Higher Education - Year 12 Students

Year 12 – 2020/21 UCAS Cycle for Applying to University

UCAS are currently working to ensure next year’s university applications are not affected by the current pandemic. UCAS will consult on deadlines for 2021 entry, but think it highly unlikely that deadlines from the established UCAS cycle will change. Therefore, please continue to plan to meet deadlines following the established annual UCAS cycle. The UCAS search tool displaying 2021 undergraduate courses is now live, so you are able to search on UCAS for course requirements for 2021 entry. Apply 2021 is now also live, so you are able to register and make a start on your UCAS application.

UCAS Conservatoires Apply 2021 – now open

UCAS Conservatoires Apply is now open for 2021 applications. If you are interested in studying at a Conservatoire, you can now start and submit your application to UCAS. The two key deadlines for Conservatoire 2021 applications are 1st October 2020 for music courses and 15th January 2021 for most dance, drama and musical theatre courses. Help and advice to support you in applying to a Conservatoire can be found at www.ucas.com/conservatoires


The UCAS Hub allows you to personalise your experience of exploring university options. It helps you to start to research and collate what you need to do. Create your own account and make use of the different features available.

Hub Live – Throughout June and July the UCAS Hub Lives brought in experts to run a number of live sessions in the UCAS Hub, covering personal statement tips, applying to 15th October courses, careers advice and apprenticeship advice. Recordings of these live sessions are now available at www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-and-where-study/hub-live-sessions.

University Open Days

Many Year 12 students would usually be planning visits to universities and attending UCAS Fairs next term. Although university campuses aren’t open to visitors at the moment, universities are working hard to support Year 12 students who are planning their next steps after Sixth Form. Many universities have planned an innovative schedule of virtual tours, live chats, and helpful resources so you can still experience university life from your sofa. Please keep looking at individual university websites as they are regularly updating the range of information on there to support potential applicants.   

UCAS Higher Education Exhibitions

UCAS have announced that, subject to government advice, they are planning on launching a smaller season of events this autumn for students who might still be thinking about their options. Although they have had to cancel their summer UCAS Higher Education Exhibitions, they are keen to still give students the chance to speak face-to-face with universities and colleges prior to submitting their applications. 

In addition, from June UCAS are planning on offering a virtual exhibition experience. This will enable students to register, and then chat with universities and colleges online, whilst accessing a range of content about subjects and the university experience. You’ll be able to ask questions of admissions teams and subject specialists at universities. Some may also offer the chance to join in talks and seminars of their own.

Both live and virtual events will still have the wealth of universities and college exhibitors you’d expect, as well as a seminar programme that will cover all the major things to consider – such as the application process, student finance and subject specific information.

UCAS Virtual Exhibitions

UCAS have released dates for their new series of UCAS Virtual Exhibitions this autumn, designed to help students focus on their research within their chosen subject area.

  • Business, law, and finance – 29-30 September
  • Biological and physical sciences (including sport sciences) – 16 October
  • People studies and teaching (including psychology, sociology, geography, politics) – 23-24 October
  • Maths, engineering and computing – 2-3 November
  • Creative subjects – 13-14 November

Please register your interest in your chosen events now at ucas.com/virtual-exhibitions and UCAS will email you as soon as booking is available. These online exhibitions will give you the chance to explore courses at lots of universities around the UK. You will be able to speak directly to key subject specialists, teaching staff and admissions experts; listen to topical seminars and ask questions; pick up digital prospectuses and other information. UCAS will be launching more virtual exhibitions soon.

UCAS Virtual Tours

UCAS virtual tours and videos from universities and colleges allow you to see what it’s like on campus and what facilities are available at different universities. These can be viewed from www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-and-where-study/open-days-and-events/virtual-tours

UCAS Subject and City Guides

UCAS’s Subject and City Guides offer a range of valuable insights to help you find the right subject, location, university and college for you. Visit www.ucas.com/explore

UCAS Unibuddy

UCAS’s Unibuddy gives you the chance to talk to current undergraduates to find out what life at university is really like www.ucas.com/chat-to-students

How to Choose a University Course

The University of Derby have put together this excellent guide on how to choose a university course. Please visit www.derby.ac.uk/departments/schools-colleges-liaison/digital-resources/how-to-choose-a-course/ to find out more.

