

If the expertise is creative, then there is a portfolio element. Usually, it can be design, fashion or painting. The portfolio must be prepared in accordance with certain university laws and requirements. It cannot be prepared in a month - it has to be prepared for at least two years, or at least one year. It would be nice to have work from previous years, but more recent work should be available as well.

How to increase chances of admission?

In the last two years of high school, it's important to be active in various student clubs, organize something on your own, go to classes, read books, and say a few smart phrases about the subject matter, in addition to studying. You can also do an academic internship at the university. If students are studying in the UK, then it is  recommended, especially for those entering the sciences, to do an internship at the university and work, for example, in a lab under the supervision of a PhD (science candidate) to write a PhD thesis. This looks very good in the personal statement and is very useful for the students themselves so they can see if they are moving in the right direction.

The personal statement should reflect all of these strengths. Therefore, if the student is not doing anything in particular, it can get a little short if he finds himself writing a personal statement before the deadline. If you take care of this in advance then you can plan your extra-curricular activities to enhance the candidate's profile and generally help with admissions and enrolment preparation.

Cost of the UK pre-university program

The cost of a year-long programme ranges from £12,000 to £18,000. This fee includes tuition, consumables, the ability to use the center infrastructure (library, art studio, gym, etc.), academic supervision, help with university selection, and IELTS preparation.

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