The process of applying for further studies in the UK is a long project. It’s not something you can get away with after putting in only a month or two’s efforts – it requires a long-term commitment and investment. You should begin your application preparations at least 18 to 12 months before enrolment.
It takes students around a year to go through the whole admission process, the reason being that you really want to look within yourself and figure out what you want to do next in life – the decision should be clear and convincing. During the interview, the admissions committee would want to see this clarity and vision in your answers. So to convince the admissions officer, you first need to convince yourself!
Here is a timeline to follow to get admission steps completed in time-
18-12 months before enrollment
- Start researching and select 8-12 universities that you will apply to. Visit university websites and note application requirements, deadlines etc.
- Learn about options to fund your studies.
- Make custom application strategies for different universities.
12-10 months prior to enrolment
- This is the time when you shift from the preparation mode to creating the application. Think hard about what makes you unique as an applicant and sketch out your strengths and self-assessment.
- Register yourself and start preparing for required standardized tests like GMAT, GRE, UKCAT, TOEFL or IELTS- depending on the course and university.
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10 Months until enrolment
- Begin by downloading admissions brochures from the university websites.
- Start working on the UCAS admission form and application.
- Search for and begin applying for external scholarships (if applicable).
- Take standardized tests like GMAT and TOEFL.
- Contact your professors and direct managers for at least 2 reference letters.
- Begin drafting your SOP and essays.
- Alongside your admissions applications, plan for your expenses like applying for an education loan.
- Apply before the deadline!
- You may have to appear for a video interview in front of the admissions committee.
- You will get your rejection letter by e-mail by April-June (the months may vary). The acceptance letter helps you attain student visa.
- Gather paperwork for your Student visa.
- Depending on the deadline, you will need to notify the universities of your decision, pay a non-refundable deposit, and apply for your student visa.
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