UCAS Visitor Days

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I am writing this post now because next Tuesday is the first day (of many!) that the UCAS students come to visit ECS to be convinced that Southampton is the best place for them to come to study.

The process of applying to university generally involves submitting a form to an organisation called UCAS. On it you provide the details of your grades at GCSE and AS-Level (or equivalent), your extra-curricula activities and achievements, a personal statement and usually a reference from the teaching staff at your school or college.

On the form, you also choose up to 6 universities to apply to, and your application is replicated and distributed to each of the institutions you have applied to. If you pass their basic tests (though I’m sure this is some form of voodoo!) which probably involves checking your GCSE grades meeting a minimum requirement and skimming your personal statement, you may be invited to an interview.

Within ECS, as well as having an interview (read: chat with a lecturer), you get a couple of talks from various people within the department, some lunch and a tour of the campus. So, where is this all leading, you ask? Well, I help out as one of the existing ECS students who give the tour of the campus, and take the UCAS visitors to lunch and attempt to answer any of the questions they may have.

I love doing this as I get to meet lots of new people and chat to them about the university. Although there is occasionally a UCAS student with lots of questions, most of the visitors are quite shy, which makes my job difficult! I cannot respond to their queries if they do not ask me anything 🙂

So this is a rallying cry to anybody who has applied for an ECS degree course (Computer Science, Computer Science with X, Software Engineering etc.) and is browsing these blogs while preparing for their visit: please think of a question to ask me about ECS, Southampton or University in general!

It doesn’t matter how silly you think it may be, just think of one. It will help you consider why you’re applying to university, what you want to get out of it and prepare you for how much fun it’s going to be.

It will also make my job easier and give me a bit of an ego boost to think that anyone even reads these blog entries! In fact, if you’ve read this, start your question with “I was reading your ECS blog and …” If you give me permission, I can even post your question and my answer on this blog for all to see!

Don’t forget, if you wish to ask me or any of the other bloggers a question, you can always send an e-mail to ask-a-student@ecs.soton.ac.uk. I hope to see some of you during the UCAS days!

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