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For students completing their final years of study at school and wishing to pursue higher education, selecting a university and choosing an undergraduate course of study is the most important academic decision they will have had to make so far in their lives. There are a vast number of considerations to be taken into account, as well as specific strategies that maximise a candidate’s chances of being accepted into their first choice institution.


Locksley Education’s experienced consultancy team is well placed to offer planning and support for students applying to universities in the UK, USA and Canada. We understand that all candidates have different needs and individual goals, so for each application we develop a tailored pathway that will be most effective for that particular student. 



When applying to UK universities it is rarely necessary to carry out an academic assessment of the applicant, because by the time they are in Sixth Form, most students have a good idea of their own strengths / weaknesses and core academic interests. They are generally able to identify which university courses they would like to consider with guidance from staff at their school. 


What can be more challenging is deciding which universities to apply to, as two courses with a similar name at two different universities can be structured, delivered and assessed in very different ways. Understanding these differences and knowing how to make informed choices can be quite overwhelming for students. Locksley Education are able to assist these students and work alongside schools to help each candidate make informed, sensible choices in the application stage and when accepting offers.


Applications to a maximum of five UK universities are made through UCAS. Here, students enter their details and submit their current or predicted examination results at GCSE, A-Level, or equivalent. For international students, we are able to offer guidelines on how to provide details of national examinations taken outside the UK. 


The most important part of the application procedure is the Personal Statement. Many UK universities do not invite candidates for interview, so the Personal Statement is the only opportunity for students to stand out from the crowd, highlight their strengths, and express themselves as individuals. Producing a compelling Personal Statement can be an art form and Locksley Education has a full team of university advisors who are able to track each student’s application and assist with the preparation of exceptional Personal Statements. 





The universities of Oxford and Cambridge (collectively known as Oxbridge) are not only the oldest and most prestigious universities in the UK, but are two of the most renowned universities in the world, consistently ranking at the very top of global league tables. Applications to these two universities differ considerably from the process for other UK universities for a number of reasons:


  • Candidates for Oxford and Cambridge must choose and apply to a college, not the university itself. While the choice of college has no bearing on the status of the degree awarded at the end of the course, each college has its own advantages, disadvantages and unique qualities. When choosing an Oxbridge college, it is important to consider which teaching staff are affiliated to that particular college, the number of students living and studying there, along with a range of other factors that might impact the student’s satisfaction if accepted.


  • All Oxford and Cambridge candidates are invited to interview. The interview process is rigorous and quite gruelling;  preparation is essential. Locksley Education has several Oxbridge alumni on its team who, having been through the application process themselves have successfully assisted numerous students since graduating. 



Applications to colleges and universities in the United States are considerably more complex than those to UK universities. The entire process can take up to two years and in most cases it is best to begin preparing even earlier than that. Researching universities and deciding where to apply is an incredibly laborious process, so it is highly advisable to work with a qualified advisor from the outset.


Universities in the US are both democratic and elitist; anybody is welcome to apply, but in reality only those with the best profiles can really be considered as viable candidates. It is not enough to have a strong academic record as US universities consider a wide range of factors when making admissions decisions, and each institution will have its own set of demands. Regardless of examination results at A-Level, IB, or similar, all applicants are expected to take the SAT or ACT, and non-native English speakers will be expected to have taken an English proficiency exam such as IELTS.


In addition, candidates are expected to submit a range of essays, references and evidence of work experience, internships, participation in extra curricular projects, as well as a wide range of interests and hobbies.


Due to the complex nature of US college applications, Locksley Education only appoints experienced US college advisors to assist with these placements.

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