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Old December 27th, 2011, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Default Re: Entry requirements at various levels in Britain

Postgraduate Studies

The United Kingdom (UK) has one of the most varied university systems in the world. Universities are independent, self-governing institutions each established by Royal Charter or Act of Parliament. They are individually responsible for validation and awarding their own degrees and setting their own entry standards. This independence is jealously guarded. Quality assurance arrangements are scrutinized by the Higher Education Quality Control (HEQC). UK postgraduate courses last between 1 and 4 years. You can choose from 1000 subjects in the arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities.
There are many courses available for all kinds of qualifications - MA, MBA, pre-masters and postgraduate certificates.

Degrees and Diplomas

Generally, students need a good honours degree or equivalent to be accepted for postgraduate study. In most universities the completion of a master's degree is an entry requirement for a doctorate, which can take three years or more to complete. A master's degree, which takes a year to complete and most often takes the form of 'instruction and examination', can include course work, spoken and written examinations, and preparation of a research thesis. Course structures vary from one college to the next, but typically two terms are spent on course work and students concentrate on their research project in the final term. Students can also follow a course at a less advanced level, in which case they are awarded a postgraduate diploma.

Procedure for applying

For pre-degree courses, applications are made direct to Institutions.
Undergraduate applications are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Sewice (UCAS) Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Glucestershire GL52 3LZ (Ph +44-1242-227788 Email enq@ucas.ac.uk).

UCAS is a computerised national system. It allows up to 6 university and course options. The form is available from British Council Offices in India. UCAS processes applications for entry to universities and most colleges for higher education. Briefly speaking, the timetable for applying through UCAS goes like this:

Between January to August you may find about the institutions and courses of interest to you.
In August you can obtain the application form.

Between September and November you have to complete the formality of filling in the application form. 15th October is the deadline for applying for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science and to the Oxford and Cambridge universities. You should try to get the application form submitted by 15th December so that you are able to seek admission in the desired course.

May I5 is Acceptance Deadline of UCAS for first choice institutions.
For Art and Design courses the last date for receipt of applications is between January - March 31. Interviews for first choice offer are held in April. Second choice interviews are held in MQ 3rd week. Placements take place in June.

Students can start applying even if they have not received their secondary school results. It is important to note that for Oxford and Cambridge, students must apply before 15 October of the year preceding their year of the proposed entry.

Under UCAS system you have to adhere to the specified dates and deadlines, which must be ascertained in advance. For the popular courses you must apply as early as possible since these seats are filled up quickly.
But there are some courses like foundation, diploma, Higher National Diploma (HND) and degree etc. for which the colleges have their own application forms, which are outside the UCAS system and the
applications for these courses are to be sent directly.

Filling the form: In the UCAS form, there are a few important columns like Personal Statement which ask: Why are you applying for a particular field? Give proof of work experience or interests in that field. List all the awards or certificates you have received in curricular activities.

Referee's Report: This column is for your principal or teachers, who are required to describe your potential as a student, i.e., about your performance, achievements, etc.
Course desired: A student is expected to name 6 courses to which he wishes to apply. The UCAS is the body that sends your application form to institutions of your choice and then communicates the decision of the university / college to you.
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