Find out more about applying to university generally, and about our university’s admission process.
Once you have chosen which course(s) you would be interested in studying you need to make an application to your chosen university. Depending on the course your application will need to be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) or directly to the university.
Applications procedures will differ depending on the university and the course you have chosen to study but you may be invited to attend an interview, required to complete tests or submit examples of your work as part of this process.
You should also think about declaring your autism on your application form, this will not impact on the universities decision to offer/not offer a place but it will enable you to access support and adjustments if required. Declaring your autism on your application will also usually mean that the universities Disability Advice team is notified of your application to study and the team can then contact you in order to discuss any additional study or support requirements you may have.
How could this affect me?
Knowing more about the application and admissions process will enable you to prepare, and think about whether you require any support or adjustments through this process e.g. extra time for interviews or tests. If you have any concerns about the admissions process and would like to talk about your options for support, you can contact the Disability Advice team.
What to do next?
Become familiar with the admissions process and consider telling the University about your autism
- Check if you need to apply through UCAS (in most cases), or if you apply directly to the university
- Find out what evidence you need to support your application, e.g. examples of work, a portfolio or a personal statement (see below for advice on writing a personal statement)
- Check when you need to apply and make a note of important deadline dates
- Consider if you will require any adjustments or support during the interview or selection event; contact the Disability Advice team if you would like to access support or discuss your support options further
- Once you have received a firm offer, consider applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs); the process can sometimes take a while, so the sooner you apply, the more likely it is that you can get some support in place for the start of your studies
Tips for writing a personal statement
Many universities will ask you to submit a personal statement as part of your application. This statement is your opportunity to explain why you believe you are a strong candidate for a particular course of study. Write your statement in rough to start with, and get someone to check it over before you submit it; remember that first impressions count! If you are currently studying at school, college or another university there may be a member of staff who can help with this, such as a careers adviser or personal tutor.
Research the course that you are applying for thoroughly, and identify the skills and interests that you will need to study it. Your statement should highlight:
- What interests you about the subject
- Why you have chosen this course in particular
- What skills you bring to the course
- Your relevant experience
- Your ambitions and how you see this course fulfilling those ambitions
- You do not need to declare or explain your autism in the personal statement but you should focus on your strengths and interests. If you wish to declare your autism, it is recommended that you do so when asked on the application form
- Keep your statement concise, preferably one side of A4 (around 500-600 words)
- Make sure that your sentences and paragraphs are structured correctly
- Do not use slang or abbreviations
- Try to avoid starting every sentence with ‘I’
Expressing your ideas
- If you are a visual learner it may be helpful to plot your thoughts and ideas on a mindmap – there are apps/software that will enable you to do this so that you do not need to re-type everything
- There are also voice recognition tools available if you prefer to express thoughts and ideas verbally
- It may help to have your statement read aloud when you are proofreading to help you to identify errors, where you may have repeated yourself or gone off on a tangent. There are apps/software which will read work aloud to assist with this
- You can find more information about available apps (some of which are free) here under the tab ‘Software And Apps To Help You In Your Studies’
- If you are unsure about your learning preferences and how you are best able to express your thoughts you might find it helpful to the complete QuickScan questionnaire which can help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and also gives suggestions about the most effective ways to study. You can find information about QuickScan here and complete the questionnaire by clicking on the pink tab to the left of the page
Questions to think about
- What is the application process for your chosen course?
- What do you need to submit to support your application?
- Do you need to write a personal statement?
- Do you need to provide evidence in the form of a portfolio of work?
- When are the deadlines for applications?
- When should you expect to hear if your application has been successful?
- Who do you need to contact at your chosen university to discuss disability support?