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Teacher and adviser resources

We’re here to support you and your students through the Higher Education process.

Our range of tips, guidance, useful websites and downloadable materials are here to assist you in providing the necessary support. Our experienced and friendly team is also on hand to assist with any queries you may have along the way:
Tel: 01895 267267

University research

The first step in the process of applying to university is also the most vital, so when comparing universities and courses, research is essential - students should be thinking about the course structure, lifestyle and facilities.

Our top tips include:

It's all in the planning

It’s never too early to start planning! We recommend that students begin researching courses, universities and locations in the spring of the year prior to starting the course.

The power of choice

The amount of choice available to students for courses and universities to apply to is immense - it's important that they don't feel overwhelmed by this, but instead, are empowered by it! Encourage them to look at all their options and think outside the box - there's lots of new and exciting courses for them to consider as well as the traditional favourites! Take a look at our courses to get things started.

Get inspired

We encourage students to get as much course / university information as they can, perhaps starting with an in-house Higher Education fair at your school or college or chatting to us at a UCAS Exhibition. Or why not have us support your students and inspire them with a class visit to campus or a presentation or workshop in your school / college.

Make a visit

Making a visit is a key time for students to hear about their subject area, get a feel for the university (and its location), meet academics and students and check out student accommodation - heading to a university open day is a great chance to find out more and ask lots of questions.

Make the most of the web

Making the best use of websites is also key to conducting university research - take a look at our website for information about our courses and take a moment to review The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) to find out about our silver award for teaching and learning excellence. To continue your research, you can also hear what UCAS say about choosing the right course and investigate our courses at WhatUni?Which? UniversityThe Guardian University Guide or The Complete University Guide.

The UCAS application process

In most cases, applications to university are handled by UCAS. This means students will submit their applications, mostly via their school or college (as a UCAS registered centre), to UCAS who will then pass their application on to the relevant universities. The main application cycle typically runs from September to mid-January each year.

The application process includes the following steps:

Making the application:

Students complete their application form with their personal details, additional information / student finance permissions, course choices, education history and qualifications, employment history and a personal statement. A reference will need to be provided by a teacher. Always be sure to check that your students have made their applications using your centre’s buzzword and not as an individual. Once received, UCAS will then send application forms to the chosen universities - this can take up to 48 hours.

Receiving offers:

After receiving an application, we will make a decision to make an unconditional offer, a conditional offer or decide that the application is unsuccessful. Where necessary, we may also offer a place on a different course, request that the student attends an interview / selection activity and/or ask to see a portfolio. Some universities may also ask students to take an admissions test.

Tracking applications:

Students can follow the progress of their application using UCAS Track - with 24/7 access, this shows their choices, offers and personal information. Here, students can reply to offers and use the system for Extra, Clearing and Adjustment.

Replying to offers:

Once your students have received decisions from all of their choices, they must narrow their choice to two. Their FIRM will be their first choice and their INSURANCE will be their back-up (and should be a lower grade offer than their firm choice) - they will then decline all other offers. If students do not receive any offers, they may be able to use Extra or Clearing.

UCAS Extra:

If your students have used all five choices and have no offers, or have declined all offers, they could add Extra choices for consideration one at a time. Students should consider related or alternative courses, so research here is very important.

Results day:

If your students meet or exceed their Firm offer, this is the one they will accept. If they just miss their Firm offer, they may still be able to take up the Firm offer (depending on the final university decision) or will be referred to their Insurance offer. For students who meet or exceed their Insurance offer, this is the one they will accept. For those that just miss their Insurance offer, they may still be able to take up the Insurance offer (depending on the final university decision) or enter Clearing. If your students do not receive the results they had hoped for, they should try not to panic - there will still be lots of options available, so do take a look at our Clearing vacancies when they go live on our website.


This typically runs from early July to October and can be used by students if they have no offers, have not met the conditions of an offer or have made a UCAS application after the June deadline. Students can contact universities directly by phone and, if made an offer, can add the course as a Clearing choice on UCAS Track. We will have various options available, so do take a look at our Clearing vacancies when they go live on our website.


