Friday, 27 May 2016

Thinking of starting uni this year?

Thinking about starting university this year? You can still apply for courses until 18:00 (UK time) on 30 June.

Where can I find vacancies?
You can find all course vacancies in our search tool.

Once you’ve found some you’re interested in, it’s still worth giving the uni a quick call to make sure they have vacancies and will consider your application.

How do I apply?
So you’ve found some courses you want to apply to and you’ve made sure they’ve got vacancies – the next step is completing your application!

There’s lots of advice to get you started on our website. You may need a little extra help with some parts of the application, such as the education section and your personal statement. If so, check out these great videos for lots of great advice.

video video

Once you’ve completed your entire application, including a reference, you’ll be able to pay for and send us your application. The fee is £12 for one choice or £23 for more than one choice.

What happens if I apply after 30 June?
Any application sent to us after 30 June will be entered in to Clearing.

Good luck with your application! 

If you have any questions about applying, check out all the advice on or ask our advisers on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Teacher Training: Three things to consider before you apply

It’s not too late to apply for teacher training programs for 2016 entry. If you’ve already made an application, and you don’t hold any offers, you may be able to apply elsewhere using Apply 2. If you haven’t applied, you can submit an application up until 15 September, but there are a few things to consider before you apply through either of these routes.

Choosing the right training programme

There are a few different training programmes available. Check out the different routes into teaching and see which one is the right fit for you. Make sure that you meet the entry requirements for the route you wish to apply to. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to search for some training providers!


Search for all programmes that have vacancies in our search tool. Even if the programme you’re interested has vacancies listed, it’s always worth ringing the training provider just to make sure that they can consider your application.


You have to attend an interview before you can be offered a place on a teacher training programme. You’ll be interviewed within 40 days of sending in your application so make sure you’re prepared! We’ve got lots of top tips to help you prepare for interviews, with some advice on what skills the training providers are looking for. Also, check out this great video on how to prepare for a teacher training interview.

Got any questions about applying for teacher training programmes? Check out all the advice on or send us your questions on Facebook or Twitter.

It's not too late to use UCAS Extra

Have you used all five choices but not holding any offers? You may be able to apply for more using Extra! If you’re not sure how to use it then we’ve got it covered in this short blog post.

When can I use Extra?
If you’ve used all five choices and don’t hold any offers, you can use Extra up until 4 July. If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible or not, sign in to Track to check your status. If you have an option to Add Extra Choice then you’re in Extra.

Where can I check for vacancies?

All course vacancies will be listed in our search tool. When you search for a course you’ll have a selection of filters down the left hand side. Make sure you click on the option Show courses in Extra to narrow down your search.

Once you’ve found a course you’re interested in, it’s still worth giving that uni or college a quick call to make sure they have vacancies and will consider your application.

Course vacancies are updated all the time by the unis, so it’s worth keeping an eye on our search tool.
When will the uni make a decision?

When you apply through Extra the uni or college has until 14 July to make a decision. Once they’ve made a decision you’ll receive an email to check Track.

If you’re offered a place, you must reply by 22 July otherwise your offer will be declined automatically.

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

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Apply 2017 – how to apply...

UCAS Undergraduate Apply 2017 is now up and running – so you can start filling in your application, ready to send it on its way to the universities in September. Even though your application deadline may seem ages away, it’s worth registering as early as possible to save any last minute dramas. If you’re unsure where you want to go or what you want to study, you don’t need to select your universities or courses just yet.

However, you can start by filling in the other sections so you’re ahead of the game. So, where do you begin?

Getting started
Before you can start your application you need to register. When you register you’ll need to answer some basic questions about yourself.  We’ll give you a username and you’ll also be asked to create a password.

Personal details
Once you sign in, you’ll see a page like this:

This section requires you to fill in some personal details about yourself. If you’re unsure what to put in, click on the red question mark at the end of the question for some help.

This section’s where you need to add any schools or colleges you’ve attended, from the age of 13 onwards, along with the qualifications you’ve taken. It’s worth having your certificates to hand as they’ll be useful if you’re unsure of any of the details, such as your awarding bodies. There’s quite a lot of info you need to add here so we’ve created this video to help you.

