UK universities that regularly rank high in national and global league tables may look like the most appealing to apply to, but they are also the toughest to get into.
Applying to an elite university can be time consuming and challenging, and careful preparation and planning is essential to help you gain admission. As well as tougher entry requirements, there is also much more competition for very limited places.
Applying to the Best Universities in the UK - What You Need to Know
- You need to apply early
Application deadlines for elite universities are early in the application cycle, so planning ahead is important. Individual universities may have different deadlines for different courses, so check carefully on the website for your chosen course. By January, many courses will be closed to applications or will have already filled their places.
- Good grades are required
Entry requirements are much tougher at good universities and, although it may seem obvious, you'll need the very best grades to be considered for a place and getting through to the next stage of the application process. By working hard at school to secure good A-Level/International Baccalaureate and IELTS grades, you can ensure you are staying one stop ahead of the competition.
- Be prepared for a lengthy application process
The best universities in the UK tend to have lengthy application processes, which can seem complicated at first. Make sure you read all the application guidance on their website carefully, and follow all the instructions. There may be specific entry requirements to meet, including essays and proposals, depending on what you are applying for, as well as portfolios of work to prepare. Don’t forget you’ll also need to prepare your personal statement!
- Brush up on your interview skills
Interviews at the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge are mandatory regardless of what course you are applying for, and at many top universities across the UK they are extremely common. You will need to be prepared for these and there is little room for error; ensure you are familiar with your personal statement and can back up any claims or qualifications you have mentioned.
Study in the UK
If you want to study at a top UK university, SI-UK can help. The Oxbridge Service provides expert interview practice, personal statement editing and full support throughout the application process. Eligible universities include:
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- Imperial College London
- University College London
- University of Manchester