This is available to students who have met or exceeded the conditions of their Firm choice, allowing them to look for another course / university at a higher entry tariff and ‘adjust up.’ The original Firm choice will be safe whilst your student is looking, until they are accepted elsewhere. Adjustment is available for five 24-hour periods, starting from when the students offer changes to Unconditional Firm, or on A-level publication day, whichever is the later.

Additional information:

Making the best use of websites is key - start by taking a look at our website for more information about how to apply. UCAS also have a wealth of information available for teachers and advisers and overviews of apply and track, how to write a reference, types of offer, confirmation and Clearing, and how to prepare for interviews.

Writing a UCAS personal statement

The personal statement is a vital part of the university application process. It’s the student’s chance to tell us all about themselves, their experiences, and why they’re so passionate about their chosen subject.

Sitting down to write a personal statement can seem daunting, but student’s should look at it as their chance to tell us why they want to do the course they’ve chosen and why they are the best candidate for a place at university.

Take a look at our top tips for writing a great personal statement.

What we're looking for

Remember, we don't see which other universities your students are applying to. They can only write one personal statement for their UCAS application, and will have around 600 words to play with, so they’ll need to make sure it is relevant for all the courses they are applying to, and not aimed directly at a specific university.

When your students apply to us, we’re looking for applicants who will be successful on our degree programmes. Although we’re looking for students with academic ability, we recognise that this may not be the only indicator of their likely success. We also consider the transferable skills that will help them to be successful at university. These transferable skills should be demonstrated within the personal statement and confirmed in the reference provided by the school / college.


To back up their points made within the personal statement, it’s important for your students to provide examples / evidence of their skills (and how they have used them) along with their knowledge and experience of the subject. Students could include relevant work experience or volunteer work, examples of reading around the subject or showcase experiences such as a Gap Year, taster day or summer school. This should all be geared towards why they want to study their chosen course. For courses that interview, we’ll also be looking at performance during the interview itself before making our final offer decision.


We therefore treat all applications with a 360 degree approach. This means that, when making decisions on applications, we’ll take a number of different factors into consideration. We’re proud to support a diverse student population and recognise that our student community bring a variety of skills and experience to their time at university, ensuring a rich learning environment.

You can also find lots of useful information about writing a personal statement on the UCAS, Which? University and The Student Room websites.

Writing a UCAS reference

The purpose of a reference in a UCAS application is to communicate the potential for a student’s success in taking on a university degree course. The reference allows for an overview of predicted (and potential) grades along with information about your school / college curriculum policy.


In terms of content, the focus should be towards why your students are suited to their chosen subject area and career path, whilst highlighting their attitude, motivation and commitment to their studies. We’re looking for well-rounded individuals, so you should also look to discuss any current / past achievements that will be beneficial to their subject of interest along with any work experience or extracurricular and enrichment activities that relate to what they’re looking to study. Take the time to tell us about the key skills the students have developed though these experiences (such as communication, problem solving, teamwork, etc.) and the value of these skills for university study.

Contextual information

You can also use the reference to outline any contextual information about the student that requires special consideration - this could include anything from personal circumstances and widening participation activities to restrictions on curriculum choice or significant staffing changes. Have the students had to overcome any issues in school or at home to get to the point of being able / wanting to apply to university? You can also highlight any mitigating factors that may have an effect on performance such as illness / medical issues, etc. It’s important to back up what your student’s may outline in their UCAS application to support and explain any factors that may affect their grade performance.


Overall, we’re looking for your reference to be objective and realistic as well as personal and specific to the student - try to avoid the same reference for everyone and always check that the stated qualifications are correct. Always make sure your reference is readable - use good sized font and paragraphs to break it up and make the sections stand out.

If the applicant is on an access course, foundation course or other one-year course, you might not have known them long enough to write a full reference. In this case, please say so and explain that you’re providing a temporary reference (including as much detail as you can) and confirm you will provide a complete reference next spring. All supplementary references should be sent directly to all the chosen course providers, and should quote the applicant’s personal I.D number.

Take a look at the UCAS website for a full overview on writing a UCAS reference.


Read more about our general entry requirements to assist you in supporting you student’s university choices - there is flexibility in all our entry requirements, and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

With changes taking place to the structure and grading of qualifications in UK secondary education, you can also find lots of useful information about qualification reforms at UCAS: Understanding the qualification reform and Pearson: New BTEC Nationals from 2016 - 2018.

