Monday, 12 March 2018

The UCAS Teacher Training application fee is now just £1

It now costs just £1 to apply for postgraduate teacher training programmes starting in 2018. But you won’t miss out on this if you’ve already applied – we’re refunding £23 to anyone who has applied since the application cycle opened in October 2017.

Why does it cost less to apply now?

The Department for Education is subsidising the UCAS Teacher Training application fee. This subsidy will be in place until the end of July 2018, so apply as soon as possible to benefit from it.

I’ve already applied and paid £24. How do I get my refund?

You don’t need to do anything – we’ll automatically process your refund and send you an email when it’s complete. The money will be refunded to whichever credit or debit card you paid your application fee with, within the next four weeks.

Sign in to your UCAS Teacher Training application to get expert advice about becoming a teacher

Recently started a teacher training application but not submitted it yet? Sign up to receive free advice from the Department for Education’s Get Into Teaching Team – just sign in to your application and go to the ‘Personal details’ section.

Questions about this change? Get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

Why I Applied To Uni

I’ve had many different opinions about applying for uni. When I was in my final year of sixth form, I applied much like many other people in my year. After applying and receiving my offers I changed my mind and withdrew my application. I realised the courses I applied for just weren’t the ones I wanted to be doing and at the time uni just wasn’t for me. However, after working for a couple of years I completely changed my mind.

For the last few years I’ve toyed around with ideas of writing, creating little pieces here and there. I’ve run a blog where I’ve reviewed movies and TV shows among other things and after doing this for around a year it made me realise I wanted to create my own content in that industry. This spurred my decision to apply for a film and tv production course. Had I not of had this time to think about the choice to go to uni I honestly don’t think I would’ve been applying for a course I really wanted to do.

I suppose one of my main reasons for applying to uni is that I simply wanted to learn. I’ve always found the film industry fascinating in literally every aspect and have always wanted to learn the tricks of the trade. I’d love to be able to write and produce my own TV series one day although I’d love to have my fingers in all the pies so applying for a Film & TV Production course was perfect for me. Another main reason why I applied to uni is from watching other people I know thrive and succeed in things they’ve become so passionate about. Watching my friends graduate and go into so many exciting avenues in their lives I thought to myself ‘I want to do that!’ so I did!

Although in my particular university story there has been more than a few times when I’ve veered off in a completely different direction to what I was expecting I couldn’t be happier that I’ve finally decided to go. I feel like it can’t come around quick enough and I can’t wait to start in September.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Unconditional offers: are they as great as they seem?

When I first received my unconditional offer I wasn’t as happy as you would imagine.
This year I am hoping to do English Literature BA as an undergraduate. I began my UCAS application in October last year and the offers started arriving within a week of submitting and my final offer arrived a month later. Disclaimer: don’t worry if your offers don’t arrive as quickly as mine, I was just lucky and you should remember that it can vary based on what course you apply for and the universities you choose to apply to. You should also note that the process of offering a place varies, some places may wish to interview or see a portfolio before accepting you onto a course.

Anyway, by my fourth week of receiving offers I had been given conditional offers from 4 out of the 5 that I had applied to (Leeds, Nottingham, Cardiff and Exeter).Then I received my final offer from Birmingham.  An unconditional. I had heard about unconditional offers before and knew they were rare, I was in no way sure I would get one but I had been hopeful, they were a stressed student’s dream come true and I don’t know anyone who would have complained about getting one.
But, there I was after receiving it, silenced.
Why was I not dancing around and breathing a sigh of relief that university wasn’t riding on my performance in the exam hall?

I was beaming when I was given the offer from the University of Nottingham with entry requirements of AAA. It was the only town and university I had visited and I had decided then and there that I was going there and that was that.

I hadn’t even looked at Birmingham or any of  the others when it came to applying- I had done a little research on rankings and the best institutions for English and had chosen the other places purely based on that.

I had applied to the University of Birmingham just like the majority of the others, without visiting, and now I was facing this choice.

Since then I have done my research on Birmingham and discovered its a brilliant university that is so much more than it’s position on a table. The city has great shops and nightlife and the university has a great student union, a range of clubs and brilliant facilities. I’ve visited the city now and went to the university applicant visit day and I feel it’s a great fit for me. It has been a happy ending for me however it got me thinking about how many students will visit one university, set their heart on it and not bother to look around others. I seriously urge all of you whether you believe you will receive an unconditional offer or not to look around as many universities as you can so that when you make your decision you have gained the best possible information about where the best place for you is.

If you have any question get in touch!

Instagram: alanahswift

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Starting University as an LGBT Student

When starting university, you may be a little apprehensive as to whether or not you will make friends and fit in. It can be daunting leaving your comfort zone and starting somewhere new, regardless of who you are as a person. It can sometimes be difficult for LGBT students when starting somewhere new, as you have to go through the whole process of telling people who you are.

Thankfully, times are changing. It has become less of a taboo to be gay, and rightfully so people don’t treat you differently because of who you like. Yet starting somewhere new always brings in self doubt: what if I’m not accepted?

When I went through secondary school, I was bullied for being gay. Whilst that has changed as I’ve got older and people have become more mature, when I first started at university I felt as though I needed to withdraw and keep that side of myself secret. It sounds ridiculous, I know, and I had to keep telling myself that as an adult now, there was no need to do that.

University is very supportive if you feel like you may be struggling to adapt to a new situation. Many universities offer guidance and support to those students who need it. University is full of mature people looking to better themselves. Many people are supportive and even interested in learning about the LGBT community, and learning about you as a person.

The key thing to remember about going to university as an LGBT student is that you’re not alone. In many universities there are societies, where people meet up to learn new things, discuss new options and relax and make friends. Included in these societies are a group for LGBT students. It’s a way for people to make their universities inclusive and supportive of the LGBT community. Many LGBT communities organise LGBT student nights or activities. It’s a good way to meet new people and work towards a greater cause.

We’re lucky here in the UK that we are able to be out and be supported. If you’re feeling afraid of starting university, then don’t be too afraid. It can be an added pressure when you’re an LGBT student, but just know that the support is there and you will always be accepted for who you are.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Thinking about an apprenticeship?

Over 1 million people have started an apprenticeship since May 2015, with plenty of different industries offering apprenticeship places – covering everything from dentistry to law. So, if you have a clear idea of the career path you’d like to follow, an apprenticeship is definitely worth exploring.

If you’re considering an apprenticeship, here are five things you should know:

1. Apprentices get paid
Apprentices are employed members of staff, and are paid a salary, a pension, and are entitled to other company benefits, just like everyone else.

2. You can get a full degree 
All apprenticeships are fully certified by a university – this means you’ll receive a full degree at the end of your apprenticeship, and, in most cases, attend a graduation ceremony, much like a full-time university student.

3. You have to work and study – it can be tough
Unlike a full-time undergraduate university student, you’ll be in full-time employment, meaning you’ll be expected to work a full-time job, alongside studying for your degree. It’s a huge commitment, and you’ll need to be able to manage your work and study commitments.

4. More are in development
If you can’t find an apprenticeship in the industry you’re interested in, there’s a chance it’s on the way. You can find more information about upcoming apprenticeship plans at

5. You don’t have to pay tuition fees!
That’s right! As an apprentice, your employer pays your tuition fees. You don’t have to repay it either – it’s part of your contract of employment.

For more information on apprenticeships in your area – as they differ within the UK – visit