Personal statement
The personal statement section is your chance to show why you want to attend uni and study that course – in 4,000 characters, or 47 lines. We’ve got plenty of tools to help you perfect your personal statement. Try out our personal statement tool, personal statement timeline, and check out the advice from admissions staff from uni and colleges about what to include.

You need a reference before your application can be sent. This should be from a current or previous teacher, but can be from someone who knows you in a professional capacity, such as an employer.

Your referee can’t be a family member or friend.

There are a couple of ways to get a reference – read on to see which is the right way for you.

i) If you’re applying through your school or college: 

When you register, if you select that you’re applying through your school or college, you’ll be asked to enter a buzzword. This will link your application to your school or college, so your teacher can write your reference. They’ll also be able to look over your application and help you along the way. And when the time comes, they’ll send it to us on your behalf.

ii) If you’re applying independently: 

There are a couple of ways to get a reference if you’re applying independently. If your previous school or college is happy to complete a reference, in the ‘Options’ section select ‘ask a registered school, college or centre to write a reference only’. This route needs a buzzword from the school or college – so you’d have to discuss it with them.

Alternatively, you can enter your referee’s contact details in the reference section. We’ll then send them an email with instructions on what to do. If you want to do this, make sure you ask your referee if they’ll be able to provide you with a reference before you send them a request. Once they’ve completed it, we’ll email you, and the reference section will be marked with a red tick.

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 and they’ll do their best to help.

Student finance for postgraduate loans

If you’re starting a postgraduate master’s course in 2016/17, a new postgraduate loan will soon be available to help you financially.

Can I apply for a postgraduate loan?

You can apply for a postgraduate loan if:
  • you’re studying a taught or research master’s course
  • you’re studying at a university or college, or by distance learning
  • you’re under the age of 60 on the first day of your course
Please note, you can’t get a postgraduate loan for postgraduate level courses, such as PgCert (Postgraduate Certificate), PgDip (Postgraduate Diploma), or where the postgraduate course is funded by undergraduate student finance, such as:
  • Initial Teacher Training (ITT)/ Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • an integrated master’s
Can I study part-time?

Yes – if you’re studying part-time, you can study for two years (for the equivalent one year full-time course) or up to four years (for the equivalent two year full-time course). If you’re studying part-time, you can only get payments for the first two years of your course, although three years may be available if a full-time equivalent is not available.

I’m an EU national, am I eligible?

Yes – if you’re an EU national, but don’t normally live in England, you may be able to get a postgraduate loan for a master’s course that you’re studying in England.

What can I apply for?

You can apply for a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards your course and/or living costs.
If your course is longer than one year, you can get up to £5,000 in your first year and the rest in your second year. The loan will be paid into your UK bank account in three instalments during the academic year.

If you have a disability, including a mental health condition or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, you might be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA). These don’t have to be paid back.

I have received student finance for a previous qualification. Am I still eligible?

Yes – having a loan from a previous qualification (such as an undergraduate course) won’t affect your eligibility for a postgraduate loan. However, you can only get a postgraduate loan if you don’t already have a master’s qualification or a higher level qualification like a PhD.

If you take a postgraduate loan for one course but don’t complete the course, you won’t be able to get a second postgraduate loan. If you have to repeat your course for compelling personal reasons, such as illness, you may be able to apply for additional funding to allow you to repeat the course.

How do I apply?

You can apply from late June 2016 at
You don’t need to have a confirmed place on a course to apply, as you can use the details of
your preferred course and update them later if they change. 

Before you start your application, you should have the following to hand:
  • valid UK passport details (if you have one)
  • preferred university and course details

You’ll also need your UK bank account details (eight digit account number and six digit sort code), UK National Insurance number, and your address history for the previous three years.

Once you start your application, you can save it and go back to it later at any time.

How do I get paid?
You have to register at university and start your course before we can make the first payment.
The postgraduate loan will be paid directly into your UK bank account. It can take two or three days for the payment to reach your account, depending on your bank, and you’ll receive three instalments throughout the academic year.

Do I have to repay the loan?

Yes – repayments are based on your income, not what you borrowed.

Interest is charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3% from the day we make the first payment to you, until your postgraduate loan is repaid in full or written off.

You can make a voluntary repayment towards your postgraduate loan at any time.

For more information on postgraduate loans, visit

Thank you Mark for all your help! If you have any funding questions or concerns, you can ask Student Finance England on Twitter and Facebook.