Brunel student support and welfare

Starting university can offer a first taste of independence along with a lot of questions about their new lifestyle. We have a range of services available to support your students from health and welfare to career planning.

We’ve highlighted some of the key support services for you below:

Student support

Starting university offers a first taste of independence, and whatever the background, becoming a student can throw up a lot of questions. We have a range of support services available to support each student during their time with us.

Brunel Transition Project

The Transition Project focusses on improving the academic outcomes of students who join Brunel with non-traditional entry qualifications, with a particular focus on students with a BTEC.

Brunel Buddies

Transition into University life can have its challenges; the Brunel Buddies scheme supports new students through their first weeks at Brunel by linking them with current students.

Study support

All Brunel students have access to a range of study support facilities on campus, such as the Library, ASK: Academic Skills Service and the Computer Centre, which are there to assist them throughout their studies.

Student Centre

Our Student Centre, a one-stop-shop for student support and welfare, offers a triage support system looking after the specific needs of the individual student. Our team of advisers also provide a wide range of administrative support services, information and guidance for all current students.

Disability and Dyslexia Service

Our Disability and Dyslexia Service work with many students, including those with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, mental health difficulties such as anxiety, and medical conditions such as epilepsy and arthritis, to support them during their Brunel studies.


Our Counselling service is available to all Brunel students if they would like to talk about anything, big or small, whether personal, academic or work-related.

Professional Development Centre

Our Professional Development Centre are committed to increasing our students' employability through career, placement and part time work support, helping them to develop the skills and experience they need to stand out in the job market.

Student finance

We know that finance can be a concern for students and their families, but no student should be put off coming to university because of this. There is lots of help available through student loans, scholarships, bursaries and other forms of funding.  

Brunel fees, funding and scholarships - we have provided a full overview of our degree costs as well as the scholarships and other funding available to Brunel students.

Managing your money - with your students about to leave home for (possibly) the first time, they’ll need to consider how best to budget for life at university. Our Money Doctors have prepared a few tips on managing money to get them started. 

Student Finance loans - your students may be able to borrow money to assist them with their university tuition fees and help with living costs. This money is only then paid back after their time at university and only when they are earning over a certain amount.

Extra help - your students may also be eligible for a selection of additional funding, from income support and childcare grants, to funding from charitable costs.

Take advantage of our services and facilities

As well as supporting your students, there are also many Brunel services for teachers and advisers to take advantage of.

Student Recruitment eNewsletter

Join our mailing list and keep up to date with key updates and University news plus our events and activities via our monthly e-newsletter.

Email your details to if you’d like to be added to our mailing list.

Postgraduate study

Interested in undertaking postgraduate study alongside your work commitments? We have a range of postgraduate opportunities available with over 100 different specialist courses on offer. We’re able to offer flexible options with full time and part time study, as well as e-learning for long distance learners. When it comes to our financial support, as well as a range of subject scholarships, there’s also tuition fee discounts if you have a first class undergraduate degree and if you’re Brunel alumni.

Visit our webpages for more information about our courses and to review dates for our Postgraduate Open Evenings.

Using our fantastic facilities

Whether you’re looking to hire a space on campus for staff training, conferences or a school prom, you’re keen to book rooms in our Lancaster Hotel and Spa, or you’re interested in using our sports facilities, we’re here to help.

Visit our webpages for a full outline of the fantastic facilities and services available for you to take advantage of.

Events at Brunel

Our events are a great opportunity to get involved with Brunel and range from academic research lectures and public debates, to fireworks, gala concerts and literary festivals.

Our academic lectures can also be a great tool for your students interested in learning more about a subject area of interest - particularly if they’re looking to talk about extra subject experience in their UCAS Personal Statements.

The majority of events are free to attend, so do be sure to join us!


Stanmore College

"Thank you for being involved in our Freshers’ Fair - our students were very interested to learn about the many opportunities available to them and how this will enhance their future"

Parmiter’s School

"Thank you for coming to our universities fair event - I have had the most incredible feedback. The excellent advice and guidance given and how informative you were about the courses and all aspects of your university"

Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College

"A big thank you for coming to our HE Fair event - the students who came got a great deal out of it and the parents who attended did as well"