Our university access tools

Our university access tools are for school and college students who are interested inuniversity. You may need some extra help deciding what and where to study, or in preparing to make an application.

Resources are designed for applications to UK universities via the UCAS system. However, they may also be useful for considering applications to international universities.

Click on the stage of your journey:

These modules help you to decide which subjects and universities might be a good fit, as well as advice on 'getting on' once there.

These modules help you to develop your skills, understand your subject interest and to build evidence for your UCAS application for early year 13.

These modules help you practise writing your personal statement and complete a successful UCAS application.

The 'Explore' modules include:

Library of materials you can read, watch and listen to across a wide range of subjects and course
A university choice app, via mobile and desktop
Series of guides to university life, including getting to know, getting in and getting on.

When to Start

You should definitely be considering your options by Year 11, because you might need to take certain A-Levels for courses such as Medicine.

But it's never too soon to start thinking about potential universities and courses! You might start getting familiar with universities and courses from Year 9 onwards.

 ‘Stretch’ includes anything you do to engage with and better understand your subject

Once you have potential options for universities and courses in mind, you should start to think about stretching yourself to build experiences for your UCAS application.

Additional readings
Completing our Research-Based Curricula packs
Attending a lecture
Completing a course at-home
Reading our guides to university visits, including open days, taster courses and summer schools.

Ideally, you should have completed your stretch activities before starting your UCAS application, as you will need to write about them meaningfully in your personal statement.

When to Start

It is important to build your experience well in advance of applying. Use any spare time you have in Year 11.

Make sure you research dates and deadlines for any events, visits or schools at the start of Year 12. Many of these take place in the summer before you start Year 13 and they might have an early application process and deadline.

Not sure where to start? See if you can find a Research-Based Curricula coursebook that looks interesting!(link to RBC library)

By now, you will have:

All that remains is to bring this together and complete your UCAS application!

Explored and decided on the universities and courses you would like to apply to
Stretched yourself beyond the school curriculum and had a taste of university life.

Start thinking about your UCAS application by Summer Term of Year 12. We would advise that you continue to work towards this over the summer and then finalise it early in Autumn Term of Year 13.

Remember: if you are applying to Oxbridge or to medical or veterinary courses, your application deadline is 15th October. This means you need to be starting to get your application ready even earlier.