University of Bristol – virtual resources page

The University of Bristol virtual resources page provides information and advice on higher education for Year 12 students and Year 13 students.  Over the coming weeks they will add additional subject specific tasters and lectures as well as HE information and guidance videos on themes such as the university application process and student life.  These resources can be accessed from www.bristol.ac.uk/study/outreach/virtual-resources-for-students/

University of East Anglia’s webinar programme

UEA’s programme of webinars for students and parents will continue for the foreseeable future.  They cover a range of topics and there’s even a chance to put your questions directly to UEA’s Head of Admissions on Monday 4th May. They are also working with the university’s academics to bring you a range of subject-specific taster lectures so that so you can learn more about studying your subject at degree level from your computer.  Keep a look out for this on UEA’s website www.uea.ac.uk/study/webinars 

UEA will be using their Online Portal as a one-stop-shop for sign posting to useful resources www.uea.ac.uk/study/info-for/young-people/revision-skills

University of Essex – Preparing for university online learning materials

To give students a flavour of what it is like to study at the University of Essex, the university’s academics have created a suite of short videos which can be found on their website along with a series of upcoming subject webinars from multiple departments across the university. Topics range from 'why do we care what other people think about us', to 'artificial intelligence and medical applications'. These will be running for six consecutive weeks and dates/times can be found on Essex’s website www.essex.ac.uk/visit-us/cant-visit-us/talks-and-tasters

University of Suffolk

The University of Suffolk have put together a number of resources to support students including online booklets, virtual workshops and You Tube Live sessions. To access booklets on ‘Why Go To University’, ‘Student Finance’ and ‘Personal Statements’, visit www.uos.ac.uk/content/online-resources. Further information on the range of Webinars available can be accessed at www.uos.ac.uk/content/lets-talk-uni-live-webinars.

Virtual Summer School at the University of Suffolk – 5th August - 7th August 2020

This virtual event is an opportunity for college and 6th form students to get an insight into university life from current University of Suffolk students and staff as well as receive advice and practical guidance. Students are able to take part in all 3 days or choose to attend the sessions and workshops they are most interested in. For more information about this year’s Virtual Uni Camp and how to register, see www.uos.ac.uk/unicamp

West Suffolk College STEM Degree Online Taster Courses

The West Suffolk College STEM Degree online taster courses will provide you with an experience of what will be required of you to study computing, engineering or science at any university. These taster courses start week commencing 1st June 2020 and are completely free of charge. To enrol or to find out further information, please click on the relevant link: Computing; Engineering; Science

HE Family Zone

The HE Family Zone provides interactive fun for families to learn about Higher Education.  It supports to parents, guardians, and young people learn about Higher Education options like university and apprenticeships.  To find out more about HE and take part in fun family activities visit www.facebook.com/hefamilyzone

Take Your Place – New Website Resources Available

Take Your Place have recently launched their online resources page which is filled with a wide range of HE progression IAG, such as recorded webinars, podcasts and FAQ sheets. The new range of resources support students with their higher education options, including university applications, apprenticeships, work experience, clearing and much more… Please visit www.takeyourplace.ac.uk/resources.

Applications Unlocked

Applications Unlocked is a virtual programme starting this week aimed at Year 12 students who are considering applying for University. The programme supports students to make a high quality application to University through a range of podcasts, webinars and live Q&As. To access the Applications Unlocked resources, visit www.takeyourplace.ac.uk/resources. If you have aby questions, or would like to know more, please contact appsunlocked@takeyourplace.ac.uk

Free UCAS Personal Statement Course

Oxbridge Masterclass is offering free access to their online personal statement writing course, which is designed to support anyone making a UCAS application. The course covers tutorials and templates, walkthrough videos and model personal statements as well as wider reading recommendations based on your subject to kickstart your summer preparation. To sign up and create an account, please complete this form on their website oxbridgemasterclass.com/personal-statement-course