Study Higher Logo
Resources Old

Reference writing & UCAS

This section provides an overview of the UCAS application process, including supporting students in writing their personal statements and information and guidance for those who have been asked to provide a reference for an applicant to higher education.

  • Highlighted paper


The application process

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is responsible for processing applications to higher education courses in the UK.  UCAS also provides information and advice to inspire and facilitate educational progression, so is a useful resource for students and practicioners.  

Personal statements

The personal statement forms part of the application process. It gives students the opportunity to explain why they have chosen to apply for a specific course, show their knowledge and understanding of the discipline, and their enthusiasm to study.
The personal statement timeline put together by UCAS is a handy tool to give to students who are considering making an application to higher education.
Tips for writing a personal statement is a useful guide from UCAS for students to read when starting to write their personal statements. 

Reference writing

A reference, often supplied by a tutor or teacher who knows the applicant academically, also forms part of the UCAS application process.
As a referee, you are required to give the university or college a student is applying to an accurate assessment of the applicants suitablility for further study.
How to write UCAS Undergraduate references gives an overview of what to include in a reference
Unipod advice for writing reference is also a handy resource for reference writing guidance.


Sign up for UCAS news updates 

An exciting new feature has just gone live on the ability for all advisers to receive regular updates on the ingo they are interested in. In the past advisers could receive updates if they were attached to a UCAS registered centre, but now UCAS is inviting anyone supporting applicants to sign up to updates. This enables UCAS to operate more flexibly and means that advisers will receive information based on their preferences. 

Advisers can access the sign-up form here


More information

If your school would benefit from a talk about UCAS applications or writing references,
please contact