University Support Programme

University Support Programme

Once the AS exams have finished, students are usually ready to relax after a year of hard work; however there is still a little more for them to do before they can fully enjoy the summer break. In the final few weeks of term we ensure that the students are fully prepared for the challenges related to applying for university through UCAS.

The first week of the programme gives the students the chance to devise and carry out an academic research project based on a topic of their choice with the second week focused on the nuts and bolts of the university application process called ‘UCAS preparation week’.

UCAS preparation week for the most part is dedicated to drafting personal statements, researching universities and the courses they provide. Universities are a lot like people; they come in many different shapes and sizes and have different personalities. It is important that students understand this when making their university choices. During UCAS preparation week we try and provide as much guidance and support as possible in order for students to find their ideal university match. Doing this is all good and well, but there’s nothing quite like seeing it in the flesh. So on the last day of UCAS week we took the time to visit the University of Bristol open day.

After a short journey down the M5 we arrived in a sun soaked Bristol. On arrival at the university the students were able to look around and get acquainted with the large campus before attending talks they had signed up for in their specific courses of interest. This gave the students the opportunity to talk to the lecturers and course leader about the university and the modules they could be taking at
Bristol. Students were asked to think carefully about a range of features the university offered, for example did they like the course structure and content, did they like the idea of being in a city campus? This way, even if a student was not planning on applying to Bristol, the day would still provide them with a reference point to compare their chosen universities against.

The students particularly enjoyed the look of the university campus with its mix of both modern and classic architecture surrounded by large patches of open green spaces despite its location being in the middle of Bristol city centre. They found the student guides to be friendly and welcoming and really sold the student life Bristol can provide. They were also enthused by the academic staff’s love for their subjects and commitment to their students reflected in the guides’ loyalty and praise.

To finish the day the students spent their time relaxing on the grassed areas overlooked by the university and soaked up the atmosphere. Our coach journey home provided time for students to reflect on the information they had gathered during the day and has hopefully given them a base with which to continue their search, either in Bristol fashion, or another more fitting style for them.