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Application process

Got lots of unanswered questions about applying for university? We've answered lots of common queries below to help you de-mystify the application process.

Application process

Does ARU make unconditional offers?

We operate a policy of mainly making unconditional offers to applicants who have already completed their qualifications. However, we do take into consideration predicted grades, personal statements, references and our assessment of ability to succeed when making unconditional offers. These factors will differ from course to course, so make sure you know what the entry requirements are for the course you want to study. Find your course through our course search or browse our subject areas.

Do I have to attend an interview?

Some courses require you to attend an interview. If you are invited to attend an interview it’s important that you respond by the deadline. If we don’t hear back from you, we will assume that you no longer wish to apply and your application may be withdrawn.

How long does it take to receive an offer?

A decision will be made on your application once we have all the necessary information - this may include interview outcomes, test results, portfolio or written work. Once we have all the required information we aim to make a decision within five working days. This may take longer if an interview is required, or if your application has to be referred to the faculty for a decision.

How do I apply for a taught postgraduate course?

You can apply for our taught postgraduate degree courses online. There's an application link on each full-time and part-time course page. Find your course through our course search or browse our subject areas.

It can take up to four weeks to consider applications, so we recommend you apply at least a month before your preferred start date.

If you're interested in applying for a postgraduate research course, please visit our Research admissions page.

How do I apply for an undergraduate course?

  1. Register your details on UCAS.
  2. Choose five options. These could be the same course at five different institutions, five different courses at one institution, or any other combination. Find out your 'buzz word' from your school or college.
  3. Complete your personal statement.
  4. Get your school or college to complete your reference.
  5. Have your GCSE/BTEC/NVQ certificates to hand. You’ll be asked what exam board and what date you took these exams. If you don’t have your certificates you’ll need to find this information from somewhere else. Your school or college may be able to help. You should receive your welcome email from UCAS.
  6. Check on the status of your offer using UCAS Track.
  7. Check to see if you have any offers. If you haven’t, check our page Troubleshooting your results.
  8. Respond to your offers. Be aware of the deadlines associated with replying to your offers, as these will differ depending on what date you received all your offers.
  9. Decide whether you need to apply for UCAS Extra. Operating from late February, UCAS Extra allows you to make a sixth choice of university.
  10. Check your email regularly. Also check spam/junk mail boxes, just in case.
  11. Make sure you’re in the country to collect your exam results. You can nominate someone to collect your results. Check UCAS for more information.
  12. Once you have received your results, check to see if you’ve met the entry requirements for your chosen course/university. If you’ve just missed out on one of your grades, check UCAS Track, as the university may still have accepted you.
  13. Look at the options in Clearing.
  14. If you’ve not been accepted by any of your choices you’ll automatically be entered into Clearing via UCAS Track. Check to see if there’s an available course at a university that interests you and then apply.
  15. You should receive a confirmation letter in the post.

How do I write a personal statement?

We’ve developed a simple and straightforward process to help you write a really good personal statement.

We call it the 'three-sheet method' (you can do it on three sheets of paper) and we've successfully used it to help hundreds of students.

We've also had lots of feedback showing that using this method helps to make the whole process much easier.

Get started with your statement today.

What are UCAS Tariff points?

UCAS Tariff points are allocated to many qualifications, most being studied between the ages of 16-18. Some universities incorporate UCAS Tariff points as part of their entry requirements, which is why it’s important to know how many UCAS Tariff points you currently have, or are predicted to achieve.  

Entry requirements differ from university to university. They vary depending on the subject area and the course provider. Some universities may convert your qualifications into UCAS Tariff points, which will help to measure whether you have the right skills and knowledge to be successful on the course.

At ARU, our undergraduate courses are usually expressed in terms of UCAS tariff points. For example, our offer may require you to 'Obtain a minimum of 104 points from the UCAS Tariff (at least 88 points must be obtained from qualifications with the volume and depth of A level or equivalent).' In this case, 88 UCAS tariff points could come from GCE A Levels or equivalent qualifications, the remaining 16 points could come from Key Skills or from AS levels (in subjects other than those already being counted at GCE A Level).

I have been in local authority care. Can you help with my application?

At Anglia Ruskin, we're committed to supporting care leavers throughout your higher education experience. If you have been in local authority care on or after your 16th birthday, we will be able to offer you application support. You can visit our support for care leavers page, to find out more.

What is ARU’s policy on applicants who are under 18?

We do accept applications from under 18s and the application will be considered using the set entry criteria for the course. We will always strive to treat our students that are minors the same as we do our other students. However, ARU cannot act in loco parentis, therefore there are a number of issues that will need consideration before applying. Find out more about our applications for under 18s.

What happens after I submit my application?

Once you have submitted your application, whether that be a direct application or an application on UCAS, your first point of contact will be your Admissions faculty team. It won’t be long before we get in touch after we receive your application. The Admissions Officers for your faculty will be happy to help if have any questions about your application, or any other queries you have about applying to university. See our contact page for details of how to get in touch.

What is UCAS Extra?

Applying through EXTRA gives you a chance to gain a place at university before your results are available. This way you won't need to wait until Clearing tp get an offer.

If you’ve used your five regular UCAS choices and are not holding any offers because you have withdrawn from them, declined them or have not yet received an offer, you are eligible to apply through UCAS EXTRA.

You will be able to apply for UCAS EXTRA from 25 February. All you need to do is log in to UCAS Track, and if you are eligible the option to apply through EXTRA will become available to you. 

You’ll then be able to search for your relevant course using the UCAS search tool and add your choice on UCAS Track. You can only apply for one course at a time but if you wish to withdraw your choice or are unsuccessful you can then choose another.

Your chosen university has 21 days to make a decision and get back to you. When you receive an offer, you can firmly accept or decline it, and you have until 20 July to do this, after which time the offer will be automatically withdrawn and you will be entered into Clearing.

If you need any help or guidance or would like to find out about any of our courses, please call us on 01245 686868 or take a look at our course pages through our course search or browse our subject areas. You can also read about UCAS EXTRA on the UCAS website.

What if i decide to take a gap year?

For some school leavers, taking a gap year before they start university can be an exciting way to get some real world experience. If you've found a course and university you like, there's no need to miss out on a space. If you know you want to take a gap year before you apply, find out if the universities you are interested in take deferred entry application. This way you can apply and put the start date back by a year.

If you've already started your university application, but you've decided that a gap year might be a good option for you, get in touch with the university as soon as possible. They can tell you if they are able to defer your application to the following year. If deferred entries aren't available, you will have to re-apply for the following year.

What if I apply and then decide I no longer want to go to university?

Choosing to apply for university is a big decision and can often feel a daunting prospect. It's common for applicants to worry if they've made the right decisions. If you've been through the application process and you've decided that you no longer want to go to university, the best thing you can do is get in touch with universities directly. They will be able to talk you through your options and find the best way forward.

What is Adjustment?

If you have passed your exams and received better results than you expected, you may have met and exceeded the conditions of the university you made as your firm choice offer. Adjustment gives you the chance to reconsider where you want to study, whilst still holding your confirmed place. It's a great way to find the course and university best suited to your level. If you do use Adjustment, but you don't find an alternative course, your original firm choice will stay in place.