UCAS application

What Activities add value to my UCAS application?


In 2015, a survey of 63 university admission officers showed that extra-curricular achievements (as reflected in the applicant’s personal statement), had become increasingly important to an admission officer’s decisions. Today, that importance is even more significant. Admissions officers have started to rely more on the information given in your UCAS application form’s personal statement, because A-Level predicted grades can’t always be relied upon, and these statements help them choose between students with identical grades.

So, what kind of extra-curricular achievements will add value to your UCAS application? Here’s what the survey found.

92 % of admissions officers surveyed say that work experience adds value.
68 % say regular volunteering adds value.

Working in a part-time job while studying at A-Level has more than just financial benefits, then. It can show that you are dependable and committed. These are qualities key to success at university.

Any part-time job will add value. However, jobs that are relevant to your course will be the most attractive to university admissions officers. Planning to do a degree in English? You could look especially attractive to an admissions officer if you’ve managed to secure work experience in a book shop or library. If you’re looking to do a degree in politics or area of social policy, something at your local council would be beneficial.

Getting a paid job relevant to your future degree is not easy, so failing that, do the next best thing. That is to volunteer, and it’s most advisable to do it regularly. If you want to find a volunteering opportunity that is relevant to your prospective degree, use Do-it.org ,which is a database of UK volunteering opportunities. It contains over a million opportunities in the UK. You can search by interest, activity or location, and apply online.

By boosting your extra-curricular activity CV, and including this in your UCAS application form’s personal statement, you’ll increase the chance of acceptance onto your dream degree course.

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I am a practising HR consultant working with several start-ups on an ongoing and ad-hoc basis in the London and M4 area, and am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or CIPD. I am the Director of thecareercafe.co.uk; thecareercafe.co.uk is a resource for start-ups and small business. It includes a blog containing career advice, small business advice articles, HR software reviews, and contains great resources such as HR Productivity Apps.

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