Between now and July 2 2014, UCAS Extra is open. If you're not sure what it is, how it can help you or simply how to get a little Extra into your life, don't worry: together with the team at BPP University, we've put together a simple guide to help you.
What is UCAS Extra?
Essentially it's a way of applying to additional – or extra, get it? - universities through UCAS. It's not a freebie though: you need to have used up all five of your regular UCAS choices and not be holding any offers.
If that's you, you can apply through the UCAS Extra system. If you're eligible it will show up on your UCAS Track. It means that if you're set on a career or a particular subject – like law – you might still have the chance to pursue it. BPP University’s LLB law degrees are accessible through Extra, for example; there's more info on their website.
How does it work?
Extra isn’t a chance to apply to the same uni for the same course again, in case they change their minds: they won't. Boo. Nor are UCAS Extra places offered with reduced entry requirements: they're exactly the same as standard UCAS places.
However, it does allow you to apply to different unis and for other courses. You might only make a tiny change, such as swapping from joint to single honours; or you might want to change subject entirely. Either is fine, but you'll need to write a new personal statement explaining your reasons.
New personal statement prepared (unis can see your old one so you can't simply recycle), you contact one uni at a time and apply for a place. As you have to send your personal statement to them directly, it's important to contact a uni first for some advice and guidance. At BPP University, you can get in touch with the team (call 0845 077 5566) for help and info on their career-focused degrees such as accounting or banking and finance, as well as many more.
Is it for me?
UCAS Extra isn't a blank slate: unis will see your previous application history and your original personal statement. You're not starting again from scratch.
But! It is a chance to make changes for the better, either to your application or your choice of course, so that you have the best chance of ending up at the right place, and doing the right course, for you. Always a good thing.
You'll need to ask yourself some questions: why did you reject all your offers? Or why do you think you didn't receive any? Take a look at our guide and FAQs to find out a bit more and to help you prepare.
You should also investigate any alternative courses you're interested in and make sure you have the right skills and background. Say you're thinking about something like BPP's business management degree (which is accessible through Extra): check the entry requirements, and think about how to tailor your application to that exact course. Because you apply to one uni at a time, it's good to make things personal.
It's worth knowing that not every course is available through UCAS Extra (medicine and dentistry courses rarely show up), so be sure Extra is the right option for you before you turn any standard offers down.
To find courses, use the UCAS Course Search facility and click on the 'applying through Extra' filter. If you're aiming for a Chiropractic degree, for instance, BPP's programme will be visible. Then contact your first choice uni and talk to them: sell yourself, be enthusiastic and see if they're interested in seeing your personal statement. If they accept you, apply through UCAS Track.
If applying through Extra sounds daunting, never fear: unis have lots of experience in this area and their admissions teams will be able to help you. You can pick their brains while you consider applying for a psychology course, appropriately enough.
There's also a video on the UCAS site with more info on Extra, and you can find out more about what BPP has to offer here.