It is not too late for seniors to consider admission to UK universities! Twenty-six universities in Great Britain currently use the Common Application for admissions, including St. Andrews and King’s College in London. Many more only use the UCAS, which is the UK version of the Common Application. What is important to know is that US students can still apply to UK universities between now and June 30 – using either application.
The successful application to a UK institution differs in a nuanced way from what American students are accustomed to submitting to a US institution. In a recent presentation hosted by the British Council, Alison Anderson from the University of the West of Scotland and Andrew Lane from Northumbria University gave insider information on what they are looking for in an application.
Whether an applicant uses the Common Application or the UCAS system, the most important elements of the essay, otherwise known as the personal statement in the UK, are:
- Explain why you want to study your chosen field and why it’s right for you
- Detail any volunteer or work experience in that area (not just any experience)
- Share your career plans in as much detail as possible
- Look at the university’s course content and identify what interests you (and why)
- Give evidence of skills and achievements to date that relate to your area of study and career plans
So how does this work with the Common App and its main essay? That essay remains a part of the application, but each UK university has this supplemental question, which is equivalent to the UCAS personal statement. Students using the Common Application will have the greatest success if they follow the recommendations above and focus very clearly on their academics.