Applying for Specialist Courses
Applying to Oxford and Cambridge
- This is only worth considering if you achieved mostly A*s at GCSE, are going to achieve grade A (or A*) in all your subjects in Year 13 and you must achieve grade A in all your AS subjects this year. In addition, you need to be very clear about why you want to study the course you are applying to, as you will have to talk about this during your interview.
- Your application has to be submitted far earlier. You will need to complete the majority of the application form before the end of the summer term (12th July).
- Oxford may ask you to take a Pre-Interview Test, or submit a portfolio of work.
- Cambridge may ask you to a Pre-Interview Test, or an at interview test, or submit a portfolio of work. They may also ask you to take a STEP in the summer examination period of Year 13.
- They don’t give out any offers before you have gone through a rigorous interview process.
Applying for Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary courses
- You need mostly A* and A grades at GCSE, ideally A grades at AS level and be predicted A grades at A level if you are to have a realistic chance of successfully applying.
- Your application has to be submitted earlier than other courses. You will need to complete the majority of the application form before the end of the summer term (12th July).
- You normally need to sit one of the following;
- The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT – see www.bmat.org.uk), which is on Wednesday 6th November 2013 and will cost £44 this year. You can register from 1st September until 1st October. It is taken in school.
- The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT – see www.ukcat.ac.uk), which can be taken from 1st July to 4th October (although you must register between 1st May and 2nd October). It costs £65 if you sit it before 31st August 2013 and £80 from 1st September to 4th October. It is taken in a test centre, not at school.
- You need to check the universities’ prospectuses or websites individually to see which test they require you to sit.
Applying for Law courses
- You need to have good English Language skills and be studying mostly “traditional” A levels to be considered by the universities.
- Ideally you should submit your application early.
- 10 universities (including Oxford, Durham Nottingham and Bristol) require you to sit the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT – see www.lnat.ac.uk). You need to sit the test before the 15th January to get the results on 31st January.
- The test costs appproximately £50 (2013/14 cost not available yet).
- Each individual university has their own deadline for when you have to take the test, which like UKCAT is sat at a test centre.
Applying for (Art and Design) Foundation courses
- If you wish to study Art and Design at degree level, you normally need to complete a Foundation year first.
- These courses have a different application procedure to degrees and you have to make an individual application to each institution you wish to apply to.
- You need to contact the individual institutions yourself to get an application form, but we will then support you in completing it.
- Students normally apply locally for a Foundation course (offered at places like Writtle College, Braintree College, Colchester Institute).
- You make your UCAS application during your Foundation Year if you wish to go on to study a degree.
Taking a Gap Year
Some students choose to defer their entry by a year. You should still apply during the 2013/2014 academic year, even if you don’t plan to start until September 2015.
Sensible reasons to take a Gap Year;
- You are planning to spend time doing charity / conservation work, either in the UK or abroad. (There are many companies offering these opportunities – some details are available in the study room
- You need to earn some money to help finance your time at university