Monday, 20 July 2015

How to apply for UCAS Conservatoires in 5 steps

You can now apply for 2016 UCAS Conservatoire courses on our website. To apply on-time for a music course, we must receive your application by 1 October. If you're applying for dance and drama courses, you must submit your application by 15 January.

Here are five things you need to do to apply...

1. Find the right course for you
The best place to start is our search tool. If you’re not sure which conservatoire or course is right for you; we’ve got lots of great advice. Try attending an open day to get a taste of conservatoire life, as it gives you the opportunity to meet the tutors, speak to current students and check out the campus.

2. Register
When you’re ready to start your application you need to register.  All you have to do is answer questions about yourself and create a password. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be given a username. Make sure you keep a note of your log in details so you don’t have any problems at a later date!

3. Start your application
When you log in, you’ll see this page which shows the sections you need to complete:

Each section must be complete before you can send your application. There’s lots of advice on filling in your application on our website.

When it comes to adding your qualifications, enter every place you’ve received a formal qualification from in the ‘Education’ section.  This should start from the age of 12 onwards. You can search for your schools by clicking on the ‘Add a school/college’ link and then select the ones you’ve attended.

If the school isn’t listed, just click on the ‘My school/college is not listed’ option which will allow you to enter the details in manually.

Once you’ve done this, add your qualifications in the ‘Qualification’ section. Similarly to the Education section, you need to search for the course type. If the qualification isn’t listed, find the different options for ‘Other’ and select the most relevant one to enter the details manually.

When you get to the personal statement we’ve got some great tips on what to include.

4. Send your application
The application fee is £20, which you pay with a credit or debit card. If you need to pay by an alternative method, such as a bank transfer, you can send us your application without the payment. However, you must send a payment to us within 14 days of sending us your application, otherwise it’ll be cancelled.

Each conservatoire will have an audition fee - you can pay for this when you send us your application or by bank transfer if you’re going to pay at a later date. Some conservatoires may waive the audition fee but you need to discuss this with them.

It’s important to arrange your payments as soon as possible as the conservatoires can’t make a decision until you’ve sorted your application AND audition fees for all courses.

5. Wait for your auditions
After your application has been sent and the fees have been paid, the conservatoires will get in touch with you about auditions. All updates will come from the conservatoire and they’ll also be in Track.

So make sure you’re prepared. Auditions may seem daunting but it’s your opportunity to shine. We've put together a handy document to help you make the most of your audition.

Good luck with your application!

If you have any questions about applying then have a look on our website. You can also get in touch with our advisers on Facebook or Twitter who’ll be happy to help.

Get the views of conservatoire applicant Charlotte, who has been sharing her experience in her blog.

Received your BTEC results? Check what happens with them...

It's that time of year again when results for the different BTEC qualifications start rolling in from Edexcel. The results go through a slightly different process to others, and in this blog post we’ll explain how it works.

Once a week, until mid-September, we receive a batch of results from Edexcel, the awarding body for BTEC qualifications. When we receive your results we match them to your application and send them to your uni choices.

Next, it’s up to the uni to update your application with their decision. Your Track status will change when this has happened – if you're unsure what your status means you can find out on our 'What your results mean' page.

Providing you've got the grades the uni set in the conditions of your offer, your place will be confirmed once they've received your results. Remember, there might be additional requirements you need to complete, such as health checks or sending proof of your past qualifications, so make sure you read all the conditions carefully.

If you get your results before the university receives them from us, you could get in touch with them to ask if you can pass them on yourself.

If you know you haven't met the conditions for your firm and insurance choice, but they're waiting for your results to be confirmed or for the results of other qualifications to be published before they make a decision, it's a good idea to be prepared and look into Clearing.

Do you have any questions about your UCAS application? If so, contact our advisers on Facebook and Twitter and they’ll be more than happy to help.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Results better than expected? You may be able to use Adjustment...

As we approach results day, you may start thinking about other courses and options. It might be possible to apply to them using Adjustment. Read on to find out how…

What is Adjustment?
Adjustment runs from 13 August to 31 August and is open to anyone who has met and exceeded the conditions of their firm choice only. Your firm choice will confirm through Track whether you have met and exceeded your offer. You cannot use Adjustment if you’re confirmed at your insurance choice.

How to use Adjustment in 4 steps

1. Make a shortlist
You need to research the unis you’re interested in. You’ll find all the course information you need in our search tool. You can ask to be considered for any course in Adjustment, and when you speak to the universities you’re interested in, they’ll let you know if they have any places available. 

2. Register 
So that universities can see your application when you contact them, you need to register for Adjustment – you do this in Track. Remember, just because you’ve registered for Adjustment, it doesn’t mean you’ll lose your current place! If you register, you have five 24 hour periods to find a place. This starts from the moment you register in Track.  

3. Get talking
Contact the universities on your shortlist and ask if they’ll consider you for your chosen course through Adjustment. It’s important you let them know you’re using Adjustment and not Clearing. 

You can speak to as many unis as you like, but make sure you don’t accept a place if you’re not 100% sure you want it!

4. How do I accept a place in Adjustment?
Once you’ve been offered a place that you want to accept in Adjustment, let the uni know and then it’s up to them to update Track to show you’ve been accepted. Remember, you only have five days before your Adjustment period ends, so if time is running out, it’s a good idea to contact the uni to remind them. 

And that’s it – the university that had originally confirmed your place will be notified that you’ve found an alternative place through Adjustment, and your new Confirmation letter will appear in Track within a week.

Remember – if you register for Adjustment by mistake, don’t worry! Your firm choice won’t be affected as long as you don’t ask another uni to accept you! 

Want to know a bit more about how to use Adjustment? Check out this video

Do you have any further questions about Adjustment? Have a look at our website or get in touch with our advisers on Facebook or Twitter.

Five things you need to know about Clearing

Last year, thousands of places were available in Clearing, in courses ranging from science to history, with over 61,300 applicants securing places. Here are the five things that'll give you an understanding of what Clearing is.

1. What is Clearing?
Clearing runs from 3 July to 21 October and is an opportunity for anyone who hasn’t been accepted by a university or college to find a place on another course.

2. How do I know if I can use Clearing? 
When you log in to Track, you’ll see if you’re in Clearing. In the ‘Next Steps’ section, there’ll be an option to ‘Add a Clearing choice.’

If you applied after 30 June, you’ll automatically be entered into Clearing.

3. Where can I find vacancies?
The first place to start is our search tool. When you select where you normally live along with ‘Clearing 2015’, you’ll be shown all the available courses. The Telegraph will also publish all Clearing vacancies on Thursday 13 August and Saturday 15 August.

4. How do I apply to a course in Clearing?
When you’ve found the course want to apply to, give the uni a call to ask if they can consider you for a place. If they confirm that they’ll accept you, add the choice in Track in the ‘Your Choices’ section.

You can speak to as many universities and colleges as you like in Clearing, but you can only add one Clearing choice at a time. This must be the place you want to accept.

5. What happens after I’ve added a Clearing choice?
If the uni has offered you a place, they will update your status in Track to show you’ve been accepted. Once this has happened, your Confirmation letter will appear in Track within a week.

Do you have any further questions about Clearing? Take a look at the advice on our website or get in touch with our advisers on Facebook or Twitter. You can also check out our Clearing video guides.